Don’t throw all your hard work away on vaca!

Vacation is to most people an escape from the responsibilities and the routines of everyday life. It is a chance to wind down, leave behind all the expectations and just focus on you. Unfortunately for most people, and this was me too, that included eating often, eating whatever you want and just accepting that you will worry about the impact of those decisions for your health or your journey when you come back. I challenged myself this time away, to not use it as an excuse to consume anything that I want, things that I normally wouldn’t eat, just because I am on holidays.

My family and I just got back from a one week vacation off the grid up at a cottage in the Muskokas.

This was our second year renting this cottage and we absolutely love it. It is not too far away that it takes us a whole day to get there, but it’s far enough away that we really felt like we were able to get out of town and spend some quality time together. With our busy lives, sometimes getting quality time is hard.

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This cottage is right on the river so we have the option to be swimming all day long, and although it was a little colder than we would have liked, both my newfielab dog and I were able to get in our fair share of swims, playing fetch with her favourite stick.

We had an amazing week away. There was a mix of nice weather so we could be outside, enjoy swimming, sunbathing and the fresh air. Clara loves playing in the sand so she did that, and she played around on the shoreline in the lake. But there were also some rainy cooler days. On those days, we built a fire in the cottage, watched movies, played games, sang karaoke (I forced us to have an American idol competition where everyone performed and Clara was the judge. Surprisingly she didn’t choose her mom to win!), colored and snuggled. We took a couple of trips into the nearby town as well to do some exploring. We ran a couple of errands one day, we went a couple breweries and we also made a trip to a local Chocolate House and a Homemade Butter Tart Factory (my husband has a thing for sweets). We were able to spend a solid week of complete uninterrupted time together, with nothing to do but be with each other. My happiness and gratitude for this family we have built is indescribable!

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In preparation for this trip, we needed to get ourselves ready- pack our clothes, pack everything that we would need and make a grocery list. As I mentioned earlier, people often use vacation as a reason to indulge daily without a care, and I am here to tell you that it doesn’t need to be like that if you take the time to prepare. We menu planned, as we do at home for all our meals and snacks. I made sure that each of our meals was balanced nutritionally and that we would be able to eat healthily for the week. Our grocery list also did include a few indulgent items (remember life is about healthy balance in strict moderation) but I was very mindful to not allow for the self sabotage that can happen when you use the excuse of vacation.

In this case, I had full control over the food that we bought and what we brought to the cottage- because I planned. Planned for healthy- not for quick and convenient. If you are staying at a hotel or a resort, you have a little bit less control over that planning, but you can still have control over the choices that you make. While we were driving up, we had to make a little lunch pit stop. We stopped at a travelling stop that has a couple of different fast food restaurants as well as a little market place where you can purchase snacks to take into the car with you. Instead of using this as my chance to buy a bag of chips to snack on or grab a carton of fries- I made the conscious decision to put my health first. I bought veggies and an apple and forewent even the delicious looking sandwiches.

You always have the power to make the choice that is best for your body, even when you are off your routine. I challenge you as the summer really takes off, when you are making long car trips, or spending time in hotels or cottaging to remember what your goals are, and continue to do things to support yourself reaching those goals. Remember to always invest in your health, no matter where your adventure takes you. Because when you return from that time away, rested and refreshed, you’ll know that you did the best you could for yourself and your journey to keep it on track.

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Hugs and Kisses,

Andrea

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