We’ve all been there. You save up, you take that trip you’ve been anticipating, and you eat your heart out. Sure the pleasure is undeniable, but so are those extra pounds you put on in the process. You can’t fit in those shorts or that cute bikini, and more than that… you just kinda feel crappy. It’s true that 80% of how we look and feel can be traced back to what we put in our mouth. I know I know, “How can this be Amy? Aren’t you always bragging about the amazing fattening food you eat?” Well yes, and no. I love great food. I’m a proud foodie. However, most people probably don’t realize that the majority of the time when we are at home, our meal time is very humble. I’ve been pretty honest about my childhood struggle with obesity. Over the years I’ve had to fight the urge to fall into the eating disorder trap. Instead of sinking into that pit of despair, I’ve found my own methods of living a life of balance, while also enjoying what I want. Here are some examples of how I lost weight going on great vacations to places like Jamaica, Rome, Colorado, and even a Cruise!
Let me begin by saying I’m not a nutritionist. Every body is different. Having said that, I hope you find these tips useful on your next trip. It starts by changing your perspective of food.
1. Rule of Thirds
Limit your indulgences to one meal a day (or 1/3), the rest of the day keep it healthy focusing on good choices. Many times, starting your day with good choices will keep you on that path. Sometimes I’ll even replace one meal a day with a protein bar or smoothie which helps me know I’ve fueled my body with great nutrition for the day.
2. Make it an Adventure
Choose an experience that will get you active and keep you more connected to your mind and body. In 2012 we journeyed to Colorado and climbed the 14,000 ft mountain Pikes Peak. To make it even more challenging (while saving money) we didn’t rent a car. Instead we rented mountain bikes to get around the little town of Colorado Springs. It was pretty freaking hard, but it was also incredibly fulfilling and to this day I think back on that experience with great pride.
3. Split Meals
Not only does splitting meals save money, it also helps with portion control. I found it especially helpful in Italy when my friend and I split some of the richer dishes you don’t want to miss like pasta, gelato, and yummy street fare.
4.Take the Stairs
When most folks think of cruise ships, they think of all you can eat buffets, and ordering every dish on the menu at dinner service. However, if you change your perspective a little, you can actually lose weight on a cruise. When we cruise we avoid the elevators at all costs (which are usually pretty crowded anyways) and instead take the long way up and down the stairs. We enjoy long walks on deck at sunset, and keep our food orders realistic. Because of this we were able to shed a few pounds on our cruise back in 2007.
5. Don’t Worship at the Alter of Food
I’m first to admit that I love great food. The culinary experience is one full of enjoyment for the senses. However, you can embrace great food without it consuming your life. When you travel you should enjoy the food experience, but if you are aiming to lose weight don’t make it the reason for the trip. Make taste the accessory of the trip, not the reason to travel. Find your great travel moments while experiencing new things, go bungee jumping, discover new art, but don’t put food first place on your priority list.
6. Earn It
I find when I purpose in my heart to “earn” that indulgence, it makes it that much more worthwhile. I savor each flavor more, and enjoy the effort I put into making room for it in my day. I know I made good choices for my body that day, and I’m more likely to keep my indulgence in line with my health goals. Having the “earn it” mindset might just give you extra motivation to hit the fitness center. Either way, getting active, even if it’s just walking helps you make better decisions when it comes to what you put in your body.
7. Walk it Off
I’ve found that when I have traveled to destinations that require a lot of walking (and in which I choose to do the walking instead of opting for public transport) I shed a few pounds in the process. Places like Savannah, NYC, Rome, and other big cities with activities spread around in walking distance are great choices, even Disney can be a great choice if you can avoid too much junk food.
8. Get Sporty Chic
When you are purchasing your vacay wardrobe, include some cute active wear you want to take advantage of. I find that starting my day out in fitness wear makes me more inclined to get active.
On your next trip grab a workout buddy to get active with or an accountability partner who will help you stay motivated. Need a friend? There are tons of apps online with great ways of getting you connected with people who have the same goals as you. Even posting your goals on instagram, facebook, or twitter can be helpful with keeping your goals a priority.
10. Options are Everything
Compare options when ordering off the menu. Make good choices i.e. glass of white wine vs pina colada or grilled fish vs the foie gras. You can still dine very well and enjoy your food while avoiding over indulgent meals that will likely just make you feel miserable after you dine. Choose food that will energize you and help you feel your best during your travels.
These are just a few of the little tricks I use to keep my goals in line.
What are your favorite tips for staying fit on the go? I’d love to hear your travel tips and hacks. Drop me a line in the comments below!
Using high quality skincare that’s safe for my skin and free of harsh chemicals has always been important to me. I have the unique history of having practically grown up in the spa world. My parents opened a spa when I was 16 and from then through my early 20s I was immersed in a world where wellness and health were non negotiable priorities. Entering motherhood brought on a whole new world of concerns. Is what’s safe for mom necessarily safe for baby? The ultimate answer, is no, not always. Thankfully a skincare line has been developed specifically for expecting moms to meet the demand for quality products for the face and body that bring peace of mind, and great results for our most important organ, our skin. That line is Belli Skincare, and I recently had a chance to try it out for myself.
Purity You Can Trust
Belli’s motto is “Picky for a Purpose”, and I think that perfectly communicates what they stand for. So many times when we are picky it’s easy to get labeled high maintenance, but in this case what could be a better reason to be picky than our unborn children? During development our little ones are so vulnerable to environmental disturbances. Choosing a skincare line free of artificial dyes and fragrances, allergy tested, and free of paraben preservatives and phthalates could mean a world of difference. It’s not just during pregnancy that matters, though sometimes that’s the reality check that get’s us looking deeper into what we consume and put on our bodies. Anything you put on your skin, can be absorbed in to the blood stream. That’s why it’s also important to consider what you are using when breastfeeding, and let’s face it, during any season of our lives.
Awaken Your Senses
I’m always searching for great new body products. When I discovered Belli, I decided to try out the Elasticity Oil, the Pure & Pampered Body Wash, and the All Day Moisture Body Lotion. Like many women, I tend to focus more on my face since it’s the first thing everyone sees, and don’t always make the rest of my body the priority. When you’re pregnant, you can’t really ignore everything else. So many changes are happening to your ever expanding mid section. To prevent serious after effects, treating your body right with lots of hydration is key.
One of the things I noticed first was the pleasant fragrance each individual product had. Nothing too intoxicating that would overpower preggo’s senses, but each line’s main ingredient could be detected through a delicate scent. For the Body Wash, and Elasticity Oil the Lavender and Chamomile gave my daily shower experience a new spa like ambiance. The lemon oil in the All Day Moisture Body Lotion, was invigorating and a great way to start the day. It’s wonderful being able to pamper your skin and refresh your senses with the knowledge that you are not only nourishing yourself, you are also protecting your baby at the same time.
Hydration is Key
For extra hydration check out Belli’s full line of facial products as well. Every momma wants that healthy glow, especially after baby is born and sleep is rare. For ultimate hydration my picks are the Healthy Glow Facial Hydrator, Eye Brightening Cream, and Sheer Comfort Lip Balm.
Taking care of baby ultimately means taking care of you too. Hydrate your skin, prevent and minimize stretch marks, and supply the skin you’re in with the moisture it craves. Expecting or not, these products are refreshing and nourishing and most importantly guilt free. Find Belli products at Ulta, Buy Buy Baby, Destination Maternity, and other fine retailers or purchase online.
When I think of summer skin I think of that bronzy glow we all crave. That fresh from some adventure rosiness glistening against the blue summer sky while the sea breeze ruffles delightfully tussled hair. While these images are certainly picturesque and admittedly fantastical, that doesn’t mean healthy, glowing skin can’t be a reality. For over six years now I’ve been a huge fan of Image Skincare products, and while I appreciate the compliments on my recent maternal glow, I have to give credit where credit is due. Great skincare starts with a solid foundation. Not sure where to begin? Here are my Summer Skincare Selections.
Try the Ormedic Line for Organic Ingredients full of Botanicals and Antioxidants
Safe enough to use on an infant, the Ormedic line is made from the purest organic ingredients. Like all Image Skincare products it’s free of harsh chemicals and preservatives. I love that the Ormedic line harnesses the best botanicals and enriches your body’s largest organ with antioxidants creating healthy balanced skin. For mamas to be like myself, the Ormedic line is an easy choice as you don’t have to question any of the ingredients that baby might be exposed to.
The Max utilizes Stem Cells for superior Anti-Aging
The Max line is by far my favorite of Image Skincare’s long list of popular offerings. Since I’m frequently making on air appearances I spend time weekly adding more makeup to my face than typical. The Max cleanser makes my skin feel renewed after a day of full makeup. If you pay attention to new advances in skincare you might have heard the term stem cells. Using the stem cells from fruit like apples, Image has tapped into a whole new world of anti aging, and The Max line is chock full of those revitalizing stem cells. The ingredients in The Max line not only repair damage, but protect against future damage nurturing your skin on a cellular level. I could pretty much swim in a vat of the stem cell creme. It’s just that amazing.
I don’t know about you but I really hate greasy sunscreens. Living in Florida, we go through barrels of sunscreen on a yearly basis and I have become extremely picky. The only summers I’ve managed to go completely sunburn free have been the ones I’ve dedicated myself to only using Image’s Prevention + line. The lotions are extremely sheer and feel great to the touch, not greasy or chalky. There are no weird smells, and they last a long time. I love the spray for easy application, and the tinted moisturizer is the perfect base for a light makeup look, or a “makeup free” day.
Schedule an O2 Lift Facial for the ultimate nourishment for your skin
My ultimate not so secret weapon is the O2 lift facial (or Oxygen facial). Not something you can get at home, you’ll need to find a spa near you who offers the Image products and features the Oxygen facial. Imagine your skin completely reenergized and nourished with cell rebuilding oxygen. First comes the gel to milk cleanser, then the enzymatic facial peel, followed by the oxygen mask, and finally the hydrating serum. The service is complete with a protective layer of tinted moisturizer that also carries an spf to protect your fresh skin from dangerous UV rays. I love how gentle this facial is. Completely pampering, and free of any kind of skin trauma. Nourish, pamper, and protect the skin you’re in. You will feel brand new after this treatment. Definitely a summer must have.
Protect and conceal with beauty products from Image Skincare
Once your foundation is solid, top it off with some of my favorite Image beauty selections. I’m absolutely married to my I Conceal foundation which has the ideal coverage and is perfect for every day and on air appearances. Featuring an SPF 30, you can feel safe knowing your skin is protected, nourished by botanical and oxygen rich ingredients, and flawless. On lighter coverage days I opt for the tinted moisturizer. For fuller, longer, and healthier lashes I love Ageless Lashes which promotes follicle growth. Finally, if you are wanting softer, smoother skin, collect the Body Spa line which includes a firming, bronzing, and rejuvenating body lotions.
So get your glow on this summer and stay hydrated, refreshed, and protected from the sun.
It’s been a busy start to the Fall which is typically normal for this household. Lot’s of stories being written for 10Best.com and new material for Amy West Travel as well. Just wait til you see what’s coming! In the meantime, here are some places you’ll find me popping up.
If you haven’t heard of Naturally Smart Frozen Dessert watch out because it’s coming to a store near you! Already in Winn Dixie, Fresh Market and Whole Foods, this yummy dessert is full of pluses. What makes this dessert special is the protein content. Each serving has up to 10 grams of protein making it a great treat or recovery snack after work outs, and a guilt free indulgence for anyone. Did I mention it’s gluten free?
The lip comes out when they are denied junk food… you know the one
I think moms will especially love this as a great alternative to junk food, one that the kiddos will heartily approve of. I can fully confirm that it’s a win for moms as I had the opportunity to be featured in a recent commercial for Naturally Smart, with my little munchkin. She is exactly what every four year old tends to be, a picky eater who prefers sweets and chips. I didn’t write the script for this one but it pretty much played out the exact scenario we deal with on a daily basis. Watch and enjoy, then go buy some. I’ve been a huge fan of this product long before we did the commercial, and am so excited to be involved.
How do you eat all that food and still stay in shape? I hear it often from those I chat with about what I do. It is a little mystifying I’m sure from the outside. I post images of delectable dishes glistening in the light with what is sure to be some very indulgent ingredients. Not only that but from the evidence on social media it probably seems like I always have a drink in my hand. What gives? Do I have some kind of super human metabolism? In short answer no. In my “Secrets Revealed Series” I begin by sharing how youcan be a Foodie, and still remain Fit. Let me lead with a disclaimer that I am not a nutritionist, these are just habits that I’ve picked up from a lifetime of working towards healthy living.
10 Habits of a Fit Foodie
1. The Rule of 80/20
Many a celebrity has been credited with adopting this method. If you are not actively trying to lose weight the 80/20 philosophy is great. 80% of the time you eat clean avoiding sugars, fried foods, bread, and prepackaged foods etc. 20% of the time you allow yourself small indulgences in moderation. This could be 80/20 weekly or daily, much of that depends on your self discipline. I like this method since it discourages binging because you know there are no “bad foods”, you are simply choosing to make good decisions and keep higher calorie foods to a minimum.
2. Stay Moving
It has been said that “A body in motion stays in motion.” The hardest part of developing an active lifestyle is just getting started. Once you begin it’s easier to maintain because of the amount of extra energy you have. On average I try to weight train two to three times a week and do the same amount of cardio (in 30 min to 1 hour increments). We also live a pretty active lifestyle riding bikes around the beach town we live in and chasing our energetic preschooler from activity to activity. Staying in motion burns more calories keeping your metabolism active and helping you maintain your weight.Don’t forget to have fun! You are way more likely to stay fit if you choose a training routine that you find invigorating instead of a chore.
3. You Can Have More Later
I learned this in my teens when I went through healthy lifestyle transition. Just because it’s on your plate, doesn’t mean you have to eat it all right now. You can eat it later. The world is not suddenly going to run out of Creme Brûlée. So if I’m too full to eat it, I don’t. I can eat it later. In many cases when I’m doing a food review I do just that, taste, then take it home.
4. Quality over Quantity
When you aren’t constantly skimping to eat “lower fat” foods or foods with artificial sweeteners you get to enjoy the real, potent taste of fresh ingredients. Eating quality leaves you more satisfied and less likely to over consume. When you eat artificially flavored foods you tend to over eat because your brain is not satisfied, even when your stomach might be. Less is truly more. If you think eating quality is more expensive, consider the amount of extra food you buy when you are consuming more to satisfy your brain. It really evens out in the end.
5. Make Good Choices
Sure this requires a certain amount of discipline but if you are following the ideals in 1-4 it should be a given. When you want a snack, steer yourself toward the nuts instead of the chips. When you are at a restaurant order the fish or a fresh salad instead of the burger. You should be able to enjoy great tasting, well made healthy food without feeling like you are making a sacrifice by not getting the highest calorie plate. If you do choose to get that craving, share it, most American dishes are way too big anyways, by sharing you and your date will save money and your waistline.
6. Be Picky about your Destination
We hand select the restaurants we review based on specific standards of excellence. As a rule we tend to avoid chain restaurants because they usually cook with pre packaged ingredients and produce that comes from who knows where. We love local, responsible businesses that go the extra mile in caring about what they put on the plate. When we dine out I know that the places we choose will have a great selection including healthy options.
7. Eat Slower
Dining on the go is an American thing. They have it right in Europe and the Mediterranean, where breaking bread is a timeless tradition built on relationships. Take your time with each course and embrace the moment and the taste of each well prepared bite. You may just find yourself more satisfied and less likely to consume more than you need.
8. Special Order
Don’t be afraid to special order food to your criteria. Switch butter for olive oil, dressing for lemon juice, or starches for steamed veggies.
9. Get Rid of Guilt
So you had a big night and ate a little too much? Don’t feel like you have to drown yourself in remorse because you fell off the wagon. It’s not the end of the world. Just start making good choices on your next meal and move on. Don’t psych yourself out because of a little misstep.
10. Take a Break
If you find yourself traveling a lot or attending a bunch of dinners, parties, and obligatory functions where the treats and alcohol are overflowing, then find a time to press the pause button. Take a break, even if that means saying no to invitations and make your health the priority again. Do a 30 Day Challenge, try a Juice Cleanse, or take a break from alcohol and sugar for a month. You will be surprised how quickly your body will recover, heal itself, and begin to let go of cravings and bad habits.
Tell me your secrets to staying a Fit Foodie in the comments below.