AVOIDING A SPRING BREAKDOWN
Avoiding a Spring Breakdown This year, maybe more than ever, many of us have been working hard to find a new normal and keep up the positive routines we've created - new and old. As many of us have also experienced, it can be easy to get sidetracked when life celebrations, holidays or even disappointments arise.
With spring break approaching and a week filled with family fun ahead, whether in Glen Ellyn or on vacation, it would be easy to miss out on those healthy eating and exercise habits we've engrained in ourselves. But, as RISE Instructor Carin Fanter points out, she wants to feel her best when on vacation and feels her best on days when she has incorporated movement into her day. Couple that with (mostly) healthy eating and mindful choices, you'll be physically and mentally rewarded.
RISE spoke with a few of its own fitness and nutritional experts to gather tips on how to integrate exercise and healthy eating even while on vacation, helping you avoid a spring breakdown. Read on to hear how RISE's go-to holistic nutritionist and coach Lisa Kristofek and RISE fitness instructors Carin and Rachel Beard (pictured below left to right), stay on top of their wellness game while traveling ... or even while home with the family for spring break.
Breakdown: It's 5 o'clock somewhere (all the time)
"Limit alcohol to two days per week," says Lisa. "When you do have it, enjoy it and don't feel guilty - life is for living!
Rotate one water after each drink. Stick to sugar-free mixers when applicable, making sure to skip the island-style drinks and opt for 'skinny' versions. Stretch a glass of wine by adding bubbly mineral water and enjoy a 'spritzer'. Stop at three, max."
Lisa also points out that alcohol is fattening three ways. "The calories in the glass, the calories that get stored (as fat) while the body prioritizes processing the alcohol and the inflammatory response provoked by alcohol, which makes us hold water."
Some of Lisa's favorite mixers include mineral water, kombucha, iced tea, free-spirited drinks, La Croix or a non-alcoholic spritzer in a pretty glass in place of the alcohol.
Breakdown: Fast food, restaurant food, snack food, oh my!
When it comes to stocking the vacation home fridge, avoid temptation. "If you don't BUY it, you can't EAT it," says Lisa. "Shop from a LIST and stick to it.
The same goes for eating out. "Don't go to Giordano's if you cannot resist deep dish pizza," says Lisa. "Protect yourself."
And, just as you might do at home, Lisa suggests staying mindful about when and why you are consuming. Lisa suggests asking yourself: "Why are you snacking? Are you actually hungry? Or is it boredom/habit? Is it low blood sugar? Thirst?"
You can help your mindful eating according to Lisa if you plan your daily snacks BEFORE you're hungry. "Bag or dish them up in advance: 1 C popcorn, or 20 almonds, or 2 powerballs or 1 container yogurt, chia pudding or smoothie ingredients, etc., so they're ready to go," she says. "Know how much almond butter you're eating with that apple, or buy pre-portioned snacks like kid size RX bars, single portions of skinny pop, etc. "
In restaurants, Lisa says you gotta speak up! "Ask about ingredients/preparation and request the following: sauce on side, dressing on side, use less cooking oil, cheese on the side, nuts on the side, bacon on the side, avocado on the side," she says. "This way you can better estimate how much you're actually consuming, halve the portion to take home for tomorrow's lunch, and check out the side dishes and appetizers. Sometimes a great meal is an appetizer like broiled calamari and a side of roasted broccoli and/or side salad instead of a whole entrée."
When RISE Instructor Rachel Beard is on vacation she always wants to enjoy her time away and show her family how she practices balance in her own choices. "Picking one indulgence or splurge a day is an easy rule while out of the house," says Rachel. "If I’m going to have alcohol at dinner, then I’m going to skip the dessert. Or if the kids want to go get ice cream, let’s walk down the beach to find a place."
Additionally, Rachel says a great way to engage in wellness is to take an opportunity to eat locally or seasonally. "If spring break means travel for you, think fresh caught fish and exotic fruits," she says. "If Spring means a change of season, take the opportunity to eat seasonally."
Breakdown: Becoming a Beach Bum
Instead of skipping your workout, being somewhere new is a great time to try a new workout at a resort, Rachel suggests. "Beachside cycle? Sunrise yoga? Sign me up," she says. "But feel free to redefine your definition of a workout while on vacation. A long walk down the beach alone is a moving meditation!"
And if you're more likely to workout if you get in a piece of your familiar RISE routine, Carin says it's always possible to do so - no equipment needed. "I usually head out of town with a bodyweight circuit in mind," she says. "10 bodyweight moves, 1 minute a move, as many rounds as I feel like. I can do it anywhere and anytime with anyone I can convince to do it with me! It doesn't feel like a chore, it makes me feel healthy, strong and confident and that's how I want to feel on vacation!"
Below is an ideal vacation (or staycation!) workout Carin uses to continue to feel her best:
2) Squat jumps
3) Push ups
4) Star jumps
5)Lateral shuffle, shuffle touch
6)Cross punch sit ups
8)Reverse lunge or lunge jumps
9)Fast feet touch