How to Stay Healthy on Vacation
Published on: October 21, 2018
Even little changes to your diet and lifestyle can help ensure optimal health during and after the holidays. Here’s how.
By Cecilia Yu
Staying healthy on vacation isn’t that different from the holy grail of supreme health:
- Drink water
- Eat vegetables and fruits
- Limit sugar and processed food
- Consume healthy fats
- Sleep adequately
- Keep stress at bay
BUT chances are you aren’t doing all of these daily. And you have been fine with no alarming or frequent ailments.
Well, here is the SURPRISING thing.
It is paramount, repeat after me, P-A-R-A-M-O-U-N-T, that you do most if not all of the above while on and before (yes, you read that right) a vacation. I know, eyes are rolling?
Your post-vacation body and mind will thank me. Especially if you want to avoid the bloating, lethargy, foggy brain, and classic yearning of “ARGH! I need a vacation from my vacation!” afterwards.
Unless you are embarking on a health retreat filled with all things fresh, natural and organic, you are bound to incur cellular inflammation from the junk consumed. Compounding that, the stress of taming babies and temper-tantrum throwing toddlers, your adrenaline will peak. Your cells will undergo oxidative stress. It’s the perfect storm for cellular inflammation where your immunity will be compromised, making you vulnerable to the common illnesses post-vacation.
Have you noticed the school trend where viruses circulate in your child’s class 1-2 weeks post-school term break? And shortly after, you may recall, the germ festival has “welcomed” itself into your house?
So, how to prime your body for optimal health?
1 week (minimum) before vacation
1. Limit your sugar/processed food intake
Cook your own food to avoid added sugar or additives. According to the World Health Organization, maximum added sugar intake per day for children (ages 5-10) and adults are 12 and 24 grams, respectively.
2. Get your Zzzs
This is when your organs are at its best detoxing and repairing themselves from daily oxidative stress. Adults should get at least 7 hours per night, and for children, depending on age, it ranges from 7-19 hours, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
3. Boost your vitamin D level to strengthen immunity
For an adequate daily amount, take a vitamin D supplement (consult doctor for appropriate dosage) or enjoy sunshine (without sunscreen) for at least 20 minutes during non-peak sunny times.
Alternatively, consume regularly foods such as mushrooms, salmon, herring, tuna, beef liver, cheese and eggs or vitamin D fortified foods like cereal, milk and orange juice. If you opt for the latter, ensure no sugar or additives are added.
To boost absorption of this fat-soluble vitamin, ensure you consume healthy fats alongside.
4. Increase your fruits and vegetables, especially the leafy greens per meal
Ideally, starting the day off with their fiber-rich content regulates your digestive system and aids the detoxification process (i.e. healthy bowel movements).
1. Start mornings with warm, freshly squeezed lemon water
Bottle it and drink it through the day. This concoction is an excellent, foolproof way to detox your liver – the organ responsible for ridding of the the junk you consume. Drink it on an empty stomach (first thing before your breakfast) to awaken your body’s cleansing signals. A diuretic drink, it also regulates bowel movements.
2. Fill up with fresh, non-processed, no added sugar fruits and vegetables
This is not the time to overdose on refined carbohydrates like pasta, pizza, croissants, muffins, etc. as they induce cellular inflammation. Moderation is key and fiber is king.
3. Splurge on herbs and spices
Healthy, anti-inflammatory eating need not be tasteless. Swap the sugar and additives marinated meals with mother nature’s culinary powerhouses such as garlic, onions, cinnamon, rosemary, oregano, thyme, tarragon, mint, and basil. They are all antiviral/antibacterial, and when consumed regularly, they are powerful enough to keep inflammations and germs away.
4. Stimulate your lymphatic system
Run. Swim. Hike. Walk. Get a massage. Whatever it takes to get your lymph nodes activated from the unavoidable lounging around. Lymph nodes, when activated through body movements, rid toxins from the body.
My advice is not meant to curb your fun on holiday. But balance and moderation are key. Keep these tips in mind and choose the ones most feasible, and you will strengthen your and your family’s immunity regardless. One small step forward, one significant path towards a healthier you and loved ones during and post-holiday.
About the Author
Founder of Vitamin L, Cecilia is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach empowering busy women to be most vibrant thru transformative lifestyle and nutritional changes. For inspiration, follow her on Facebook @CeciliaADoseofVitaminL, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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