Ah, summer! Shorts, sandals and the the wonderful sensation of sunny warmth on your bare skin. Many of us go on holiday to make the most out of the season; a time for us to take a break! Even if you’re keeping your daily routine of work and commitments, life feels different- the warm weather (if you’re lucky), the long days with light evenings and the wonderful feeling that life is just one big, ongoing party. Time for going out or BBQing with friends, indulging yourself, loosening up and letting go. Kids are out of school and we need to pay a lot of attention to keeping them busy and entertained. If you are on a holiday or traveling, then your daily routine is completely different.
But, are you taking a break from your body? A break from your health and well being? A break from taking good care of yourself?
If you choose to live consciously and eat with care, you want to keep making those choices while on holiday. Naturally it will be a bit more complicated to do so, but if this is the path you chose in life you might want to opt for a more conscious holiday. I would like to share with you some of my tips and experience for keeping a healthy lifestyle, also during the holiday summer months.
Like everything else, it starts with putting your mind in the right place, to create the awareness. What you need to do is think about and develop a strategy.
So, here are my top ten tips for forming a good strategy for a healthy, mindful holiday:
1. Decide on what is really important for your well being so you can set yourself some borders. For example, if you’re not eating gluten, or you follow a vegetarian diet, or are limiting your alcohol consumption to very minimal, cut your sugar intake and so on, only enforce the laws that are most important to you and let go slightly with the rest. Don’t be too harsh on yourself- don’t be afraid to give yourself some legroom.
2. Good planning: don’t leave food matters only to chance and luck. If you’re flying or traveling long hours, take food with you so you don’t find yourself hungry and bound to eat something you’d rather not.
3. Choose a self catering accommodation where you can easily prepare your own food and thus rely less on food that is made for you with unknown ingredients and unhealthy cooking methods.
4. Include exploring local markets, farms, artisan food producers etc. into your travel plans. Try going on a wild herb and edible plants hunt. This not only enrich your holiday experience as well as your culinary repertoire, but will give you a chance to get your hands on some fresh, local and sustainable ingredients that you don’t get to include regularly.
5. Find out about restaurants with good ratings that can cater for your dietary requirements ahead of time.
6. Make sure to include some physical activities in each day of the holiday. It could be hiking or biking, swimming or practicing yoga every morning. Choose something enjoyable that also relaxes you.
7. Get kids involved with food shopping and preparation. This is the time to create some fun activities in the kitchen and keep them busy.
8. Make cooking even more fun by taking the time to cook with friends, put the music on and have a small glass of wine. Boost your creativity in the kitchen by trying new ingredients and new recipes.
9. Opt for light summer food. This is the time to eat more raw or slightly cooked food. Naturally, in the summer we are less hungry so follow this instinct and eat less and light.
10. And finally, leave guilt and self hatred at home when you go on holiday. These are spoiling factors that are absolutely not needed in your luggage! Only self love and acceptance are your good companions for a wonderful vacation.
Recipe: Summer Holiday Market Salad
I call this salad ‘market salad’ because you just make it from what ever you can find in the local market at your holiday destination. As we are loosening up and letting go here, there are no quantities but it’s rather the principle that will inspire you to indulge yourselves with a light, fresh, summer salad, full of goodness and takes only minutes to prepare. Work with what you find and just improvise.
Very ripe tomatoes! Try to combine a variety of types, cut into cubes
Red pepper, cubed
Red onion, thinly sliced
Fresh herbs: basil, parsley, oregano or anything you find and like, chopped
Zest and juice from half a lemon
Salt and pepper
A handful of pine nuts (optional)
Some feta cheese, cubed (optional)
A handful of good quality olives
A pinch of sumac, (optional)
Place all ingredients, apart from the cheese, in a large salad bowl and toss gently to mix well. Crumble the feta cheese on top, sprinkle the sumac, if using and voila! Your salad is ready to go!