If your little ones are imminently breaking up for the summer, and the thought of this is just ever so slightly causing you to rock and back forth and stare longingly at the gin (at 9am), then read on for my Summer Holiday Survival Guide.
Sadly, I cannot promise to eradicate back-of-the-car squabbling, lengthy queues at theme parks, or incessant demands for ice cream, but I can offer some help in keeping your health and wellbeing on track. It’s a lot easier to stay on top of your healthy eating when you’re in a routine, but this can easily go out the window during the holidays when all the structure has gone AWOL.
Just follow these top sanity-saving tips in my Summer Holiday Survival Guide and you’ll be all set for a happy and healthy summer break:
1. Plan, Plan, Plan:
If your usual food shopping routine is going to be disrupted as a result of the kids being around more, then having a bit of forethought on your meals for the week and doing the shopping online will save you time and a big, fat headache. Simply print out my meal planner and fill this in for the week ahead. If you’re working and sending your kids to holiday clubs, then you’ll need to plan in their packed lunches and make sure you’ve got a good stash of easy to pack foods in stock. Some good pre-bought low-sugar snack options include:
- Bounce balls
- Munchy seeds
- Nakd bars
- Pulsin’ bars
- Primal Pantry bars
- Nairn’s Snackers
2. Always Pack a Picnic
The summer holidays can often mean heading out for long day trips to zoos, amusement parks and seasides. The British holiday destination is not known for its array of healthy eateries. Head to any typical seaside town or theme park and you’ll usually be spoilt for choice when it comes to deep-fried fish and processed meats, bloating buns and burgers, porky pies and pasties and sugar-laden sticks of rock. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you deny yourself or your kids the odd treat but if you’re looking to stay healthy over the holidays, these are not the places to be frequenting for your main meals! Be sure to pack a cool bag filled with foods such as:
- Veggie sticks like cucumber, pepper and carrots
- Pots of houmous and any other dips you like
- Plenty of easy to eat fruit like apples, strawberries and bananas
- Squeezy fromage frais (yes, some of them have sugar in but they’re still a good portable option for kids, and the full-fat yoghurt will fill them up)
- Chicken drumsticks
- Cheese snacks like mini-packs of Cheddars
- Pre-cooked sausages (those mini cocktail sausages are pretty processed so choose a good free-range/organic brand of chipolatas and cook and cool these in advance)
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Some home-made granola bars or energy balls
- Plenty of water and wet wipes!!
3. Schedule some me-time
Thinking up endless exciting things to keep your little darlings entertained for weeks and schlepping them round all your local area has to offer can be draining. Make sure you plan some time for yourself during the holidays. If your other half has some time off work, perhaps you could sneak a day or a half day to yourself doing something that brings you joy. Try and wind down in the evening – use the lighter nights to go for a walk, jog or cycle, have drinks with friends, or just relax in a nice bath filled with Epsom salts. Scheduling some me-time is vital for your sanity. Do not ignore this tip!!!
4. What to eat if you’re going abroad
If you’re lucky enough to be headed for some guaranteed sun this summer, stick to these nutrition tips to avoid putting on a stone on holiday!
- All inclusive buffets: there should be plenty of salads on offer, cold meats, fresh fish, hams and fruit. You don’t need to fill your plate more than once, and you certainly don’t need to eat 3 types of croissants at breakfast! Go continental and fill up on a nice protein-rich omelette with some local ham and cheese, or some plain yoghurt with fruit compote.
- Mediterranean restaurants are fabulous for fresh healthy foods – grilled meats and delicious seafood, seasonal salads and wonderful local vegetables should be your staples in Europe.
- Don’t rely on airplane food! Most budget airlines don’t even include a meal so pack your own picnic, especially lots of snacks for the kids in case you end up getting delayed. Once you’ve gone through security, stock up on plenty of water, as air travel can be very dehydrating (and constipating!!)
- Take a good probiotic supplement with you. Saccharomyces Boulardii is especially useful for tummy bugs.
5. Wine is Fine!
Whether you’re at home or abroad, a nice, chilled glass of wine with your dinner can be a lovely, relaxing reward at the end of a long day. Even if you’ve just been lounging by a pool, kick back and enjoy some of the local wines on offer! You’re on holiday after all!
6. Sign up to my 28 day programme in September
If it all goes t**s up, and you fall right off the wagon, then let me help you get back on it! I’ll be (re)launching my 28 day online health and wellbeing programme ‘Ready Steady Sparkle’ in September. Register your interest by leaving your name and email address below, and I’ll keep you posted with the launch date and all the details you’ll need to get yourself back on track after the summer holidays.
Wishing you all a wonderful summer, wherever you are!