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Eating Healthy and Living Active While on Vacation, by Cole Millen
Reach Cole at: Colemillen@gmail.com
Planning your travel arrangements and vacation carefully can make the your new healthy lifestyle incredibly rewarding. Not all vacations and trips on airplanes have to be wrought with paying too much for food that is neither tasty nor nourishing. Below is a guide on how to maintain your standards for healthy eating and an active lifestyle from the moment you leave the house to when you return from your trip excited about all you experienced, including the local nutritious cuisine.
Your own healthy snacks should always be included in part of what you pack. Eat before you head to the airport, and have snacks on you so you are not tempted to order from one of the over-priced airport restaurants. These can include carrot sticks, dried apples, raisins, nuts, wrap sandwich’s stuffed with natural turkey breast, purple onions and arugula, and the vast array of organic, natural and raw energy bars by brands such as Lara bar and Cliff. You can buy frozen burritos at your local grocery store, heat them and wrap them in tin foil before you leave so that it will be slightly warm by the time you’re ready to eat it hours later. If you choose to order a meal at the airport, skip the fast food joints and head straight to one of the bistros or higher end establishments. Ask to see a menu. Most places will have soups and salads that are the perfect amount of food to ensure you don’t get too full.
Choosing Your Hotel
Finding a hotel that will allow you to maintain your healthy lifestyle while you are away from home is one of the most important aspects of a healthy vacation. It is extremely important to ensure that the hotel you choose not only has the appropriate luxuries and offerings for you to stay healthy, but it is also pivotal to ensure that you are in an area that will allow you to do so as well. I have found that a little research goes a long way in this aspect. My most recent trip was to Sin city and I found a great site that listed reviews for hotels in Las Vegas regarding not only their specific amenities and services but also regarding the restaurants in the surrounding area. This made it easier than ever to stay healthy both in and out of my hotel!
Jump onto the Internet in your hotel and look up the menu for several restaurants you are considering before heading out the door. Sometimes the most recommended restaurants are very unhealthy choices. By reviewing the menu ahead of time you can look for the word clues that can shed light on what your true healthy options are, if any. Fried foods are definitely something to be avoided. The word fried may not be used in an entree description. Instead,words like battered, breaded and crunchy may be the tip you need to stay away. Other descriptive words that often mean trouble are rich, creamy, decadent, and buttery.
Once you find a great place to dine, eat a little healthy snack like an apple before heading to the restaurant. This prevents you from gobbling up the bread they bring out before the meal. A snack before your meal will also discourage ordering a fattening appetizer.
While it is impossible to control your environment when traveling, being prepared for these differences can keep you on the right track. The key is to never let yourself get too hungry so that you eat whatever is available in a pinch, which is usually unhealthy fast food. Carrying healthy snacks and water helps. Checking restaurant menus ahead of time also makes practical sense.
See your trip as opportunity to successfully test the fortitude of your positive lifestyle choices. Almost all major U.S. cities enjoy a thriving healthy, active lifestyle sub-culture for those who know how to find it. Enjoy discovering it!
Check out another great write-up, where I make an appearance. Finally, my inquisitive nature sated with useful and well thought out information.
Also, I loved the part about comparisons. I recently had a late night revelation that I’d been comparing myself to people my entire life and that simple unknown act has been the thing holding me back. Well, no more comparing myself. I’m going to be the best me I can be, despite what others are or have done before.
Alcohol and sleeping… or the lack thereof. How many times have you gone out the night before and the next morning you wake up early? Or you feel groggy the next day (even if you went to bed at a decent hour)? I have. I figured I’d do some research and do us all a favor and get to the bottom of this bottle.
First: Let’s discuss grogginess….
You know what it is. That feeling you get when your body and your brain are 5 steps behind your intentions. It’s always too bright, too loud, too cold, too hot, just too much.
The way we get rejuvenating rest is in the nature of how we fall asleep. Not only does alcohol dehydrate us from the toxins literally pulling the hydrating resources from our body, but we’re up periodically through the night due to nausea or trips to the bathroom. Then there’s how we actually sleep. Sleep occurs in 3 stages. Melanin is released and we feel tired, then we we fall in to light sleep or REM sleep. Once we pass through REM sleep, we go in a deep sleep. When we drink REM is skipped and we go directly from tired to deep sleep. This is detrimental to deep sleep cycle because that’s when the body restores itself, but since the alcohol is interrupting the process you are now going from deep sleep to REM, essentially working backwards. Which brings me to the next issue…
Late to bed early to rise, why? Well here’s the deal. Remember a second ago when I said we essentially move backwards from a deep sleep to a light sleep? Well, it’s a lot easier to wake up when you’re in a light sleep stage, this is why you find yourself awake earlier than usual most times. When you drink excessively then go straight into deep sleep you are literally reversing the process so the entire time you’re asleep while drunk you are essentially waking up the whole time. Wild eh?
It also causes unsettling dreams. While you may not remember them, but if you do they’re usually not restful dreams. But hey, I always have weird dreams… even when I’m sober (yes it happens, but not too often ;P)
On a side note, if you do find yourself not being able to sleep, don’t go rifling through your medicine cabinet trying to find a sleeping pill or any other sleep inducing drug. The reason for that is alcohol and sleep aids are both depressants and slow down your breathing. When you take these two together they act as a powerhouse and it is possible to slip into a coma while you’re sleeping. Forget being late for work… you’re going to be late for life…
Speaking of comas… a way more serious form of deep sleep, there are a lot of things that happen during the deep sleep phase of your circadian cycle. One I’m sure you’re all too familiar with is snoring.
Alcohol is a depressant, therefore a relaxer. It relaxes your mind, your morals ;) , and your muscles. Muscles like the ones in your neck and throat, narrowing the passage causing an obstacle for air to get through. The louder the snore the harder it is for the air to get through.
It doesn’t stop at just the muscles in your neck being relaxed, alcohol also relaxes the muscles in your bladder, leading to… yup you guessed it you’ll end up like this dude. You can also vomit in your sleep so try not to pass out on your back or you might choke, you may also sleepwalk, or sleep-fart, and all types of other embarrassing things.
The upside to all of this is you had an awesome night (I hope) and since alcohol causes insomnia you may not sleep and will avoid snore-peeing your pants!! CHEERS!!
Hope that helps!
Don’t I know it’s true! I procrastinate all the time! I’m changing that soon though … ;)
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I could post. I didn’t have much of an idea, but there has been a concept continually racketing around in my head and that’s health. Not health in the medical sense, per say, but health in a healthy way of living way.
Now, I know what you’re thinking… the way I drink, what would I know about living healthy? Well, first I know that my assuming that you’re judging me is not a healthy way of living.
Assumptions put me down and don’t aid in helping me maintain a positive attitude about myself which leads to me not having a positive outlook on the world and even though the world is easily navigated through negative eyes and filtered through a hardened heart, doesn’t mean that’s how it should be.
Keeping that in mind it doesn’t mean that we have to constantly be optimistic and accepting of all things troublesome. That would be, dare I say, inane. What it means is we need to learn to filter out the things that cause us pause and learn to factor in the things that keep us better off. Let’s be honest, you can’t control everything in the world, but you can control what you allow to affect your world.
Cynicism (derived from the word Cynic), can be our greatest ally and and our weakest attribute. Maintinning such a view of the world, all day every day takes more of a toll than we realize. It causes mental anguish, which leads to stress, which leads to aggressiveness whether it be passive or active, that leads to health (medical) problems, which leads to financial woes, and you get the picture. Simply by changing your outlook, the lenses you view the world through you will find relief and happiness. I don’t mean blind happiness or ignorance or denial, but well informed well thought out happiness.
This is not an easy task. It was a transition I made a few months back and I am still working on it. People think the hardest thing to do is change another person when in fact, it’s changing yourself, but once you do you will be better off.
I’ve linked a few articles I find helpful and informative.
Now those are all opinions, albeit, educated opinions, but thoughts of others none-the-less. The point is to read their thoughts and start to generate your own, even if you disagree at least you’ll be thinking about it and that’s the first step.
There are a lot of things I notice going out to bars, restaurants, clubs, etc… like how the people are dressed which usually directly correlates with how much the drinks cost, the available seating, music, and the types of specials the bars have.
I think mostly about the etiquette of drinking. Just because you plan on loosening up doesn’t mean there aren’t rules to be followed. Let’s start with the more well known rules.
Now, I’m not trying to seem braggadocio, because I’ve been tossed out of numerous bars, cussed out numerous bartenders and doormen, I’ve broken glass, danced on tables, spilled all over, and so on and so forth, but I didn’t stay that way. I got better everyday that’s not only drinking etiquette that’s life’s secret.
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Beer or liquor? One is quicker and the other will make you thicker. Whiskey will make you tipsy, but how much until you tip right over… that is from a caloric standpoint, not from intoxication.
Sure, one beer won’t give you love handles; neither will two or three… in a week or so, but when you’re imbibing one after the other after the other after the other after… wait how did I get home? Those calories add up and every year after your 18th birthday your metabolism gets slower and slower (if you don’t lead an active lifestyle). The caloric intake is dependent on the type of beer or liquor you’re drinking. The rule of thumb is the darker/the higher the ABV (alcohol by volume) the more calories because of the high sugar content, that goes for liquor and beer. Below are two links, one for beer calories and one for liquor calories, check them out and find out how much you’ve put away in a night. Below that is a quick reference chart. (Fun fact 3500 calories = 1 pound)
Below is a quick chart, if you will, not as specific as the ones above. Taken from http://www.barnonedrinks.com/tips/reference/calorie_counter.html
|Category or Alcohol (ABV%)||Calories per Ounce|
|Wine – Red or White (12)||23 cal.|
|Champagne (12.5%)||26 cal.|
|American Beer (non-micro: 4.5%)||12 cal.|
|Liqueurs (17-24%)||86-105 cal.|
|80 proof Liquor (40%)||65 cal.|
|86 proof Liquor (43%)||70 cal.|
|90 proof Liquor (45%)||74 cal.|
|Malibu Rum||68 cal.|
|Sweet Sherry||43 cal.|
|Medium Sherry||37 cal.|
|Dry Sherry||37 cal.|
|Southern Comfort||61 cal.|
|Tia Maria||52 cal.|
|90 proof Liquor (45%)||74 cal.|
So… now that you know, how’s you’re night going to change? Or how’s your diet plan going to be rearranged?? Or don’t you care? Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… right?
Puerto Rico! Supposedly it can party longer and harder than Mexico … having been to both places I have to disagree and agree at the same time. Here’s why… Mexican’s usually choose Tequila as their drink of choice while Puerto Ricans choose rum. Rum will make the party last longer, but it won’t necessarily make a party go harder. This all depends on how much you’re drinking of course.
Let’s start with the rums I got a chance to imbibe.
Don Q – Cool name, harsh on the pallet. It’s great for mixing, painful to take shots with.
Bacardi Reserva Limitada – Aged 12 years this is Bacardi’s call play to the big guys. Made smooth to sip on. Some say add a little water, but I say don’t. If you’re a whiskey, bourbon, or anything of the like type of drinker then this is for you. This is also only available for purchase in very few places in the world.
Ron de Barrilito 3 stars- I found it a little strong AT FIRST, but once you get that initial drink in it smooths right on out. It’s nothing like the Reserva Limitada, but it’s a nice sipper. It goes well in a coke mix too.
Beer - Medalla Light: The only Puerto Rican Beer I had a chance to have was the Medalla. I would akin it to Miller Lite, but slightly stronger taste, more hoppy. It’s not bad though for $10 for a 12 pack.
The Bacardi Distillery was pretty exciting, easy to get to, and free! Plus you got two free drinks of your Bacardi choice for free upon arrival!! My favorite part of course. After you get your tickets you have a few minutes to enjoy your two free drinks (they also have food and more drinks for purchase). After a little time goes by they load the group on the tram and the guide tells you a little bit about the bat statue you will ride past to get to the touring distillery, the first of MANY Bacardi bats you will encounter***. Once inside the touring building you will see something like this…
Once you move out of the main room they take you into a theater will you will watch the history of Bacardi and get to know the company better. Then they take you into another room with barrels, instructional vids, and more. After a few minutes in there you go into a large VIP bar room and a highly captivating bartender gives you the ins & outs of how to make Bacardi drinks.
Then the tram take you to the gift shop where you can purchase all sorts of exciting Bacardi drinks and memorabilia.
Once you’ve completed the tour the tram takes you back to the gift shop. The tours go from 9AM-4:30PM and last about an hour.
Here are some drink recipes:
Mojito- Mint leaves, ounce and a half of clear Bacardi, mash together, add soda, shake, pour and serve
Cuba Libre (AKA Free Cuba)- Bacardi & Coke
Daquari (there’s a fun story to this, but you’ll have to go on the tour to find out ;P)- Clear rum, lime juice, and soda on the rocks (be sure to shake it before you pour it)
(My own creation) Tropirican – Clear rum (Coconut rum works great), fruit punch, pineapple soda, and mango-peach juice. mmmm!
I have to say I did enjoy the rum, it went perfect with the cool, laid back, sunny, atmosphere. I did’t buy much from the shop except a bottle of Bacardi Coconut because I wanted to mix it up that night. ***Here’s how the bat came to be the icon of Bacardi. The creator of Bacardi, Facundo Bacardí Massó, bought a small distillery due to the growth in popularity of his rum. At the time he was looking for an icon to put on his product. That’s when his wife brought it to his attention that there were many many fruit bats in the newly purchased distillery … the rest is history…
“Puerto Rico is beautiful and it’s great because they accept American money and speak English, but you forget you’re in America while you’re there.” – Charlie from the airport bar
I love airport bars for two reasons…
Reason 1: Everybody there is either going somewhere or on their way home – so you automatically have that in common.
Reason 2: “Are you going somewhere or are you on your way home?” is a great ice-breaker!
When I sat at the bar I told Charlie I was going to San Juan and that was the first thing he said. How exciting to hear that when you’re going somewhere you’ve never been before. Not only did I learn about the best restaurants to go to in Puerto Rico (Conrad’s in Old San Juan), but also great sites to visit.
I’m going to post about the trip and the fun events here and about the drinks in another post.
Amenities: Beautiful beach views, 2 outdoor pools, 2 outdoor hot tubs, gift shop sell beer and liquor, cabana rentals, basketball courts, tennis courts, bonfire pit, pool bar, beach, volleyball in & out pool, golf course, open field for sports, on site car rental, on $ite casino and restaurants, bars, wifi in lobby, many ballrooms/convention centers, shuttle bus to other sites on property
Positives: Clean, large resort many places to relax and explore, iguanas come close enough to touch, you can be on the beach at any time (even though it says 5pm, you can be out there whenever), can be in pool/hot tub at any time, friendly staff, relax atmosphere,
Negatives: EXPENSIVE!!!, not much to do/see outside hotel amenities, everything closes at 2 (except beach and pool), sand fleas in the rooms bite, no wifi in the rooms, and renting movies for &16.99 is not worth it.
Puerto Rico – click here for more pictures and sites!
Suggestions: Rent a car, visit El yunque (swim in the waterfall and hike up the trail!), when you get to the waterfall instead of staying where the majority of the tourists are go to the right and use the rocks as stepping stones to go two levels lower… you will find you’re own personal waterfall/grotto. If you have a gaming console and like to play bring it, the TV’s allow for the hookup.
Try to eat outside the hotel is you don’t want you’re wallet to come back flatter than an unlucky iguana crossing the highway (and the driving there is… let’s go with exciting and spontaneous). A great place close to the hotel is called Antojitos they have a wonderful lunch special, breakfast is great, and the dinner is good too and all very affordable. At the hotel breakfast buffet is $24/person and dinner buffet is $35/person.
If you’re prepared to go on a 2 hour trek you can visit La Cueva Clara a legitimate cave with bats, stalactites, stalagmites, a river running under and an audio tour with an guide through it. Also Dark Knight was filmed there. About a hour and a half walking tour choc full of trivia at $15/person
Buy a 12 pack outside the hotel at Ralph’s on highway 3 (right near the hotel) for $10.99 or pay $16 at the hotel for a 6 pack…
All in all it was a fantastic. I would go again. Heck! I’d live there. I know some Spanish. While most of the people there are bi-lingual it’s still good to know some just in case. Here’s a short list of some of the Spanish you’ll probably want to know heading in.
Hablas inglés? - Do you speak english
Donde esta baño? – Where’s the bathroom
Tienes bañ0? – Do you have a bathroom
Donde esta la fiesta? – Where’s the party
Me duele en me cabeza – My head hurts
Mas cervezas por favor- More beers please!
Queremos a la playa – We want to go to the beach
izquierda – Left
Derecha – Right
Salida – Exit
Este – East
Puedo- Can I …
Donde es- Where is…
Use those few tips and you should find yourself having a great time in Puerto Rico!