Healthier choices on holiday

Summer holiday’s and over indulgence more often than not go hand-in-hand, and why not? You’re taking a relaxing break from the norm and daily routine, it’s a time to treat yourself and try the local delicacies. Seeing the sights and enjoying new and wonderful foods are all part of the experience.  Kick back and relax and forget about home for a week or so.  If you’re like the rest of the general public there is always that fear that you may potentially pile on the pounds as a result of the holiday excess and this will most likely stop you from enjoying yourself and your food.  

Having just come back from my summer holiday I know this feeling all too well.  My approach was to enjoy myself and not go off my usual eating habits too much by making wiser choices in the restaurants, allowing myself treats such as ice cream and pizza when I fancied it.  We also did a hell of a lot of walking and swimming as our form of gentle exercise.  There was no way that I was hitting the gym on holiday, but I generally enjoy being able to move and exploring the local boutiques and hiking were perfect for this.  All in all I think I managed to maintain a pretty healthy balance whilst on holiday and there are a few things that helped me along the way, which I share below: 

IMG_3583Dedicate a section of your plate to veggies

Sectioning off your plate in to three parts for protein, vegetables and carbohydrates can help increase your consumption of vegetables whilst on holiday.  Allocate half of your plate to vegetables or salad and then a quarter to protein and the other quarter to carbohydrates.   This way you can still enjoy all of your favourite foods in reasonable amounts, but still get a veggie packed and nutritious meal to boot.

IMG_3437 Make healthier choices at breakfast

It’s very tempting to get carried away with the buffet breakfasts and go up several times for more helpings.  I tended to alternate my days where I would opt for lighter breakfasts consisting of fruit and yoghurt and on other days I would check out the continental breads and cheeses for balance.  This way I got the best of both worlds over the two weeks and didn’t feel like I was missing out.  Also, starting the day with a healthy breakfast means that you are already on the right path to a good day of food with treats included. 

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Portion control

Let’s be honest, when on holiday it is very easy to let those portion sizes slide.  I found that the portions on holiday tended to be larger than my regular portions at home and on the odd occasion I couldn’t quite finish all of my food.  I’m all for giving your body what it needs, but listening to your body also means knowing when you are full and eating consciously.  Of course still enjoy the food on offer, but remember to keep your portions in check as you may end up eating more food that your body needs.   

IMG_3859 Be realistic

Going on holiday is no time to diet and lose weight; it’s time to have fun!  I’m a firm advocate of a healthy balance and believe that being restrictive and banning certain foods can lead to gorging on unhealthy foods later on.  It’s more about maintenance and not going too overboard, but still remembering to enjoy yourself too.

IMG_3579 Stay hydrated

More often than not, when our bellies rumble we automatically think that we are hungry.  However, hunger pangs can also signify thirst.  Before reaching for a snack to quench your hunger try drinking a glass of water first to make sure that you are not thirsty.  Obviously if the hunger persists then reach for that snack.  Additionally, drinking water over fizzy drinks will cut down your sugar intake massively, keep you hydrated and keeps your skin looking radiant.  You can also add a slice of lemon or lime to jazz it up a bit.  But, don’t forget to treat yourself to a cheeky cocktail…or three!

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Remember to eat snacks

You should never ignore your hunger pangs, do check before eating a snack that you aren’t actually thirsty first.  Having a healthy snack such as fruit, nuts, Greek yoghurt or a smoothie and help you to maintain stable blood sugar levels and prevent you from over eating on your next meal.

Keep moving

Even though I didn’t hit the gym whilst on holiday I still felt better and comforted by the fact that I was doing a lot of walking and swimming.   I wasn’t exactly pushing myself with either of these but the gentle exercise seemed to help and of course it was nice to maintain some kind of fitness level whilst away.   Exercise can come in many forms whether it’s playing tennis, hiking or water sports.  On holiday you will be having so much fun that you won’t even realise that you’re exercising. 

The most important thing is to enjoy yourself and have fun!  There is no point worrying about piling on the pounds on holiday as you might as well have stayed at home.  I found myself following many of these tips and found that they really helped me keep some kind of perspective whilst I was away – eat what I want but make healthy choices too.  Ideally the key is to balance things out with lots of water and veggies to mitigate the blow of all that delicious food. 

Are you going on holiday this summer?  Are you conscious about what you eat on holiday or do you just go with the flow?

{ 8 comments }

BLOGIVERSARY MONTH - sponsored posts and blogging.jpg

Next month marks four years since I plucked up the courage to start my own blog.  I can honestly say that it has been one of the best life decisions that I have ever made.  What started as a hobby has become so much more, it’s more of a passion or obsession of mine – a place where I can share my thoughts and inspiration with fabulous people like yourselves. Over the years, as my blog has taken different twists and turns the heart of it has remained the same: striving to inspire others to lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle, regardless of their shape or size and in a way that is individual to them.  

Now four years on I’m now lucky enough to earn some money from Celery and Cupcakes.  It has been difficult at times, but I think if something is worth doing then all of the hard work is worthwhile.  By no means am I professing to be a blogger extraordinaire, let’s face it, I’m not!  I’ve made bad decisions where my blog is concerned and will openly admit that, but personally I believe that mistakes are a positive thing, so that we can learn and grow as human beings.   

The next few months involve some changes for my blog as I try to set up my business (as previously mentioned) and develop my ideas and make them a reality.  I know that it’s not going to be an easy task, but I’m always up for a challenge. Stick with me, it’s going to be a slow and progressive transformation and the soul of my blog will essentially remain the same. You guys are truly have the best readers and I value your support immensely.  I hope to make the blog bigger and better over the course of the remaining year with exciting projects and staying true to my beliefs and inspirations.   

For the next month I have some blogging orientated posts scheduled that are concentrated on my own experiences and tips that I have picked up along the way.  Like I’ve already said, I’m no expert, but I think it’s nice to share with others what I have learned through blogging and perhaps pick up some tips from yourselves in the comment section too – so please do share! There is also a big worldwide blogiversary giveaway coming up this month too so watch this space for that one.  

In the meantime, I’ve reworked an older post on sponsored posts and blogging, which I know is a big thing in blogging right now and highly relevant.  It’s quite a controversial topic and at times has caused quite a stir. Drawing from my own experiences on sponsored content I thought I would share some of the tips that I have learnt: 

Keep the content relevant

Personally this has been one that I have struggled with in the past, especially in my initial foray with sponsored posts.  The desire to earn money from blogging can overshadow the quality of the content.  Accepting offers on topics that you are passionate about and are true to your own personal ethos help keep the content relevant and are not the antithesis of your regular posts.  

Guest posts can be a fishy area and I get a lot of offers for these.  My approach is to be selective and only accept guest posts if they are relevant to your blog or if you think that the content is worth sharing with your readers. 

Be transparent

Over the years I feel that I have built a rapport with my readers and a certain level of trust.   C&C is a for profit blog which I’ve been clear about from the beginning. For me it is very important to denote whether I have been remunerated for writing certain posts. Some PR companies will prefer you not to notify your readers that the post has been sponsored. However, whether you have been sent products for review or have been paid to include a contextual link there is always an alternative way to state this if you have been asked otherwise.

Another issue that has cropped up is the whole ‘do follow’ and ‘no follow’ saga which derives from Google’s new advertising policies. This is something that is down to your own discretion and perhaps could be noted in your blogs policy and disclaimer guidelines if you have these on your blog.  

Take control

This can be difficult with sponsored guest posts, but where possible try to write the post yourself.  In doing so the tone of the posts will naturally blend in with your regular blog posts.  This prevents the sponsored posts becoming disjointed from your personal material.  Also, I quite like the challenge of fitting content around a specific link, it’s actually quite fun!

Balance it out

Trying to get the balance right between sponsored posts and your own content can be another struggle, especially if the sponsored posts are submitted with certain time constraints attached.  There have been times where I’ve had a flurry of sponsored posts on my blog and not enough of my own content.  Some readers have commented and I have taken this on board.  I do care about what you all think and want to continue to maintain a particular blogging standard that I can be proud of.  As it stands I think I’ve now got this balance right and filtering the sponsored content and keeping it relevant has really helped with this.

One man’s meat is another man’s poison

I love this saying as it can be applied to so many situations.  Posting sponsored content that you are passionate about is great and is the primary approach I use when selecting content. However, not everyone is going to enjoy these posts, so don’t be offended if some readers switch off.  I’m exactly the same with sponsored posts on other blogs.  I tend to skip the posts that do not interest me and return to read the next, it’s perfectly OK to do so!

Proof read until you are blue in the face 

Now admittedly, PhD or not, my grammar sucks at the best of times.  I tend to type very briskly and this is an epic route that can lead to mistakes in your copy.  Also, I can only spot minute grammar faux-pas on print outs as I feel that I can achieve more clarity that way.  There is no real excuse for poor spelling and grammar in sponsored content.  At the end of the day you are being hired to do a job and do it well.  Slip ups happen, but I think it’s the frequency of such that others may have a problem with.  Copy and pasting your blog post into Word or using the spell-checker function on your blogs dashboard helps, but nothing like a good proof-read will obliterate any massive blunders. 

As a reader or blogger, what is your take on sponsored posts on blogs?  How do you approach sponsored content on your own blog?

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{Recipe} Peanut Butter Cup Protein Brownies

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There are many factors that can help to keep an individual’s skin looking and feeling healthy. A balanced, healthy diet can help people not only minimise, treat, and prevent certain skin problems, but also enhance their skin’s natural beauty. For example, studies show that about one third of individuals who suffer from acne can see […]

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{Recipe} Strawberry and Mango Sunshine Salad

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OK, so I seem to be on a mango and strawberry kick at the moment. After my Strawberry, Mango & Coconut Chia Sundae recipe last week I just can’t seem to get enough of this delicious combination of fruit.  Fruit in salads is quite a revelation for me and something that I discovered through blogging. They […]

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