So I have finally returned from Florida - the land of sunshine and oranges! Oh how I LOVE the weather in Florida! I've been to Florida the past 3 years in a row and I'm certain I'll have to retire down there one day. The roads are so smooth, the weather is so amazing, the people are so friendly, and I never experience customer service like I do when I visit the parks, restaurants, and stores in the sunshine state.
In case I didn't mention it in part one of this post, my family and I took a long-overdue family vacation to Disney World this past spring break and I went over several things we planned to do to stay nourished and fit while travelling. And yes, my parents are in their 50's and took their grown children to Disney World - and it was awesome! I have been to Disney World twice in the past 2 years but this was the first time my parents had been there so we had a riot! I'm pretty sure this won't be our last visit ;)
We were only gone for a week and boy did it fly by! We packed a LOT of activity into the week that we were there so this definitely wasn't a sleeping-in, lounging around type of vacation, and we got in a LOT of exercise ... like a LOT!
I mentioned in part 1 that my family and I rented a house and planned to cook most of our meals at home. Although you can definitely find nutritious choices when eating out, too much restaurant food always makes me feel kinda blah and I certainly didn't mind whipping up a few simple meals. Most of us did our own thing for breakfast which was very casual and usually consisted of toast, eggs, oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, and the occasional Krispie Kreme. I LOVE Krispie Kreme's! I had my first one ever when I visited Florida last year and couldn't wait to have a few on this trip as well. Some of my favorite treats are pastries, donuts, cakes, and the like, so I definitely bought a box while perusing the nearest Wal-Mart grocery store.
Although travelling always seems to tire everyone out, we hit the grocery store upon arrival to pick up what we needed for the week and to ensure we were stocked with snacks to keep us fueled for all of our planned activities. Although we had discussed general meal ideas during the planning stages of the trip, I of course forgot to bring the grocery list to the store so we had to wing it a little. Between the 5 of us however, we did quite well at remembering everything and when we got back to the house I doubled checked the list and we actually got almost everything on it! Quite impressive! The total bill for our week's worth of groceries for 5 adults was $256.01 US dollars which worked out to be about $50 / person. This saved us a ton of money and we bought very few snacks while out and about.
I did forget to pack the protein bars I bought for the trip but we picked some up on our grocery stop, as well as a few other things such as trail mix, apples, and bananas that were easy to throw in our bags and worked in a pinch at the park when waiting in line and to prevent having to purchase a lot of snacks at theme park prices.
Plan to eat . . .
This one was pretty easy to stick to as everyone in my family gets hungry like clockwork. We ate at least 3 square meals each day and usually included a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack and sometimes something in the evening. As I mentioned, breakfast was always at home but lunch was the meal when we were often out of the house. My sister and I usually spent a few minutes each day looking at the restaurants in the park where we were headed and picked out 1 or 2 options that we could try depending on the lines. At Disney World we usually ate at the cafeteria-style restaurants since we hadn't made prior reservations and usually didn't want to wait for an hour or more for lunch. I was pretty impressed with the options at most places and we were able to find a variety of different items that suited everyone.
As I mentioned in part one, most people have certain eating 'rules' or habits that they like to stick to in their regular routine. This can be difficult when on vacation at times and although it's important to make nutritious choices MOST of the time, it's important not to obsess to the point that you can't even enjoy your vacation! Some things that I did on vacation I might not normally do included my above average Krispie Kreme intake and obviously eating out more than usual even though we tried to limit it. I was able to do pretty well with my fruit and vegetable intake and also stayed hydrated by consuming mostly water. I had a few alcoholic beverages around the pool and when out at restaurants but honestly craved water more than anything else, especially when out at the parks and the beach.
Since we ate out for so few meals, I basically ordered whatever looked good to me on the menu and didn't worry too much about it - especially at dinner. I mostly focused on not over-eating and just stopping when I was full so that I could enjoy my meals without the dreaded "I-think-I'll-fall-asleep-now" over-full feeling. Another strategy we all used without even trying was getting enough sleep. After an 8 - 10 hour day at the theme park most of us were ready to crash pretty early and didn't stay up very late at all when we were there. Early to rise, early to bed pretty much sums it up! By not fighting our natural desire to get enough sleep it made all the difference in staying healthy and energized during our busy week.
I definitely underestimated the amount of walking we would be doing as a family and I was so mad at myself for forgetting our pedometers to track our steps, but overall we estimated that we walked between 15 - 20 miles each day. Due to this excessive walking I had very little energy to get up extra early to workout before we hit the parks and we usually spent the evenings around the pool. My husband definitely beat me in this aspect and went for a short run / body weight workout on most days. I did go with him one morning for a short run and workout on the boardwalk at the lake near our house and we all did some nice family yoga by the pool one day but that combined with a few dips in the pool and aaaallllll the walking was definitely sufficient activity!