Thursday, 10 March 2016

ANTIGUA DIARIES 4: HOW TO STAY (RELATIVELY) HEALTHY ON HOLIDAY

I say relatively here, because it's your holiday - so if you want to eat an entire tray of mini pastries for breakfast, a giant burger for lunch, and 18 cocktails for dinner - then by all means, go forth and enjoy. We work hard so we definitely deserve a break from it all.
But I'm quite an active person, I don't like to sit still, and if I pack my diet full of sugar - then my face suffers more than my waist-band - so it actually benefits me to keep up some kind of a healthy lifestyle while I'm away.

It's hard, though. Especially if whoever you're with has decided to eat and drink like a small elephant. So I've categories these hardships into three holiday temptations...

1. The unlimited buffet lunch
So bad but so, so good. Endless amounts of bread, desserts and fried chicken. It would test even the healthiest of people's strength. But you can only eat as much as your stomach will allow, so there's no way you can get through it all in one go anyway (that's not a challenge).
The blow-out choice: Three plates (and a zero f**ks given attitude) stacked high with potato fries, BBQ ribs, 3 slices of bread, mac n cheese, coleslaw and finished with all 4 choices of dessert.
The healthy(er) choice: Grilled spiced chicken, 3-bean salad, cous-cous or rice, roasted vegetables, balsamic dressing and fruit salad with one choice of the cakes,

*My tip: Go for what's local. I'm in a harbour resort that catches fresh seafood daily. It's cooked fresh, tastes amazing and is really healthy. I can have pasta any day, but how often can we have locally sourced food (wow, that sounds so pretentious - but there's truth to it)?

2. Free cocktails
I can't fault a free cocktail, and where I'm at at the moment has just endless amounts of free pool-side bars, where they'll top up your glass with any kind of concoction, any number of times.
The blow-out choice: Do the 'American' and bring with you/buy a giant plastic cup that you can get the bartender to re-fill, and because it's so darn big, it minimises walking time to the bar.
The healthy(er) choice: Have a cocktail, sure. Have two over dinner. Have one at lunch - you're on hols. But in-between, drink water. You'll make a hangover worse by not drinking water, so split up your cocktails by interspacing them with flavoured waters. I've discovered the bars here offer iced cucumber water, and it's so good in the heat. Adding lemons, limes, or even a fruit, can make something boring a lot more interesting.
3. Sun-loungers
Okay, hear me out on this one. I love nothing more than to recline on a chair and read a book and soak up all of the rays. But the idea of plonking one's arse down all day is just so tempting that you forget how many other things are on offer - like exercise classes, morning stretch classes - and a weight-loaded gym, that's empty and begging to be used.
The blow-out choice: Sit on said sun-lounger and only move when, a: you need feeding, b: when your giant sippy cup is void of pina colada, and there is no server in sight.
The healthy(er) choice: Make the most of your day and get up a little early to do that class on the beach you liked the sound of, or get some cardio done before breakfast. Guilt-free eating and you can make up any sleep time lost by napping on the sun-lounger later.
Do you prefer to just sit and relax on holiday or do you try to stay active?x


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