Some of you may know that I recently left the states for a 3 week European holiday.  And if you follow this blog, you likely know I take my health and fitness fairly seriously, so embarking on a 3 week vacation could likely result in a 3 week vacation from my health and fitness goals! But I am determined for that to not be the case. I’ve decided in order to counteract the possibility of a setback, I will really focus my efforts on being mindful while on vacation.

Now what do I mean by mindful? Well, for me, as it relates to my health and fitness goals, it means setting certain parameters to ensure I can stay on track while enjoying my time away from the real world. I settled on the following list of parameters on my way to Europe.

1. Move as much as possible daily
2. Body weight train for 15 mins 3x/week
3. Practice yoga 2-3x/week
4. Eat only when hungry
5. Eat to 80% satiety
6. Limit alcohol consumption to 2 drinks when choosing to indulge
7. Choose alcohol or dessert, not both
8. Practice moderation when it comes to indulging in rich foods
9. Enjoy what the local cuisine has to offer while sticking to 4-8
10. Write down the moments that you want to remember forever
11. Take lots of pictures
12. Sleep as much as required for recovery
13. Enjoy every last minute

As you peruse this list, you will note not all items are health and fitness related. Because admittedly, this is a vacation and I do want to have fun! If the list was too stringent, I knew there was no way I could stick to it!

So let’s talk about how this is manageable, in my humble opinion 🙂

1 – this one is a no brainer! We will be without a car in most places and our feet will be the prominent mode of transportation

2 – loaded some 15 minute body weight workouts on my iPad. Who doesn’t have 15 mins to commit to working out? This is to maintain any muscle mass I have developed in prior months.

3 – travel yoga mat in tow. I’ve taken enough yoga classes to be able to freely flow on my own. Not only is this great for the mind, but even greater for the travel-weary body!

4 – it’s so easy to eat everywhere you go when you’re traveling, especially when in Europe, but I am committing to eating only when I’m hungry to avoid mindless munching and blowing daily calories out of the water!

5 – it is SO easy for me to eat way past the point of feeling full, after all, I LOVE food! But just because it’s there doesn’t mean I need to stuff myself, so I choose eating to the point where I feel good and content. Lack of food is it going to be an issue on this trip, that is for sure!

6 – another easy way to pack on the pounds is to drink alcohol above and beyond what is normal for me, especially when my activity level is at a lower level than usual. Setting limits up front gives me a target.

7 – this one is so easy to fall prey to for me. Just decided, look at the dessert menu first. If something looks good, forgo wine 😉

8 – rich foods and Europe?? No!!!?? 😉 this is an area I could also go way off the rails. Eat too much cheese and baguette in France, absolutely could! Eat an entire soufflé to myself, sure! But I won’t. Because I know I won’t feel good after and because I want to look forward to the next trip and don’t need to cram everything in at once!

9 – I love experiencing what the local cuisine has to offer and will not feel guilty about doing so, just will not do so at the detriment of my health and fitness.

10 – handy dandy travel journal in tow, to jot down all the memorable bits…restaurants, parks, museums, wherever. Not that everything will not be memorable, but the parts that stand out should never been forgotten!

11 – I will literally be shamed by all if I do not take my fair share of pictures. So I will do my best to capture as many moments as I can!

12 – sleep is pivotal to my enjoyment of life and I want to enjoy every moment here. So proper enjoyment comes with proper rest!

13 – enjoyment is not a difficult thing for me, as I can find pleasure in just about anything, but I didn’t want to forget this, being in a foreign place, which can inherently become stressful. Learn to slow down and enjoy the little moments as they pass by so fast!!

So that’s that. I will post a recap once I’m back, to share how well I lived up to my Minfulness pursuit. Until then, think about how you can practice mindfulness in your own life, whether at home or away and discover how empowering it can be to take control of your mind and actions!

More mindful everyday!