Today, I’m sharing with you how I balanced my health and my budget during a 4-day California beach vacation with the hubby and our Labrador last week. AND I still managed to create a special occasion date night out.
My two secrets?
- Grocery shop like normal and then bring enough food for your ENTIRE trip in a cooler and bags.
Likewise, if you’re flying in, go grocery shopping when you arrive.
- Choose ONE meal during the vacation to be your special occasion splurge.
That’s it?! Well, yeah. If it was complicated, you probably wouldn’t do it, now would you?
But wait… don’t leave so soon. To help you visualize this advice, I’ve posted a photolog of one day of healthy indulgence.
I requested a hotel room with a fridge (and we were staying at a budget hotel…). The room also came with a microwave that I used to cook green beans and mushrooms for part of our dinner one of the nights. I gave up my own ‘wave years ago, so this was a novelty. 😉
Before leaving on the vacation, I precooked 2 sweet potatoes (1″ pieces streamed for 15-20 minutes) and 1.5 cups red lentils (no soaking reqd, simmer 15 min) and brought them with in glass travelware. I used these up in lunch and dinner salads during the first couple of days. So easy yet so delicious (that seems to be a theme with me).
Fresh veggies I brought included a couple of bags of romaine lettuce, spinach, and green beans. Also brought some pears, oranges, hemp seed, etc.
What I ate: one day of Healthy Indulgence
Breakfast was a simple fruit bowl modeled after my Tangy Crimson Pears from my Quick and Clean cookbook.
I thawed out my berries in advance so they were soft. I coarsely chopped them up with my bamboo travel spoon because I didn’t care how it looked. 😉
Topped it all off with a Tbsp of hemp seeds to get in my Omega 3 EFA. It added some nice crunch, too. The final meal wasn’t as good as my cookbook version (which uses slightly different ingredients) but still great for throwing together on the fly!
I created a simple salad with spinach, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 box of lentil soup (minus the liquid), leftover cooked green beans from the previous night’s dinner, and lemon squeezed over top.
What I like to call “gourmet easy”.
Packed my salad and Buddy up in the car…
And had a picnic on the beach. I highly recommend this!
Included an apple, carrot sticks, cucumber, sugar snap peas, and some hummus.
And my big indulgence both budget-wise and clean-eating wise?
Drum roll, please…
At Himalaya, an Indian/Nepalese/Tibetan restaurant which had a veg section to their menu – score!
Jay and I left Buddy sleeping in the car and went on a date by ourselves. How romantic. We decided to totally enjoy ourselves and ordered the special sampler meal for two.
Dal (lentil soup), veggie soup, saag tofu, a cauliflower dish, basmati brown rice, whole wheat chapati, and some mango chutney. Indulgent but not over-the-top.
Vegan coconut rice pudding. And yes, it had sugar in it. My every day diet is sugar free, but I’m not above an occasional indulgence.
I KNOW I overate. And I enjoyed every second of it.
I love getting some activity before going to bed, especially after eating such a large meal. So we took a nice, long walk back to our car (we purposely parked far away just because of this 😉 ). And even fit in a massive hill climb.
So here’s my key piece of advice for you:
If you want to indulge and keep your trip healthy and inexpensive, make eating out SPECIAL.
It was the only time I paid for anything on the entire trip. Everything else I ate was from groceries brought from home.
Now your turn.
On your last vacation, how did you balance indulgence with budgeting health and money? What do you plan to do in the future? Share in the comments.
P.S. I couldn’t hold in this bit of news any longer… I’m finally offering 1-1 wellness coaching sessions.
You can now work with me to conquer wellness overwhelm and ignite joy in a healthy lifestyle! Are you as excited to work with me as I am to work with you?!