I’m currently spending a long weekend with my family down in Kent, and thought this would provide the perfect opportunity to reflect on how to deal with being outside of your day-to-day routine.
As I write this I’m sat outside in the glorious sunshine, laptop in one hand and lemon tea in the other (no change there!) but the major difference being all I can hear are the birds twittering away and cows mooing faintly in the background, with the occasional butterfly fluttering past, much to the delight of the two ginger moggies perched next to me on my bench.
Things are a lot more relaxed in terms of diet and exercise and I often find it an eye-opener that when I mention raw cacao and bee pollen my family tend to look at me in amused bewilderment.
Given this you might think it easiest to throw away the routine altogether whilst I’m here, but 3 days in and I’m feeling surprisingly pleased with how I’ve adapted my days without completely succumbing to the lures of the countryside.
I find this the trickiest thing to adapt when I’m away, not only because there’s no Planet Organic or Whole Foods to rely on, but also because you don’t want to insult your host. I’ve found the best way to approach this is to pop to a big supermarket and stock up on the readily available necessities to make dealing with breakfast, snacking and pudding a lot easier:
- Rice cakes / oat cakes
- Nak’d bars / 9Bars
- Greek Yoghurt
- Corn on the cobb
- Sweet potato
- Almond milk
This way it’s easy to make substitutions at mealtimes and it’s especially helpful come tea time when you can grab a fruit and nut bar instead of the Fruit N’Nut Dairy Milk! My sister had clearly been taking notes and made this amazing Goat’s cheese, beetroot, avocado, red onion and rocket salad for supper last night.
Without a gym offering 50+ classes to fall back on, motivating yourself to exercise when you’re away isn’t always easy. I accepted that I wasn’t likely to get in the same number of workouts at the intensity that I’m used to, but I also didn’t want to give up completely and so have been relying on the following
- Plank challenge – This is probably the easiest thing you can do to keep the tummy trim whilst on holiday as it only takes a few minutes and there’s no equipment needed. I like to do the following: 1 x 45 sec front plank, 1 x 45 sec left side plank, 1 x 45 sec right side plank. Repeat x3. Easy peasy.
- Running – It doesn’t matter how far you go, but getting outside and stretching the legs makes a huge different. I’ve been running a 4km loop which is a lot less than I’m used to, but the amazing scenery works wonders for the mind, as well as the body. I like to finish with some light yoga stretching, followed by a well earned snack!
- 10 Down – A bit more effort, but a great way to follow a run is to choose 5 exercises and repeat as follows. Do 1 set of your exercises for 10 reps each e.g. 10x push-ups, 10x leg raises, 10x squats, 10x side crunches and 10x bicycle kicks then repeat, bringing the reps down to 9, 8, 7… until you reach 0! Seriously sweat inducing, but totally worth it.
Making these simple changes to my daily routine meant that I haven’t felt a drop of guilt about the lack of spinning or cashew butter, and better yet nobody seems to have even noticed that I haven’t eaten any sugar! Win.