Friday, May 31, 2013

5 Travel Tips to Make your Next Getaway Healthier by Kendra Thornton

Summer is upon us, and that means the season of amusement parks, beach vacations, and family fun. Sadly, that also means greasy amusement park food, restaurants, and general unhealthiness. How do you take control of your eating while still enjoying your family vacations? Here are five tips to keep your body, and your family members' bodies, in beach shape all summer long.
1.) When you are travelling to a theme park, encourage your family to eat a hearty breakfast. The food at amusement parks is saturated with fat and unwanted calories. By consuming a healthy, hearty breakfast beforehand, you will save calories and money, since theme park food is always highly overpriced. You will also be giving your family the fuel that they need to have a good time at the park. However, if you have to make a fast food decision still try and think about what exactly is going into you and your children’s systems.
2.) Long drives and flights can put a damper on a vacation. Jet lag can make you, and especially your kids, lethargic for the first few days of the trip. Encourage your kids to nap on the flight or in the car. For longer trips that involve international flights, try adjusting your family's sleep schedule a few days before you leave. That adjustment will make the first few days of your vacation much easier. When searching for places to stay, keep in mind that many Orlando hotels offer quiet hours policies to ensure their visitors get a solid night's rest!
3.) Contrary to popular belief, frequent stops are a good thing during long drives. Getting you and your kids out of the car for a few minutes here and there can allow everyone to stretch their legs and burn off the excess energy that can get stored up over time. Fresh air is a great for the body, and it can make it much easier for your kids to avoid meltdowns in the car.
4) It is important to remember that airplanes are notorious for being germ-filled environments. When on board, try to stick to bottled water. The water on planes has been under investigation by the EPA for E. coli contamination for six years. Dr. Charles Gerba, also known as 'Dr. Germ,' once said that airplane bathrooms are among the dirtiest anywhere. Carrying some Purell with you while you travel is a good idea. This is definitely a case of 'better safe than sorry.
5.) This may be common knowledge, but it is too important to leave off the list. UV light can cause severe damage to the skin, and the more often you burn, the greater your risk for developing skin cancer. Make sure that your whole family is wearing sunscreen, at least SPF 15, and they should reapply at least every two hours.

While you never want to over-plan your vacation, remembering these tips will help to ensure that your trip goes smoothly. After all, what is better than a fun trip with your happy, healthy family?
Kendra Thornton is a former Orbitz Director of Communications promoted into the full-time position of Motherhood.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Fighting Back Against Obesity...and Winning!

I am back on the scale. So far, I've lost 9.6 pounds in 7 weeks through Weight Watchers. I'm .4 pounds away from my 5% target goal weight of losing 10 pounds {you do the math!}. I don't mind telling the world this kind of "personal stuff" because I hope it inspires someone else to start their weight management journey. I know I still have a LONG way to go before I reach my ultimate goal weight. But, I'm thinking of this as a true lifestyle change that will take time and last throughout my life time. So, you can't rush these things. One step at a time. One foot in front of the other...
The hardest part for me has been reducing my meal and food portions. I'm an overeater, to say the least. On top of that I'm married to a marathon runner. You think that it would help me being by being married to a runner, right? Not necessarily. Let me explain. See...when my hubby prepares for a long run or a race, he "carbo loads" a.k.a. eats lots and lots of pasta and carbs. That's great for his body. But, not so great for mine because I'm not running 20 miles {yet}. There are some people who say that they have a "love-hate" relationship with food. Not me. Mine is ALL LOVE! As I sometimes jokingly say to friends and family: "I'm an equal opportunity eater." I don't discriminate against any foods! ;)
What I like about Weight Watchers is that I learn how to eat real food in real time. They don't make you eat "their" meals and then expect you to know how to eat right when going back to the real world like some of those other weight plans do.
My family has been very supportive in my weight loss efforts. It's so adorable to see the boys getting in on the act. My older {6-year-old} son came home from kindergarten the other day and made a salad for me. My leader at my Weight Watchers meetings gave me a Bravo star and one to give him, as well! He was over-the-top excited. My other son {4-years-old} was a little upset, though, because he didn't get a sticker. And, my hubby was like: "Hey, where's my sticker? I've been buying you all your diet friendly foods and helping you get your exercise!" LOL! ;) {I think I've created a monster here...hahaha...}
Weight Watchers is encouraging members to get active. So, I've started running, again. Yes, again! My hubby actually got me into running when we were dating. And, I ran a few races, too. I particularly recall the very last race I ran was the St. Barnabas race in Gibsonia, PA because I found out shortly thereafter that I was pregnant with my older son! After my pregnancies it was hard for me to get back into the swing of things. Oh...I exercised for a while through the gym. Even did Zumba {which I thoroughly enjoyed and want to do again}. Did some spinning, too, for a while. But, I let life run me over and let my exercise fall by the wayside. It seems to me that mothers have a real tendency to do that...I mean take care of everyone else and forget about themselves.
So, I'm planning to really make this a lifestyle change for me, not just some "fad diet". If I continue on the current weight loss plan I am on now, I should reach my ultimate weight goal by this time next year or a little thereafter {maybe June or July next year}.

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