Eating Healthfully when you’re a busy person: It’s not that hard!

October 20, 2016

When I counsel people in nutrition, many of my clients lament that they are too busy to eat nutritious meals. While I sympathize with them, I assure them that it can be done!  My husband and I both work full-time and pursue a number of other interests, but we make a point of preparing simple, healthful meals that are delicious and I can assure you “It’s not that hard!”


  1. Use your freezer: stock up on frozen protein, veggies and fruit; freeze extra servings of meals and snacks you prepare (even smoothies!).
  2. Learn to prepare simple, healthful meals made of “real food” at home, minimizing dining out if possible. You’ll not only eat more healthfully, you’ll save money.
  3. Examine the number of ingredients when purchasing packaged foods and beverages. The fewer ingredients the better and be sure you can identify those ingredients without googling them.
  4. Set  up a grocery delivery account. It saves time, reduces temptation and is very affordable.
  5. Watch the liquid calories! Juice, soda, alcohol calories all add up to empty calories.
  6. Focus on high nutrient density, but low-calorie/high volume density foods 80 percent of the time. Allow some room to enjoy dessert, alcohol and/or fast food (or whatever non-nutritive calories you enjoy) the other 20 percent of the time.
  7. Listen to your body – eating when you’re hungry, stopping when you’re 2/3 full.
  8. Most of all:  be proactive rather than reactive with your meals and snacks! Planning ahead doesn’t take much extra time and it makes all of the difference!


Here are examples of easy, healthful meals you can make in a jiffy!

Breakfast or Brunch:  scramble 2 or 3 whole eggs with kale or spinach and mushrooms. Slice avocado to garnish and add a side of fruit and a glass of milk.

Lunch:  entrée salad with chicken, black beans, salsa, tomatoes, avocado, field greens or romaine lettuce; cup of tomato or butternut squash soup

Dinner:  grilled, broiled or poached salmon with dill; green beans, broccoli or brussels sprouts; baked sweet potato with butter or olive oil.

Breakfast:  Greek yogurt (plain, full fat); blueberries; an ounce (palm full of nuts –  walnuts, almonds or pistachios;  slice of whole grain toast spread with peanut butter or almond butter or save as mid-morning snack.

Lunch: Tuna sandwich with  can of water packed albacore tuna mixed with Tbsp of mayo, baby spinach leaves, sliced beets, whole grain or sourdough bread.

Dinner:  Grass fed skirt or flank steak (marinated in tamari or soy sauce) broiled or grilled, cauliflower rice, drizzled with olive oil or melted butter; large salad with romaine and red leaf lettuce, roman tomatoes, broccoli slaw, mung bean sprouts or alfalfa sprouts; avocado with seasoned rice vinegar and olive or avocado oil.

Dessert can be healthful. Here are some ideas: frozen cherries, berries or frozen banana slices in 2% or whole milk – let the milk sit out for an hour some it’s close to room temperature and then just add frozen berries or banana slices and stir. “Dessert potato”:  bake a small sweet potato and drizzle with olive oil or melted butter and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spices. Frozen smoothie:  freeze half of your next smoothie and enjoy later as a frozen dessert.

Be Well,




Aquanimity®: Balancing Mind and Body With Aquatic Movement

November 4, 2015

You’ve no doubt heard of “equanimity”, defined as “mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper”, but did you know that you can achieve both mental and physical serenity by moving in warm water? Hence I’ve coined the term “aquanimity®” as a word to describe the balancing of mind and body through aquatic movement.

Whether you engage in high-intensity deep-water athletic training or gentle, rhythmic “ai chi”, a form of aquatic tai chi, or an aquatic yoga flow using a noodle, moving in warm water balances both mind and body,  facilitating a state of Aquanimity®.

In my work as an aquatic therapy specialist, I frequently witness the freedom warm water gives individuals who are unable to move with ease on land. But moving in a warm, aqueous environment also fosters a mental tranquility. Sometimes I wish I could show my clients video of themselves before and after an aquatic therapy exercise session. What a difference in the way they move and in their demeanor before and after they’ve moved in the water for an hour.

So if you’re in the need for some mental and physical balance, look no further than your nearest warm water pool.

Be Well,



Gardening Ergonomics: Pull Those Weeds Without Pulling Your Back Out

May 3, 2015

Now that Spring is here, many of my Monday aquatic therapy clients come to me complaining of aches and pains from a weekend of gardening. I’ve found that gardeners are like artists in that they become so focused on their work that they ignore their bodies and pay for it later.

So for all of you out there who enjoy making your gardens bloom and grow, here are some tips for keeping your aches and pains in tow:

Warm Up

Most gardeners, even if they are regular exercisers, don’t warm up before pulling weeds or tilling their soil. This is a big mistake in that gardening is physically demanding and utilizes many muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments and challenges balance and coordination. Basic yoga sun salutations make a perfect dynamic warmup, but you can also walk around your yard briskly, swinging your arms and perhaps performing some gentle squats and overhead stretches.

Take Regular Breaks

Avoid maintaining the same body position for more than 10-15 minutes at a time. Transition to a different task and above all, take regular breaks to stretch your body and walk around.  Gardening tends to put the spine in a flexed position, so after you’ve been rounding forward planting or weeding, stand up and do a few spinal extensions (hands on your hips, eyes gazing upward, slowly and gently lean backwards).

Pad Your Knees

Consider investing in a good pair of kneepads “kneeling pad” or use a pool noodle to cushion your knee joints. However, even with good padding for your knees, I don’t recommend your remain in a kneeling position for more than a 10-15 minutes at a time.

Don’t Over Do It

The first time out in the garden is like shoveling snow after the first snowfall – so ease your way into it and don’t overdo it. You don’t have to tackle all of the weeding and planting in one day or even one weekend – so pace yourself!

Stretch and Shower Afterwards

After you tend to your garden, tend to your body. Stretch (sun salutations work well after gardening, too), take a hot shower and use Traumeel on any aches or pains.

Be Well,


For Optimal Wellness Apply a Pro-Active Approach with These Tips

March 1, 2015

I get frustrated sometimes when people want  instant results from working out and eating right. Wellness doesn’t just happen overnight – you  have to work at it over time. It requires that you take a pro-active approach to health on a consistent basis. Eating nutritiously, exercising regularly, sleeping adequately all necessitate forethought, planning and follow-through. Here are some tips to help you:

Tips for Pro-Active Eating

– Pack a nutritious, energizing lunch (and snacks) for work.

– Keep healthful snacks and bottled water in a cooler in your car (small bags of unsalted almonds or walnuts); hardboiled eggs; apples).

-look up restaurant menus on-line before dining out so you can plan the most healthful choice ahead of time.

-Shop for groceries on a full stomach and don’t bring anything home that you can’t eat just one or two of.

Tips for Pro-Active Exercising

-If you exercise in the morning, lay out your gym clothes the night before.

-If you exercise after work, don’t go home first. Head for a track, a gym, a park and keep your exercise clothes and shoes and a yoga mat in your car at all times.

-Keep your Ipod or other MP3 player with you so that you always have fun, upbeat, motivating music to exercise to.

-Schedule exercise sessions into your daily calendar and program alarms to remind you in your smartphone.

-Make dates in advance to workout with friends or socialize doing a physical activity you enjoy. Bowling, ice skating, even miniature golf or bocce ball will get you moving and having fun in a social setting.

Tips for Pro-Active Sleeping

– Avoid caffeine more than 6 hours before retiring.

– Use a sleep mask to shut out as much light as possible.

– Turn off all electronics at least an hour before sleeping.

-Don’t exercise less than 2 hours before sleeping.

Commit to a healthful lifestyle with pro-active rather than re-active in your approach and wellness will be yours.

Be Well,


FAST Action is the Key to Surviving a Stroke

December 29, 2014

During the holiday season when we’re surrounded by loved ones of all ages,  it’s always a good idea to make sure everyone is schooled in CPR and in recognizing the signs of a stroke. CPR training is available everywhere by the American Heart Association and the Red Cross. F.A.S.T. is a fast, easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can recognize the signs outlined in the F.A.S.T. acronym you’ll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away.

Post this FAST acronym on your refrigerator and put it in your smart phone:

Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “There are 7 days in a week.” Can they repeat the sentence correctly?
Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.

If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. The sooner they receive medical attention, the  better the chance of preventing permanent brain damage.

Be Well,


I’ve Found Relief for My High-Arched Feet!

November 17, 2014

It’s been awhile since I’ve recommended a product in this blog, but I want to tell you about a terrific athletic shoe insole I’ve just discovered that caters to people like me who have high-arched feet.

Until recently I’d not given much thought to my high-arches since my days as a young ballerina when they were a desirable thing. I remember my ballet teacher commenting that I “had a dancer’s foot”, noting my curved arch and my even-lengthed toes. Now, many years later, my high-arched feet are not as friendly as they used to be. How could they be after running thousands of miles?

High-arched feet tend to have problems because they are more rigid than feet with normal arches or low arches. Furthermore, high-arched feet tend to supinate, or turn outward, which can lead to orthopedic problems with the hips, knees and low back. I’m fortunate not to suffer from any of those, although my left foot in particular tends to supinate and I have to replace my running shoes every 5-6 weeks because after wearing the outside of my left shoe down to the nub my left hamstrings start to act up. Furthermore, the plantar fascia on the bottom of my feet tend to tighten up at night or after a long run and I’m constantly stretching them out to counteract this. I also keep a golf ball under my desk to massage the bottom of my feet when I’m at my computer and I’ve found that applying Traumeel or Topricin  homeopathic foot cream to the soles of my feet before bed helps as well.

I’ve never been one to wear orthotics or insoles as I thought I didn’t needed them. I wear a neutral running shoe and because I have to wear a 7mm heel lift in my right shoe (because of a leg-length discrepancy resulting from scoliosis) most insoles are too thick to wear along with the lift. Furthermore, I was under the misconception that because my arches were already pronounced I didn’t need any arch support. In fact, I mistakenly believed having arch support in my shoes would only exacerbate my arches.

After doing a little research for a client, however, I discovered RunPro Insoles specifically designed for high-arch profile feet. From the first few steps I found them really supportive without being hard and uncomfortable. I also like the fact that they’re not at all bulky so they fit nicely in an athletic shoe. They even made an older pair of running shoes I’d been wearing feel new again. After trying them in my cycling shoes (what a difference!!) I ordered two more pairs so I don’t have to switch them back and forth between all of my athletic shoes.

At $50 per pair they’re not cheap, but if you’re a physically active person with high arches that are causing you discomfort you may find RunPro Insoles are worth it to keep your feet happy.

Be Well,


There’s Nothing “Humerus” about Fracturing your Funny Bone!

July 30, 2014

Five weeks ago my life changed in an instant when,  while running fast downhill on an uneven rocky trail, I tripped on a rock and tumbled down hard, landing directly on my left elbow on a rock. The impact felt like someone had struck a hammer against the back of my elbow and I sensed something snapped off in the impact. Sure enough, a few hours later x-rays revealed that I had fractured my olecranon – the infamous “funny bone”. Fortunately it was a “clean, simple” break rather than a compound one, but nevertheless the solution for healing the injury turned out to be anything but simple.

It turns out that most olecranon fractures require surgery because they typically displace (the fragments separate too much for the bone to rejoin on its own). The fragments of the bone must then be reduced or returned to their normal position until healing occurs – usually in six weeks. Surgery involves reducing the bone fragments with some type of hardwire – usually a plate and screws. If there are multiple fractures or the bone is shattered, wires and pins may be used. In my case the bone fragments were reduced a little less than an inch so a plate with one long screw was inserted into my elbow and running down my forearm (part of my ulna bone). Like most patients, my arm was immobilized for a few days with a heavy splint and ace bandages wrapped around the dressing of my surgical wound (which I kid you not was four inches long and held together with about 16 staples). Three days later a plastic, removable splint was molded to my arm and I was encouraged to wear it day and night for the next five weeks, with the exception of removing it 4-5 times daily to perform extension movements (bending and straightening of the arm)  to encourage range of motion.

The recovery from surgery, however,  proved much more painful than the original fracture. In particular the first two days after surgery I was in a lot of pain (not helped by the fact that I refused to take a narcotic – in this case Vicodin- choosing to stick instead with Advil. My entire left arm and especially my left hand was very swollen and black and blue. I was instructed to elevate it as much as possible which was only really possible at night, but which made sleeping virtually impossible. Fortunately, my clever husband rigged up a pulley system from our bedroom ceiling which was attached to my arm and allowed me to elevate comfortable and shift positions as well.

To be honest, until this happened, I never gave my elbows much thought. I took for granted that they worked well and that my relatively strong triceps allowed my elbows to extend and to some degree even hyperextend.  That has all changed now that four weeks after surgery my stiff left arm is still far from straightening. I am, however, finding some improvement every day. Today when I washed my hair I was able to wring it out using both arms and I can now floss my back molars without too much discomfort. Just yesterday I was able to scratch my right shoulder and tonight I even made a salad and was able to toss it myself. Ahhh, the little victories are sweet as I slowly get my life and independence back. I really miss my yoga classes and it’s been five weeks since I’ve been able to swim laps, but I’m back in the pool with my clients which I know is really helping my healing process.

UPDATE I:  I had a great PT session yesterday and I was told I’m a week ahead in terms of healing and range of motion (ROM). She said I can go without my splint except in situations where I can’t control my environment, such as in a crowd. I will see my surgeon next week for a follow-up and hopefully he will tell me I can begin a strengthening program. Last night I slept without my splint and I’m just about to go for a run without it – can’t wait!

UPDATE II:  It’s now been 10 weeks since the injury, 9 weeks since surgery. Saw my surgeon this week for my final post-op. He was thrilled with my ROM and strength and lifted all restrictions. The only glitch was that 10 days ago I developed a grape-size “seroma” (a collection of subcutaneous fluid) on my forearm at the end of the incision where part of the plate is. He assured me it was harmless – just the body’s reaction to irritation at the plate, but he decided to aspirate it anyways and withdrew 3.5 ml (about a thimble-size) of light red fluid – mixture of blood and plasma. He said if it comes back we may want to consider surgery to remove the plate and that he didn’t recommend that until at least 3-4 months after surgery. I just figured I would be living with this thing the rest of my life and would really rather not go through another surgery to have it removed, but he did assure me that the recovery time for plate removal surgery is much less than the insertion was. Hopefully that’s the end of it, but stay tuned….My PT also gave me my walking papers this week, so while the healing process continues she says I can do the rest on my own :)….My downward dog is slowly coming back and now I’m able to swim without even being aware of my left arm – even as I turn to breathe to the right side (where I have to fully extend my left arm) – which was painful for awhile. Now, if I could only have Summer back…..

UPDATE III:  It’s been almost 13 weeks since the injury, 12 weeks since surgery and yesterday I finally had the courage to run to the place I fell. Previously every time I thought about doing so I became both nauseas and nervous. Yesterday I was still a bit nervous – not that I thought I would fall again), but I felt ready to face it. Interestingly I discovered the way I fell wasn’t what I thought. rather than fall downhill, I actually fell on an uphill slope. I realized and remembered that I slid on loose rock, my feet coming out from under me, and I landed to the left the way the hill sloped on a rock. I saw so many large rocks sticking out of the ground yesterday that I’m not sure which was THE ROCK, but it’s clear that it could’ve been any number of them.  I felt a real sense of relief afterwards and strangely fatigued as well as though I was able to put down a burden I’ve been carrying for the past few months. When I do run on that trail again I will be extra cautious as I can see now how rocky it is and how easy it was to fall in various places. Overall my elbow is doing well. I’m working on getting the final degrees of extension (straightening the arm) and my strength is almost there in most ways. For example, I can now pull the hatchback trunk of my car down completely with my left arm with no pain and with relative ease.

UPDATE IV: It’s now been 15 weeks since my olecranon reduction surgery and my elbow is doing great. I’m even back to doing power yoga and though my left side plank is still a little shaky, I can even do wheel pose and “flip my dog”! But….I went to see my surgeon last week because my forearm, (not where the injury was, but where the metal plate and screws are)  still gets very irritated when I place it on a table, or even on my leg when doing side angle pose in yoga. I wanted to ask the doctor about having the hardware in my arm removed. He said that because I don’t have much padding there I will always be irritated by the hardware and that I’m a good candidate for removal surgery. So I’ve scheduled to have my plate and screws removed 3 days before Christmas. The recovery is supposed to be much faster and easier than the surgery to have the hardware inserted, plus I won’t have a broken bone and torn muscles to mend this time. However, I will have to avoid any heavy lifting for about 5 weeks. I’m excited to have my arm eventually return to it’s previous pre-injury, metal-free state. When the hardware is removed I will initially have holes in my ulnar bone where the screws were, but with time the bone will fill in. All for now….stay tuned.

UPDATE V:  12/23/14…Yesterday I had surgery to remove the titanium plate and six screws in my left arm. It was definitely a case of deja vu in returning to the surgery center – almost exactly 6 months to the day from the first surgery to have the hardware installed. I’m very happy to report that so far my pain is far less than the original surgery and very manageable. In fact in 24 hours I’ve only taken one 200mg Advil when I got home yesterday (and I probably could’ve done without it but they keep telling you in recovery to “stay ahead of the pain”). I’ve not needed to take anything else – even last night when I thought the pain might kick up in my sleep. The other main difference is that, unlike last time, my arm and hand are not at all swollen or discolored despite the fact that I haven’t been elevating them as much as I probably should be. I have a huge, bulky temporary cast from my shoulder to my wrist that doesn’t allow me to straighten my arm, but fortunately I only have to wear it for 2 days after which I will transition to a sling for a week or so. The only complication with my surgery was that the bone had started to grow around the plate at the elbow requiring the surgeon to dig into the bone to remove it. Hopefully that won’t delay my healing. This is another reason I’m glad I didn’t wait any longer to have the hardware removed as apparently the longer it’s left in, the more likely bone can grown around it, making it more challenging to remove. All in all, I’m very relieved to have had the hardware removed. I asked for it as a souvenir and it’s a bit eery to see what I’ve had inside my arm for almost six months, but his was my Christmas gift to myself and I’m very glad I did it.

UPDATE VI 12/24/14…Saw my surgeon today for my 48-hr post op appointment and it felt like an early Christmas gift. He removed the bulky temporary cast and was very pleased with what was underneath – so much so that he said I didn’t need to wear a sling. Additionally, he said I can get back in the pool next Monday, a week earlier than he’d previously said I could. I’m now wearing a light dressing over the incision and a “sleeve” to protect it. My pain remains very manageable and I haven’t had to take anything for it. My elbow is a bit swollen and stiff and tender to the touch (feels like I’ve scraped and bruised my arm), but really not that bad. I have to be careful for the next 4-5 weeks (no pushups or significant twisting motions), but once I get the sutures out I don’t have to go back to the Dr. unless there’s a problem.  Hallelujah!


UPDATE VII 12/8/17 I’ve been hearing from some of you about your experiences with olecranon fractures, ORIF surgeries and even hardware removal surgeries. My heart goes out to you as I know how devastating and painful this injury and the surgery can be. I’m happy to report that I rarely think about the injury today. I healed easily from the hardware removal surgery, regained full ROM and strength and was quickly back to all of my physical activities as soon as my surgeon gave me the green light.

I’m glad to know that sharing my experience has helped you, but please know that everyone’s journey is different. We are all individuals with different circumstances. The best way to predict your outcome is to speak with your doctor and your PT. I wish you all the best in your healing process.

Be Well and Happy Holidays,



Mesothelioma: The Deadly Lung Cancer that Now Plagues Many Women

May 11, 2014

In honor of National Women’s Health Week I wanted to put a spotlight on Mesothelioma, a rare, deadly form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. This deadly disease, which destroys the lining of the lung, was once thought to plague mostly men who work in construction and manufacturing, but now is becoming more common in women because of second-hand exposure.

Though the EPA banned certain asbestos-containing products and any new uses of asbestos in the late 1980s, rates of mesothelioma have continued to increase since then. Furthermore, much of the construction that used asbestos is still around and the removal of asbestos can also cause exposure. Homeowners can come in contact with asbestos while working in their attic installing insulation, or by disturbing existing insulation when doing renovations. In most cases mesothelioma results from chronic exposure such as individuals working in a factory or demolition construction workers destroying old buildings on a regular basis.

Family members can be exposed to asbestos second-hand from a worker’s clothing if it is brought home. The clothing can pick up asbestos “dust”, which contains tiny fibers or particles that can then become lodged in the lungs as irritants. It is critical that protective face gear is worn by those working in at risk jobs or when working on home construction projects. Clothing that has been worn at an at-risk site should not be taken away from the work site.

For more information on this deadly disease, please visit the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance’s website and for one woman’s courageous battle with mesothelioma, read Heather Von St. James’ touching story.

Be Well,


Staying fit on Vacation – Part II

April 17, 2014

In our previous post, travel expert Kendra Thornton and I wrote about staying fit and healthy when traveling. In this second part post, Kendra gives specific  tips for healthy family vacation travel.

Now that Spring has arrived, visions of summer vacations are dancing in my head. But… as much as I like to travel, I don’t like to venture far from my healthy habits. And the good news is that we don’t have to. The key to staying fit while vacationing is planning ahead. Just as you would with your travel itinerary, create a wellness itinerary outlining how you will exercise and eat healthfully while you’re away from your usual routine. With a little forethought you’ll return from vacation refreshed and restored.

1. Exercise from the Start

Start your vacation right by exercising en-route to your destination. If you have an airport layover, check your carry-ons in a locker and walk briskly around the terminal rather than sitting and waiting for your flight. (Staying active in the airport also helps kids settle down when they finally board the aircraft). Once you’re sitting in the airplane, try the following exercise to enhance circulation: alternate pointing and flexing your toes approximately 20 times every one to two hours. If you’re traveling by car, stop every couple of hours so everyone can stretch their legs and take a brief walk.

2. Eat Well From the Start

Vacations don’t have to be a downfall for healthful eating habits. Here again planning ahead is critical. Eat a nutritious meal before your flight so you and your family won’t be tempted by the airport food court. Carry some nutrient-dense, minimally processed snacks on the airplane or in the car (unsalted nuts, fresh fruit, carrot and celery sticks and snap peas with a hummus dip, hard-boiled eggs, whole grain crackers and string cheese). If you’re traveling by car, bring a cooler filled with healthy foods and beverages. Book a hotel with a kitchenette and bring some cooking tools from home so you can make some of your own meals. It’s a healthful and economical alternative to eating out in restaurants. My husband and I have been known to pack our mini-George Foreman grill so we can grill salmon or chicken or make a veggie frittata.

3. Build in Fitness

If you’re visiting a city, build in exercise by taking a walking sightseeing tour. For fun, carry a pedometer to track how far you’re going and have everyone in your group guess the number of steps you’ve taken. Or, rent bicycles and cycle to see the sites. My husband and I try to rent a tandem bike when we travel. It’s a great way to see city sites and venture outside a metropolitan area. Exploring your surroundings on two feet or two wheels will give you a new perspective on your destination.

4. Aim to Maintain

Finally, aim to maintain rather than gain fitness when traveling. Stay flexible and fit in fitness when and where you can. Exercising on vacation should be playful and fun so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to stick to your home routine. Likewise, strive to eat healthfully most of the time, allowing for a few indulgences. With a little creativity and a bit of pre-departure planning, you can keep your health fitness from taking a vacation when you do.

Bon Voyage and Be Well!

-Carolyn & Kendra


Staying Fit on Vacation – Part I

April 11, 2014

In this two-part post, travel expert Kendra Thornton and I will discuss ways to stay fit and healthy while traveling. In this first part, Kendra offers her tips for healthful family vacations:

My family’s health is of utmost importance to me. At home, I regularly pack healthy snacks for the kids to take to school. The entire family exercises regularly, and each of my children is involved in sports. When we go on vacation, our routines are different, but I always make sure that we get healthy nutrition and plenty of exercise wherever our travels take us.

1. Checking In

Hotels today offer several amenities to fit the active, healthy family. I make sure to book hotels with well-equipped fitness centers because this is a great way for me to be able to get a quick workout completed in the mornings before my kids wake up. Some hotels offer other fitness amenities such as running trails or bike rentals. I was able to find one for our upcoming trip to Orlando. With so many hotels in Orlando sites like Gogobot can make the process a little easier. I also always refuse the key to the minibar to help my family avoid the temptations of midnight cravings. To combat high-calorie indulgences at the vending machine, I often stock our hotel fridge with healthy snacks such as fruit, fresh veggies or low-fat yogurt snacks.

2. Playing in the Water

Water sports offer lots of high-energy fun for families on vacation. My kids love boating, and we’ve enjoyed a variety of water-faring vessels as a family. Paddleboats and canoes are great for building muscle and getting an aerobic workout. Water sports such as skiing, surfing and parasailing also burn calories. You can even burn calories sailing or enjoying time on a Wave Runner. For fun without a boat, swimming or splashing in the water can provide plenty of activity.

3. Eating Out

You will eat out when you travel, but you can take steps to make adventures in eating out more nutritious and less caloric. I like to research local restaurants before going on vacation. I find places that serve local produce because I know the cuisine here will be healthier for my family. I also look for restaurants that feature lite-and-fit menu options or vegetarian fare. Mediterranean restaurants almost always have healthy offerings for my family to enjoy.

4. Playing Games

There are many ways to have a good time on vacation. My family tries to focus on staying active. Most popular vacation destinations have a wide variety of venues for getting active. You can play horseshoes, badminton, shuffleboard or catch at a lot of parks. On a vacation by the beach, you can have fun with Nerf items. Running foot races together is another way to work some healthy activity into your vacation. Depending on the age and fitness level of your family members, you might even enjoy a vacation centered around physical activities such as hiking or climbing.

Staying healthy is important for every family. I know my family has more fun on vacation when I take active steps to keep them healthy throughout the trip. We enjoy spending time together away from home, and sticking to a healthy routine helps us more easily return to life as usual when we come back. I hope my tips and tricks have inspired you to have a more healthy vacation with your family this year.

Join us next time for more healthful travel tips.  Until then….

Bon Voyage and Be Well,

Kendra and Carolyn