Breaking from a Strict Diet – My Holiday Feasting Review
The holiday season is in full effect, that means socializing, lots of eating and drinking, inconsistent schedules, and difficulty sticking to your regime.
And while I’d love to give you a full proof plan to not let the holidays get in the way of your progress the reality is you’ll either have to sacrifice progress and consistency or enjoying the company of your friends and family.
For myself, I’m going to opt for enjoying the company of my friends and family throughout the holidays.
My Holiday Travels
If you watched my last video on my top 10 tips to stay fit during holiday travels you’ll know I spent my Thanksgiving weekend in Germany, the Czech Republic, and France.
Now it’s been a few weeks since I’ve returned from Europe and I wanted to share with you my experience of the 3 countries I visited and give a brief review what I did well while I was away and what I probably could have done better.
Being a vegetarian and traveling is rather difficult. While I like to be strict and diligent about my protein intake, being abroad makes it very hard.
It’s, for this reason, I decided to pack protein powder and protein bars.
Not, to mention the last time I was in Europe they had an abysmal selection or bars/protein that was far too expensive and pretty low-quality protein.
On top of preparing for a lower protein intake, I made sure to bring some things to assist in exercise recovery or working out. As a result, I packed a mini resistance band, my peanut lacrosse ball, and my jump-rope. That way I would exclusively perform in-home workout and could be most effective with my time rather than hunting around for a gym where I could lift.
The Czech Republic
The main reason we ended up in Prague was that I wanted to tour visit a medical school that I am planning on applying to for this upcoming application cycle (Charles University School of Medicine). Nonetheless, I wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to explore a city I had heard so many great things about.
The first day we were in Prague we toured the medical school campus, walked around 8.1 miles in some miserable weather (rainy, overcast, and about 40°F) – a starkly different winter than the “winter” we have in Texas – and ate at a local pub/restaurant near Charles bridge; I ended up eating Knedlicky – Czech potato dumplings – and a cold beer on a cold day (‘When in Prague?’).
The second day extended the tourist excursions to 9.8 miles, 800+ pictures, and the most delectable donut ice cream combo ever – Trdelnik – which is a long cylindrical donut with ice cream in it; mine had Nutella too!
While I planned to have a more strict workout routine in Prague, all the walking left me exhausted. As a result, I decided to focus on my upper body and make use of the architecture we had in our AirBnB for some strict pull-ups.
France was a drastic change from my touristing, photography and hiking extravaganza in Prague.
I didn’t go out to eat while France but even home cooked meals were pretty low in protein (vegetarian probs!).
I would even argue that I was less strict in France than I was in Prague. Due to the 2x/day boulangerie trips, finishing every meal with cheese (the French really know how to do cheese right), and the feast that was my Grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. While my diet may not have been strict, I made sure to enjoy myself as much as possible.
The best way I can describe the anniversary party is to correlate it to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but French, far more alcohol, lots more drinking and a fair share of drama; not to mention far too little sleep (I went to bed somewhere around 5 am).
By the end of my time in France, I ended up walking about an average of 3 miles per day and had worked out twice while in France – not usual standard but better than being a couch potato!
Traveling and being a vegetarian is difficult. It was very hard for me to be strict, there are much fewer options while eating out, and a good chunk of my daily calories came from snacking.
While this did mean I had a lot less calorically dense foods, I was very active or busy the entire week I was in Europe I seldom had the opportunity to think about if I was a hungry hippo.
Overall I managed to consume about 100g of protein per day – with the help of protein bars and powder.
And while my resistance workouts weren’t exactly conducive to making steadfast progress they were enjoyable, creative and gave me an opportunity to spend less time running off to a gym and more time spent with my family.
All-in-all I would call this my most successful attempt at being a healthy and active individual while traveling.
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I want to thank you for watching this on divulging from my regularly programmed diet and how I feasted while away in Europe.
I hope that your holiday travels are both enjoyable and you are still capable of making progress towards your fitness goals.
That’s all for today – Cheers!