“No carbs before Marbs” has famously whispered its’ way through Essex to the rest of the UK, however with this great expectation of our individual eating habits prior to our hols very much cemented into our brains (though not strictly the healthiest route to feeling your best pre-vay-cay), it’s probably safe to suggest that once we arrive, this mantra soon becomes something of a blissfully distant memory. With endless admirable energy put into our holiday prep purely to look and feel fantastic, we’ve decided that this year we want to take it the whole way and bypass the post-holiday over-indulgence regret that overshadows us through the rest of the summer, and discover how to remain hip and healthy throughout our travels.

Be Prepared!
This may scream ‘boring’, (the Pina Colada lover inside of us does agree slightly..) however we’ve heard it before and we’ll listen again, as being prepared really is key when anticipating those inevitably calorific crossroads we collectively sit in denial of each summer. We’re not talking about simply investing in a few bikinis here (although they’re important too), as the moments of momentary bliss we experience post-nose dive into a 3-scooper mint choc chip twice daily for 10 days, flushed down with a concoction of beverages, really can take its’ toll, not just physically but emotionally. Before you exit this for denial reasons (we were about to as well) however, allow us to assure you that being prepared does not come as a mis-interpretation for being a summertime fun-sucker, as there are fool-proof ways to avoid the holiday traps with a little pre-trip planning. Packing some trusty snacks, like nuts, seeds and dried fruit, alongside simple staples including dried greens powder (Organic Burst or Bioglan Superfoods are both fantastic) and chia seeds to complement your brekkie, will do your insides wonders when aiming to keep the cravings for poolside snackaroos at bay. Another wonderfully simplistic way of prepping for spontaneous snacking moments is by setting yourself the task, for example, of perhaps only consuming a large quantity of local fresh fruit for breakfast each morning, therefore avoiding the post-croissant slump and allowing yourself the treat at dinner that you crave, minus the morning guilt. Trust us on this one, as implementing these small tricks won’t seem like a compromise after a few days of feeling fantastic!

We are generally content in the notion that, due to the variety of drinks we consume whilst on our holidays, we will be riding on the peak of the hydration scale, however the standard sources of our consumption regarding food and drink are generally, in fact, extremely dehydrating. This, married with a significant level of heat, will leave you undoubtedly lethargic, un-energised, and not as hip and healthy as you were before. It isn’t only through drinking an abundance of water though that you can avoid this easy dehydration from happening; foods including watermelon, cucumber, a variety of greens, and coconut water, all provide a substantially rich quantity of natural h20, utterly essential in equipping you with the hydrating goodness required to keep you healthy on your trip. An easy method when enforcing this would be to routinely order a side of salad with each meal; though independently this may not float your (banana) boat, once mixed with a dish of your choice, you may just be onto a water-based winner (it will also empower your decision to refuse the boldly positioned bread-basket). Additionally, by investing your spare dollar in buying a fresh watermelon each lunch time, or to share by the sea in the afternoon, you’ll be water-inducing out your friends and fam as well as yourself without even realising.

Stay Activ
OK, so the majority of us envision holidays as totally not being the time to embark on a fitness regime however, as it stands we could be completely wrong! Just as ‘healthy is the new black’, fit might just be the new lazy.. Somewhere in between our lengthy sun-tanning sessions will sit a moment where we are able to embrace some holiday movement, be it a water-aerobics sesh in the family pool at 11am each morning, a spot of ping-pong with whoever will play (bats are usually a compulsory section of the local European supermercados), an early jog along the sea front, or a hike around the surrounding area. Whichever form of exercise takes your fancy, it’s essential you upkeep heart-rate increasing movement throughout your time away, as it will not only encourage you to feel fabulous, but as a result of the natural endorphins released throughout your body during the exercise, you’ll be oozing with confidence all the way through to your flight home.

Switch off
Working at being mindful and allowing ourselves to simply embrace life at face value isn’t something we are generally brilliant at doing whilst holidaying. Even if your trip doesn’t resemble a week on the Ibiza party scene, granting yourself some individual time to simply reflect on the moment, perhaps through a stroll along the beach or a brief yoga sesh for example, will create a wonderful foundation for departing your holiday with a recharged sense of self-fulfillment and gratitude for your everyday life. Also, by keeping that novel in your beach bag that you have been dying to get through but haven’t due to life simply getting in the way, will regularly encourage you to read it, and do, because we can guarantee that you will feel all the better for the escapism that will naturally accompany the read.  By purely giving yourself the permission to switch off from regular life, you will undoubtedly return embodying rejuvenation and self-worth and feel re-energised and well, totally hip and healthy, of course!

Learn the language
Right, so we can wholeheartedly accept that language learning isn’t exactly a British forte, with Spanish and French commonly abandoned on an “I have a brown dog and 4 brothers” type level (aka: knowing sentences you will never use, they just come in handy occasionally as a last min party trick), however in order to preserve our Hip & Healthy way of life, it has become essential that we understand more than ‘servicios’ and ‘cerveza’ this time around (OK, so the Spanish buzzwords are in full force here, but you get the idea). If you are determined to discover the local dance class or swimming pool, or perhaps find a vegetarian restaurant you heard was popular, learning a few key words to assist you in getting by, to allow you to remain hip and healthy will do you a huge healthful favour when you’re there. Or perhaps you have chosen to remove a certain food group from your diet due to health reasons and are, as a result, petrified of a food you wouldn’t want, arriving on your plate unnoticed – taking a few mos to get the native vocab down will relieve you of any holiday stress and allow you to enjoy what you are there for.

Implementing these utterly simple routes to remaining undeniably hip and fashionably healthy whilst on your holiday will become something of a no brainer after a few days. As a result of these minor changes, you will be waving off the ice cream parlours 100% guilt-free, and the transition back into reality will undoubtedly become second nature for every holiday to come.

words by Jodie Corcoran

image Sweaty Betty