z6By Elke Probkevitz

Going on vacation is all about getting away and relaxing, detaching from the rest of the world and rejuvenating ourselves to get us through the rest of winter until spring. Being on vacation doesn’t mean we should take a break from taking care of ourselves. It’s all right to indulge a little when we dine out and travel, but we don’t want to regret our choices when we come back to reality. Here are some tips to stay focused on enjoying yourself wisely with no regret.

Make the right choices. One of the most fun things about vacation is trying local food, but be mindful of your choices. Mentally prepare yourself before your meal not to be seduced by unhealthy options. Stay away from fried, high-carb, rich, and creamy dishes; instead load up on vegetables and leaner proteins. Also, beware of portion control; most dishes served in restaurants are large portions. Eat half of your dish and take the rest to go for later.

Don’t eat out three meals a day. This is a smart decision for your wallet and your waistline. Eating out in restaurants not only gets expensive, but you don’t have as much control and knowledge of what goes into your meal. Choose to eat out for dinners and have lighter meals for breakfast and lunch, like yogurt with granola and fruit, cottage cheese, whole grain bread with cheese or nut butter, or a healthy salad.

Prepare snacks. Take along healthy snacks on your outings so you won’t be tempted to grab what’s convenient when you are hungry and your willpower is weak. Stay away from vending machines and convenience stores and opt to pack fresh fruits and veggies, trail mix, low-cal granola bars, yogurts, and crackers with cheese.

Drink a lot of water. Keeping hydrated is good on the flight and throughout your trip. It will keep you feeling energized, prevent you from snacking when you are not really hungry, and prevent bloating. Drinking eight glasses of water throughout the day is good wherever you are.

Exercise. You might not be able to visit your regular gym while on vacation, but there are plenty of activities you can do to keep you fit and focused. Take a walk to explore your new surroundings or even a hike with the family if there are nature trails or uphill terrain. Don’t just be a beach bum or poolside lounger. Swimming is a great exercise that is usually an option on a warm-weather vacation. If you are on a beach, taking a run down the coastline or playing a game of volleyball is a fun sport to keep you moving. Rent bikes for another great family activity. And if all else fails, most hotels have on-site fitness centers to keep you in shape even while away from your gym. v

Super Detox Salad

Feel free to substitute or remove any vegetables that you don’t care for.



½ head of butter lettuce

handful of spinach

handful of baby kale, torn

10 stems of parsley, chopped

10 stems of cilantro, chopped

1 handful of pea shoots

1 handful of sprouts

½ carrot, julienned

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

½ cup thinly sliced red cabbage

6 radishes, quartered

½ stalk celery, sliced

½ avocado, sliced


Juice of ½ lemon

4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, finely minced

pinch of sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp. maple syrup or agave


Whisk together all dressing ingredients and set aside. Place greens as the base of your salad in a shallow bowl or platter. Arrange the rest of the veggies in groups around the edge of the bowl. Drizzle dressing all over the salad and serve untossed for presentation. Toss well right before eating to dress all the vegetables.

Want to learn how to cook delicious gourmet meals right in your own kitchen? Take one-on-one cooking lessons or give a gift to an aspiring cook. For more information, contact Take Home Chef personal chef services by calling 516-508-3663, writing to elke@TakeHomeChef.net, or visiting www.TakeHomeChef.net.

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