Sailing Away

Our family recently traveled to Port Canaveral to board a Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship. We were headed to the Eastern Caribbean for an 8 day cruise of fun, sun and relaxation and of course all the food we can eat. Cruising has always been known for the unlimited cuisine ranging from pastries, main meals, adult beverages and desserts one can set their eyes on. So I set out to not only cruise my heart away but also continue on my healthy living journey.

With my recent weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes, I cannot deny I was worried and thoughtful about what cruising would do to my healthy eating habits and current lifestyle.

Embarkation Day

I decided to continue implementing my healthy choices lifestyle while still living my best life. I made the decision to not worry about points or caloric intake or any other food calculation during the cruise but instead I would make choices in moderation. Throughout my weight loss and health journey, one thing I know is that with our choices always come with consequences and I had to be willing to accept those based on my actions for the week. I also choose to counter balance all my choices with healthy activities and still enjoy the fun, sun and relaxation.

Tip #1: Choose Wisely

Let’s face it; when we think of cruising it is synonymous with unlimited free food all the time. There are so many options through the entire duration of the cruise, even for the early risers and the night owls. The convenience of cruising is always wonderful when any time of day or night, we can just eat. So, choose wisely. I loved the fact there were foods available that I wouldn’t make on an ordinary day at home. Plus with all the activities, I could just grab and go. I will say it again, choose wisely. I really didn’t need two or three desserts. I treated myself to just one.

Tip #2: Everything in Moderation

Just like anything in life, everything in moderation. Too much of one thing is never good and often times brings about negative consequences. When making food choices during a cruise, it is easy to over fill your plate especially when the meal is free, but remember, it is not about eating just because the food is free and available. Start with smaller size portions and if still hungry after slowly eating your meal, then go back for another serving.

Tip #3: Eat Often and Smaller Meals

While I do enjoy cruising, I am very prone to motion sickness and didn’t want that to get in the way of me happy a great time during vacation. One method for combating motion sickness is to never get hungry, thus eat often and smaller meals. For me, I need to keep my blood sugar steady and not go a long period of time between meals which greatly help me manage the motion sickness (also drinking plenty of water; see tip #4 below) will help in feeling full and not over indulging. Plus eating every 2-3 hours, also helps me eat smaller portions and feel full quicker; so on a cruise ship when portion control can be tricky, this meal planning did the trick. I love how this method allowed for me to feel like I was getting to eat more, but really, I was just staying on my journey which helped me continue my portion control and meal moderations.

Tip #4: Drink Plenty of Water

This tip really is the key that brings it all together, drink plenty of water. While cruising, it is easy to want to indulge in several adult beverages or even soda pop (and if you read tip #2 above, you know that if drinking something other than water, moderation is best) but water is always best for our bodies. Water keeps up hydrated and also helps us feel full so we tend to eat less and not always feel so hungry. Water also helps flush all those germs and excess body waste we intake during a cruise. Let’s face it, we are probably putting not getting our daily allowance of vitamins and minerals on this cruise so flushing the junk feels great. And with all the activities and stairs you are doing (see tips #5 below) you will want to fill up on water.

Tip #5: Ditch the Elevator

If you have been cruising lately, you know just how gorgeous cruise ships are and this includes the elevators. It is fun and exciting to ride in the glass elevator and watch the surrounding floors as you move up and down. But, to help compensate those overeating habits, ditch the elevator and take the stairs! Yes, you heard me. If you are physically able, start taking the stairs; they are just as gorgeous. There is plenty of art at every stairwell landing and racing your family is a great way to make it fun. If you find yourself out of breathe, start with just a few levels then jump to the elevator. During your cruise, see if you can walk take the stairwell before reaching for the elevator button. Your heart will love you and remember to drink plenty of water (see tip #4 above).

Tip #6: Walk Everywhere

Again, if you have been cruising or have seen these new epic size ships (pretty much a floating city), you will understand that there is so much to see and do. And getting there is half the fun. If you follow tip #4 above, then is will be easy to walk everywhere. On our ship, Wonder of the Seas by Royal Caribbean, we had a Central Park and a Boardwalk along with 15 Decks among other areas to explore. There are so many places to walk; not to mention most all cruise ships now a days also have a gym with a walking / running track.

Tip #7: Exercise

And last but certainly not least, exercise! Being on a cruise ship shouldn’t mean your daily habits should be forgotten. There will be plenty of time to lounge poolside or sit in a cozy corner and read a book or even take that well deserved nap for all the R and R you can handle. But I am willing to guess that you will get antsy or a little bored without some exercise mixed in. As I mentioned in tip #5 above, most all (if not all) cruise ships have a gym on board along with a walking / running track for exercise. Depending on the ship, the views and the deck will vary, but I imagine it is still a pretty setting no matter. My son and I had all the intentions to work out a few times during our cruise; we just didn’t actually work out in the gym. With all the deck floors to explore, stairs to climb and ports to visit, we clocked well over 15,000 steps a day and still was able to get the heart pumping. However, if you are struggling with the stairs and need more of a daily regiment, be sure to clock some time in the cruise ship gym to ward off all the free food and adult spirits.

Live Healthy and Sharon the Moments

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