This week, Derek and I are leaving for vacation to Chattanooga, TN with my family. This will be our second time going to Chattanooga and we’re both so excited—it’s really the perfect vacation spot for us as it is named one of the best outdoor cities in the world and home of some of the best hiking trails in the country. Pair all the hiking with a few days on a double decker pontoon boat with a slide and call it paradise. But hold up…I have a powerlifting meet in just a week and a half, this is supposed to be my hardest week of training before I taper and I’m on vacation…let the anxiety and stress commence…WRONG. I’m going to break down how to stay on track during vacation while having fun and how I’m planning to make sure my diet, training and mindset stays on track for my meet.
PACK FOR THE WORST
My goal was to be right within my weight class range before I left for Tennessee so I didn’t have to worry so much about it while on vacation and I’ve definitely succeeded on that front but that doesn’t mean I can just throw an entire week out the window. I have packed an entire cooler of food that I can rely on. I don’t know where/when or what I’ll be eating and that’s fine but I want to make sure I have enough healthy snacks at my disposal. In my cooler I’ve packed cottage cheese, protein balls (recipe for these are down below), protein bars, rice cakes, protein powder, jerky and trail mix. I also have everything I need for the gym: belt, shoes, socks and chalk. I don’t know where or what will be at the facility I’m going to be able to train at but I am going to make sure I have all the things I need to make my lifts successful.
PLAN TO FINISH WORKOUTS EARLY
Being in the heart of Chattanooga we plan on at least hiking one day but will most likely have activity-filled days on the boat surfing, hiking, or simply walking around the city. Whenever you go on vacation make sure to fit in as much fun activity as you can. Often times on vacation we are exposed to new ways of being active—take advantage of them and don’t get stuck in your rut. For me, it’s a little different. I am going to have to make time to get to the gym because I have specific goals and I’m willing to make that sacrifice. If you need to fit in gym time make sure to get it in early in the morning before your day starts. Fortunately, I don’t mind getting early morning workouts in and will plan on being done training before the rest of my family starts their day. I don’t want to miss out on a single minute of time with them because I’m stuck at the gym. I live and breathe gym air 24/7…I’m not going to do it on vacation too.
ENJOY EVERY MINUTE
Enjoy every little thing on vacation. Enjoy different foods within moderation, enjoy different ways of moving and enjoy not having a schedule. You might surprise yourself at the end of your vacation when you’re in “go” mode again how much more enjoyable the gym and your nutrition will feel because you gave your body and mind a much needed vacation. I plan on enjoying every minute of family time and being somewhere different because I know (from experience) that a relaxed body performs much better than a stressed body and I want to come into this meet as relaxed and confident as I can.
CHOCOLATE & PEANUT BUTTER PROTEIN BALLS
2c Old-fashioned oats
16 oz. jar peanut butter
1-2 scoops protein powder (I used vanilla)
1/2c or less flax seeds
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1/4c or less cocoa powder
Dash of cinnamon
1 tbsp. vanilla
Handful chocolate chips
Milk for texture
If you have a food processor place all ingredients except for the chocolate chips and milk into the food processor. Fold in the chocolate chips and if the texture seems too dry to form balls that will stick together add a little bit of milk. I, unfortunately, do not have a food processor but I do have a blender. I put all the dry ingredients in the blender to pulverize the oats and seeds and then folded in the wet ingredients. When all ingredients have been incorporated roll them into balls and then let them set in the fridge. The mixture should make around 20-30 balls depending on how big you make them.