All-Inclusive Vacations

I’m back!  Sorry for the delay in postings.  My husband and I were off on a little babymoon, one last vacation before she arrives!  We went to Florida for a few days to visit his family and my grandma and then to Mexico for some relaxation!

We stayed at the beautiful Royal Hideaway in Playa Del Carmen, and we couldn’t have been happier with our decision.  It was an all-inclusive resort, with fantastic food, great service, and we couldn’t have asked for better weather.

On vacation, I think it’s important to relax and do things you wouldn’t normally do, however, I think it’s important to keep some of your priorities in mind.  For example, it’s ok to splurge a little more than you wouldn’t normally, but if you eat too much at each meal you will start to feel lethargic and not enjoy yourself as much as you could.  Therefore, maintaining a balance is key.  Here’s how I did it.

Exercise: Even though it’s vacation, I think it’s important to continue being active, especially if you’ll be eating more than you normally do.  Dan and I went on daily walks on the beach (1-2 hours each), which I think is one of the best forms of exercise on a beach vacation!  I hit the gym two times.  The resort offered a 30 minute daily yoga or pilates (it switched every day) which I fit in three days.  They also had a daily pool aerobics class that I took one day, which was fun but I was shivering the whole time (the pool was too cold for me!) so I didn’t take it again.

Food: All-inclusives can be challenging, ours was not as hard as some, since the only buffet meal was breakfast.  Here’s how I handled it:

Breakfast: Everyday I had a bowl of muesli (oats, dried fruit, nuts and seeds) mixed with plain yogurt and fat free milk plus a large bowl of fruit (honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple, watermelon, grapes, and kiwi).  On the first two days I also took some eggs, but realized it was too much food!  The muesli was incredibly filling, and very tasty.

Lunch: I started out each meal with a salad of some sort, each restaurant had different options.  If it came with cheese and/or avocado, I tried to leave most of it since it was just my appetizer and I don’t normally eat multiple courses for lunch!  But it was a nice way to get in extra veggies.

Three out of the five days I had chicken fajitas.  I ordered them the first day and loved them so much that they become a staple!  The chicken wasn’t greasy at all and it was served with their delicious guacamole.  They were served with three flour tortillas (whole grains at lunch were not an option), some days I ate two some days all three.  Here’s a photo:

One of the other days I went with plain grilled chicken, vegetables and corn.  And one day I had a personal pizza, it was small about the size of a pita bread topped with lots of vegetables and mozzarella cheese, not the best pizza, but it hit the spot!  Even though dessert was an option with lunch (and free!) we never had any, because we knew we would be getting some with dinner.  Again it’s all about balance.

Afternoon Snacks: We actually didn’t snack much, I think it was because our lunches were larger than normal.  But if I did it was usually on fruit (they stocked our rooms with lots of fresh fruit) or nuts (which I found readily available throughout the resort).

Dinner: This was a really fun part of the vacation because we ate at a different restaurant nightly and they were all delicious!  Unfortunately I don’t have many pictures – but what I can say is that I almost always ordered a salad for an appetizer, then for my main dish I had beef tenderloin two times, sea bass once, and a combo of salmon/chicken one night.  We enjoyed dessert but thankfully the portions were tiny – for example 1 Tablespoon of ice cream on top of a 1″ square slice of cake.  They had an asian restaurant with a hibachi grill that made for a really fun night since we sat at a table for 8 people!  That’s the night that I got the combo of salmon and chicken.  We went to a dinner theater one night and the options were fish or beef, so I got the beef since I had already had fish two times (I limit it since I’m pregnant), and the beef was incredibly tasty.

Even though we ate 3 courses every night, I never felt stuffed because the portions were small.  Here’s an example of an appetizer I got the first night – I thought it was going to be more vegetable heavy, but again it wasn’t an issue since there was maybe 1/4 cup of pasta!  This was sliced portobello mushrooms, linguine with a light pesto and shrimp, it was so delicious!

Alcohol: Obviously I did not partake in the alcohol part of the all-inclusive but it’s possible to drink as much as you like!  Alcohol can leave you dehydrated, tired, and more likely to overeat.  I took advantage of their free bottled water, and guzzled it all day long.  When drinking alcohol, stick with light beer and wine, since the mixed drinks can add hundreds of extra calories.  Balance out the drinking with water, and limit how much you have during the day.  Remember, even though it’s all-inclusive you don’t need to go crazy!

So it’s possible to splurge a little but still feel good about yourself.  I left feeling like I handled the all-inclusive aspect very well, indulging here and there but not leaving stuffed.


3 Responses

  1. Sounds like a wonderful vacation- the picture’s gorgeous!! Glad you got a chance to do some relaxing before the little one comes!

  2. Eve, this was such a timely post! I am going on an all-inclusive vacation in 4 weeks and definitely plan on keeping it balanced but usually I have a hard time following through on my plans. As soon as I get into “vacation mode” all bets are off. Thanks for the reminder and tips on how to enjoy a vacation in a healthy way. I always feel gross towards the end. Hoping to change that this time around. 🙂

  3. Looks like a great vacation, and there are some good reminders in here . . . now, if I could just get us out of here for a little getaway, I could use them!

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