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Simple Vacation Health Tips that are Guilt Free [E027]

family time at the beachEverybody experiences holidays, vacations and birthdays and we all know navigating those events and days can be hard on our health. In this episode, Dr. Bryan Joseph and Dr. Jason Hamed will share vacation health tips and tricks that they have used for years to help keep themselves happy so they too can enjoy the cool moments in life.

Table Of Contents

An Introduction To Vacation Health Tips

Dr. Bryan: All right, back in the studio. Dr. Bryan Joseph here today with my cohost,

Dr. Jason Hamed.

Dr. Bryan: And we are bringing episode 27 to you today, and actually, as always, real excited to bring another podcast to you because they’re continuously working this game of expanding the concept of helping more people understand how to get and stay well, and that’s really what the journey of health and wellness is all about, and we’re excited that we’re a part of that for you, those that are listening and actually enjoying the show so far. So thank you for being here again.

Dr. Jason: Yes, thank you very much.

Dr. Bryan: So today’s topic, we’re going to talk about something that almost everybody experiences because … No, I should say not almost. Everybody does experience because we all have birthdays,

Dr. Bryan: We all experience holidays, and if we’re fortunate enough, we all get to experience vacation health tips and travel opportunities, and navigating the seas during those unique days or weeks sometimes can be something that can throw us so out of kilter in regards to our health, or it can be something that we actually work our way through those events and we don’t feel like we got sideswiped, hung over, totally wrecked, and we can still be a healthy individual going back into our home environment. So today we just want to spend a little time talking about how we personally, as well as how we may advise someone like yourself to stay ahead of the curve and tackle a holiday, a birthday, a travel day, or a trip. So that’s what we’re bringing to you on episode 27.

It’s vacation season

Dr. Jason: Yeah, it’s good. Yeah. I think that it’s really relevant. As the time of our recording right now, it’s a beautiful, beautiful June day in summer and it’s vacation season, right? We see our patients telling us they’re going on vacation health tips for a week, or I know in our family we’ve got a lot of summer birthdays. You’ve got a couple in yours, right? So it’s like, it’s that time. It is absolutely that season.

Dr. Jason: And you know, I think you and I share that same philosophy, is you do these healthy things to enjoy your life. There was definitely a time, and you’ve seen me during this phase, where I was really super rigid, and that rigidity created stress. I’ve gone past that phase, and I recognize the things I do are there to keep me healthy. The things that we advocate to our patients are there to keep them healthy so they can actually enjoy life in those cool moments like vacations, like birthdays, like parties, et cetera. So it’s a great topic and hopefully people get a great deal of benefit out of today.

Dr. Bryan: We want you to actually smile and bring joy into the things that you actually love to do. We don’t believe that you have to be completely rigid, 100% perfect, in every day, in every aspect in order to live a healthy quality life. So with that said, we’re just going to just … we’re going to drop some things that you may want to keep in mind on these days that do show up so that, in the big picture of how you feel on a majority of the year or the years of the decades, but we still get a chance to enjoy them.

How To Remain Hydrated When Traveling

Dr. Bryan: What can you share on how you have approached staying hydrated on trip days, whether it be flight or driving?

Dr. Bryan: What’s realistic?

Dr. Jason: Yeah, let’s be real. So right now I’m going to be speaking as a dad of four, and having that stressor of the, “Hey, dad, I got a pee,” with four different bladders going in the car. Right? Plus myself’s and my wife’s. I think the key with, if you’re talking about long extended road trips and you’re dealing with hydration, I think it’s important to hydrate in the days leading up to and then once you get to your destination.

Dr. Jason: I think during the car ride itself, I wouldn’t be forcing down massive quantities of water unless you just innately were thirsty. That’s one time where I’m not worried. I mean, we’ve got air conditioning. It’s a controlled environment. There’s not a lot of activity. The kids are either reading, drawing, on their technology, whatever the case may be. I’m not going to be stressing much about water and that because of what you just said. I’m not looking for pee breaks every 25 minutes for a four, five, six hour car ride.

Dr. Bryan: It’s not even the car ride. There’s nothing worse than being on an airplane, like in middle row, right? Or in middle seat, and you’re strapped in your seatbelt, and they tell you that you can’t move, and you know you’ve got to go pee and you’re stuck.

Dr. Jason: Yeah, if I travel, tip number one, if I’m going Solo, I’m peeing at least a couple times before I get on the plane, for sure. For sure. Yeah.

How To Properly Approach A Trip

Dr. Bryan: All right. So how do you approach a trip? Like in your mind when someone’s looking at a trip or a vacation, what do you think are some of the key elements that need to be thought through a little bit ahead of time to be able to enjoy their vacation health tips and not get rocked sideways on their health?

Dr. Jason: Well, you threw me a curve, but I’m going to throw you a little bit of a curve ball right now too. I wrote this down as we were getting ready for today’s show is, I think it’s important to identify a difference between a vacation and a trip.

The difference between a vacation and a trip

Dr. Jason: Okay? And for those of you who don’t know what I’m getting at, some of you out there are probably already laughing because you know where I’m going with this. This happened to me, and I’ll tell you a story. So Dr. Whitney and I, my wife and I went on a solo couples only vacation, and we went to a destination.

Dr. Jason: It was a beach, and it was nice, and I thought, “Oh, it’d be so cool to take my whole family and experience this wonderful, cool beach place with them.” And so I packed up all my kids, even brought my mom with us, and me and Whit, and we went to this place, and it was massively different, right? There was a ton of stress. The kids all had activities they wanted to do. It was not relaxing. I couldn’t find any time to get a good solid workout in, and it was, I walked away from that disappointed.

Dr. Jason: So if you’re asking, first you got to clarify, is this a vacation health tips with another consenting adult or adult-like children, or are you taking a trip with your kids and your spouse? That sets an entirely different expectation, and both of them need to get … You needed to handle those.

Dr. Jason: That was 100% a trip. A vacation’s me and my wife or adults, and trip is every time my little kiddos are with us, which is great, but it’s different expectations. So that frame has been set, so here’s how we handle it. Very openly, planning ahead is very, very important. That’s my first key is if we’re going on a trip or a vacation health tips, or this also applies to birthdays or holidays, you got to plan ahead.

Planning ahead is the key

Dr. Jason: So if I know that we’re going to a destination that may not have access to like a Whole Food Markets or nice restaurants or whatnot, then one, either I, if it’s drivable, we may bring some of that, the vegetables, the fruit, the lunch meats, with us. And if it’s not, then I’ll literally start to pack up dehydrated powdered green vegetable, like shake stuff. For those who don’t know, you could actually buy dehydrated vegetables in a canister. You take a scoop out and you put it in water and you mix it up, right? So I’ll take supplementation as well.

Dr. Jason: So if we’re going to a destination where I don’t know how great the food sources are going to be, I’ll just plan on, A, if I can bring some, if not, I’ll supplement as best I can, and then once I get there, I just try my best to find good foods, you know? At least two out of the three meals I’m going to try to eat some vegetables, some meats, and whatnot, and then the third meal if it’s fun, we all go out as a family and then afterwards we have ice cream and it’s a fun restaurant, then it is what it is.

Dr. Bryan: I think traveling on the road and eating on the road offers a lot of unique situations or scenarios. Like it doesn’t always have to be McDonald’s and grabbing a cheeseburger, or even a Subway and getting a foot long, you know, a meatball sub. But I have found and discovered, and I’ll offer this as advice, almost every one of those food destinations has options that are relatively good choices that are set up in a convenient way.

Earning your treat

Dr. Bryan: And what’s really cool now when you go to the airport, yeah, it’s sometimes maybe more fun to sit up at the airport bar and have a beer and maybe grab wings, but you have options to grab some of those pre-cut up fruit platters or even they have all sorts of the coconut waters and hydration and different choices that you can actually make in these little convenient shops so that you’re not really just loading up on chips, Snicker bars, and ice cream. The ice cream part of a vacation is phenomenal.

Dr. Bryan: So don’t rob yourself of those type of joys with you and your family. But what we really want to emphasize is if it’s all that and you’re ignoring the rest of the year, the month, or the week leading up to that vacation health tips, you’re ultimately going to have an experience where your health is going to decline, and nobody really wants that, you know? I don’t think that we want that.

Dr. Jason: No, I don’t think so either. I think that, especially if you’re listening to this podcast, that there’s inherently some value in improving your health or maintaining your health. And again, as Dr. Bryan said, we’re not advocating being militant and not enjoying, or being an aesthetic and not enjoying life, that’s not the case, but instead is, how can you … Like I had said, how can you earn your treat, right? Like if you know that your favorite ice cream shop that you and your kids have been going to for five years is at the end of this shore, then you know what?

Embrace treats but earn it

Dr. Jason: That’s awesome. Embrace that, enjoy that. Go get a mid-day ice cream or go get an evening ice cream. But how can you earn that, right? Like can you go for a walk on the beach? Can you go for a jog on the beach? Can you break a sweat first thing in the morning just to burn some calories so you can earn that treat? Or can you eat a salad as opposed to the wings and beer at lunch so you know that you can have the wings and beer and the ice cream at dinner? Right? It’s just earning it, it’s like positioning it. It’s not go without.

Staying Active While Having A Vacation

Dr. Bryan: Well, think of what you just said, though. Things that we’ve preached over and over on different episodes of motion being life and food being fuel. You know, even if you’re on a road trip and you stop at a rest area or you stop at a restaurant like … Well, let’s talk about a rest area.

Dr. Bryan: So frequently they have a picnic section, and they have the swing set section where your family can get out and actually, rather than hurrying up and getting to your destination and trying to make magic, get the fastest time ever to the 500 mile destination you’re going to, okay, pause, be okay with taking in a few breaths of fresh air. Let your kids go play for 15 minutes or 10 minutes on the picnic area. Let your body move and let their body move, and then get back in the car.

Dr. Jason: 100%.

Dr. Bryan: Right? Or like what you said a second ago is, when you get to your destination, whether it be the beach, I’m not going to lie, I think we all love the sight of the beach, a sunset, the beautiful sea, but man, like is it that much to ask just to go for a walk? Right?

Get your body moving while on vacation

Dr. Jason: No. No. I think if … I mean, heck, we could do an entire .. Well, actually, we did. We did the podcast on grounding and bio-hacks. Like you and I have talked about this. Walking on a beach is one of the most therapeutic, most biologically healthy, rejuvenating activities that a human being can do for numerous reasons. So just by setting the tone for your day of just taking in this wonderful, gorgeous beauty that is the ocean, on top of the grounding effects of the sand, the salt, the earth, everything, that’s a great way to create some capacity, so then enjoy your wings and your beer at night.

Dr. Bryan: As I sit here barefoot in the studio today.

Dr. Jason: Yeah, I was going to comment on that. You’re definitely in the beachy mode. We’ve got the beach picture over here to the side.

Dr. Bryan: I’m grounding. I’m grounding as we sit.

Rent a bike if you can

Dr. Bryan: But lot of those ice cream-like destinations on vacation are within walking distance. Right? So a lot of times you set up shop at your condo or your hotel, and you have a small little downtown area that’s got some vibrancy and some different options. Like we don’t always have to Uber, we don’t always have to get a ride there. I love how a lot of these towns are starting to put those little scooters in place.

Dr. Jason: And the bikes. They can rent a bike now.

Dr. Bryan: You could rent a bike, or your family could walk. Right? Those are great ways to initiate some movement while on vacation health tips.

Dr. Jason: Yeah. Again, remember, the whole context of our discussion today is just not to get derailed during these times. So if health is of a high value to you and you’ve worked so hard through the course of the year to look good in that bathing suit or feel good on the beach, or be able to go play tennis or golf with your family or friends without hurting, then one of the ways you can maintain that while you’re on it is using some of these strategies. You know, again, don’t give it all up, but earn some of that movement.

Bringing Light Equipment While On Vacation

Dr. Jason: Is it just where you and a bunch of family members get together, and that’s wonderful, and you have a bunch of cabins in the woods? Again, awesome, and if that’s your cup of tea, that’s great, but what could you do during that timeframe while you’re there to be active, to move your body? Even if you’re a gym rat like I am, or you like to run in the streets but there’s no streets, there’s no gyms, then you can bring some of that with you. It’s super simple. You’ve seen me do this in the past, and I know you’ve done it as well. Bring sneakers, right? Like just go for a jog.

Dr. Bryan: Or a jump rope or something. Yeah.

Dr. Jason: Yeah, bring some exercise bands. You know, something you can pack with that are minimal weight, that you’re not going to get binged with with the weight on your travel bag.

Dr. Bryan: Yeah, I’m going to suggest don’t bring in like a 35 pound kettlebell.

Dr. Jason: No, don’t do that. Don’t do that.

Dr. Bryan: Stay light, stay light, unless you like paying extra.

Dr. Jason: Stay light. Stay nimble. Stay light. Yeah. And then goggles. You know, if you’re going near water, bring some goggles, that way you could at least get some swim activity. Even if you’re not a proficient swimmer, just getting in, moving your body, not worrying about water in your eyes. Between the goggles, between some exercise bands, and some sneakers or some hiking boots if you’re in the wilderness, those three things are easy to pack, they go anywhere, they’re super light, and they give you the opportunity to move in pretty much any environment.

Find A Rejuvenation Center Nearby

Dr. Bryan: On the topic of planning ahead, because it was one of the points that you brought up there about just being prepared ahead as to what needs to come with you, another great travel tip is just knowing your destination, knowing where you’re going, and actually doing a little research in regards to what other professional opportunities, such as massage or spa or acupuncture or chiropractic or any type of professional that you may want to … I know people move and they go to these health rejuvenation centers, right? That may be a vacation health tips with the intention of getting healthy, but you can actually go on a vacation with your family and sprinkle in a little personal time to make sure that you actually get your cup filled and you get your body taken care of by finding a good professional nearby too.

Dr. Jason: Oh, you know as well as I do, this has happened to us personally many times when our patient’s coming under care, whether they’re in their corrective or the relief phase, or they’re coming in for wellness preventative care, and they say, “Hey, doc, I’m going to Florida. I’m going to be there for two weeks. I’m playing like 18, 36 holes of golf every day. Do you know anyone down there?” And I’ll align them with somebody that’s down in the area.

Ask for a referral if possible

Dr. Jason: Or we’ve even gotten calls where someone got hurt when they were on a vacation and they knew, “Hey, I’ve got to get an adjustment. I’m not going to rough this out. I’m going to get some treatment.” So they call us up, and then I find quickly somewhere that we know, like, or trust that’s down that way that we can get them to. So 100% agree with that.

Dr. Bryan: Very, very true. So I guess another travel tip, if you’re actively under some type of professional guidance or care, whether it be physical therapy, chiropractic care, any treatment plan that you’re in the middle of, it doesn’t mean just because you’re going away for a week that you can’t continue it. Ask for a referral, and actually see if you can’t continue your treatment while you’re away.

Dr. Jason: Yeah, that’s a great … Yeah, a great idea.

Dr. Bryan: Professional athletes do it. Right?

Dr. Jason: Yeah, 100%. Yup. So you know, just one other thing too is, as I jokingly said about the vacation health tips and the trip, is you really do need to get clear on what the purpose of the trip is, and be realistic. I think oftentimes that some of the things that drives bad choices when we are on a trip is we have unrealistic expectations, right? Like so our expectations are where something should be. It should be calming, relaxing, rejuvenating.

Recognize what you are stepping into

Dr. Jason: Yet, if we’re chasing a bunch of kids or we’ve hyper scheduled our vacation days, now all of a sudden we’re exhausted or stressed, and so what do we do? When you’re stressed or exhausted, you’re not like saying, “Oh, you know what? I think I should have a green smoothie, maybe meditate and go for a nice walk on the beach.”

Dr. Jason: So seriously though, folks, when you’re planning your vacation, recognize what are you stepping into, and be realistic, because if you’re realistic with what your time constraints and all the little human beings or big human beings that you’re traveling with and all the energies and emotions that they’re bringing with you got to navigate around, now all of a sudden you can say really easily, “Hey,” turn to your spouse and say, “Listen, I’m going to start this day off with a quick walk.

Dr. Jason: Can you watch the kids while I go for a 30 or 40 minute walk?” Right? Or, “Hey, listen, I just need to recharge. I’m going to go get a quick breakfast, and I’ll be here and I’ll be ready to go. I’ll be totally focused and supercharged for these kids so we go to Disney or we go to the amusement park or we can go fishing in the boats all day and I can be their guide,” versus saying, “Oh, I was really hoping to get relaxed, recuperated, rejuvenated on this trip and I’m not, and so instead I’m going to drink myself to oblivion, forget all this, and then gain 15 pounds because of poor choices just so I didn’t have to think about how freaking stressed I was on vacation health tips.”

Staying Disciplined During Holidays and Birthdays

Dr. Bryan: Let’s bounce to a different category because this is family vacations. This is travel. Earlier I mentioned that we were going to touch on holidays and birthdays as well. So what I find in holidays, you can share your opinion, is it’s holidays offer an opportunity, so do birthdays, where a lot of our favorites start to show up, right? Aunt Betty’s banana cream pie or so-and-so’s got the famous chocolate chip cookies, and you’re in these environments where there’s a social gathering, and it’s so tempting to not just want to devour the entire dessert tray because you’ve got all these homemade picnic-looking phenomenal foods that we’re drawn into. How do we stay disciplined in that environment to execute moderation.

Dr. Jason: You’re asking the wrong guy. That’s a set up question, folks. He knows I’m not a guy of moderation, so maybe I should rewind that entire question and ask him. I’ll tell you what my take on it is –

Dr. Bryan: But if we can’t exercise moderation, how do we get back on track quickly right after that?

Dr. Jason: All right, so hold on. So I’m not the most moderate person in the world. For those of you who know me that are listening to this, you know this. For those of you who are listening, just I’m being honest, I definitely don’t live in moderation. It’s something I continue to work on. However, what I will do to justify the fact that I intend to eat about 12 of those cookies and half of that entire pie is that I’ll earn it, like I said before, like so I’ll make sure that morning, on Thanksgiving morning

Believing in soul food

Dr. Jason: I’m the guy who’s out there who’s going to crush a run, who’s going to do a workout knowing that I’m about to consume stupid amounts of fun foods, right? And then afterwards I’ll take the food coma, and then the next day, instead of going back for 12 more cookies and another half pie, I’ll get back on track. So I definitely allow myself to go off the range, but I know that I’m giving myself permission for that timeframe or for that wonderful food because, openly, I think there’s a spiritual connection with some of those foods, right?

Dr. Jason: Like so, you know this probably, like chicken wings mean a lot to me, and I like to eat them, and I eat lots of them when I get them in front of me. And because part of it, I believe there’s a soul food, I really do believe in soul food, because I remember so many times eating with my friends or my dad and my brother, and so every time I eat them, in many ways I can go back to that time. So for me, I just embrace it. I think it’s a beautiful thing. It’s, emotionally, it makes me feel good, but I also recognize that I have to earn the ability to eat them out of moderation.

The 80:20 Rule For Food

Dr. Bryan: So real clearly what I’m taking away from that is like the 80:20 rule, right? Like if we actually treat ourself right 80% of the time, then these episodes of a celebration and a holiday or a gathering or even a birthday are totally okay for you to let loose within reason. Right?

Dr. Bryan: And express yourself in a way that actually makes you feel happy for that 20%, knowing that you’re about to get right back in the raft and get back on track.

Dr. Jason: You know, it’s funny because I believe because I experience this myself and I know we’ve seen patients over the last 16 years who’ve seen this, is just when you actually start to eat and move and think in that way of the 80:20 rule, like where you’re actually putting nourishing things into your mind, body, and moving your body in a nourishing way, that when you do go off range, you actually don’t like how you feel, and so instinctively you want to go right back to being in that good 80:20 zone, right? Because I think once you start feeling good and you can now feel bad, you don’t want to feel bad for long. You want to get back to feeling good.

Stay healthy as long as you want

Dr. Bryan: Makes sense. Look, really, what I wanted to make sure was real clear here is that we don’t live a life of perfection. Our intention is to keep ourself healthy as long as we possibly can and help to foster advice or different tips that we’ve accumulated over the course of our life to try to help you also stay healthy as long as you want to stay healthy.

Dr. Bryan: There’s a realistic side to everything, which sometimes perfectionism and realism aren’t the same thing, and it’s real important to understand that we like to enjoy ourself. You should be enjoying yourself in these episodes where you’re traveling and you’re actually having celebrations, but get back on track as soon as you possibly can. And those of you that have outstanding momentum, there’s some people that have been working so hard to try to lose weight or to actually detoxify their body or to rehab a certain injury. Man, these tips that we’re trying to offer are probably the most valuable for you. Just because it’s a vacation or a travel arrangement or celebration doesn’t mean you have to get off and lose the momentum.

Dr. Jason: That’s 100% right. I’m glad you brought that up, Dr. Bryan, because that’s a very, valid point. Many of the things we talked about was about enjoying and embracing vacation for people that are on a good track, but if you are, if you’re recovering, if you’re rehabbing, if you’ve made a major emotional and even physical gains over the last year by dedicating your life to improving your health, or if you’re training for a big event, then oftentimes some bad choices can really derail you.

Closing Thoughts

Dr. Jason: And so yeah, you’ve got to guard your heart and guard your mind, even guard your company if you need to for that time period. If you’re really working on changing your life, changing your habits so they become truly part of you, there’s a difference between, hey, it’s soul food, treat food, and not being moderate when you actually are still learning to ingrain these habits as a lifestyle or recovering from an injury or training for a big event. That’s different. Yeah, that’s a whole different game. I’m glad you brought that up.

Dr. Bryan: Well, I have one closing thought. If you’re somebody that does a lot of travel for business, typically the biggest amount of destruction takes place late at night, and if you can just accept and embrace the fact that it’s okay to leave the social scene by 9:00 and go to sleep or go watch a movie versus feeling that you got to just bury yourself into an environment that’s going to make you feel crummy, you will be way better off as time goes on.

Dr. Jason: I would agree.

Dr. Bryan: So hey, thanks again for listening. This is episode 27. You could find it on We’re also listed in several different directories now, so if you don’t like going to the website to listen, you can listen on Apple Podcasts, you can go to Stitcher, you can go to Google Podcasts, or you can go to Spotify. If you found this valuable, if you liked what you heard and there’s somebody that you would like to share it with, please do so, because that is the whole purpose of this podcast is to help more people get well and stay well. Take care.

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