Brooke Burke: My Rules for Healthy Vacation Eating
7 mins read

Brooke Burke: My Rules for Healthy Vacation Eating

My recent family vacation was the perfect set up for 5 lbs of decadence and too many spirits.  Since my team booked a healthy cover shoot for a fitness magazine the DAY AFTER my return, I knew I had to find the balance between enjoyment and discipline. You know that fine line between splurging and total indulgence.  Worst of all I was on a family cruise where you can literally eat 24hrs a day. I’m seriously not a fitness freak, but my goal was to stay fit and be in my best shape possible for my cover shoot.  Talk about bad timing. 

My golden rule has always been about portion control. I eat well, I eat often, but I eat smart. First I scoped out the gym on board, in search of any fun and dynamic classes they had to offer.  I signed up for a 4 day boot camp with my 2 teenagers that was an all or nothing commitment.  I knew that would keep us honest & give us a total body work out.  David and I signed up for a cycle class and I packed my ipod and head phones to keep me motivated.  I’m always driven by my BOOTY BURN playlist and I’m able to lose myself in a great beat.  Taking care of 5 kids  (my busy brood plus 1 friend) is usually enough cardio, but I know my body and all the benefits I get from working out.  It’s as much for my head and my stress level then it is for my booty.  It’s my hour of “me-time” – my selfish escapism and truly the daily gift I have no guilt about splurging on.

Rule #1 is to knock my work-out out 1st thing in the am so no excuses get in my way. 

Rule #2 is Be Stronger Than Your Excuses!

My normal am routine at home is a shake (recipe)  but when traveling I can always find a healthy 2nd.

Rule #3 is Eat Small, Eat Often & Eat Smart.  I started each day with coffee, no-if-and-or-buts-about-it. Then a fresh papaya and a small bowl of muesli with mixed berries.  Regular oatmeal and berries would have been a great choice too.  Lunch is always my big meal. I love a huge crunchy veggie salad with chicken or grilled fish. On some days I had a Nicoise salad or a chicken caesar wrap (1/2 the tortilla).  I drank tons of water, with lemon when possible and often a light beer.  I’m keeping it totally real and yes, a lunchtime cocktail is allowed on vacation!  To be totally honest, mid day I always hit the soft serve, a small swirl on waffle cone, which by the way is fat-free and the sugar I was certain to burn off.  We spent our days in the Caribbean sea, walking around different islands and I took the stairs while on board.  There were 16 floors so you can imagine the leg work out I got keeping track of my kids.

I hate the word diet =  “DIE-T”  But I do stick to a pretty basic philosophy.  I eat fresh when possible, colorful as I can, and I avoid these basic things. (flour, sugar, and processed foods).  Which basically saves me from most packaged junk items.  I do eat bars, when I can’t get a meal and I do believe eating something is far better than eating nothing.

My afternoon pick-me-up or exhaustion remedy on board was sliced fruit, (no grapes or bananas) and a green tea.  I love a dbl soy or almond milk latte when I can find one – I recently gave up milk and I feel much better.

Dinner was all about protein, veggies, and red wine.  I love fish & lean meat. I always start with a crunchy salad dressed in vinaigrette and I stick to my entree order….meaning I do not eat off everyone else’s plate which is so easy and temping in a big family (especially Shaya’s fried chicken and pasta).  I think every mom is tempted by the yummy junky choices our kids are lucky enough to pack in.  Fortunately this is the time that my teenagers are choosing to eat super healthy and 7 yr. old Rain can dine with the best of em.  She loves it all and will try anything.  I’m never afraid of the calories from a glass of wine a night. Plus I have totally earned it by day’s end.  If I need a cocktail, my drink of choice is tequila on the rocks with a squeeze of fresh orange.  Low calorie, no mixers and it’s a high energy drink. This is my vacation breakdown so please don’t worry that I’m drinking too much – I actually I don’t drink enough.  We usually skip dessert as a family, not because my kids aren’t allowed, we’re just not big sugar fans.  If you put a margarita pizza in front of us with spicy olive oil, any one of us would be quick to order 2nds! My French husband loves to eat and needs double the calories of a normal guy just to keep weight on (poor baby). He’s literally sitting next to me with a ham and cheese sandwich, bag of chips, hummus and pretzels plus a dbl chocolate chip cookie. Then there’s the rest of us trying to find the groove where we can eat and maintain our ideal physique. 

I am so often asked in interviews what I eat and how I stay fit.  The bottom line is that I DO eat, I’m a total foodie, and I work out hard to balance it all.  Anywhere you go you can find healthy choices. It’s not only what you eat but how much you eat.  Find things that you enjoy and don’t give up everything you love.  Work out harder on your splurge days. 

Rule #4 If You’re Not Sweating You’re Not Working Out Hard Enough.

I have 2 more days till my shoot and I’m on my way home.  I’ll work out when we arrive because it make me feel so much better after a long day of traveling and water retention from being on a long flight.  Sunday I’ll teach my Booty Burn class which is the best sweat I know and Monday am before my shoot I’ll squeeze in a soul-cyle class. I’ve been riding with my daughters and we all love the Family Fitness angel.  I’m addicted and it makes me feel so great to start my day out with a super sweat. Make fitness a lifestyle.




Leave a Reply