6 Ways to Prep for a Beach Vacation

6 Ways to Prep for a Beach Vacation || Runway Chef #traveltips #healthytips Whenever I find out that I’m going on a tropical getaway, I usually come up with some elaborate plan as to how I’m finally *finally* going to get a 6-pack. I head to my favorite grocery store, find my favorite beer, pick up a 6-pack and head to the check-out lane. Kiiiiidddddddinnngggg! My real plan for a real 6-pack usually involves lots of smoothies, an intense routine of daily hour-long ab workouts, military-style runs around the neighborhood, and basically swearing off food until said trip. If you know me, I’m sure you’re laughing by now because we both know me swearing off food is the biggest joke ever. I mean have you seen my blog??! Two days ago I posted a dip compromised of cheese, beer & bacon. Yesterday, I was in the kitchen up to my eyeballs in cupcakes, chocolate, caramel, cookies, cream, and butter. “Diet” is not exactly a word that is in my vocabulary. Instead, I subscribe to the philosophy “everything in moderation” (and by moderation I clearly mean moderately testing all foods to make sure they are ok!). When it comes to preparing for a beach vacation, I’ve learned to adopt the same philosophy. Starving yourself and stuffing green juices down your throat isn’t going to give you an instant 6-pack, but incorporating a few of the below healthy tips into your vacation prep will help you put your best foot forward once you hit the beach.

Lemon Detox Water 1. Drink detox water // When I’m gearing up for the beach, I usually start making at least half my daily water intake some kind of detox water. At the minimum, you’ll want to make sure you’re having at least one glass of detoxifying water a day. 

2. Avoid foods that cause bloating // Broccoli, brussel sprouts, onions, beans, lentils, peas, asparagus, cabbage, sugarless gum, apples, frozen dinners, processed foods, carbonated beverages,  and some dairy products can all cause your stomach to expand. To insure a flat stomach try incorporating some of these items into your diet: lemons (hello lemon detox water), avocados, kale & spinach (both can be added to smoothies), eggs, nut butters, bananas, salmon, and non-fat Greek yogurt (also good for those probiotics).

Orangeberry Smoothie via @runwaychef #breakfast #healthy #fruit 3. Replace a snack with a smoothie // I’m all for snacking but I’ve found that one of the easiest ways for me to cut a few extra calories prior to a trip is to replace a snack with a smoothie. Plus, it’s a great way for me to pack lots of nutrients into one small beverage. Here are some of my favorite smoothie combinations. I also love this orangeberry smoothie.

6 Ways to Prep for a Beach Vacation || Runway Chef #traveltips #healthytips 4. Incorporate dietary supplements // Part of my daily vitamin routine is to take a probiotic and digestive enzyme with every meal. To see effective results this is something that you need to incorporate into your daily routine well before your vacation. However, there are some other effective ways to get probiotics in your system in only a couple weeks time. My favorite way is with yogurt, but I also really like drinking probiotic beverages. We discovered GoodBelly juice by accident, but now we love drinking it. We even add it to seltzer water for a “soda”. My favorite flavor is the Pomegranate Blackberry.

5. Cut portions in half // This is a habit I try to do on the daily, but it’s one I especially make sure to stick to leading up to a trip. It’s hard to completely resist the urge to have a cupcake or a slice of pizza, so cutting the serving in half ensures I won’t feel guilty now and I won’t binge later.

DIY Pumpkin Scrub 6. Use a body scrub // I always make sure to use a good body scrub prior to leaving on a beach vacation. My favorite is this homemade pumpkin scrub (perfect for this time of year) because the coffee helps with cellulite, the pumpkin is full of enzymes, and the coconut oil is moisturizing.

How do you prepare for a beach vacation?

Happy Hour

Beacon Falls, NY || || Happy Hour @runwaychef #NYstate #travel {Beacon Falls in Upstate NY}

I have to tell you guys the funniest story. Well, at least I think it’s funny, but maybe I’m just crazy. Last Friday, I’m sitting at my desk, dealing with a ridiculous wine pizza hangover (#strugglecity) from NYCWFF. I’m typing out an email, when I start hearing a clicking noise, a click that is definitely not coming from my keyboard. Thinking I’m imagining things based on a lack of sleep, I continue typing. The noise gets louder, so I turn to check it out, and as I do, a furry little face peeks up at me from the foot of my desk. Keep in mind, we have no pets. Within the span of 0.5 seconds I realize it’s a squirrel, scream like someone just got murdered in front of me, frantically start dialing my husband, and jump on the couch. What can I say? It was a productive half second. After I calm down/remember how to breath/don’t pass out, I inspect our screen door to find that the squirrel had some how weaseled his way underneath the screen. He had run back out of the apartment when I screamed, but needless to say I’ve now been extra careful when I leave the door open as the neighborhood squirrel is not exactly my ideal assistant. In addition to wild animal intruders, this week has been a bit of a busy one, so I’m looking forward to heading to the Caribbean this weekend for one of my best friend’s weddings.

Do you guys have any fun plans coming up? And I have to ask, any funny encounters with wild animals in your home? Please tell me I am not the only one!

Morning Glory Flowers || Happy Hour @runwaychef #flowers {Even though it’s starting to get cold, there are still a few flowers in bloom}

City of Beacon, NY || Happy Hour @runwaychef #NYstate #travel {Exploring Beacon, NY after a hike…we got a waffle sandwich from YogoWaffle and a Bleu Boar grilled cheese from Beacon Bread Company, both of which were really good}

abandoned house, upstate NY || Happy Hour @runwaychef #travel #explore #upstateNY {Ever since Mr. RC and I discovered this Instagram account, we’ve become obsessed with abandoned things, usually simultaneously shouting “It’s abandoned!” when we see something that looks abandoned (obviously). You know we said that about this house, which you know means we had to take a picture of it.}

Halloween Candy Bar || Happy Hour @runwaychef {The festive Halloween candy bar at the JCPenney lounge at NYCWFF}

when everything feels like a struggle, just think of the view from the top

Gouda, Bacon & Beer Cheese Dip

Gouda, Bacon & Beer Cheese Dip @runwaychef #appetizers I’m literally at a loss for words. Not because I don’t have anything to say (believe me….I have plenty to say). Instead, it’s because of this dip. This gouda, bacon and beer cheese dip is so good it has literally put my tongue and my tastebuds into one ridiculous food coma and I can’t even formulate a proper sentence. So I’m breaking it down for you and giving you only the most important of details. 1) Cheeeeese. Gouda. Smoked. Get on it. 2) Bacon. We’ve gone over this a million times. Everything is better with bacon. 3) Beer. Because….because…just because?! It’s like so many bad-for-you ingredients combined into one deliciously good dip that I can’t even deal.

P.S. Stay tuned for a fun beer post coming up that will be perfect paired with this cheese dip.

P.S.S. If you want to make homemade pretzels to go with your dip, I recommend these.

Gouda, Bacon & Beer Cheese Dip @runwaychef #appetizers Gouda, Bacon & Beer Cheese Dip @runwaychef #appetizers Gouda, Bacon & Beer Cheese Dip @runwaychef #appetizers Gouda, Bacon & Beer Cheese Dip @runwaychef #appetizers

Gouda, Bacon & Beer Cheese Dip
A warm fall treat to serve with pretzels or crackers as a snack or appetizer
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 4 slices of bacon (I used a smoked, thick-cut bacon)
  2. 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  3. 1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
  4. 3/4 cup ale (or other type of dark beer)
  5. 1 heaping teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  6. 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  7. 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  8. 1 1/2 cups smoked Gouda cheese, grated
  9. Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Begin by chopping the bacon into bite size pieces. Then toss it into a large saucepan set over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until it gets brown and crispy, stirring every few minutes. Once the bacon is done cooking, remove the pieces to a paper towel and set them aside.
  2. To the bacon fat add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and beer. Next add the mustard, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Turn the heat up to medium-high and continue whisking until the mixture thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Begin adding the cheese about a 1/4 cup at a time, making sure each batch of cheese has melted before adding the next one. Continue whisking until the cheese is all melted. If there are any lumps remaining, you can always use an immersion blender to smooth the dip out. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
  1. Serve with pretzels or crackers. While I typically prefer homemade soft pretzels, you can also use store bought ones if you're short on time. They sell them in large or nugget size in the freezer section and take just a few minutes to heat up. If I do use the store bought pretzels, I like to jazz them up by brushing them with melted butter, then sprinkling them with salt flakes, minced dried garlic and/or herbs like chives or parsley before heating them in the oven.
  2. Store leftover cheese dip in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly.
Adapted from Williams & Sonoma
Adapted from Williams & Sonoma
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
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As If….

Paris Schoolgirl || Gingham shirt, Chanel-like jacket, black skirt  and knee-high socks @runwaychef All’s I could think when I put on this outfit was how Parisian it made me feel. However, those pleasant Parisian thoughts were immediately interrupted with an “As if!”, because knee-high socks, total “Clueless” move. While this isn’t the outfit you’ll see me reaching for on the regular (this outfit is more my daily speed), that doesn’t mean I don’t like to have fun with my style. I’ve been lusting after Paris something fierce so clearly those dreams manifested in the form of this outfit. I’m not sure how the gingham print ended up in there, but there it is. And the knee-high sock trend everyone is rocking as of late? Puhhhh-lease. I’ve got those knee-highs on lockdown. I’ve been rocking them since camp in the 5th grade (I think I even got a few of the boys to pull their soccer socks up to their knees….I’m just such a trendsetter, what can I say?!). In the words of Mr. RC, I look like a “Clueless Parisian schoolgirl.” As if…..

P.S. You can see how else I styled knee-highs, as well as 2 other ways to wear tights, here.

Paris Schoolgirl || Gingham shirt, Chanel-like jacket, black skirt  and knee-high socks @runwaychef Paris Schoolgirl || Gingham shirt, Chanel-like jacket, black skirt  and knee-high socks @runwaychef Paris Schoolgirl || Gingham shirt, Chanel-like jacket, black skirt  and knee-high socks @runwaychef Paris Schoolgirl || Gingham shirt, Chanel-like jacket, black skirt  and knee-high socks @runwaychef Vintage Jacket // Target Gingham Shirt (borrowed from the hubs, similar here) // H&M Skirt // Kushyfoot Knee-Highs c/o // Giuseppe Zanotti // Chanel Bag

Morning Skin Care Boost

Olay Fresh Effects {Soak Up The Sun Protection} || Runway Chef #beauty #skincare #FreshToSchool For me, my morning routine starts with getting a full 8 hours of sleep, or at least in my dream world it does. Unfortunately, the reality is that I have a wandering mind, noisy neighbors, and a New York City apartment, so I consider myself lucky when I get 6-7 hours of sleep. To make up for my lack of sleep, I try to live a very healthy lifestyle. I take vitamins, drink lots of water, workout every day, start my day with fresh fruit and hot tea, and fill my plate with as many organic, whole foods as I can. But sometimes, even that isn’t enough. To get an extra boost I rely on skin care products. I’m sure you all remember me talking about my crazy skin allergies, so the search to find products that are both safe for my skin AND beneficial isn’t always easy. However, I was recently introduced to a product that does not upset my skin, but it is also perfect for rejuvenating after nights with little sleep. Olay Fresh Effects {Soak Up The Sun Protection!} Lightweight Moisturizing Sunscreen is beauty sleep in a bottle (minus the sleep part). It’s infused with the essence of honeysuckle and white tea, which helps your skin to look refreshed and ready to face the day. It also has SPF 15 in it. I feel good using this product knowing that I am nourishing my skin and helping it to stay beautifully protected.

What is your morning routine like and how do you make up for a lack of sleep? Do you use the Olay Fresh Effects products?

Olay Fresh Effects {Soak Up The Sun Protection} || Runway Chef #beauty #skincare #FreshToSchool Olay Fresh Effects {Soak Up The Sun Protection} || Runway Chef #beauty #skincare #FreshToSchool Olay Fresh Effects {Soak Up The Sun Protection} || Runway Chef #beauty #skincare #FreshToSchool Olay Fresh Effects {Soak Up The Sun Protection} || Runway Chef #beauty #skincare #FreshToSchool This post was sponsored by Olay Fresh Effects through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Olay Fresh Effects, all opinions are my own.