P's Travel Diaries - What I Learned This Summer

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over… where has half of this year gone?! So many great milestones have happened in these past few months at P.volve, from new product launches to the new streaming library, and not to mention so many more of YOU and your incredible fitness evolutions! Even after all that, we’re just getting started—I can’t wait to reveal what the rest of this year has to offer for everyone.

For the past couple of years, I always make it a point to take a 2-week vacation during the end of the summer, which usually means heading off to Europe! Traveling is one of my greatest sources of inspiration and keeps my creativity alive. Exploring new cities, cultures and seeing how other people live has a very real effect on me, and I always come back to NYC with new ideas and new workouts. I thought I might share some highlights and healthy takeaways from this year’s trip!

The food is always unreal…

Let’s start off by saying that, hands down, food quality is far greater in Europe than it is here in America. I always joke with my clients about how we could all go away to Europe, eat bread, pasta, pizza and drink all the time and never feel bloated or have any stomach issues. It’s frustrating for sure, but that just means I like to take full advantage of this when I am overseas and tend to loosen the reigns on what I eat.

fresh pasta

Everything is made with the freshest ingredients; they hardly use salt in excess like we do; no butter, and all homemade bread, dough and sauces. I always love tasting the local fruits and vegetables, which are more flavorful than even the freshest “organic” produce here in the States, and my dinners are typically spent eating the “Catch of the Day” (literally always caught that same day) or freshly handmade pizzas and pastas. When it comes to those more indulgent plates, here are my best tips to keep from going overboard:

  • Ask for cheese on the side so that you’re in control of how much you add
  • Ask them to make you my wife’s favorite pasta dish-- spaghetti with sautéed zucchini, lemon, olive oil and basil. It’s so simple, and I’d be shocked if any authentic Italian restaurant couldn’t whip this up for you.
  • For a healthier pizza option, ask for tomato sauce with arugula on top, any other veggies you like, and a little drizzle of balsamic over top. When Rachel started ordering this, I actually grew to prefer it over my usually cheesy choices.

Kicking back with a cold one…

I’m not big on drinking alcohol when I’m home in NYC, as I am working most days, but when I’m on vacation, I do enjoy treating myself to an Aperol Spritz. Simply mixing the Italian liquor with a bit of prosecco is incredibly refreshing, especially on the hottest of days.

Overall, the biggest key factor in drinking is keeping it simple. Know what alcohols work for you (I can drink Vodka just fine while it makes my wife sick to her stomach), and avoid using processed juices or sugary mixers. Instead, try infusing your drink with fresh fruit, vegetables or herbs like mint and basil. Of course, you should also be drinking plenty of water in between cocktails, and if you’re prone to ordering one too many, try to make smarter choices later on in the night and the following day. Don’t go for that 4AM late night meal, or the typical greasy American “hangover” breakfast. Rather, drink some fresh-squeezed OJ in the morning to hydrate and add nutrients back to the body.

Less work, more play…

Even though we are in relaxation mode and may not want to be following our usual routine, there are many more ways to be active than just doing deliberate workouts. If you’re headed to a new city, there is no better way to explore and really take it all in than by walking! This year, we started out in Rome, and I loved walking around looking at different neighborhoods and just absorbing all the architecture of the city. As I mentioned before, I also spent tons of time in the ocean-- swimming is a total body toner, as are other water sports like paddle boarding and my new obsession, sea bops!

Remember, the great thing about P.volve is that every workout is highly functional, meaning we are training in movements that are authentic in everyday life. All the stepping patterns, rotations and reaches come into play on your vacation even if you don’t realize it; we are activating new muscles so that whether you are walking, hiking, swimming or biking, those new muscles are working even without you knowing it! So, if ever you feel like taking a week or so off, it is OK-- you deserve it, and rest assured that those muscles are still engaging from the time you wake up till you go to sleep.

As I write this, I realize there are tons of other travel tips that I want to share with you guys—more than I can fit in one post! Stay tuned for much more to come in our upcoming Travel Series, and let me know in the comments below what you want to hear more about in particular!