What It’s Like to Be a Registered Dietitian in Sin City

I've been living in Las Vegas for almost three years now, and what a whirlwind it has been! Adopting the "Vegas lifestyle" has been exciting, exhausting…and expensive. While the dust settles on my sundrenched Scandinavian skin, I have learned how to both thrive and save in this 24-hour city. As a dietitian, my main focus is with our health and wellness. As we embark on another year of prize fights, big-time galas, and networking events, here are my seven tips for living in the Vegas Valley with vitality and vibrancy.

1. Alcohol
I have found that my alcohol intake has increased while living here. My gaming has also increased. For me, the two go hand-in-hand. Just because the cocktail waitresses seem to come to the table faster and faster doesn't mean you need to order a drink every time. Sip and savor the complimentary cocktails. Try alternating your drinks with a bottle of water or seltzer. And don't forget to tip (more on that later).

2. Sleep
Living in a 24-hour city doesn't mean you need to adopt a party-all-the-time lifestyle. It doesn't matter how you do it, you need to get your sleep. Put up "blackout" curtains in your bedroom to keep your sleep environment darker for longer. Like a true Las Vegan, I seem to sleep best after arriving home while the sun is coming up.

3. Fluids
Drink water. Lots of water. I have had many clients tell me they are sick of water. If you feel the same, I recommend making your own caffeine-free iced-tea. Purchase some loose-leaf tea, boil water, add the tea to steep, remove leaves, and cool the pitcher in the fridge. Try adding a little pinch of Stevia or sugar to sweeten up your glass.

4. Exercise
Find your favorite physical activities that are within your time and financial budget. Lifting weights and cardio machines can do the trick. But you don't necessarily need a gym membership. Try hiking at Red Rock, climbing Lone Mountain, or just running down the Strip a few days a week. Just get your body moving. The extra physical exertion throughout the week will build your stamina to allow you to dance longer on the weekends.

5. Sun and Fun
We Las Vegans love a pool, sun, liquor and bare skin. I have learned that floppy hats and cabanas can be good for your health. Take breaks from the sun to recycle yourself. It's so easy to dehydrate while in the sun with an alcoholic beverage. Take the downtime to refresh yourself, rehydrate with water, and reapply the SPF. Facials are expensive and skin cancer is no joke. Take care of yourself while you have fun.

6. Allergies
I thought my allergies were bad while living in the Midwest, but here in Vegas they are 10-times worse. I have adapted through a method I never realized would be as effective as it has been. One trip to an aromatherapist has stopped my allergy-induced asthma in its tracks. This has truly changed my life. I still carry antihistamines in my purse at all times in case other issues occur, but no more breathing treatments one to three times a day.

7. Karma and Tipping
We live in a city where the main industry is service oriented. Please tip. In fact, over-tip. Leaving 15 percent on a food bill isn't the standard out here (20 is the new average). There's a big difference between pouring a regular coffee and concocting a double-decaffeinated mocha latte, extra hot, with extra whip and sprinkles. Sure, the latter might cost more, but the barista didn't set the prices. They sure worked a lot harder to make the drink though. If you can't tip more out of compassion for others, then think of it as you personally helping boost our local economy. Just remember, what goes around comes around.

We may only have one life to party hard, but we also only have one body to make the journey. Party in moderation and enjoy it all to the fullest!

Crystal Petrello on Twitter
Crystal Petrello
Crystal Petrello, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is the founder of PartyRightLife.com. Follow her on Twitter.