Just because you’re traveling, that doesn’t mean you have to take a vacation from a healthy diet. Yes, many travel destinations have an abundance of wonderful food choices for you to savor, but your journey shouldn’t include a guilt trip because you over-indulged. You want to be able to look back on your voyage fondly, not with regret about your dietary decisions. That means taking steps to ensure that your itinerary includes thoughtful food stops along the way.
First, for the initial stage of your trip, be sure to pack snacks that will satisfy hunger pangs without overdoing it. Examples include trail mix, granola, popcorn, pretzels, raw vegetables, hummus (now available in travel-size packs) and fresh fruit (such as apples, pears or plums) that won’t get squashed or make a mess when you bite in. If you’re traveling internationally, be aware that you may not be able to bring produce with you as you board the plane or cross the border.
Next, after you check in at your hotel (or other accommodation), seek out a nearby grocery store. Provided that your room comes with a refrigerator, you can stock up on healthy foods and keep them on hand for late-night snacks or a quick bite when you pop back in after a day’s activities. Knowing that you have food in your room will also help deter you from hitting a convenience store, vending machine or other less desirable options.
If your hotel serves breakfast, fill up on the lighter selections, including eggs, yogurt, fresh fruit, oatmeal and whole-grain cereals. This helps set the tone for the day and, if you end up having a heavier meal later on, you’ll have already gotten in some healthy fiber to help balance things out.
When you do eat out, opt for sit-down restaurants instead of fast food establishments. That way, you can make sure the food is prepared in a healthier manner – baked or grilled instead of fried, dressings or sauces on the side, etc. You can also request steamed vegetables instead of a starchy side dish. Further, if you explain your dietary needs to your server, the kitchen will be better able to accommodate you. A sit-down meal will likely be more expensive (and take longer) than a grab-and-go fix, but you’ll be happier with yourself afterward. And it can be a pleasure to recall a memorable restaurant and meal when you tell others about your vacation.
Another consideration when you eat out is the menu itself. You can seek out eateries that specialize in healthier fare, or that use home-grown and organic ingredients in their dishes. This can be an excellent way to satisfy your taste buds without packing in the calories and fat. Many restaurants even offer a “lighter side” section on their menus, providing diners with selections that are well-suited to smart, healthy choices. And because restaurants often serve oversized portions, don’t be shy about sharing with others in your party.
Finally, allow yourself a little room to splurge! It would be a shame to visit a foodie mecca – such as New Orleans – without leaving yourself the option of indulging a bit and sampling the local delicacies. Food does help round out the vacation experience, so it can be fun to taste your way through town. Just stick to items that make your travel destination unique, and avoid the everyday foods that you can get at home.
A vacation should be an exquisite experience that gives you the opportunity to relax and unwind. But that doesn’t mean you need to relax your standards when it comes to food. Options abound that make it possible to savor the sights, sounds, smells – even the tastes – so that when you survey the souvenirs of your trip, you don’t count unwanted pounds among them. Start planning the ingredients of your next healthful getaway by giving us a call at (888) 269-0182.