Half the reason I love to travel is because it means I can try new foods and try foods that the country is known for. However a week, or even more, of eating foods you wouldn’t normally eat is bound to make anyone feel sluggish and tired. Also, who can afford to eat out three times a day for weeks on end? So how can we continue our healthy eating on holiday?
We all know that your holiday starts at the airport. Half the fun of flying is going to the (seriously) overpriced newsagent or souvenir store and buying a tube of Mentos or Pringles. Even if you’re having a long car journey, these tips can help you. Instead try to bring snacks from home. Not only will this save you money, but also save you overindulging on sugary, salty snacks. Go for mixed nuts, popcorn or fruit – make sure you can bring it on the flight first! If you’re driving, try to avoid the golden ‘M’ – bring pre-made lunches or try to make a healthy swap.
So, you’ve made it to your hotel/motel/air bnb/Grandma’s house. It’s morning time, so that means breakfast. If your hotel offers a buffet breakfast, there is no need to avoid it. Opt first for fresh fruit, yoghurts and even the scrambled eggs; and try to avoid filling up first on the pastries, bacon and six types of bread. If you’re going out for breakfast, remember that having a ‘Full English’ or ‘Big Brekky’ style meal can be loaded with starchy veg and unhealthy fats. An option like porridge, yoghurt with fruit or avocado on toast is a yummy, healthy breakfast that will keep you full for your day of exploring.
Lunchtime. After a morning of exploring, you must be ravenous. If you are over-organised like myself, you will have researched and mapped out all cafes or restaurants in the area (I don’t like to wander around aimlessly for my food!). If you are super keen, you may have looked at the menu online beforehand as well. This is beneficial as it can show you what’s on offer and you can decide beforehand, without having the panic ordering moment we have all experienced.
After more exploring/wandering/napping/swimming/reading, it’s dinnertime! Again, follow my lunchtime theory of pre-choosing a restaurant. Dinner also means a sneaky drink, but remember that a lot of cocktails are based on juice or soft drink, so read the menu carefully to avoid the hidden sugars. Opt for vegetables as a side dish, avoiding the starchy options such as roast potatoes or ‘fries’.
Finally, it’s dessert. Don’t deprive yourself. You just cannot go to Italy and NOT have gelato, it’s obscene. You also can’t go to Sydney and not try Gelato Messina (do yourself a favour and try it!). Instead of the three scoops, go for one and make sure your friend/partner has a different flavour so you can sneak a try of theirs!
– Eat slowly. Savour the meal and you may find that you fill up quickly (and won’t feel like you need to finish your plate).
– Share a meal if the serving size is known to be large (talking to America!).
– Remember the sneaky kilojoules in salad dressings and drinks – having an evening cocktail is fun but may be full of sugar if you’re not careful (always drink responsibly!).
– Try and avoid processed snacks. Visit a local grocery store and pick up some fresh fruit, nuts or muesli bars (read the label!) if available. This will also save your budget.
– If your hotel allows it, cook dinner once or twice there. This will save money and you can cook something healthy – and also try the fresh produce!
– EVERYTHING IN MODERATION. Don’t go home regretting that you didn’t try the ice cream/gelato/poutine/pasta (the list goes on)!
– Don’t come home planning on having a detox, because you’ve just eaten too much food on your holiday. Read the blog from a few weeks back on detox diet to understand why these words make us cringe!
These are just a few ideas on how to stay healthy on holiday, whilst still not depriving yourself of all the delicious food! What tricks do you use when on holiday to avoid over indulging?