I don’t know about the rest of you but I have always found it extremely challenging to eat healthy while away on vacation. Today I am excited to share an article by guest Blogger Cole Millen on the best way to maintain a healthy diet when travelling. I hope that he is able to provide you with useable tips for remaining healthy while away on vacation!
Eating Healthfully While On Vacation
Eating in a healthy way while on vacation may prove to be quite a challenge for some people. This is especially true if you are visiting an area of the country or world that tends to favor very rich, high calorie dishes. When you are sampling North American cuisine, eating a grilled piece of fish at a restaurant off the coast of Maine will provide you with heart healthy omega 3 fish oils and contains significantly less saturated fat when compared to a meal of Texas barbecue ribs. The same is true when you are travelling internationally. Eating a rich, gravy-laden pot roast in England will be much higher in calories and unhealthy fats than a grilled chicken dish with grape leaves and fresh vegetables that you might find in Greece.
If you do choose to travel to a destination that favours rich foods, bringing and/or buying some staple items is critical to maintaining a healthy, balanced diet while away on vacation. Upon arrival at your hotel, the very first step to maintaining a healthy diet is to ask the desk clerk to lock the minibar in your hotel room. That way you are not tempted to snack on high calorie foods. Try to find out if the hotel offers a continental breakfast. This will allow you to eat a healthy breakfast full of fruit as well as a high fiber and low sugar cereal such as oatmeal. This will help to nourish you for the day ahead and stabilize your blood sugar levels preventing you from crashing and binge eating later on in the day.
When you are ready to go out for dinner, asking the hotel concierge for recommendations of local restaurants that specialize in regional cuisine will often steer you in the direction of a healthy and freshly prepared meal. Chain restaurants that advertise family-size portions will usually be very high in calories and fat. If you stick to local restaurants that are recommended to you by the hotel staff, you will usually be delighted. Of course, ordering entrees that are prepared by grilling or baking will help to ensure that your meals are healthy and nourishing.
When you arrive at your hotel, it is also helpful to ask the concierge if he or she knows where the nearest health food store is located. It is also key to have a small refrigerator placed in your room. This way you can stock up on healthy snack and meal items as soon as you arrive allowing you to stick to a healthy eating plan while on vacation.
Another great option is to bring a small crockpot to the hotel. This will enable you to cook simple and nutritious meals instead of always dining out. There are many meals that are quite simple to prepare in a crockpot including chicken with vegetables and brown or wild rice. Other dishes such as jambalaya as well as a variety of soups can simply be put together in the morning so that they are waiting for you when you return to your room at night.
Bringing a few staple items with you to the hotel will also help to offset food cravings. Whole grain breads, nuts such as almonds and walnuts, all natural energy bars such as Vega and Pure bars, all natural and unsweetened peanut butter or almond butter, as well as fruits and vegetables are all good choices. Hard boiled eggs are also very transportable and lovely to eat for breakfast with a piece of fresh fruit. Most hotels will offer rooms with microwave ovens, which will further enhance your in-room cooking options.
It is very important to do research prior to booking your vacation to ensure that the hotel offers the amenities that you need for your your healthy lifestyle. I have found that the best way to do this is to look up reviews regarding the hotels in the area that you are staying. Consumer reviews tend to give you the best insight, as they are unbiased and based on personal experiences. I recently took a trip west and found a great site that listed the top hotels in Las Vegas and it offered reviews regarding all the amenities, restaurants, and even things to do. This made it much easier to plan a healthy week.
If you can follow these simple yet strategic steps, you will find yourself having a blast on your vacation and ensuring that you feel amazing as well!