Healthy Eating While TravellingDecember 8, 2017
Travelling can be full of fun, great memories and experiences. However, eating healthy while away from the comforts of your own home and kitchen, can often be a challenge. With my many travel adventures, I can tell you that it is possible to experience other cultures’ delicious cuisine while still ensuring you are eating well balanced and not overdoing your daily calorie budget. If you are a person who travels frequently like myself, you may benefit from implementing some of my frequently used tips that have worked for me. It’s not fun coming back from vacation with extra pounds that you now want to lose. Or, feeling like you just eaten a week, or two full of sugar, salt laden and greasy foods. Even if you are a person who is happy with extra pounds, being healthy and eat well balanced may still an important goal to you. So, vacation time is not time to completely ditch all healthy eating routines. Keeping consistency in your diet is part of the key to meeting any health goals. Read further to find out the tips I implement in my travels to ensure myself and family eat healthy, and well balanced on the go.
1. Try and find a hotel or accommodation with a refrigerator. Often times you can request a refrigerator to your room-even in a standard hotel that do not have kitchens. Or, you may opt for an accommodation like an air bnb or apartment with a kitchen. The fridge, even a small one can be enough to store some healthy snacks and foods like fruit, vegetables, yogurts or milk.
2. Visit Iocal markets and grocery stores. This is a great learning experience and a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture. It’s all part of the fun of travelling to different places. You can stock up on fresh fruits and veggies that you can use as snacks. For added convenience, you can also look for pre- chopped fruit and vegetables that you can often find at these markets. At local markets, you can also find local spices which can sometimes be fun to bring home as a souvenir.
3. Bring your own box of high fibre cereal or oatmeal. These are very portable in a luggage. At least you will have a healthy cereal, which can be a good part of a healthy breakfast. We’ve travelled to places where our high fibre cereal didn’t exist, or other places where the prices were extremely high. When we went searching for oatmeal in Valetta, Malta, it was very hard to find and we got blank stares from some store clerks when we asked for it! So, if you have your oatmeal or high fibre cereal, you can pair it with fresh fruit, milk and Greek yogurt and there you have an easy breakfast that you can eat right in your room. You may want to bring disposable bowls and spoons so you don’t need to go hunting for them in a foreign country. Another benefit of eating in the room is the amount of precious time you’ll save for touring. If you’re a person who enjoys a breakfast or brunch out, try to opt for similar healthy options like greek yogurt parfait with fruits instead of pastries and hot chocolate.
4. Pack healthy snacks. These can be brought from home, or bought from the grocery stores or markets. Healthy snacks such as nuts, shelled sunflower seeds, apple chips, soy nuts, and homemade granola bars are all easy, handy snacks that can be used when you are on the go.
5. Choose only select your meals that you will indulge. After all, you are on vacation, and you want to experience some cultural or different food. However, let’s face it, if you overindulge at every meal, you will definitely pack in too many extra calories, sodium, and fats. The “everything in moderation” principle still applies while on vacation. So, choose wisely which meals you may be more overindulgent. When I’m away, I try whenever possible to eat a homemade, or simple breakfast and lunch and then go to a restaurant for dinner. Even then, I’m still careful to load up on veggies and whole grains (if possible), avoid fried foods, have dressings and sauces on the side, and pass on dessert unless it’s not an extra special dessert.
If you are at an all inclusive resort or a cruise, you can apply the same principles- be a little more cautious at breakfast and lunch and then a little more sinful at dinner. So, instead of white toast, with butter and bacon, choose fresh fruit, scrambled egg, milk and whole grain toast. So, make wise menu choices because that will definitely help you keep your healthy eating goals in check. On a cruise or all inclusive, there are many, many options to choose from so you would be sure to find healthier options.
6. Stay active! Staying active while on vacation can offset some of the higher calorie meal choices. So, tour the city by foot whenever possible. Explore nature by hiking, biking or running. Take advantage of work out rooms. Again, if you are active, it doesn’t give you a free pass to forgetting all the diet rules. However, it will help a little with the calorie load if you are watching your waistline.
If you do end up with an accommodation with a full kitchen, sometimes cooking can be lots of fun too. It’s a healthy option, and a good change from eating dinner out every day, especially if you are on a very long vacation. Some of my fondest memories from my trip to Sorrento was going to the local market to buy produce, local foods and spices to cook and enjoy an entire meal together as a family. It was a great way to feel like a local for the day!
Some of these tips might sound a bit annoying, but remember it’s just all part of a healthy lifestyle that becomes habitual after a while. I now have my travel down to a science, so my cereal, bowls and spoons are part of my packing list. I sometimes even keep them in my luggage for the next vacation.
Going on a vacation can be a very enjoyable experience. Some pre planning may just help to keep your healthy eating on track.