Vacations are a time to get away from our regular daily routine, and allow us to unwind and rejuvenate ourselves. However, it can also take us away from our healthy habits. Traveling doesn’t have to result in unhealthy eating. The key is to fill up on healthy foods and make smart dining choices throughout your trip. By planning ahead and knowing your options, you can take a break from your stressful routine but not from healthy eating. Here are some tips for making the healthiest choice on your summer getaway:
- Take your own snacks for a road trip or plane ride. This will keep you from stopping at convenience stores or vending machines for packaged foods, or having only cookies or chips to select on the plane. Trail mix, homemade granola, popcorn, pretzels, chopped raw vegetables, hummus, apples, plums and pears make great travel snacks.
- Choose zero-calorie beverages whenever possible. Ask for lemon or lime for your glass of ice water or order unsweetened hot or cold tea, coffee, sparkling water, club soda, or diet soda. Alcohol can be a diet disaster when you are on vacation, so try to limit yourself to 1-2 drinks per day.
- Fill up on healthy foods at the breakfast or lunch buffet, especially if you are staying at a resort. Focus on getting plenty of fresh fruits, salads and greens, and whole grains such as oatmeal. Then, if you are forced to eat some lesser healthy meals throughout the day, you will have at least eaten plenty of produce and fiber at one or two meals.
- Choose sit-down restaurants instead of fast food establishments during your travels. This might take extra time, but you will have a better opportunity to ask your server how foods are prepared and add special requests for healthier meals.
- Seek out local restaurants that use local products. The less distance your food has traveled, the more nutrients it typically retains. Also, restaurants that offer local products often provide healthy options, such as meals focused on the use of local fruits and vegetables.
- Select healthy choices such as salmon, grilled meats, fresh salads, broth-based soups and wraps or sandwiches without sauces as your entrees, instead of deep-fried foods and entrees with heavy cream sauces.
- Share your meals around the table. Serving sizes at standard restaurants can easily feed two people. If you have a party of four, consider selecting only two to three entrees and sharing them. Even if the food can’t be classified as healthy, eating less is better than enjoying the whole thing yourself.
- Choose your splurges wisely, but do allow for some splurges--it is a vacation. Consider your favorite things and enjoy them, but pass on the things you can easily get at home that add extra calories. Consider ordering a decadent dessert, but sharing it with your loved ones.