I recently came back from a much needed 2 weeks vacation exploring new regions of Spain. Breaking my routine every now and then is truly essential for me. It allows me to discover new landscapes, to get out of my comfort zone (important for growth), to meet new people and of course to taste new foods! That is often the best part too! Though trying new foods is fun, it can also cause you a lot of stress and wreck havoc on your body. Fear not, though, this this free guide, I have compiled a few helpful tips to help you choose healthier eating options, even when you are on vacation. There can be be many temptations but it is still possible to eat healthy while on vacation. This article will show you how.
Disclaimer: This guide is not meant to stress you out while on vacation. It is meant to give you ideas and to show you that you do have options if you wish to preserve your healthy eating routine, while away from home.
Indeed, though moderation and balance are key to truly enjoying yourself while on vacation, many people often completely let themselves go and indulge a little bit more than they had planned. Overindulging may feel nice at first, but it almost always results in one or more of these symptoms:
- mid-afternoon coma
- headaches or migraines
- body aches
- skin breakouts or acne
- gas or any other digestive discomfort
- indigestion or constipation
These are all signs that something is off and that your body needs your attention. To help you avoid some of these inconveniences while on vacation, I have compiled a few easy tips for you. They won’t make you feel deprived, yet they will allow you to enjoy your vacation symptoms-free and happy! And isn’t that the best way to enjoy your vacation?!
Let’s start, here is my guide on:
- Start your day with water always! Add some fresh lemon juice for an added liver detoxification boost and to help keep your immune system strong.
- Drink water all day long. (It’s so easy to go for cold beers, cocktails or even juices – but do your body a favour and sip on water first!)
- When drinking juices, ask for freshly made and skip the boxed juices (they are filled with sugars).
- If you are going to drink alcohol, do so when the sun is down (to avoid intense dehydration in the sun) and if not, always alternate with 1 or 2 glasses of water so as to not overburden your liver with the detoxification process.
- Do enjoy your wine, but remember moderation is key to long-lasting health.
- Breakfast: If you are going to eat just fruits alone, start with those first. Then follow up with your favourite protein-rich breakfast.
- Make sure you get some form of protein and healthy fat (with your carbs) in the morning to keep you satiated and fuller longer: choose eggs with some avocado or a fresh side of salad, a bowl of yogurt with fresh fruits and nuts or even some oatmeal with a few berries and nut butter on top. If smoothies are an option, then go for it too, of course!
- Lunches: are a great opportunity for you to have a big fat salad. And I mean it, choose filling salads with a source of protein (grilled fish, goat cheese, avocado, grilled chicken), some healthy fats too and plenty of fresh veggies. Not only are salads super refreshing and nutritious but they are also a great way to avoid the mid-afternoon coma that often comes with super heavy mid-day meals, such as: pasta, rice, etc. Skip the bread, as often as possible and ask for a side of sweet potato (when available).
- If salads are not an option: pick a lean source of protein (eggs, grilled fish, avocado, beans, …) with some freshly sautéed/grilled or steamed veggies. Avoid the starchy meals that will definitely induce food coma and sluggishness. Keep it lean and clean ;).
- Snacks: fruits are always a great option. If you are in a tropical area, then by all means, do indulge in your favourite fruits!
- If not: a handful of nuts with some greek yogurt, a healthy bar, some hummus with fresh veggies are both great alternatives.
- Dinners: again, here take advantage of any fresh veggies. Have them grilled, steamed or slightly sautéed with a protein source.
- If you are craving some starches, then make sure you have them with lots of veggies, or even better enjoy a plant-based dinner for an easier digestion afterwards (proteins mixed with starches can be quite heavy on the digestive system).
- Desserts: For optimal digestion, wait at least 2hours after your dinner before enjoying your favourite dessert.
- I usually skip desserts and ask for a nice warm cup of mint or ginger tea. It helps my digestion and doesn’t weight me down.
- If you do have a little treat, then take your time to savour it, and try to wait to have it after a nice post-dinner walk.
And there you have it, guys: your healthy eating guide while on vacation. I hope these few tips help you make the most of your next vacation.
Remember that vacation are meant for you to relax, so if you indulge every now and then and don’t follow this guide for every meal, it is perfectly fine too ;).