The idea behind this article is to show you that can still eat healthy while on vacation without making huge sacrifices. Bear in mind that it is important to stay open and enjoy yourself. Vacations should be connected with fun and must not be used for any kind of body-mind drills.
While on vacation, you may find yourself in a hotel or resort. Some of them are all inclusive, which means that there are multiple food and drink options at your disposal ALL day EVERY day to indulge in. Free food that you will be tempted to eat more of as you will have access to unlimited portions. This blog will show you exactly how to deal with all of this.
Here are some basic tips for different times of the day:
The breakfast feast
THINGS TO LOOK FOR:
- Green juices. However beware as most of them have fruit juice in them. 1 glass is enough.
- Fresh salad.
- Coffee. Take it black. I personally do not drink coffee and I do not recommend it for people with adrenal fatigue. However, I do understand that people love their morning coffee.
- A few pieces of fresh, citrus fruits, berries or pineapple (again, don’t over do it).
- If you want some healthy cereal go for oatmeal or quinoa.
- Pure protein sources like boiled or poached eggs, pure chicken or turkey breast meat and perhaps a glass of milk. A few slices of bacon is also good. (not a dozen!)
- Some good fats from a few olives, coconut oil/milk or a few avocado slices.
THINGS TO AVOID:
- Drinking too many juices (especially sweet ones) as you will overload on sugar. (unless you have been living under a rock, sugar is bad for you).
- Using salad dressings. Most of them have trans-fats and empty calories. Stick with vinegar and olive oil if available, otherwise skip.
- Adding sugar in your coffee.
- Combining different fruits. I either go for pineapple, mango or banana. Never all of them together as they are digested differently in your stomach.
- Eating cereal of any sort (except for the ones mentioned above). Most cereals are full of sugars, possible GMOs. Commercial cereals have no place in a healthy lifestyle.
- Eating processed protein sources such as sausages, cooked meats, hams and anything you cannot identify. These are usually filled with chemicals, nitrates, additives and especially white salt, which you should also avoid.
- Overloading on saturated fat sources. A bit of bacon is acceptable. Half a plate of bacon is not. (repeated for extra emphasis)
- Avoid all of the following: margarine, pastries, croissants, toast, bread (any type), jam (any type) and sugary desserts.
Aim for a large breakfast but don’t make it an eating contest. Eat slowly and enjoy the food.Making the right choices will give you the energy boost that will allow you to enjoy the day and keep you full until lunch.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR:
- Start with a big healthy salad. This will prepare your stomach for lunch and digest foods better.
- Focus on animal protein such as beef, chicken or pork. If you have access to fish, even better!
If you are vegetarian or vegan focus on Portobello mushrooms or legumes.
The best part about animal protein, is that you can eat more of it and still enjoy your meal unlike regular carb based meals. (vegans should be careful about their carb intake)
- Try many different dishes that focus on protein.
- Try new exotic fruits or fruit salads without sugar.
- For side dishes, replace the regular fries with fibrous veggies or if you are lucky, get some yams.
- If you really need to go for carbs, aim for 1 single ingredient without sauces such as a boiled potato or plain steamed white rice or brown rice.
THINGS TO AVOID:
- Salad dressings (especially in large quantities). Too much unhealthy fats. Get your fat from your protein source (or nuts) instead and use vinegar and olive oil as mentioned earlier.
- Eating too many healthy fats:
Guacamole! Avocado is a healthy fat but nothing in excess can be healthy!
Same goes with nuts, pure olive oil, coconut oil and fish oils!
- Eating uncooked chicken or fish. Food that is not properly cooked harbors many dangers that you should avoid while on vacation… unless your vacation plan involves staying dehydrated while sitting on a toilet the entire day.
- Eating burnt food. If your food is too burnt, ask for a replacement. Food that is burned can be carcinogenic and full of free radicals.
- Eating fast. Your goal is to eat and have fun, not win an eating competition.
- Combining carb courses. In most cultures this is a staple as it often aims to create a higher amino acid profile (which is good) but at the expense of digestion and your body image.
Examples of this would be: rice with lentils or beans, pasta and rice, pasta and bread, bread and legumes, hummus and rice etc.Note: this is usually a great food source for vegans and vegetarians alike. If you belong to this group just make sure you eat a proper amount of a specific food group and be careful not to go overboard with your portion.
- Drinking too much alcohol. A glass or two of wine is good but if you are in a hot country, a cold beer could be enough. Anything more than a couple of drinks will only dehydrate you faster.
- Eating dessert. If you really must do it and only if it’s really, REALLY hot, then get some ice cream.
And last but not least…
What you should have for dinner depends on a number of things but for the sake of simplicity, let us examine 2 cases:
Case A: You had too little to eat for lunch and a very busy and active day that included lots of walking, dancing, running and other energy-demanding physical activities, you can have a large dinner. Just make sure you follow the same tips as with lunch.
Case B: You had a lot to eat for lunch in which case you must eat light at night. This will help you sleep better, especially if you are in a very hot climate. When it’s warm, your system is trying to use resources to cool down your entire body instead of trying to digest your food.
As you can see, I do not encourage the consumption of grains and a lot of carbs in general even though I do not endorse Paleo diets either.
BUT you are on a vacation and you should be allowed at least one cheat meal. (That is subject to your overall body composition and fat levels. If you are obese or even overweight, cheat meals DO NOT apply to you.)
When that time comes, go for a dessert or a carb-based meal that you love or would like to try. This tip will also allow you to get a mental break and also give your body a chance to re-fuel.
If you follow these simple rules, you will learn how to eat healthy while on vacation so that you can enjoy yourself, try new things and still manage to stay in shape.
I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did writing it. Putting together this article took a bit of time but it will only take you a second to click on Share buttons and show your support to this blog.
Also if you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Have a great time and good luck!
by Nick Sigma SHF
CWC, EH, E-YRT200
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