I often get asked how I feed my family on vacation or how to eat healthy on vacation? Eating healthy on vacation can be challenging but its not impossible. With a little bit of planning you can have a fun vacation and still eat healthy.
How do I feed my family on vacation? Simple. Eat real food, seasonal, mainly vegetables and fruit, limit refined foods and enjoy the occasional indulgence. I try to stick to a 80 percent of the time we eat healthy and 20 percent of the time we indulge because what is a vacation without a little indulgence. When it comes to feeding my family I don’t believe in “anything goes” on vacation. Why? First, I am a routine person and when routines are broken my gut pays the price. I feel like I am 5 months pregnant and my energy level is non existent. No one wants to be around a grumpy mama on vacation. I even exercise on vacation. Second, ever been around a toddler who is jet lagged, off her bed and meal time routine. No thanks. Third, I don’t want to come home from vacation 10 pounds heavier. Fourth, if I prescribed to “anything goes” every time there was an occasion, we would constantly be making exceptions. By no means do we eat perfectly on vacation and believe me by the end I am craving a large plate of vegetables as well as my normal routine.
How to eat healthy on vacation:
1). Rent a place with your own kitchen
While I do enjoy eating out and we do more on vacation, eating out for all three meals is my least favorite thing about vacations. I prefer to go for a run or to the gym while everyone else is still sleeping. Yes, I am one of those people who still exercises on vacation. Since having kids we always rent a place with a kitchen. I make sure the fridge is stocked with fresh fruit, vegetables, hummus, yogurt, and cheese.
2). Keep it simple
Healthy eating does not have to be complicated or require you to spend hours in the kitchen. There are many healthy and easy to make foods. Healthy foods such as a vegetable omelet and fresh fruit, yogurt and fresh fruit, oats, sandwiches, tacos, vegetables and hummus are a few simple and healthy foods we eat on vacation.
3) Plan Ahead
We all know that its hard to eat healthy without planning ahead. There are different factors you have to consider depending on your vacation.
If you are planning a road trip pack easy portable snacks like nuts, fruit, vegetables and hummus, crackers and cheese, homemade granola bars , peanut butter balls and or homemade muffins.
For weekend trips make soups, chill, and or spaghetti sauce ahead and freeze it.
If you are flying have a healthy breakfast or meal before you get on the plane. Pack easy portable snacks for the plane ride. Grab a fruit and veggie cup at the airport before you board the plane. Its almost impossible to buy healthy snacks on the plane.
4). Serve a fruit and/or vegetable platter
Snacks on vacation tend to be highly processed and full of unwanted ingredients. I like to prepare a fresh fruit and vegetable platter for snack time before dinner instead of high calorie appetizers. You will be amazed at how fast the fresh fruit and vegetables are eaten without a single compliant.
While there are foods that I won’t buy even on vacation, we do indulge more often on vacation. For example, my girls love “flower” yogurt, also known as, vanilla yogurt. I usually buy plain yogurt but as a special treat I do allow them “flower yogurt” mixed with plain yogurt. There are a few more trips to the ice cream shop and I am ok with that because I know we will get back into our regular eating habits once our vacation ends.
Do you have any tips for eating healthy on vacation? I would love to hear them.
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