Eating Balanced on Vacation
Updated: Mar 7, 2018
After eating about 90% healthy for months, it can feel like everything is crashing and burning as soon as you step outside your routine and go on vacation. That doesn't have to be the case, and it shouldn't be something you feel guilty about!
Vacation is just that: a vacation! It's a time to feel free and relaxed, so don't be too hard on yourself or expect to stick to a strict routine. If you do want to continue to eat healthy, there are plenty of ways to maintain your diet while also not stressing and experiencing the restaurants in your area.
When I go on vacation, my #1 favorite thing to do is EAT! I base a vacation pretty much on how well I ate for the duration of the trip. I throw some rules out the window, while I still adhere to some that if I don't will make me feel gross and ruin my trip.
First of all, I avoid food that doesn't make me feel good. That means avoiding dairy as much as possible (lactose intolerance for the win...) and stay away from super sugary foods like chocolate cake. As hard as it is to believe, I don't even crave chocolate cake anymore, something that used to be a necessity on vacation! Those foods just make me feel gross.
Instead I focus on unique foods that I can only get where I am. Right now we're in Northampton, MA, one of our favorite places to visit and also filled with a variety of delicious restaurants. Luckily, there are a lot of places here that have dairy alternatives, being that it is more of a trendy place.
That's not true for all vacation spots, and it's not true for all restaurants here. Wherever we go, we can always find menu options that are either completely dairy free or can easily be made so. My boyfriend is such a gem he got a steak with butter on the side so that I can have some. Don't be afraid to make adjustments to menu items, so that you can still enjoy them and feel your best.
We always try to make at least one meal a day on vacation healthy. That typically is either breakfast or lunch, where we will have some fruit or salad. We go small, healthy, and cheap so that our bodies and minds feel better.
If we know we're going to go overboard on one meal, we balance out the rest of the day so that we are hungry enough to devour a bunch of delicious food at our "cheat meal." No matter what we order, we always get vegetables as a side, which usually is mandatory anyway. That way we feel like we're at least getting some nutrients.
Even if you are full, it's easy to feel like you have to power through every meal, so that it doesn't go to waste. We try to keep the mindset that vacation is more about being happy than finishing our meals. If we ate half the meal and it made us incredibly happy, why would we force the rest of the food down our throats, making us feel awful and adding extra calories? Don't be afraid to leave food on your plate.
The number one thing we do to feel balanced on vacation is to drink plenty of water. Sometimes it's hard to drink enough water on vacation, because we're not always sure where it's coming from. We get water from the sink at home, but it weirds me out a little to get water from the sink at hotels. If we're out and about in town a lot, we have to rely on water bottles, which I hate to do and is a very limited and inconvenient supply. At the end of the day, we will usually chug some water, so that we wake up in the morning feeling refreshed.
Just remember, life is all about balance. Before this vacation, we were constantly meal prepping, eating meals that were meticulously measured out beforehand. We are doing the complete opposite of that here -- ie stuffing our faces -- but when we return, we will be back to eating healthy! A few days isn't going to ruin a diet as long as bounce back, so have fun and ENJOY vacation!