Eating Healthy While On Vacation

by Sasha on August 8, 2011

Last week and this week has been deemed my family time for a mini vacation. We went to the beach for a day, then off to my in-laws in Toronto, with a final stop in Niagara Falls. One of my goals is to eat healthy as often as possible when out. That can be challenging some times. However I find that if you stick close to your ideal meals then it is not so hard to get back on track when you return home from vacation. So here are a few ideas to help you along the way.

5 Tips To Help You Stay Healthy on Vacation:

1. Prepare!

This is probably the MOST important tip. When you are doing a specific diet or want to stick to eating healthy you need to be prepared. This means bringing some food with you for when you are not able to find things that you want to eat. Dried goods are great for travelling. Things like homemade trail mix or granola are great. Nuts, seeds and flax crackers are also very easy to put in your bag. Of course the things that you will take with you greatly depend on whether you are taking a road trip, are flying and ultimately what type of diet you are on. For example we often bring jugs of green juice for long road trips and put other perishable items in the cooler. I love mini size packages of green powders, nut butters, goji berries or anything that you can easily fit into your suitcase. Just recently I brought a bag of protein power that was mixed with raw cacao and a greens powder. Also a mixed back of nuts and seeds kind of like a trail mix. Perfect for traveling.

Dehydrated Fruits

Dehydrated Bananas and Apples

Packing up for a road Trip. Green Juice, Rawnowla, Kale Chips..

2. Explore!
Explore the possibilities around you. Will you have access to places where you can eat? Is there a grocery store in the area or a health food store? Often doing the research ahead of time can give you the upper hand and helps you plan. The challenges maybe a bit harder for those of you that are sticking to a strict vegan or raw food diet. Call ahead of time and see if the restaurants can make adaptations or do a special menu for you! If you are in the U.S. you will have a lot of luck finding raw food cafes, health food stores and more. Google, google, google. Ask taxi drivers, shuttles or whoever else you will meet in the city about healthy options. Never fails that I get some key info from the hotel desk or anywhere I ask.

3. Ask For Help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are staying at a Hotel or going to a restaurant don’t be afraid to ask for help. Tell them you food requirements and ask them for some suggestions. Maybe they can leave certain items off a dish and put other things on. Most servers and establishments are more than willing to help out. They can leave off sauces, adapt recipes and make many modifications for you. If there is a meat veggie bowl, often they can make a vegetarian version. Remember they want to provide the best customer service for their patrons.

4. Just Go Out

Just go out and have fun! In my opinion you don’t want to be kept away from good company and fun because of food, especially while you are on vacation. You want to be relaxing and having fun. If there is nothing on the menu that you like. Maybe have a drink and an appetizer. You can still go out and be social and eat something later that you packed and brought with you. If you are expecting that you won’t like anything on the menu, try eating some of your food that you packed prior to going out. That way you can still be social and you won’t be starving while others eat.

5. Don’t Stress Yourself

If you have been eating really well for a while, an adaptation to your diet isn’t the worst thing that can happen. You can have one meal and get back on track the next day. The worst thing is to sit there and stress over your food. Remember most people go out to socialize with friends and family. They want to hear what is going on in your life and share stories. If you are worried about food, then your company may pick up on this as well. My rule is that you never want to be isolated from going out because of you diet. Pick the healthiest item on the menu. Yes it may not be YOUR ideal choice, however it can still be good.

Hope these tips help you eat healthy on your next vacation. If you are going away soon, take action and spend some time planning.

 

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura Gates August 8, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Thanks Sasha, I am going for two weeks to Australia on Saturday and I have NO IDEA what to expect foodwise, so these are good tips to help me be prepared and think about finding healthy options while I am there.

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Heather Lentz August 8, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Sasha,
Thanks for the great tips. It is hard to travel when you don’t eat the same way everyone else does. I find it is best to plan ahead too. If you don’t, you will end up eating something you wouldn’t normally. I also believe that people need to go out and live their lives. It won’t destroy them to let the “diet” go for a day or too.

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Sasha August 9, 2011 at 12:02 am

Hi Laura,

That sounds exciting. They actually have a big raw food, healthy eating movement there. You can probably find some place close to the location that you are going to. Have fun!

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sheila August 9, 2011 at 12:15 am

Sasha,
Thank you for the great tips – I am on vacation now and have already run into the problem of not having good food choices at my fingertips – next time I will plan better. Thanks again!

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Nicole Tengwall August 9, 2011 at 1:01 am

Sasha–I just got back from a 6 day vacation and had just lost a decent amount of weight for me (10 lbs) and I SO didn’t want to gain it all back. The main thing that I did was one of your tips and that was to prepare ahead of time! I even went so far as to pack my dinner for the 5 hour plane ride (grilled chicken and grilled zucchini sticks). I also brought lots of almonds, pecans and walnuts to snack on. The damage after 6 days was that I gained 1 lb but I could totally live with that since we ate EVERY meal out since we were in a hotel with no kitchen (thus using your #5 of not stressing myself 🙂 I did the best I could with what I had and I feel good about the outcome. Had I not planned though, I could have seen me doing some real damage at that airport food court 😉

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Kathleen August 9, 2011 at 1:11 am

GREAT ADVICE!
I am sooooo relieved to hear you say… “My rule is that you never want to be isolated from going out because of you diet. Pick the healthiest item on the menu.”

Too many people have ruined good times with their friends and fam and made their diets an issue. Thank you for supporting a diet that is a way of life for all… which methinks serves greater health & happiness.

Great post, Sasha!

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Sasha August 9, 2011 at 1:19 am

Thanks Heather for your comment. I so agree that planning is the key.

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Sasha August 9, 2011 at 1:20 am

Hi Shelia,

Sometimes you do the best you can do and then you learn from experience and plan differently for next time.

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Sasha August 9, 2011 at 3:47 am

Nicole,
You sound like you are doing awesome. I think that is so great that you planned and prepared for your trip. I am so happy it turned out to be a great trip and that you are happy with the outcome. I think bringing things like nuts and seeds really do help out. Hopefully one day we will have more healthy options as far as place to dine, but until then doing what you did was great.

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Sasha August 9, 2011 at 3:54 am

Kathleen,

I am so happy that you enjoyed this post. Thank your for your lovely comments. I believe man are striving to be healthy, and part of that is our food. However another part of that is that we need to go out and connect with others. I would never want food restrictions to get in the way of our times of sharing and celebrating with others.:)

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Laurie Rosenfeld August 9, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Sasha, these are such great tips to keep in mind. I have become much more selective in my food and beverage intake over the last four years and I have found that traveling can sometimes be tricky. Your preparation tip is one that I have been using. I bring my own nuts, dried fruit and tea with me for airplanes and healthy snacks. And I explore and love to seek out healthy restaurants. Thanks for the tips. And I love your photos above. I have got to try making a green drink one of these days!

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Tanya August 9, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Can I say YUM?! That picture is making my mouth water. But I couldn’t LIKE it on FB…weird.

I love the Go Out and the Don’t Stress tips. This is a beautiful balance between going prepared and then just enjoying the vacation. So important because when we stress, that actually causes just as much harm on our body as “bad” food.

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Suki August 10, 2011 at 5:36 am

Thanks for the tips. I always prepare food for vacation but your suggestion is much better and healthier than my list (chips, biscuits and chocolates) 😛 I should switch it to your list next time 🙂

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Pat Novak August 10, 2011 at 6:06 am

Absolutely great advice! I love prepare, explore and just go out That way , you are taking the measures to eat responsibly, with the willingness to try new things. It can be such a headache. This really makes so much more sense !

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Sasha August 10, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Great Laurie,

So glad to hear that you are already taking some great steps. Yes you can also do a green juice for the ride.

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Sasha August 10, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Tanya,

Thanks for your comments. You are so right about our bodies feeling the stress. Stress can actually disrupt our digestion. So moderation and being flexible is the key.

Thanks for the comments. I think on FB you have to like their page first and then like my smoothie. Thanks for the effort.:)

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Loralee Hutton August 10, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Your blog is always such a delightful stop during a busy week. And being an avid traveler (and currently away from home) it is a great reminder to not “stress” about what I’m eating, but simply make the right choices from what’s in front of me. I’ve been vegetarian since I was 10 years old, so I’ve created a very similar system for myself while traveling. I pack a few things in my suitcase, and make a grocery stop as soon as I arrive in my destination for those things that are just too bulky to carry. Eating before going out to socialize has saved me so many times. And allows me to still have fun, be present and enjoy life, without having my “picky eating” coming up in conversation. It’s funny! Even after 30+ years, some of my friends say, “Oh yeah! I forgot you’re veg!” I smile, because I want them to remember me for me, not my food choices 🙂 Thanks for this great list & all of your beautiful pictures Sasha!

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Sasha August 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Suki,

Looks like you already have the preparing and packing steps down. You just need a few tweaks.:)

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Alara Castell August 10, 2011 at 8:58 pm

It’s totally about the preparation. I have specific needs so I always have to prepare. When I go away for vacation or to workshops I always pack my food. I make sure I have snacks and such to hold me over if we are stopped in a place that I can’t eat. I also research for restaurants ahead of time to see what would suite the whole family. This is such a great post!

xoxo
Alara

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Sasha August 10, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Thank you Pat for your great comment.

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Sasha August 10, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Loralee,

Wow that is great that you have been vegetarian since the age of ten. I think you are totally right. We should want people to remember us, for our personality and not being the picky eater or the one who didn’t eat. I so believe it is all about finding a system that works for you:)

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Sasha August 10, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Hi Alara,

Okay all of you are rocking how to be self prepared when you travel and I am so loving that. I love that you do the call ahead to check out the menu too. In the age of the internet we have so much ability to research and find places that fit our needs. Awesome.

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Tina Pruitt August 11, 2011 at 12:31 am

Great advice for travelers…raw or not!! I love your advice about not stressing and others picking up on that – it’s so true. These are great tips!

I’ll add one to the mix…..I try to always have avocados with me as well…they travel well and I can dress up the simplest salad!! Or plain!!

Thanks again, xo,
Tina

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Sasha August 15, 2011 at 12:40 am

Thanks for your comment Tina. Yes raw or not you can still eat healthy and make good choices. Yes avocados are great.

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