Taking a trip doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your energy levels or waistline by eating unhealthy or eating out for every meal, not with these top 7 ways to eat healthy on vacation. Planning is key, as is creativity. It doesn't mean you can't allow yourself one or two treats on your stay, but eating healthy on vacation will leave you feeling and looking great, and probably save you money too. Don’t think of eating healthy on vacation as a diet, or like you’re depriving yourself. You can still eat out at restaurants by learning how to choose healthy fare. A few tips like the ones here will also save you money, time and confusion about how to eat. Even if you’re not necessarily watching your nutrition, these tips are great to keep in mind when vacation rolls around. You never know when these little ways to eat healthy on vacation might come in handy.
1. Bring Your Blender
Wondering how your blender can be one of the best ways to eat healthy on vacation? The truth is, it can be a true lifesaver. Even a small efficient one, such as The Magic Bullet, which is highly affordable, easy to clean and comes with several portable smoothie cups of all sizes, would work. I have designated my Nutribullet as my travel buddy, since it is light, efficient and convenient. Blenders are a beautiful thing, girls! They can create a healthy breakfast in minutes, even if you’re at a hotel. Use fresh fruit, some shelf stable almond milk or individual almond or coconut milk cartons, and bring a healthy protein powder and greens supplement if you want to. Chia seeds are also portable and make great, filling smoothie additions. Use your blender for breakfast, or when you want a snack. I bet your friends will want one too! Bring your own portable ingredients and if your vacation place has a fridge, you can even throw some fresh greens and frozen fruit into the mix. Many hotels allow you to store these items in the mini fridge as long as you don’t open or mess with the contents for purchase.
2. Bring Your Own Beverages
Don’t think you have to live off convenient sources of coffee, tea and water. Just bring your own! I like to portion out baggies for however many days I’ll be there and I include any tea bags I may want with my vitamins so I’m sure not to misplace them. This keeps you from having to bring individual tea boxes or containers. For your coffee, just measure out how much you’ll need for the stay and place it in a small travel container. Bring your tablespoon to measure with, some coffee filters and you can go without that stale hotel coffee and pricey lounge coffee. If your hotel doesn’t have a coffee maker, then just ask. Many will allow you to use one while on your stay. If you don’t want to bring bottled water, which can weigh a good bit and be pricey, just bring your lightweight Brita filter. It can filter out water wherever you are and be poured into cups.
3. Bring Your Own Convenience Foods
I love having a healthy bar, and individual protein powder pouches to keep in my bag in case I get the munchies or my tummy starts to growl on the plane or while sightseeing on vacations. You will pay a big price for convenient store items and airplane lounge items, however, and I don’t just mean for your wallet. These convenient items can not only be pricey, but also high in calories, sugar and salt, along with harmful fats. Bring your own bars such as Larabars, Kind Bars, Vega One bars, or make your own and bring some wrapped individually. I also love 100 calorie packs of raw almonds, which are also great to keep in your bag, as are an apple, a banana or some healthy trail mix. Another favorite of mine, as I mentioned, are individual vegan protein powder pouches like Vega One, which even has green superfoods and superfruits added to it, and they taste great when added to water on the go. Avocados are also great to keep in your purse if you need something filling to keep your sugar cravings away. They can also make any boring salad come to life while being completely convenient. I also bring my own stevia packets to sweeten tea, coffee or smoothies. I even throw a few lemons in my baggage too, in case I want to use them in tea or as a quick homemade salad dressing.
4. Buy Groceries when You Arrive
Whether you’re staying at the beach or in New York City, visit a local market or grocery store to stock your fridge full of healthy foods, or at least buy some great shelf stable items, such as raw almond butter, bananas, dried fruit and dry oats for breakfast, fresh fruit, individual cartons of almond milk, some healthy trail mix and even a little dark chocolate for times when you need a little something to hold you over until dinner. If the hotel has a microwave, buy cheap shelf stable items that can be cooked such as sweet potatoes, which are great to eat anytime of day for a healthy, filling treat.
5. Choose Lean Protein First
When eating out, always choose lean protein first off the menu and then add in some basic steamed or grilled veggies and a salad. Good items to choose are grilled or baked fish, chicken, tofu and tempeh. Other great items for lunch include low-sodium and preservative free deli turkey. You could even carry your own cans of low sodium tuna and chicken if you’re unsure where you’re going will have healthy fare. Add in veggies like grilled asparagus, broccoli, carrots and endamame, which are popular favorites. Raw veggies are always a good thing if they are an option as well. Eating these foods will energize you, fill you up and prevent unhealthy cravings for junk food.
6. Skip the Booze
I know you’re on vacation, but you can easily ruin your calorie intake and your energy levels by drinking away your money on vacation. Save the money you would have spent on drinks to go shopping and reward your healthy self with a cute top!
7. Call Ahead
I always call the hotel ahead to find out if they have a fridge or if a mini fridge can be brought into the room, and check to see if they have a coffee pot for brewing coffee, which I also like to use for hot water to add to tea bags and dry oats. You can also ask what their other kitchen commodities are. Some hotels may not offer individual items like those mentioned for each room, but may have a hallway lounge or main lounge where items can be made, such as these. Some hotels may even be able to send up healthy snacks on the house if you ask, or lead you to healthy venues nearby.
I’m not asking you to pack your fridge when you go on vacation, but with these easy ways to eat healthy on vacation, there’s no reason not to take advantage of what you have! Designate a small bag as your food bag and bring all the necessary items you need. A good travel cup is also a good idea and you never know when you might need a plastic fork or spoon, so bring one of those too! Do you have any good traveling tips for eating health? I want to hear about them!