You’re off to indulge on a Caribbean cruise or a Vegas getaway or other dreamy escape. One of the biggest parts of your itinerary will be food. We all have to eat and the rule on vacations (or staycations, for that matter) is that calories don’t count.
Regardless, before long, reality will resurface and those clothes will fit a little tighter, and that hurts, especially after a lot of work to get trim to slip into a swimsuit. Nowadays, we’re all eating better to feel better and look better, but many of us are also trying to eat clean (in addition to moving more).
Here are a few tips to eat clean while traveling:
Pace yourself. Yes, you deserve a treat at the end of a meal, but maybe not each meal. Try to stay within your daily routine, somewhat keeping with your usual rules (you may eat some ice cream at night when you’re at home but not necessarily at lunch, do you?). Live a little, and live within moderation but don’t deprive and try not to overindulge, especially the first day. How’s all that for a mixed bag of contradictions? The message here…moderation, yes, even on vacation.
If you’re staying in the city somewhere, you’ll likely find a grocery store, bodega, mini-mart, etc. Along with those munchies, look for some veggies, fruit, hummus, cold-pressed juices, yogurt, and more. Hack a little parfait for your room (skip the minibar) and load up on tasty yogurt with some fun fixings.
On a cruise or an all-inclusive? Yes, this is quite the temptation. The food is essentially free (not really) and your brain and stomach are both telling you that you paid for all this, so indulge to your heart’s content. Yes…but, again, in moderation. Just like any buffet or bottomless food and drink party, you have to pace yourself. Power load on greens, nuts, berries, veggies, and fruits at lunch and dinner. Yogurt, granola, fruit, and lean items and proteins, etc., are all options for breakfast.
You can find sustainable, fresh, organic, and other natural and good eats, in just about any destination. Don’t think that a more out-of-the-way location won’t have the food you normally eat when trying to eat clean. Even an Italian vacation or a southern food paradise will have salads, vegetables, etc. Consider the establishment, however. Don’t walk into a fine dining restaurant or real-deal local dive to alter their preparation or ingredient list just because you want something just the way you prefer. See what they’re willing to do and how much they can accommodate. Dietary restrictions are completely different from plain picky and inflexible diners.
While the focus is on clean eating, and moderation, you ARE on vacation so let’s contradict ourselves a bit…go ahead and indulge! Wait, why? You’re hopefully going to walk, run, cycle, be on your feet, etc. as you explore. Swim a little more. Take a walk on the beach. Take the stairs. Naturally, you’re going to drink a few beverages so stay hydrated too.
Are you a ‘pack the leftovers’ type of person? Not always an option on vacation, perhaps if you’re staying at a home or a suite with a fridge and microwave, maybe you can eat but not all at once. Take those extra steps (literally) and earn those calories. You’ve already earned the vacation, so just go a bit further with the discipline. It’s worth it when you think of how hard you work during the year to keep things in check and stay on track with nutrition, diets, and fitness. Indulge in the best moderation and mix it up!