You don't have to stay at home to eat healthy. Adopt these healthy restaurant and holiday habits and enjoy dining with family and friends.
We recently had the most amazing 5 week holiday in the USA. Being Australian, naturally we were keen to sample the local cuisines and because our accommodation was mostly hotel rooms, we ate out a lot!
Thankfully we also spent most of our days sightseeing (as you do on holidays) and for us that means walking.... and walking .... and more walking. Our record day was 26km in Yosemite. So very easy to do in such amazing surrounds. I am relieved to say we managed not to put on any weight - Yesss!!
1. Order water to alternate with alcohol and help fill you up.
2. Talk to the wait staff about their menu. A good restaurant will be only too pleased to discuss their food and its preparation.
3. Consider ordering one main meal between 2 people. Keeping our portions appropriate was a big one for us as we found the meal sizes huge.
4. Reduce or skip the bread that comes at the beginning of the meal. Save your appetite for the main event.
5. Choose lean proteins and ask for any gravy to be served 'on the side' so you can control how much you add.
6. Choose grilled, steamed or baked menu items over pan fried, crispy, crumbed items. Choose a tomato based pasta sauce over a creamy one and avoid the soup with a creamy base.
7. Share desserts. As an extreme example, our 16-year-old daughter (feeling the need to splurge) ordered a brownie that ended up being 2 large brownies sandwiched together with ice cream and cream on top. In all honesty it was as big as a large burger! We ended up sharing it between the 3 of us, but it could have easily fed 4. In hindsight, we should have organised a doggie back and saved some for a treat the next day - lesson learnt :).
8. Eat slowly and savour the experience of the food and company. Eating out with friends and family is special - enjoy it!
9. If your healthy eating journey is progressing well and you've managed to cut out the processed foods and refined sugars, just relax and choose something you'll enjoy. Chances are if you go overboard, you'll feel sluggish and bloated the next day and, in time, this will be enough to help you make healthier choices.
Here are some extra ideas for eating healthy while on holidays ....
1. Don't eat out every night. Keep it a special event. In the US we found Whole Foods Market's buffet great for getting something light. We made a point of tracking down the local store for either lunch or dinner where we could.
2. Keep nuts and seeds on-hand for snacks.
3. Where possible prepare your own breakfast. For example a home mixed muesli, chia seed pudding, fruit salad or even boiled eggs and toast. Most hotel rooms usually have (at a minimum) a fridge where you can keep perishables and a couple of plates and cups.
4. As a family we have had regular tropical beach holidays in Far North Queensland coast over the years. We find eating out gets expensive as well as too heavy on the system. Easy BBQ dinners with fresh, local seafood and lunches with fresh salad, fruit from the local produce store and fresh bread from the bakery provide variety, keeping the dining experiences special.
Happy Healthy Eating!