10 Jul My steps to carry on eating healthily during holidays!
One of the questions I get asked most during my coaching sessions is: What do I eat when I’m on holidays?
When I started eating in a more conscious way, basing my diet on mainly whole-foods, I kept wondering the same, and actually during the first years I kind of concluded that It would be impossible to eat healthily on summer holidays. I would then eat whatever was available without thinking too much about it: white bread, white rice, white pasta, ice creams…etc. However, after several years of eating a whole-food, plant-based diet I’ve realized that you can go on holidays and fully enjoy them without destroying your diet and therefore your health.
One thing to keep in mind is that you won’t be eating like you usually do at home. Remember that it will be pretty difficult to cook your brown rice porridge for breakfast and that you won’t have access to a fully equipped kitchen as the one you have at home where you can get creative. However, even though you might eat more than you usually do or you might eat foods that you don’t normally consume, you can still eat healthily without putting 4 kg on or ruining your health.
I hope the following steps help you out to carry on eating a whole-food, plant-based diet this summer! And don’t forget to enjoy your holidays…they are already here!
1. EAT LOCAL FOOD: If you visit an exotic country, the best you can do is eating its local food. Forget about pizza, burgers, fries…etc. and enjoy traditional dishes. In asiatic and south american countries traditional food is mainly prepared with rice, beans and vegetables…grab your lunch or dinner in a local restaurant… it’s where you can eat the best food! If you go to an european country instead, I recommend that you visit the happycow guide where you will find the best vegetarian restaurants available in every city of the world! Remember to order a dish full of vegetables, beans and grains…If you are in the beach you can order salads, grilled vegetables and bean salads.
2. EAT FRUIT AS A SNACK: Summer is no doubt the best season to enjoy fresh fruits. What I usually do is carry a piece of fruit in my bag: peach, apricots, nectarines, bananas…or a box with cut melon or watermelon. I also love to put some fruit cut in chunks in the freezer and make my own “ice cream” by processing them once they are frozen…I promise you won’t ever crave an ice cream again!
3. BUY A GOOD WHOLE BREAD: Most of times it is kind of difficult to find whole grains in a random restaurant, so we end up eating that boring white bread that is usually served with the main meal. Once in a while it’s ok but day after day it ends up being a bit boring…Buy 100% whole bread in you local natural food store and eat this with you main meal instead of having the white, full of nothing bread.
4. BRING SOME NATURAL DESSERTS WITH YOU: One of the things that are most difficult for me is watching all the ice cream stalls wherever I go…So before going on holiday I try to make sure that I carry some goodness in case the sweet cravings come up! I usually prepare some energetic bars without sugar and bring them with me in the luggage. You can also buy dates or any other dried fruits for those moments when you crave sugar. It is much better doing this than end up binging the whole box of ice cream (again, once a while it’s ok, but eating ice cream every day might not be the best option!).
These are the best 4 steps you can take to carry on eating healthily on holidays. But I would like to give you an example as well of what I have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I know you are gonna love it!
Breakfast: this might be one of the most difficult meals to eat in a healthy way when you are away, as most of cafes only offer coffee and tons of sugary staff. What I usually eat for breakfast depends on if I’m staying in a place where I can cook or if I’m in a hotel. If I have access to a kitchen, what I find it easiest to prepare is oatmeal porridge sweeten with raisins, cinnamon sticks and lemon zest. Sometimes, I also add banana as well…yummi…Another good option is to have a green smoothie made with fresh fruits, green vegetables and almond or oat milk. If I don’t have a kitchen I usually buy a very good bread in the natural food store and eat it with tahini and natural, sugar free jam. Other option is buying rice milk and some sugar free granola.
Lunch: as I’ve said before, if you go to an exotic country I strongly recommend you eat traditional, local food. If I’m in a european city I usually have lunch at a vegetarian, Indian, Japanese, Thai or Chinese restaurant where I can order grains, beans and vegetables. In almost any restaurant in the world you can find vegetables and beans!
Dinner: If I’m staying in a place I can cook, what I do is having one of the two main meals at home. I usually cook dinner so that I don’t have to come back to the apartment at lunch time to cook, eat, clean…blablabl, so I always prefer eating lunch out to take advantage of the day and cook dinner once all the craziness has happened. What I tend to prepare is something very simple like a vegetable soup or a vegetable dish like this oriental style broccoli. When I’m on holidays the only vegetable protein I cook is red lentils, tofu, seitan and green peas as they are the ones that take least time to prepare.
If I’m in a city where I can buy staff I also buy some whole grains and cook something simple with them. If I don’t have access to a kitchen then my option would be a vegetable dish and some whole bread again :S
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