Can you really survive at a restaurant and while eating on vacation?
If you are anything like me and 90% of people, we all have one thing in common: we are always on the go. My busy lifestyle and my travel schedule require that I survive a lot of restaurant eating and entail finding healthy options outside my refrigerator.
Sometimes this is easier said than done. I know you can relate.
Before I travel I research local healthy food options. But what are we to do when there is no Whole Foods nearby and no kitchen in the hotel? This means I will have to surrender to restaurant eating the whole time as I will when in Mexico next week. (Houston, we have a problem).
I love vacations just as much as you do, but in the past I ended up coming home feeling bloated and fat instead of relaxed and refreshed. We need a solution.
Here is my plan of attack…
I do what I call “damage control”: Do the best I can, with what I’ve got and have an awesome time on my trip.
First, I prepare my “emergency kit”. I will pack and take with me: walnuts, almonds, almond butter, organic turkey and beef jerky, apples and pears. None of these need refrigeration, so they will keep well all weekend.
If I’m in a situation where there is no protein handy (like when it’s time for a snack), I’ve got my nuts and jerky to keep me full until my next meal. If you don’t have something handy, you just may find yourself grabbing pretzels and potato chips (or the salty nacho chips that will be everywhere next week).
Now let’s plan our meals. Breakfast is often one of the meals that allows easy access to healthy options. There is always a protein on the menu, no matter what. Omelets or smoked salmon are my favorite choices, but I’ve even gone to places that now carry turkey bacon and turkey sausage on the menu.
Stay away from the heavy and deadly pancakes and waffles. This is a blood sugar disaster waiting to happen. These are like eating dessert for breakfast. Eating a sugar-loaded breakfast like this will only set you up for hunger and cravings the rest of the day. A bad breakfast can ruin an otherwise great day.
Lunch and dinner require choosing the right options. Most of us know what is healthy, but we still continue to order the wrong meals. And these actions have negative consequences for our health and energy.
Yes, I do believe in a treat and a cheat meal once or twice a week, but definitely not every night of your vacation. Some people eat and choose items off the menu like they are being sentenced to starvation when they get home.
Eating on vacation is not an “all or nothing” deal. You’ve committed to eating healthy for a lifetime. Don’t worry. The food will always be there whether you eat it all at once or space it out over a lifetime.
Here’s how to choose the right meals for lunch and dinner. First, avoid items on the menu that you know are drenched in heavy sauces. Fettuccine Alfredo? Come on now. Are you serious?
Can you get the steak, veggies and salad instead and be just as happy?
Often times, our taste buds are really just as happy with a healthier choice. No, this is not deprivation. This is choosing to feel good, be healthy and eat good food at the same time.
Finally, you’ve eaten well and now it’s time for one of the most important questions of the day. Do you want dessert?
I love desserts and I will definitely get myself a yummy piece of apple pie or chocolaty treat while I am away. If the piece of dessert is bigger than the size of my head, I will not eat the whole thing. There is no need. My taste buds are just as happy with a few bites (and my body is happier too).
It’s okay to have a small amount of your favorite treat, but you don’t need to eat to the point of feeling sick. Plus, if you do, then chances are you’ll be zapped of your energy after big, high-sugar meal. And that defeats the purpose of going on vacation to enjoy yourself.
There’s one more big issue to discuss – The Trolls. The who? Yes, you know who the trolls are. Those people who tell you to “just eat what you want”, or “don’t torture yourself”. These people always seem to come out of hiding when dining with you at a restaurant. (They are also present at parties and family functions. Be afraid. Be very, very afraid).
Don’t let anybody else tell you that taking care of yourself and feeling great is a bad thing. Chances are the trolls are not too thrilled with their current weight and health and really just upset that you actually started to eat healthy and take control of your life.
Now you have a simple plan for eating for energy while you are on vacation or on the road for work. Enjoy yourself, but choose wisely. Remember, there is no need to avoid restaurants and vacations (but please do avoid fast food joints). You just need to focus on the healthier options and you’ll have more energy to enjoy yourself while on holiday or to have high energy at meetings.[Ed. Note: Isabel De Los Rios is a world-famous nutrition expert who will show you how to eat for energy and health. Discover her personal transformation from an overweight, low-energy young woman to a high-energy, lean and happy mom who is now inspiring hundreds of thousands of men and women around the world with her life-changing Diet Program here.