Healthy Eating . . . on Vacation?!

You are halfway through January, are feeling blimplike from holiday events, AND February vacation is right around the corner.   How will you sustain good eating habits during your week away in the Caribbean or Europe?  Before you leave, research alternatives for good eating – restaurants, juice bars, health-food stores, and bring a list with you.

Now, borrow three ideas from my past blog posts, which can be applied even when you are on vacation.   

The 80/20 rule (November 20, ‘Cheating’ 20% of the Time) can work when you are away.  Adapt it to your own vacation habits and preferences.   There is likely to be some sacrifice.   Three generous meals a day may not make the cut, and certainly, dessert at lunch or dinner may have to go.  That still leaves one slice of pie or two chocolate chip cookies.

Next, organic options (November 6, Why Buy Organic?) are increasingly more accessible even in remote locations.  Now, pull out that list you drew up before leaving.  In fact, re-research:  consult Web sites you may not have found back home, with farm-to-table restaurant choices, and tiny local boutiques with no Web sites.  Stock your guest room with healthy juices, bars to snack on, and opt for restaurants whose menus are not based primarily on sugar, cream, red meat, and overflowing bread baskets.   

Finally, go back to my October 26 post (Eat During the Day… NOT at Night).  This one is tricky for vacationers.  

·      That 8:30 p.m. dinner reservation may have to shift to 7:00, sacrificing some late-afternoon sun.  Or, if a late dinner has been part of your vacation pattern forever, prepare to forego one course, limit yourself to one piece of bread, and/or try to take smaller bites than usual as you eat.  

·      Two cocktails plus two glasses of wine at dinner?  One plus one instead, please, nursing them and chasing them with water refills.

·      Accepting the chef’s offer of the taster’s menu of each dessert?   Only if you satisfy yourself with tiny nibbles and can visualize that several bites will be left on the plate that goes back.  

Obviously, a simpatico spouse or traveling companion will make all these undertakings more realistic.  If you are not on the same page with your traveling partner(s), then it’s time to visualize again.   Focus on yourself – chase the one cocktail with even more water, and maybe the bread basket should be declined when your waitperson first offers it!

I am looking forward to your reports – and your own ideas! – by March 1.