Dear Call Me Old Fashioned readers,
This here’s a guest post by Cole Millen, who requested the opportunity to offer his experience with eating healthy while on vacation. He’s provided a few internal links in the article that he found helpful during his research, but they are not affiliate links.
From Flight to Destination: How To Eat Healthy On Vacation
by. Cole Millen
Just because you are traveling does not mean you should kick your healthy eating habits to the curb. There are many ways that you can avoid packing on the pounds that you have worked so hard to lose. From flying to your destination to eating at your hotel or around the area, here are some tips to help maintain your healthy lifestyle:
When You are Flying
Consider eating a healthy meal at home before you even arrive at the airport. Once you get to the airport, do your best to walk around and see what the airport has to offer. Studies have shown that those who sit down to wait for a connecting flight are more likely to indulge in the unhealthy foods at the airport. Instead, search for healthy foods such as baked chicken, fruit cups or salads. Walk up the stairs and carry your luggage yourself instead of using the escalators or bags on wheels. If your flight does not include a layover but it still a long trip, pack light snacks like low-calorie nuts or dried fruit as a great alternative to buying unhealthy foods.
Finding a Healthy Hotel
While the hotel itself may not be healthy, consider choosing a hotel that is conveniently located within healthy restaurants or stores. Narrow down your list and call hotels to verify information regarding its restaurant, breakfast bar and snack room. Conduct an Internet search regarding the neighborhood surrounding the hotel to see if there are health food stores or grocery stores nearby that you could choose to eat from instead of the hotel’s restaurant. I have found consumer reviews to be the most honest and unbiased form of information. On a recent trip out west, I found a great site that listed reviews for Las Vegas hotels on a variety of different aspects. I was able to read reviews on not only the amenities and offerings of the hotel, but also regarding the restaurants in the nearby area as well as things to do. This made it easier than ever to plan ahead and ensure I could maintain my healthy lifestyle in such a buffet ridden city.
At Your Hotel
Upon arriving to the hotel, stock up on healthy alternatives such as oatmeal or instant soups at nearby health food stores to feed your cravings. These foods are easy to prepare with hot water from the coffeemaker in your room. Do research before you arrive or ask the front desk for suggestions. Refuse the key to the minibar to completely eliminate any temptations. If you decide to order room service, make sure you are specific with your requests; most hotels will accommodate any diets or health concerns. Choose whole-grains, wheat, fruits or low-fat yogurt or hard-boiled eggs from the continental breakfast bar instead of bacon and fried potatoes. Yogurts provide healthy sugars and protein while oatmeal sustains you with fiber and complex carbohydrates. Consider traveling with a small crockpot; you can easily make many meals in your room such as steamed vegetables, rice and chicken.
Finding a Healthy Restaurant
If possible, choose a restaurant with a varied menu or a salad bar to ensure you have plenty of healthy options to choose from. Avoid all-you-can eat establishments that support over-eating as well as restaurants with mascots. Ask the front desk of the hotel if they have menus available or check online before you leave your room to ensure you aren’t forced to choose the lesser of two evils. Eat a healthy snack such as an apple before dinner to reduce the urge of pre-meal snacking on breads or chips.
At the Restaurant
You must remember certain safe words and warning words when reviewing menus in the restaurants. Some healthy menu words include: whole wheat, vegetarian, stir-fried, steamed, roasted, red sauce, reduced, multi-grain, marinated, light, high-fiber, grilled, fresh, fat-free, broiled and baked. On the other hand, words to watch out for include: value, stuffed, smothered, platter, loaded, fried, crunchy, creamy, covered, country style, cheese, buttered, breaded, bottomless, battered and basted. Still, stick to your gut; if a food is described as “fat-free,” while it may have a lower fat content than other foods, it could be loaded with sugars and calories to help it taste better. Remember to avoid the skin on meats and understand the difference between lean and fatty meats. Choose vegetables or fruit as side options instead of carbohydrates and, when in doubt, always choose brightly colored foods over brown, beige or white foods.
Cole Millen is an avid traveler and foodie who never forgets that life’s best memories are made through real life apprehension of legitimate “experiences.” Follow his blog at Cole’s Mill.