Say Hello to Leah from Life’s Pantry, our resident health guru and all things ‘well being’. Leah has been showing us so much about eating healthier foods and choosing better options for our whole family. She breaks it all down, makes it easy to understand, is flexible and understands ‘real’ life and balance! Cheers to that!
Is healthy eating on holidays possible?
It’s a common scenario.
You’re going along great; eating well, drinking lots of water, trying to avoid chocolate and generally feeling like you have things under control… and then that weekend away or big trip finally arrives.
What to do? Getting away is supposed to be about letting your hair down, chilling and relaxing right? No one wants to be obsessing over maintaining healthy eating when there are places to go, people to see, and most importantly, wine to be drunk! But at the same time you don’t want to return home feeling sluggish, carrying extra weight and feeling exhausted. So what’s the answer? How does one totally enjoy some time away, feel like you’ve treated yourself but also maintain some semblance of a healthy diet at the same time?
I don’t have all the answers and of course everyone’s perspective on food is different but I can certainly share what works for me and my family when we are away from home…
Breakfast: Go for something nutritious and satiating like bacon and eggs with a side of avo, tomato and a good quality sour dough toast. If you can fill up on protein and some good quality fat at breaky while avoiding the sugar and empty carbs, it will set you up for a great day. When we were in Thailand recently, we made it mandatory for the kids (and ourselves) to have eggs, something green and some fresh fruit to start with. The kids also had to down a glass of water or milk alongside it. After they had filled up on the good stuff, they could then choose something more indulgent from the buffet to finish off their first meal of the day. They were more than happy to oblige and it meant they weren’t complaining of being hungry again by 9:30!
Water: It’s a no brainer. We all know the importance of drinking lots of H2O for its absolutely essential role in maintaining good health. And on hols it’s just as important. Take a few refillable water bottles with you wherever you go. If the kids have their own backpacks, make sure they have their own bottles (less weight for mum and dad to carry) and make sure every half an hour or so everyone has a good big drink. Having your own bottles is so much more convenient and more affordable than buying it. Most cafes are happy to refill your bottles for free from their kitchen tap. Also see the extra water tip below for when you’re enjoying a few alcoholic drinks.
Snacks: Try to make your snacks between meals as yummy but as healthy as possible. We usually take our own or have a grocery order delivered to our accommodation with everything we need. It’s easier, healthier and much cheaper than hitting up a cafe every time someone is hungry. Great snack options are: nuts, seeds, crackers and cheese, fruit, veggie sticks and dip, wholefood bars (just check closely for additives and sugar content), additive
free corn or veggie chips, sandwiches, bliss balls and boiled eggs.
Lunch and dinner: Of course on holidays you should indulge in your favourite holiday meals, but if you also want to slot in some healthier choices, just think simple. Most pubs, cafes and restaurants will have something yummy and healthy on the menu which will be a better choice than another burger and chips! Think grilled fish, steak or chicken with steamed veggies. Try a new gourmet salad or opt for preparing your own platter of veggie sticks, fruits and cheese. Grabbing a hot chook and some salad from the supermarket is also a quick and easy way of feeding everyone healthily and economically. Just think real and simple and that will help you stay on track in between the pizzas and McDonalds meals.
Coffee & Cake: One of my favourite things to do, even when we’re not on holidays, is to go for coffee and cake. Sometimes when we’re away, we’ll end up indulging for both morning and afternoon tea! The great news is that these days this fashionable habit doesn’t have to equal crappy and sugary. There are more and more cafes popping up with a focus on real and wholefood treats and great organic coffee. Keep your eye out for these healthier options or even Google your destination before your leave so you know what is available. And if you find your coffee intake is a bit high, try an herbal tea every now and then. There are heaps to choose from. My favourites are chamomile, peppermint and liquorice. They’re delicious and most are caffeine free too.
Alcohol: No holiday is complete without a few afternoon or evening beverages! We all know consuming too much alcohol is bad for us, not to mention makes us feel pretty shabby the next day, but there’s drinking grog and then there’s drinking grog. An organic, preservative free wine is a cleaner option than something like a Cruiser or UDL,
as is an organic, preservative free craft beer. A vodka and soda finished off with some fresh lemon or lime is also another great way to enjoy a drink without the sugar and icky additives. The water content of drinking vodka and soda also really aids in keeping your body hydrated while indulging in a few. A great drink of choice while travelling in the tropics. If you do opt for beer, wine or mixed spirits, try and slot a glass of flat water in between each alcoholic drink. (I do this no matter when I am having a few wines. It’s the only hangover remedy that actually works!) And if downing your water amidst your drinking buddies at the table isn’t your go, just order it and scull it down at the bar before you head back to the group.
So there you have it – healthy travel eating in a nut shell! I do hope you enjoy your next trip away finding the balance between indulging and treating yourself and looking after yourself at the same time!
Pop over to Life’s Pantry’s website and Facebook page for inspiration & recipes.
Leah – “Healthy food, family, self care – my highest priorities in life. Join me as I blog my journey on all things clean eating, wholesome family living and nurturing self-care. Let me share with you the ins and outs of my ‘Life’s Pantry’.”