Vacations are beautiful, incredibly necessary things; they enable you to relax, unwind, and get away from life’s daily stressors. However, vacations themselves can be somewhat stressful when you’re trying to eat clean. If the thought of having to compromise your diet on vacation gives you anxiety, rest assured that with a little willpower and dedication, you won’t have to compromise your lifestyle. The following set of tips will help you to eat as clean as possible while in relaxation mode:
If you have access to a full kitchen:
Make one large grocery trip every few days. By stocking your kitchen with clean food, you’ll be more likely to resist vacation temptations. Try to plan what you’re going to make ahead of time so that none of your groceries go to waste.
Plan to make meals that are quick and simple to prepare. Luckily, preparing clean meals doesn’t have to be complicated. Choose quick, simple recipes to prepare in order to allow yourself as much time as possible to relax and enjoy all the luxuries of your vacation. Dishes like Clean Eating Skillet Pesto Chicken, and other recipes under the “Simple Meals” tab, require very few ingredients but are sure to please your taste buds.
Consider making slow-cooking meals. Again, preparing clean meals doesn’t have to mean spending hours in the kitchen. By making dishes that can cook low and slow for a few hours at a time, you can go enjoy yourself and relax while your next meal practically cooks itself. Type “slow cooker” into the search key for inspiration.
If you only have hotel room appliances:
Buy or bring along natural, ready-to-eat foods. Since your appliances are limited, it may be easier to buy foods that require no cooking. Good options include:
• Individual yogurts (Fage and Stonyfield Farms are good brands)
• granola bars or Lara Bars
• fresh fruits and vegetables
• natural string cheese
• nut butters
• bread/ whole grain crackers
• hard boiled eggs
Make use of the supermarket’s salad bar. Salad bars are wonderful to take advantage of when staying in a hotel because you can prepare a few and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. Clean salad toppings include lean protein, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, and eggs. When it comes to dressing, your best bet is to choose a simple combination of oil and vinegar.
When you don’t have access to appliances or a kitchen:
Bring along or buy non-perishable foods and foods that can be kept at room temperature. Fresh fruits such as apples and oranges, nut butters, cereals, nuts, seeds, fruit juice sweetened dried fruits, crackers, clean trail mix, canned tuna, and clean eating granola bars (2) are all good options that can be combined to create wholesome meals. Additionally, if you happen to find a restaurant with clean options that you’d rather eat at, your food will stay fresh and you’ll be able to enjoy it another time.
Do research before you make reservations or commit to dining anywhere. Most local restaurants these days have their menus available to view online. By viewing the menu ahead of time, you’ll save your precious vacation time and know before you arrive what your healthiest choice is.
When eating out, don’t be afraid to customize. Often, when out to eat at a restaurant, there won’t be a perfect option on the menu. Therefore, don’t be afraid to make substitutions or exceptions! For example, if that grilled chicken entrée sounds perfect aside from the rich sauce drizzled on top, simply ask for it on the side. You’d be surprised how accommodating restaurants can be, particularly when you’re in a vacation spot where the staffs’ goal is to please travelers like you. After all, the customer is always right.
Megan Bush can be found at Sprinkled With Health.