By: Sam Lewandowski, MS RD LD
Vacation is often considered a license to eat indulgent meals, forget nutrition and just plain enjoy ourselves. It’s an escape from the day-to-day, so we give ourselves permission for eating well to go out the window. Not so fast. Vacationing doesn’t have to mean leaving our nutrition knowledge at home. Here are five tips for eating well on vacation:
1. Stick with a schedule. Perhaps you’re sleeping in, or up later than usual. Either way, you’re your regular meals and snacks within your given time frame. Your body will thank you for keeping a regular eating schedule and the transition home will be easier.
2. Branch out. Being away from home is a fantastic opportunity to try new restaurants, new foods, and dishes you wouldn’t dream of cooking at home. Find local, in-season produce and utilize restaurant recommendations from others. Seize the day and you just might find a new favorite.
3. Eat together. Vacation is about the location and the company. Eating with others is a wonderful shared experience and can make for a more leisurely meal. It’s also the perfect time to set examples for the younger set – not only what you’re eating, but how.
4. Indulge…with common sense. By all means enjoy your vacation favorites, but don’t go so hog wild that you’re feeling ill. Nutrition is cumulative, so ice cream or French fries are not going to ruin a whole day, but keep in mind the items at other meals.
5. Relax and enjoy. It is vacation after all. Make time for yourself, for others and for fun activities, including eating. Focus on the positive – the adventures, the memories. And don’t pack the guilt.
Are you headed out on vacation this month? Do you find it difficult to leave food-related baggage at home?
*The photos in this post are from Stacey’s vacation in Bogota three years ago this month. It’s a beautiful country with incredible food. For more photos of her trip, visit http://staceyviera.zenfolio.com/bogota*