When on a vacation, eating is always a little different from the usual. It can be a good thing or a bad thing, depends how you look at it. You could be happy to try all the good things, while still keeping moderation in mind, our you could lose your mind by trying to eat as clean as possible and stress over every piece of food that you have, possibly ending up bingeing.
Healthy Snacking When on a Vacation
I try my best to eat as healthy as I can, while enjoying my food but not overdoing it. Whether I want it or not, I'm eating less healthy than at home. But I have realized that I will be fine as long as I keep in mind the following things:
- Keep my portion sizes under control. A lot of times, half of a regular meal is enough. If I have worked out a lot that day though, I have a full meal with no question.
- Turn down desserts every now and then, or just to have a small bite of a treat.
- Keep my booze under control. Vacation means relaxing, relaxing means wine… The good thing is that because we have been hanging out with people who don't drink, we have been drinking less than usually.
- Have my greens every day, in a form of salad or smoothie.
- Keep healthy snacks around.
Why I'm Snacking
I know myself and know that in general, snacking a lot is not the way to go for me. If I start snacking, a lot of times I keep snacking. Even though I don't count calories, I know that having several snacks a day, each of them worth of 150-300 calories, will eventually add up. So, when I'm at home, I prefer not to snack all that much but have bigger meals instead.
However, things are a little different here. Because we have big family dinners nearly every night, we have been snacking quite a bit earlier on the day. The dinners are usually pretty large and we don't want to show up there still full from lunch. That means that we have relied on smaller foods and snacks for lunch. Also, the dinners are earlier than what we are used to, so a small snack with protein and fat easily holds us over until the dinnertime.
This approach has nothing to do with starving myself. Not at all! It's just making better choices while still feeling good, and building up some appetite by the time the dinner time rolls around.
Some Delicious (and semi-healthy) Snacks
Here are some examples of my snacks that I have been having lately either right after my morning workout or before the dinner. They have all been delicious, that's for sure. But the reason I say they are semi-healthy is that the smoothies and frozen bowls are pretty sweet, so I'm pretty sure there is quite a bit sugar in them. One way of making them healthier would be just asking them to add less honey, agave or whatever sweetener they are using.
Smoothies from Leahi Health
This smoothie had almond milk, almond butter, apple, banana and honey in it. I had it for breakfast the other day, and it kept me full for hours.
If you are in Honolulu area, I definitely recommend you to check Leahi Health out, especially if you are vegetarian (they are vegetarian only). Finding a decent salad has been a little struggle over here otherwise, but Leahi Health has great salads (also the green salad bowls above are from the same place) and tasty smoothies.
Frozen fruit and veggie cup from Banán
In Banán, they use mostly local ingredients to make these delicious bowls. The one probably not-so-healthy ingredient in this bowl is a sprinkle of granola, which is definitely pretty heavily loaded with sugar. But kale, ginger and mint will make up for it. It was really tasty and surprisingly satisfying.
Fresh coconuts and pineapples
You couldn't ask for much tastier and healthier snack than fresh fruit. Pineapples are super sweet here and I have been having some almost every day.
Good old Quest bars
This pumpkin pie flavor is available only until the end of this year, so I made sure to buy a whole box the other day. There's two of us, so it didn't take a whole lot of time to finish it. Great thing about these bars is that they are packed with protein – there's 20 grams of it per bar.
These macadamia nuts are so good and it's pretty hard to limit myself to just one serving. These nuts came in many flavors and some of them, like Coffee Glazed or Milk Chocolate covered ones are more candies than nuts… but they are incredible! However, their Dry Roasted and Maui Onion & Garlic are really tasty as well and definitely a little healthier.
I've been trying to find Mauna Loa macadamias on the mainland too, but not too many stores carry them. Besides, they are way more affordable here than on the mainland.
String cheese and fruit
This is a super simple and easy snack. Individually wrapped cheese is easy to bring anywhere and it's also great for practicing portion control if that's something that you are struggling with. I like to pair string mozzarella cheese with fruit – it's a great combo of vitamins from the fresh fruit and protein and fat from cheese.
That's about it!
When on a vacation, it's not possible to control every small bite that you are having. And honestly, even trying to do that would make the vacation too stressful. Just do the best you can every moment by making good choices.