I think there is often a little bit of debate between whether you should have a healthy holiday, or if you should just enjoy the time away and indulge. Personally, I like the idea of striking a balance and finding lots of enjoyable, active activities and eating delicious foods. If you are still yet to take your summer holiday, or have another trip coming up, read on to see my tips on eating healthily abroad.
1. Stock up on healthy snacks
In the UK, healthy snacks and nibbles have taken the shops by storm. You can find the popular Nakd bars in even the smallest of convenience shops now, or order multipacks online. Popping packaged items into your main luggage should be fine with most airlines (always check first!) ensures that you have a source of energy to-go. Biona make these great little packets of healthy breads, such as pumpernickel that come already sliced into thins. If you are a little dubious about your breakfast options, these are great, and perfect for topping with mashed banana or avocado.
2. Shop local
From my mother, I have developed a great love of exploring foreign supermarkets. It sounds silly, but it is exciting to see what variety of food is on offer, and what makes up the staple foods in a different country. Alongside this, head to local markets for seasonal produce, especially fruit and veg. Take advantage of regional specialities -if you are visiting a coastal area, look for fresh (and sustainably caught!!) seafood. Keep your wits about you, particularly in places such as Morocco or Turkey where there is a strong market culture and don’t be guilted into buying things you don’t want. UK market traders are fairly reserved about enticing customers, so be prepared for a different experience.
3. Blend it up
Again, please check your airline policy, but recently, I have been hearing about holiday makers packing their travel blenders. If this appeals to you, grab your Nutribullet or hand blender and get ready to whip up smoothies and pestos on the go -just don’t forget the power adaptors! If you are going self catered, it is always worth asking the property owner what equipment they provide, or if they have a blender that you could borrow.
4. Eat where the residents eat
It’s always a little disappointing to arrive at a new, exotic destination, only to come across pizza places and English-style pubs. See if you can scope out a less touristy restaurant, or ask your travel rep if they recommend anywhere. Talk to people that you meet and ask for opinions. You may find something totally unexpected -the world is a global village, after all, and you will always find a blend of cultures. When in Greece, we mixed up seafood restaurants with a beachfront Italian, owned by a lovely lady who split her time between the two countries.
5. Eat your greens
Keep your nutrient and energy levels high by snacking on fruit and vegetables to ensure that you are getting you 5-10 a day. It is one of the cheapest kinds of food and will keep you sustained between meals. If you’re following tip 3, a smoothie is the perfect way to boost your intake, and is nice and cooling in a hot country!
Ultimately, you are on holiday, and a week or two of not sticking exactly to plan is not going to do you any harm. Eating healthily is meant to be enjoyable, so if it is causing added pressure, don’t sweat it. Try not to go completely crazy (on the fizzy drinks and alcohol too!), and get back to your usual routine once home.