How to Make Healthy Food Choices on Vacation!

Y’all! I just got back from a reeaaaaaaaalllllly fun trip to Florida. I went to Universal Studios for two days, then to a wedding on a boat in Clearwater Beach! What a blast!

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Need less to say, I was eating out a lot. Here are my top tips for eating out on the road:

  •  Plan ahead. Look at menus, bring healthy snacks (like apples, carrots, salmon jerky, nuts, etc.), decide where you’ll eat in advance, and about what time you’ll go. Having a plan helps you stick to it, and takes the guessing (and worrying) out of the equation.
  • Don’t wait until you’re really hungry to make a food decision. This goes along with the above tip. If you’re prepared, you’re less likely to binge on churros!
  • Seek out vegetables. I know it’s possible since I just had some GREAT meals, at a theme park, that had a lot of vegetables. One meal even came with broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and peas. And they were big portions too!
  • Seek out grilled protein. Sure, it’s easy to grab those chicken strips and fries, but there are better options. I even had a smoked, pulled chicken salad at The Three Broomsticks (Harry Potter fans know the reference, I’m sure). It was sooooo good, and reasonably priced.
  • Think about how you’ll feel afterwards. Say you want to go for the pizza dipped in ranch dressing. Will that make your gut feel like a brick? Maybe that’s not the best option when you’re about to go on a ride that spins you around and flips you upside down…
  • Avoid snacking. Every fifty-ish feet in theme parks there’s another vendor selling something. Ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” Those dippin’ dots probably won’t satisfy you if you are.
  • Plan for GFG’s (guilt free grubs). I saw a key lime cheesecake in the window of a bakery, and knew I had to try it. I made a mental note, then came back to have it when I was more hungry, and then enjoyed the heck out of it! In places like a theme park, the food will still be there later. Do you really need to eat it RIGHT now? Plus, if you know you’ll be enjoying a delicious snack later, it could help you eat more healthy foods leading up to it.
  • Eat less frequently. I usually eat three square meals a day and no snacks. This trip, I stuck to two meals. Mostly because I wanted to ride as many rides as I could, but also because I knew the meals would probably be higher in calories than I was used to. I knew that fewer meals containing higher calories would still put me at an appropriate amount of energy intake for my movement needs those days.
  • Carry a water bottle, and continue to drink plenty of water (yep, it’s there under my sweatshirt in the first picture!). There were tons of drinking fountains all over the theme park, and when we sat down to eat at a restaurant, the servers even filled my bottle with ice. How nice! You may even need more water than normal if you’re outside a lot in the sun!
  • Have fun!!! Try new foods, or the local cuisine!

BONUS: I gained NO weight, and felt comfortable (not bloated and gross) the whole trip. I’d call that a win!

So, there you have it!

ACTION STEP: Next time you’re out of town on vacation, pick one or more of these tips to implement. Then tell me which one you tried and how it went!