Don’t Holiday From Your Health

Tuesday, 05 Jul 16

By Jaime Rose Chambers

One of my favourite things in the world to do it travel. Sightseeing, history, having new cultural experiences and of course, experiencing new food. Ok lets be honest, that’s mostly why I travel!

Many of my patients set off for their travels resigned to the fact that they will let their healthy eating and exercise drop off completely – a ‘holiday from their health.’ Then they have a heap of hard work to do when they return to ‘get back on track.’ This doesn’t have to be the case though and there IS a way to enjoy all the delights of a travel experience without sacrificing your health.

Here are a few tips to enjoy the foodies delights but keep your health on track whilst holidaying:

  • Start your day really well – if you’re doing the buffet or ordering a la carte, bee-line for the eggs, cheese, smoked salmon, cold meats, grainy toast or a small bowl of muesli or porridge with yoghurt and fruit. This will set you up beautifully for the big day ahead. Try to avoid pastries, muffins and sugary cereals.
  • Keep some healthy snacks handy – I like to visit local grocery stores as I’m fascinated by the branding and different foods as well as local markets are great to pick up some healthy snacks for the day. Fresh and dried fruit, raw veges like snow peas and carrots, nuts, seeds and grainy crackers are great options. 
  • Choose wisely when eating out – depending on where you’re travelling you’ll have different eating challenges. In general, Europe can be very carbohydrate heavy and USA, enormous portions. Choose entree size meals like pasta, gnocchi, entrée’s are called appetisers in the USA, share meals where you can and try to choose your protein first so your meal is predominantly fish, seafood, meat or chicken. Always order extra veges on the side if there aren’t enough in the meal.
  • Enjoy your treats – enjoying local delicacies is such a joyful part of travelling. Think desserts, gelato and Swiss chocolate. There is no reason to cut these completely but think of them as a treat – mouthfuls, tastes, nibbles. That way you’re not missing out but not over-doing it either.
  • Get active – the best way of seeing a new place is to do it by foot. Get some comfy sneakers and walk everywhere you can at a good pace. You’ll be surprised how many steps you can rack up in a day. If you’re having a lazier holiday, start your day with a gym session if your hotel has a gym or pool or organise activities where you have to move like stand up paddle, surfing, kayaking and hiking.
  • Beware of the booze – a cocktail by the pool, scotch by the fire of a glass of Chianti red in Chianti is all part and parcel with the food experiences of travel but it comes with a huge calorie cost. A few tips to limit the boozing are drink only at one part of the day ie. either with lunch or once the sun has gone down. Have a few alcohol free days per week or stick to just one drink on each day. Avoid the elaborate, sugary cocktails as they can be sometimes 3-4 times the calorie content of a regular drink and have spirits either on the rocks or with water or soda water.

Bon voyage!

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