Vacation gives us a much-needed break from work and day-to-day obligations. But what about our wellness objectives—can we keep working on our nutrition goals while traveling? With a little effort, yes, whether we’re visiting new places or returning to well-loved destinations. Here are some ways to explore local cuisines and enjoy food adventures while still having a Guiding Stars inspired vacation.
Keep moderation in mind
At Guiding Stars, we’re all about balance, and it’s a great way to think about eating while on vacation. For example, if you’re planning an indulgent evening, choose mostly Guiding Stars earning vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein during the day. By focusing on moderation, there’s plenty of room in your day for a more decadent dinner.
Likewise, you don’t have to pass on local fare (like those fried clam strips) when you order just enough. Either choose an appetizer portion or turn an entrée for one into a “family style” meal with others. Then pair that dish with something simple and filling. A fresh salad or grains with grilled salmon, shrimp, chicken, or lean meat can complete a satisfying meal.
Understand what you’re ordering
Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions about a restaurant menu. Just because a dish appears to be a good option doesn’t mean that it’s prepared the way you think. A large scoop of butter may be added to broiled fish, while a simple soup could contain far more salt than you realize. Ask questions and modify dishes as needed to make the meal you want.
Whether your vacation plans include a beach day or sightseeing around a city, embrace physical activity on your trip. This is especially important if you’re trying to manage blood sugar or other health conditions while on vacation. Exercise also lowers stress (yes, sometimes even travel is stressful), improves digestion, and helps your body feel better all around.
Watch what you drink
After all that activity, you will probably be thirsty! Beverages are a common hiding place for more calories and added sugar than you realize. But is that where you want to splurge on those attributes? Instead, choose a Guiding Stars earning beverage like unsweetened tea, seltzer, or water, and add fresh citrus for flavor. To learn how your bottled beverage rates, use the Guiding Stars Food Finder app, scan the bar code, and review its scorecard.
Don’t forget—you’re on vacation!
Just as your shopping cart at home isn’t always filled with only star-earning food, your vacation shouldn’t be either. Maybe there’s a fantastic local ice cream shop near where you’re staying. Or an out-of-this-world dessert your destination is known for. You are on vacation, after all—go for it! Sometimes, the healthiest thing we can do for ourselves is to savor the moment.
To that point, for many of us, enjoying the local cuisine is one of the best parts of traveling. Visiting new and unusual restaurants, and relishing that you are somewhere new or different. If that means that you aren’t eating quite the same way you do at home, that’s ok! When your vacation ends, you will return to work and other obligations. And your usual diet will be right there waiting for you too.