You are what you eat.
The rules which help you feel your best by eating smart apply when you are on vacation just as well as they do when you are at home. I know very well the temptation to eat or drink too much or unwisely because this is vacation, after all. But temporary indulgence can boomerang into a longer lasting sense of discomfort or just not feeling your best. So here are some reminders about how to make the best of the buffets and bars.
Forget the energy bars. Has it occurred to you that calling something an energy bar just means it has more calories, delivered quickly? Unless you are biking the Tour de France or hiking the Appalachian Trail you do not need these. Carbohydrate spikes lead to sugar blues. Keep an even keel with complex carbs and you will do much better. Using sugar and caffeine to stay “up” will only bring you down in a big way.
Don’t overindulge at breakfast. I know the buffet breakfast is included in the money you have already paid, and you want to eat enough to keep you going until an early evening meal. But having a pile of eggs, sausage, pancakes, and hash will leave you feeling sluggish enough to go back to bed (except that you drank a pot of coffee, too). Mother was right that breakfast is important, but you will feel better if you keep it whole grain, low sugar, and smaller than a breadbox.
Do indulge a little. Your mental state is as important as digestive condition. If you spend your meals feeling deprived, that can rebound into worse binges than if you ate the Forbidden Fruit in the first place. Small indulgences can help you enjoy the special occasion which is your time away.
Make an effort to get vegetables daily. Have you noticed that most reasonably priced restaurants offer only two vegetables – French fries and coleslaw (and coleslaw is disappearing fast)? It can be difficult finding veggies on the menu but they are there if you seek them out. Replace highly processed, fast foods with whole foods as close to their original state as possible, and you will feel better. If you include produce stands in your shopping, you can enjoy additional local flavor in fruits and vegs.
Remember water and watch the alcohol. Whether you are touring vineyards or staying at an all-inclusive resort, you will not be well-served by drinking alcohol at every meal. Professional tasters don’t swallow everything they taste. You don’t need to drink every exotic cocktail on the bar menu. Drinking water with meals will keep you feeling better and keep your palate from being dulled for the excellent food you encounter.
Your vacation time is important. Eat well and wisely so you will feel your best as you enjoy this time apart.
Boundaries divide. Travel unites.
26 March 2015