6 Tips to help you stick to your eating plan while on vacation
Are you one of the millions of Canadians who plan on taking a vacation this year? If so, you may be concerned about the logistics of keeping your eating plan on track while away. After all, vacation time often goes hand in hand with rich foods, excessive drinking, and a change in your eating schedule and exercise routine. Fortunately, all it takes are a few simple guidelines to keep you focused on your eating plan (with ample room to sample local food and beverages).
Enjoy small plates
For some countries—such as Spain, Greece, and Argentina—the idea of eating multiple small plates of food is deeply woven into their cultural tapestry. Tapas, or variations on tapas, consists of small amounts of food that are usually eaten between meals or later in the evening while enjoying a glass of wine or beer. Many other cultures have adopted the idea of small plates, often using them as a means to showcase the best and brightest of local ingredients unique to the area. Ordering small plates while dining out is a fantastic way to sample the local terroir, while also ensuring you don’t go overboard with your daily SmartPoints allowance on a single meal.
Conversely, eating family-style is also a delicious way to sample many types of local food while on vacation (without having to order multiple dishes for yourself.) Depending on the number of people you’ll be dining with, order several different appetizers and entrees for everyone to sample. This method of eating allows you to try all the foods that pique your curiosity without having to commit to one large menu item.
Watch your alcohol intake
Although it’s tempting to relax with a cocktail (or two, or three) while you’re on your vacation, it’s important to be mindful of the SmartPoint values of some of the most popular boozy beverages—especially those served at resorts. Cocktails such as piña coladas, daiquiris, tequila sunrises, margaritas, Long Island iced teas, and mai tais are loaded with sugar and can have double-digit SmartPoints, making them an unwise choice in terms of both SmartPoints and for their potential to cause catastrophic hangovers. Instead, stick to wine, spritzes or spirits served neat, on the rocks or combined with your favourite 0 SmartPoints mixer.
Find a local grocery store
Visiting a local grocery store is an easy way to stock up on healthy snacks while also discovering all of the regional specialties your home away from home has to offer. Exotic fruits and vegetables, tinned seafood, packaged healthy snacks, and ready-to-serve deli salads are just some of the options you can find when exploring unfamiliar grocery stores while on vacation.
Check to see if your hotel has a mini-fridge for food and drink storage
If you’re staying in a hotel, call ahead of time to see whether or not your room comes equipped with a usable mini-fridge. Because some hotel mini-fridges are rigged with a scale that lets the hotel know whether or not you’ve helped yourself to any of its contents, it’s always a good idea to double-check with staff before removing existing items to make room for your own food and drink.
Book accommodations with a kitchen area
Depending on whether you plan on booking a hotel room or renting a vacation home, finding accommodations with a kitchen can be a great way to store and prepare healthy foods (while also helping you save money on restaurant meals.) Travelling as a family to a resort? Many resort hotels offer suites with a full kitchen, complete with dishes, cutlery, and basic appliances.