Even if you’ve got into good habits of eating well and looking after body and mind during your every day life it’s much harder to keep up with these habits when on holiday. The temptation may be to throw caution to the wind but, while treating yourself on holiday is recommended, you’ll regret it if you return home having sabotaged your health in the space of a week or two. Here are some tips for staying healthy wherever you go on holiday:
Plan Ahead - find out in advance what the local food options are. Self-catering provides a great opportunity to buy produce in local shops and farmer’s markets. You might want to look up recipes using unusual local ingredients. If you are going to be eating out research restaurants, cafes and street foods within walking distance of where you’ll be staying. Find out what the ingredients are likely to be so you’ll know if you need to avoid any. Establish whether your room will have a fridge, microwave, toaster or kettle as these will increase your options.
Breakfast – eat a wholesome breakfast before you set off on your travels. Ideally prep this the night before to save time in the morning. Protein and complex carbs will keep you feeling satiated for longer so think scrambled or boiled eggs, yoghurt, overnight oats with nuts and berries or soudough rye toast with tahini. Once on holiday stick with the habit of eating a wholesome breakfast. Think fruit, yoghurt, toast, eggs, cereal. Tom Oliver’s protein powders can be mixed with water or juice for a protein packed start to the day.
The Journey – whether you are flying abroad or travelling by train, coach, car or bike take food and drink with you for the journey. Options include dried fruit, nuts, seeds, olives and trail mixes. For long journeys you may want to take a picnic lunch rather than relying on service stations or in-flight meals. Good picnic foods include polenta, avocados, hummous with crudités, marinated tofu, salads, tinned fish, olives and sandwiches. Take a flask of tea and plenty of water.
Drinks – find out if the local tap water is drinkable. If it is take a water bottle to save buying bottled water and contributing to landfill with plastic bottles. You might want to enjoy some of the local alcoholic beverages but you’ll enjoy the next day more if you drink in moderation. Soft drinks are often full of sugar, artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Go for water, tea, coffee, herbal teas or freshly squeezed juices where possible.
Eating Out – holidays provide a great opportunity to try out unusual foods. Most traditional cuisines will include healthy, balanced meals using locally grown ingredients. However, there may be tourist friendly options with foods for the less adventurous which may have less to recommend them nutritionally. Look for meals containing good quality proteins like seafood, chicken, beans and lentils with lots of vegetables or salads. Watch out for sauces and creamy dressings which can be laden with hidden calories. Ask to take left overs with you rather than trying to eat it all if portion sizes are large.
Containers and sealable food bags – take a few containers with lids and bags with you so that you can take a picnic or at least some snacks on day trips. This will save having to eat out for every meal which is expensive and likely to be calorific.
Be Realistic – don’t expect to eat a perfect diet while travelling. Enjoy yourself and relax about the food. It will be different from what you usually eat but you might discover new ingredients and ways of cooking that will enhance your diet. As much as you can avoid heavily processed foods, high sugar desserts and snacks,
Supplement – take some basic supplements with you to support your immune system, digestion and energy. We recommend:
Tom Oliver’s B vitamins – needed for energy and digestion.
Tom Oliver’s Vitamin C - for the immune system which may be challenged by hours on a plane or by unfamiliar bugs.
Tom Oliver’s Vitamin D+K2 – this might not be needed if you are exposing your skin to plenty of sunshine but if you are in a country where this is not possible for religious, cultural or climate reasons you’d best take some with you.
Tom Oliver’s magnesium – needed for energy production but also relaxing. May aid sleep if taken in the evening.
Tom Oliver’s zinc – needed for the immune system and many enzyme systems in the body involved in energy, hormone production, skin health and digestion.
Tom Oliver’s probiotic complete – tummy troubles are a common problem when eating different food and being exposed to unfamiliar bugs. Probiotics are a great way to support gut health and the immune system.
Tom Oliver’s protein powders – available as whey protein or vegan protein these are a must have. Can be mixed with water, juice, plant milk or added to oats or smoothies for a protein boost.
Tom Oliver’s peanut butter – so versatile – perfect on bread, crackers or vegetables or eaten straight from the jar. You won’t regret taking a jar or two with you.