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In this second installment of how to eat real foods away from home, we’ll tackle eating real food while on vacation. We talked about how to eat real food on road trips
, or day trips, last time. Eating real food while on vacation is a little trickier.
Real Food Vacations
The first thing to keep in mind about eating real food is the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule of real food states that eighty percent of our diet should be whole, nourishing, real foods. If we are eating well eighty percent of the time then our bodies can filter out or recover from the damage done by a diet that contains twenty percent of foods that are not optimally healthy.
I don’t know about you, but my days revolve around food. Not so much the eating of food, but the planning and preparing of meals and snacks. I’m planning and prepping for five people. When I get a vacation, I do not want to plan and prep the entire time. Take the 80/20 rule seriously while on vacation and enjoy yourself. If that means that once per day you eat at a restaurant that doesn’t serve grass-fed beef or indulge in a dessert made with refined sugar, then so be it. I’m not an advocate of eating crappy food just because you can on a regular basis, but while on vacation, I’m an advocate of making things easier even if you sacrifice health for a day or two. Because you are so vigilant the rest of the time, it is not catastrophic. Of course, if you have allergies or an intolerance to certain foods or ingredients, please avoid those foods or ingredients! Employ common sense always.
Here are five tips for eating real foods while on vacation.
1. Plan ahead.
This step is essential. You cannot use any of my other tips without first planning ahead. If you regularly prepare traditional foods, you are already well versed in planning ahead when it comes to food.
2. Make foods ahead to take with you.
Most hotel rooms have a refrigerator. If you are traveling by car, bring some of your favorite real foods from home. (Since you’ll need to pack some of the foods in a cooler, I don’t know if this would work if you are flying to your destination.) Make breakfast foods ahead of time. Soaked waffles, for instance, travel well and can be heated in a toaster. Bring your own maple syrup for the waffles and for sweetening coffee or other indulgences. Sourdough bread also travels well and makes a great breakfast or snack. Pack your favorite non-refrigerated foods like apples, bananas, soaked nuts and other snacks to keep your energy up between meals. Bring along your favorite cheeses.
3. Eat out at the grocery store. A great way to eat real food while on vacation is to buy your meals at a grocery store. While you are planning your trip, do some research on local health food stores you can visit for real foods. Most major cities in the US have a chain health food store, as well. Eat several meals from the deli/restaurant at these grocers. You may not find grass-fed beef, raw milk or properly prepared grains, but you will find, overall, cleaner food than many chain casual dining restaurants.
4. Find local farmers in your vacation destination area. Again, do some research as you plan your vacation. While you may not be able to buy and prepare meat for eating in your hotel room, you might find a source of raw milk, organic fruits and vegetables or properly prepared grains. Finding those items could push you closer to the eighty percent goal. Check out Local Harvest for local farmers and farmer’s market listings in the area where you will be vacationing.
5. Relax! Don’t get so obsessed with eating real food that you can’t take a vacation because you might have to eat something that’s not ideal. Have fun! This is the time to let your hair down and indulge. Again, unless you have an allergy or an intolerance that will make you miserable and ruin your vacation, lighten up and eat up! You’ve been good to your body, feeding it optimally nutritious and nourishing foods. Your body is in good shape to handle foods that are a little less than perfect for a short amount of time.