How to stay healthy on holiday – the nutritionist’s guide

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A recent holiday to the Amalfi coast was a struggle! It certainly wasn’t the beautiful azure waters I was staring out into from my hotel room or the fabulous alleyways that I found myself perusing in the mid-afternoon sun, but it was actually the food that I struggled with.

Adopting the 80:20 rule for the duration of holiday allows for the inevitable indulgences

My approach for good health is simple; no counting calories or avoiding food groups, but simply ensuring balanced, healthy food choices. This means ensuring my meals are made up of plenty of vegetables, good lean protein and limited starchy foods like pasta, rice, potatoes and bread.  That was my problem precisely – it’s virtually impossible to order a meal that satisfies frankly any of these simple criteria. The ubiquitous ‘primi piati’ pasta or pizza dishes are the mainstay of any menu and the ‘secondi piati’ is essentially fish (great choice) with potatoes (not so great choice) and no vegetables (disaster!). Worse still, when trying to order a side salad, the choice is limited to just one……tomatoes and invariably with mozzarella.

How a nutritionist stays healthy on holiday

It’s difficult to avoid the delicious pasta and pizza on holiday

Adopting the 80:20 rule for the duration of holiday allows for the inevitable indulgences, which after all are an essential part of any holiday.

Here are 10 ways to help you keep a balance during your holiday:

Be prepared

Your good intentions can disappear in an instant when searching for good options at the airport. Unless you’re at a large airport with plenty of choice, it can be difficult to find a nutritious meal. You can actually bring food through security and packing your own healthy lunch or dinner can be a perfect way to ensure you eat the food you want to eat, whether it’s at the airport or on the plane. How about:

  • A whole avocado; you can prepare this on the flight using the cutlery provided on the in-flight meal tray or you can prepare it in advance. Cut the fruit in half, take out the stone and scoop the flesh away from the skin but keeping it in place. Slice each half into cubes and then put both halves back together, securing with an elastic band.
  • Hard boiled eggs (if you don’t mind an evacuation thanks to the smell!)
  • Hummous, with pre-cut cruditées such as carrot sticks or peppers
  • Pre-prepared portable snack such as this sweet potato frittata
  • Fruits
  • Unsalted nuts or homemade granola 
  • Raw dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids (such as Raw Halo or Pana Chocolate) or energizing bliss balls
  • Herbal tea bags to use with hot water on the plane (such as Pukka Herbs Three Cinnamon or Higher Living Ginger Kick)
  • A refillable water bottle so you can avoid soft drinks or caffeine drinks to stay hydrated before and during the flight
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