Previously, on the Pocket RD…
Summer had arrived, and the Pocket RD and her loyal followers were looking forward to embarking on the ultimate summer treat: vacation. But even though the idea of lounging on a beach with a skinny cocktail in hand made their mouths water, they were worried. They became concerned that all that work they did for their bikini bodies would all be lost after days of staying in hotels and eating at restaurants. So they decided to arm themselves with tips and tricks to make sure that vacation was not only relaxing, but healthy too!
And now, Part II of the series…
Welcome back friends! At this point, you’ve stepped off that plane into some tropical paradise or bustling city. You checked into the hotel and taken the elevator to your kitchen-less accommodations for the next X amount of days. You’ve scoped out the hotel restaurants, the breakfast buffet, and the snack options (a.k.a. vending machines). You probably didn’t see a ton of healthy options available. So what’s the plan?
First, some advanced planning will go a long way. Ask ahead of time if the room you booked has a mini-fridge—oh the things you can store! Many hotels will have fridges in their rooms, but if your hotel requires an extra charge, it’s worth it if you’ll be staying for more than 2-3 days! The mini-fridge opens up a lot of possibilities: you can store the snacks you brought from home, leftovers from restaurant meals, and plenty of cold water. Plus, if there’s a local grocery store or farmer’s market nearby, you can store some fresh fruits and vegetables that may otherwise be hard to find!
Now we’ve arrived at the next challenge: the breakfast buffet. So many options, and you more than likely want to sample them all. To put together your best buffet breakfast, think about adding these to your plate:
- Protein (eggs, low-fat sausage/turkey bacon, yogurt, cheese)
- Whole grain (cereal, oatmeal, whole wheat toast/English muffin)
- Fresh fruit/vegetable
- Healthy fat (peanut butter, avocado)
Try to keep your hotel breakfast about the same size as your breakfast at home. Sure, it’s vacation, so treat yourself to an omelet. But load it up with veggies and keep it light on the bacon. I think my #1 piece of advice for navigating the breakfast buffet is this: survey your options first, THEN load up your plate. Otherwise you’ll end up with 3 different kinds of breakfast breads before finally finding the whole wheat.
Last, we need to consider our options for snacks. If you’re like me, and can’t go for more than 3 hours without eating something, planning ahead for snack options is ESSENTIAL. If you have room in your suitcase, DEFINITELY pack your own snacks! This is a recurrent theme in more than one of my posts, but I shall reiterate since this is important to preventing unwanted trips to the vending machine. Here are some of my faves:
- Sargento Balanced Breaks: these are new, and awesome! These perfect-portion packs feature cheese cubes + nuts + dried fruit. There are different flavors to choose from, and all are 170-190 calories and 7g protein. Find them in the cheese aisle!
- Quaker Soft Baked Bars: granola bars are a staple on-the-go snack, but the trick is finding the right ones. Try these out for 150 calories, 6g protein, and 5g fiber. Yes, they contain sugar, but the fiber slows its absorption.
- Kind Healthy Grains Bars: these are fun since they feature ancient grains like quinoa, millet, and buckwheat! There’s a good selection of flavors and I dig anything that is whole-grain heavy!
- Trail mix: make your own! This is such a great snack option because you can pick your favorite trail mix additives (whole grain cereal, unsalted nuts, dried fruit, seeds, dark chocolate, etc.) and store it in the snack-size plastic baggies. Throw a handful of the individual snack bags into your backpack for the day and your snack dilemmas are solved!
- Skinny Pop Popcorn: even though this could easily get squished in a suitcase, individual bags of popcorn are a great snack! Whole grain + low in sodium = killer combination!
- Fruit snacks: sure, fresh fruit is ideal, but if that is hard to come by, a small bag of fruit snacks is low in calories and can give you that sweet treat you want without putting you over the edge on calories. Make sure to purchase a brand that is made from real fruit.
Try a couple of these tips and I swear, you’ll be a healthy-hotel pro in no time! Plus, these strategies can be applied no matter what kind of hotel you book. Now that we’ve successfully gotten you on the plane and to your hotel, we only have one step left…and it’s the hardest one. In the conclusion of this travel series, we’ll be talking about how to stick to a healthy diet routine when you have to eat every meal at a restaurant. This can be the one thing that throws you off the tracks if you’ve been “good” with everything else. But breathe easy; I have tips for that too! Just make sure to stop by again next week 🙂