August 23, 2011

Reader Survey: Vacation Temptation

The countdown has begun:

This Friday, barring a hurricane, I am heading to sunny Miami for the bachelorette party of one of my good friends. I’ve never been to Miami before, and this is a really fun group of girls, so I’m pretty pumped about the shenanigans in store.

Gonna be eating one of these.
Photo source: Wiqan Ang, Globe Photo

But my Miami trip is only the tip of the travel iceberg this fall. We have several weddings, a family visit, a much-overdue friend visit and an Ohio State football game on the agenda, all before November. Oy! All of this travel can create more than a few healthy eating challenges. I love food, so when I’m on vacation I want to be able to indulge a little and try something special, but still feel like I haven’t gone completely overboard at the end of the trip. I think I’m pretty good about making smart choices at restaurants, and I have a game plan in mind for the Miami bars (I’m not a big drinker anyways, so to avoid the other ladies having to carry me home, I’ll be alternating the hard stuff with club soda and lime).

 Tastes like home!
Photo source: Lucas Allen, Real Simple

It can still be hard, however, when every weekend you have an excuse to splurge (I’ve never had a Philly cheesesteak! Or cheese curds from Wisconsin! And I have to take MG to my favorite college dive spot before the game! And then there’s wedding cake. Times three). I’ve made a lot of lifestyle changes, so in the weeks between trips I’m not terribly worried about eating well and getting regular exercise in. When possible, I’m planning ahead (bringing my own breakfast and fruit to the airport, packing sandwiches for our road trips rather than stopping along the way). But being away from home that many weekends will definitely be a challenge.

And then there's this.
Photo source: Martha Stewart Weddings

My question for you today is: what is your big vacation food challenge and what tricks have you learned to overcome it? Answer in the comments!


  1. New places are fun but difficult in the food department because you'll most likely spend your time eating out for every meal. What I like to do is pack a bunch of healthy snacks, and if possible, get a hotel room with a small refrigerator to store stuff and track down a local grocery store to buy more healthful options. Also, going to grocery stores in diff areas is fun (Ex. foods sold at groceries in the southwest will be different from food you find in the south.) Since my husband and I are vegetarians, I try to stake out, online, any vegetarian friendly restaurants before we hit the road as well as maybe restaurants or foodstuffs that are unique to whatever region we go to. But all in all- it's a vacation! Vacations are made for doing new things and breaking the monotony of every day life!
    - Rachel L.

  2. My recommendation is to enjoy the time you have to savor in the celebratory food + drink that you will share with friends during this exciting wedding season. Counting out each slice of cake + sip of wine will take away from the joy of the experience. There is a fine line between being health conscious and being compulsive, and my best advice as someone who has struggled with what you are clearly battling is to tread lightly. When you begin to compulsively monitor your food + drink intake, it will overtake you. Have fun!

  3. Thanks for the advice! I absolutely agree that celebrations are meant to be enjoyed and I fully intend to do that. I also believe, however, that there can be a happy medium between enjoying and overindulging - but it's not always easy! I'll definitely keep the specialness of the occasion in mind as I'm trying to make good food decisions, though :)