Today’s guest post is from Sarah of Australia Forum where you can find information about living in Australia. She is writing about resisting foods while on vacation – something that sometimes is very hard to do.
I’ve never been very strict when it comes to my diet. My parents ensured a healthy household by spurning snacks (we rarely had soda, candy, or chips in the house) and mandating a family dinner every night (no leaving the table until my plate was clean…and our dog was not keen on veggies). So when I got to high school and came face to face with the absolute splendor of the vending machine, I went hog wild, so to speak. Thus began my love affair with anything sugary, fatty, or riddled with sodium. Of course, as I advanced towards adulthood, my high-calorie, low nutrition diet began to take its toll. In my early twenties I gained weight and frankly, I felt awful, not just physically, but emotionally. Eventually, the number on the scale shocked me into diet and exercise, but to be honest, while I’ve really gotten on board with the exercise aspect of healthy living, I’ve had a hard time sticking to a diet.
Now, when I’m at home, I have a much easier time of it. A fridge once filled with soda and candy now houses fresh fruits and vegetables, Greek yogurt, and a low-cal caffeine fix (iced tea). My pantry has likewise been made over. I tossed the chips and sugary cereals in favor of granola, protein bars, and wheat pasta. I’ve introduced a wide variety of foods that meet my dietary needs and still curb my cravings, and I find that when I want sugar, an orange or banana now sounds just as good as a Hostess cupcake. So I’ve made some progress on the home front (although I admit, I still keep some gourmet dark chocolate bars in the cupboard for after dinner). The real problem for me is eating out, which I’m sad to say, I do frequently and without inhibition.
It really hit home when I recently took a trip to San Francisco with my husband. You know how that goes. We ate every meal out. And we didn’t look for healthy meals…we opted for eateries ala Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. But here’s what happened. I began to feel bloated and lethargic, not to mention the knot of discomfort lodged in my lower intestines. I realized that what I was eating was making me feel ill. And after wasting an entire vacation day languishing in the hotel room, regretting the previous day’s menu (chocolate chip French toast at Dottie’s True Blue Café, fish and chips, a trip to Ghirardelli Square, and dinner at Perbacco, where an egg yoke exploded out of my made-from-scratch ravioli…plus three glasses of wine), I decided I was going to have to control myself. Yeah, easier said than done, right? But I was able to formulate a plan and stick to it.
First, I decided we would have breakfast at a natural café across the street. They offered organic veggie omelets, granola with fruit and yogurt, and a number of other healthy, filling, and taste-satisfying options. Then I looked for salad and sandwich type places for lunch, and splurged a little on dinner (although I made sure to start with salad instead of cheesy appetizer). In a couple of days, I was feeling back to my old self and congratulating myself for a job well-done. I had successfully found a way to stick to a diet (albeit altered from the one at home) and still feel like I was enjoying all the fun of vacationing. In truth, I may not have been able to control myself if I hadn’t gotten so sick. But deciding to take a step is half the battle. The rest is in the planning, so if you’re determined, like me, to stay healthy while on vacation (and really anytime you’re eating out), be sure to look online for healthy food options before you go, instead of searching for food on an empty stomach (when everything looks good). A little legwork and a lot of options will ensure success on the food front so you can forget about it and have some fun!
How do you resist temptation on vacation?