Vacation Nutrition

wine and cheese

So what does a dietitian do when she finds herself in Paris, the city of wine, croissants, baguettes, cheese and macarons? 

Each morning began with a café breakfast of an omelet, fresh greens lightly tossed in a simple dressing, croissant and a cappuccino. This breakfast was so filling that it often sustained me through endless walking along the Seine River and through art museums. Mid-afternoon I would pop into a bakery for either a pan au chocolat or a few colorful macarons as we explored neighborhoods.

As a typical American, we would be the first to show up at dinner.  We often opted for the tasting menu (chef's choice!) and a bottle of red wine. Each course was small and made of fresh, local ingredients.  At the end of the meal we would cork the remaining wine and walk back to our apartment rental and not feel overly stuffed.

I also kept a few foods on-hand at our apartment rental including nuts, fruit, and local whole grain sourdough as well as a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.

I ate mindfully. And I definitely didn't think once about stepping on a scale after arriving back home.  I had just been to Paris for a week, trip of a lifetime. Each bite of local, fresh, delicious food and drink added so much value to my life.

So wherever you may be traveling to this summer remember a few key nutrition tips:

  • Don't skip meals. This can lead to excessive hunger and maybe even a little crankiness which never enhances a vacation.
  • Drink water throughout the day. Take a reusable water bottle with you.
  • Include fruits or vegetables at meals.
  • Keep a few simple foods in your hotel or apartment rental such as nuts, fruit, yogurt, etc.
  • Savor each bite of your meal. This can also help to assess when you are starting to feel full.
  • Include treats but really decide what sounds the best to you. Notice how you feel after eating 2 macarons verses 10 macarons. 
  • If you have a fun treat close to dinner time, assess your hunger level before ordering your meal. You may not be as hungry as you typically are. Adjust as needed.
  • When drinking alcohol, remember that it can affect your sleep, hydration, and safety of returning home.

A vacation should be relaxing and adventurous. Don't let food anxiety stop you from enjoying new culture!