Holidays. Fantastic, relaxing, amazing things. But if you’re mid-way through a clean eating plan, or don’t want to fall into old un-healthy eating patterns, what to do you do? I was a bit concerned when I went to Italy a few weeks ago – how easy would it be to eat clean and healthy, while in the country of my all time favourite foods? Well even with all the pizza, pasta, and (p)tiramisu on offer, I ate really well. I like eating clean, so although I had the odd treat and certainly tried my share of gnocchi I found it easy to do by following a few simple moves. If you’re wondering how to keep on the straight and narrow while you’re lazing in the sun, here’s my tips to holiday clean eating:
Best meal of the day. If you’re eating out, avoid starting off on the wrong foot and order the healthy options. Yoghurt and fruit can always be found, as well as oats, eggs (hotels will usually make them however you like – ask for white only, ask for poached!), fish, and if you’re lucky, avocado. Breakfast is always an easy win on holiday. To drink; get your body ready for the day with a big glass of water and some green tea, it’s the same where-ever you are.
If you’re self-catering, you’re golden – just buy the things you’d eat at home!
Look to nature and fill your plate with delicious fresh foods. A lot of lunch places I went to in Italy did salads (some better than the others). As it was a bit touch and go, to make sure that I would still have a great meal and not a bowl of iceberg lettuce, I just asked what sort of salad and vegetables were in it, or tried to see what others were eating.
The best meal I had in Italy was this gorgeous salad, and I loved it so much I’ve made my own in the UK! Chances are, if you’re in a hot country, a salad will be just what you’re after anyway to cool down over lunch.
3. Go vegetarian.
Look at the vegetarian options and see if they’ve got creative with the food. Side dishes are also an easy win – sometimes I’ll order a few of them plus a starter to make a smorgasbord of healthy yummy delights!
4. Get your protein.
There will always be a chicken or fish option. Usually there’s a few and they are always tasty. Pick these and add a vegetable side – delicious and clean in one easy step. In Italy, the secondi (“mains”) plates are predominately meat and vegetable based, so most days the only hard choice was which delicious clean meal to eat!
5. Get bold with dessert.
Don’t be afraid to ask for some fruit. They will have it. Guaranteed.
6. Go clear with your alcohol.
It’s a holiday, I’m sure you’ll knock back a cheeky few. Try to go for clear spirits, and avoid fruity sugary mixers. They’ve got less calories than other alcohol. Gin & Tonics anyone?
and finally, and this is the most important point…
6. Don’t sweat it.
You’re on holiday. You’ve probably worked really hard in the run up to being away and this is your chance to relax. If you want to eat that big bowl of pasta, do it. If you want dessert, have it. I certainly did. Who could be in Italy and not eat Tiramisu a couple of times? 🙂