by ELENA DOLGONOS, M.D.; Scripps Coastal Medical Center, Encinitas

Your Guide to Eating Healthy on Vacation

adv_scripps-dologonosGetting away from it all – whether a road trip on Route 66, a stay at a beach resort, or sightseeing abroad – is about unwinding, rejuvenating, and trying new things, including the local cuisine. These eight tips can help you eat healthy while seeing the sights.

Pack your own snacks. Bring travel-friendly munchies for the car or plane ride, such as whole-grain crackers and an ounce of cheese, trail mix, or cut-up veggies with hummus.

Avoid the mini-bar. That little refrigerator in your hotel is filled with snacks and drinks loaded with sugar and salt. Instead of raiding this fridge, pick up snacks at the local farmers market or grocery and stock your room with fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.

Eat breakfast. Don’t skip or skimp on the first meal of the day. If you are staying at a resort, take advantage of the breakfast or brunch buffet and fill up on fruit, salads, and whole grains such as whole-wheat toast or oatmeal.

Have one treat a day. It’s a vacation, so enjoy special treats. If you are in Paris, you might want a fresh-baked croissant from the bakery around the corner. If you are on a road trip with the kids, you might want to stop at the ice cream stand for a homemade indulgence. Eat slowly and savor every bite.

Make your own meals. If you can cook where you are staying, take advantage and try your hand at cooking, especially with produce and items you might not be able to get at home. Now is the time to try fern shoot salad or Connecticut shad.

Eat out at local restaurants. Ask for directions to favorite spots that serve local products. Usually, meals focused on using local foods and spices are prepared in a way that brings out their natural flavors, not disguised with fattening sauces. Don’t be shy about ordering a meal to split if you think the portion sizes will be too much for you to eat at one sitting. Alternatively, if you have a refrigerator in your room you can ask for a doggy bag.

Walking is your friend. Strolling through museums, a new city, or on the beach is a chance to explore while burning up calories. If a destination is within a mile, walk. Make sure you bring comfortable, supportive shoes and a first-aid kit for any blisters.

Stay hydrated. Dehydration is common when traveling, especially when flying. Bring an empty water bottle to the airport and fill it once you are past the security checkpoint. Stock up on water bottles once you are at your destination and bring a bottle wherever you go.


Elena Dolgonos, M.D., is a family medicine doctor at Scripps Coastal Medical Center in Encinitas. Dr. Dolgonos has expertise in a wide array of primary care services, including women’s health, pediatrics, adolescent health, and geriatrics. She is also fluent in both Russian and English.


scripps_logo

Looking for a new doctor? To find a Scripps physician near you call
760-383-1047 or visit scripps.org/92024vacation.