An (Updated) Guide to Eating Real Food on Vacation

Hi Everyone!

So, this past week, my family has been in Florida, and I came up with even more new ideas for eating healthy on vacation. While traveling and managing to keep up a real food diet does seem tricky, once you have a few insider tricks up your sleeve it can be done. After all, you want to enjoy your vacation, not be worrying about what’s in your food! Be sure to check out my previous post on this subject as well, listing 5 Tips and Tricks for Eating Real Food on the Road.

So, let’s get on with the new tips that I have found helpful! Please share and don’t forget to comment your top tips when you travel. 🙂

  • Flexibility is key

Before traveling, know that you will have to be flexible, and be willing to compromise for the better option even if that is not something you usually would buy/order. Typically, stores away from home do not sell the same things, as with restaurants, so look for the best option and aim for over 50% of your food being “safe bets” (knowing where it came from, clearly a clean food like fruits and veggies) and the other portion being the next best choice you can find.

  • Pack it up for the airport

Typically, it can be difficult to find something truly healthy and “real,” in an airport, and especially on the plane. My advice is to at least pack something for when you are flying- I love packing dried fruit, bars like Larabars, popcorn, and whole grain crackers. I stick to foods that don’t have a ton of liquid to keep it safe. That way, I have enough food in case I can’t find anything decent. If you do buy food, go for something simple like oatmeal. Don’t forget to pack some snacks for your trip and for the way home! img_5280

  • Go for the vegetarian option when you’re unsure

It can be difficult to know where your meat is sourced while traveling, unless you find a local, farm-to-table restaurant. When you don’t know, try to go for the vegetarian option or choose from several side items to make a meal, such as a baked potato, veggies, fruit, etc. It is pretty hard to mess up a veggie entree! 😉

  • Buy some food when you get there

Especially when you are staying for a longer period of time, buying food from a nearby grocery store when you arrive at your destination is a great idea. Sometimes, you even luck out and find a health food store! Stocking up on breakfast foods, healthy snacks, and fresh fruits and veggies will save time and money on vacation.

  • Call ahead and find some options

If you are planning on going out to eat and have a little extra time, its worth giving a few places a call and asking where they source their food and if it is whole wheat, homemade, etc. This can help narrow down which restaurants have the most wholesome offerings, if any at all. Of course, we all run into times where we have to just pick somewhere without an advance plan, but calling ahead can give you an idea of the best place.

  • Look out for vegan and vegetarian restaurants/smoothie shops

I myself am not vegan or vegetarian, but most restaurants that do specialize in vegan and/or vegetarian food are very health-conscious and offer several local, fresh options. While it is important to watch out for added refined sugars and refined grains at these restaurants, vegan restaurants typically have some good options, so it can be nice to check out which of these restaurants are nearby. When in doubt, smoothies are a good bet! 😉

  • Start the day off with a healthy breakfast

If all else fails, don’t forget to start off the day with a healthy breakfast. I love oatmeal, plain yogurt topped with fruit and nuts/seeds, or a smoothie alongside a whole grain muffin for breakfast both while I’m traveling and at home. Using the groceries you’ve purchased, making a filling breakfast that will give you fuel for hours is a great idea, because when you aren’t as hungry throughout the day, you reach for healthier options.

 

I hope these tips help you while traveling, and have a nice vacation! 🙂

 

Apple Oat Breakfast Bars

Hi Everyone!

Today I’m sharing an absolutely delicious breakfast bar recipe that I now love to make. In the process of recipe testing to make My Favorite Power Bars  I had some extra apples, so I came up with the idea for an spiced apple bar. And guess what? The apples were the perfect addition! These bars have a moist, flavorful texture due to the apples, and are packed with protein and healthy fats from the cashews, almond butter, and walnuts. Not to mention, the coconut oil helps make these bars the perfect breakfast choice, because it provides a boost to keep you going longer.

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Most store-bought breakfast bars these days are made with tons of hidden refined sugars, such as sucralose, evaporated cane juice, and high fructose corn syrup. These sugars spike your blood sugar, causing you to crash a few hours after breakfast. Breakfast is supposed to provide you with fuel for the day, and refined sugars are no fuel. This recipe is sweetened using only fruit, making it both healthier and tastier!

This year, I am up much earlier for school, and while I love cooking a healthy breakfast from scratch, there just isn’t time most mornings. That’s why bars like these are perfect alongside some fruit. For best luck, store them in the fridge for up to 5-7 days.

I hope you enjoy these breakfast bars and please share with friends if you like them! 🙂

Apple Oat Breakfast Bars


Makes 8-10 bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped apples
  • 12 dates
  • 2 tbs. coconut oil
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 2 tbs. almond butter
  • 1/2 tbs. cinnamon

Steps:

To make bars, start by soaking dates in a glass of warm water, for 5-10 minutes or until ready to add them in. Line a glass baking dish with parchment paper. Then, pulse oats in the food processor until fine. Add in other ingredients and mix in the food processor until the mixture is combined and slightly in a ball shape. If dry, add in a tablespoon of water at a time. Using a spatula, press into the dish and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. Slice and wrap individually. Enjoy!