The Vacation Diet {Guest Post}

I'm so exited to present the first blog post by one of our summer interns, Camille!

Summer is wonderful for so many reasons. Besides the sunshine, barbeques, and countless outdoor events, summer is also the season for road trips and family vacations. All those hours you’ve put in at the gym and in the kitchen have really paid off—it’s time to rock that summer attire!

But on-the-go eating is really hard. Whether you’re trying to eat right in the airport or at a rest stop, it can be very overwhelming. Surrounded by fast food options and salty snacks, it can be easy to tell yourself you deserve the treat. 

Here are 5 tips to keep yourself in tip-top shape while you’re away from home because, well, nobody likes feeling sluggish when you have places to go and sites to see:

1. Hydration is Key

If you don’t already have a re-usable, bpa-free water bottle, vacation is a great reason to get one. Of the many reasons to stay hydrated during the summer months, consuming plenty of fluids can help fight the imbalance in your body that traveling can often cause. Also, staying away from energy drinks, sodas, and juices and drinking water instead will help you fight the bloat.

2. Limit Sodium

Ever get swollen ankles mid-flight and wonder why? Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but cutting back on sodium will reduce fluid retention often caused by high altitudes and keep you feeling in balance. Watch out for hidden sodium in sodas, condiments, and even baked goods.

3. Try the 80/20 Rule

If you don’t already practice the 80/20 rule, vacation is a great time to start. Eating sensibly 80% of the time but treating yourself to the indulgence you want about 20% of the time is a good way to tackle your vacation diet. It’s important to treat yourself, but if you’re eating right the majority of the time, those special meals will be twice as tasty with half the guilt!

Photo credit: Marjorie Clapp

Photo credit: Marjorie Clapp

4. Pack your own Snacks

You don’t necessarily need a refrigerator to pack healthy on-the-go snacks (though if you have a cooler, I recommend packing some dailyServing!).

Try making a trail mix with dried fruit and unsalted nuts/seeds or a bag of clementines that are easy to peel and don’t need to be refrigerated. Air-popped popcorn, dry cereal, or protein bars are all easy snacks as well.  


5. Read the Menu!

Guess what? All fast food restaurants have their nutrition facts available to you if they are not already posted on the menu. Here’s what to look for:

  • High in protein
  • Low in fat and sodium
  • Grilled rather than fried options
  • Low-fat salad dressings

It’s ok to ask for modifications — “hold the mayo” or “no croutons please” are both acceptable requests.

Here are a few fast food suggestions if you’re in a time crunch or options are low:

  • Dunkin Donuts: Egg & Cheese on an English Muffin (240 Calories, 7g Fat, 12g Protein) and a Small Iced Coffee w/ Skim Milk  (20 Calories, 0g Fat, 2g Protein)
  • McDonald’s:
    • Breakfast: Egg White Delight (250 Calories, 8g Fat, 18g Protein) and a Fruit & Yogurt Parfait (150 Calories, 2g Fat, 4g Protein)
    • Lunch: Premium Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken (270 Calories, 9g Fat, 31g Protein) with Newman’s Own Low-Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette (35 Calories, 1.5g Fat, 0g Protein)
  • Burger King: Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich w/o Mayo (290 Calories, 6g Fat, 29g Protein), Apple Slices (30 Calories, 0g Fat, 0g Protein), and Fat Free Milk (90 Calories, 0g Fat 9g Protein)
  • Taco Bell: 2 Fresco Soft Tacos w/ Shredded Chicken (Each 140 Calories, 3.5g Fat, 10g Protein) and a side of black beans (80 Calories, 1.5g Fat, 4g Protein)
  • Starbucks: Classic Whole Grain Oatmeal (160 Calories, 2.5g Fat, 5g Protein) with the Seasonal Harvest Fruit Blend (90 Calories, 0g Fat, 1g Protein) and a Small Freshly Brewed Coffee (5 Calories, 0g Fat, 0g Protein)

Thinking ahead and being prepared will make your vacation diet easy to follow and ensure that you’re focused on the most important part—having fun!

Camille is a Dietetic intern working with dailyServing, LLC and Katie Goldberg, RD as part of her supervised practice hours. She is also earning her MBA from Dominican University’s Brennan School of Business and one day hopes to change consumer nutrition choices through affective and informative marketing and education. Camille is an alumna of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and is passionate about cooking, running, traveling, and supporting animal welfare.