When you start a vacation, it’s easy to throw your healthy eating habits out the window. Cocktails on the plane quickly turn into a midday hangover, bags of potato chips fill your car on road trips, and restaurant desperation quickly turns into late-night orders for greasy room service. However, times are a-changing, and with a new wave of healthy food trends, come a variety of accessible options at your fingertips when it comes to maintaining health and happiness on the road.
The newest trend in healthy eating is the introduction of fermented foods and probiotics into your diet. Nutritionists and doctors rave about how these good bacteria are vital when trying to maintain and improve gut health. According to Healthline, “Numerous studies in the past two decades have demonstrated links between gut health and the immune system, mood, mental health, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders, skin conditions, and cancer.”
When it comes to traveling, it’s a lot easier to get a boost of good bacteria in your diet than you might think. You can easily buy natural yogurt at a local supermarket, which is especially important when traveling abroad. Eating local yogurt introduces new bacteria into your body, helping aid in any stomach issues you might have by eating local cuisine. Also, many restaurants now offer kombucha on tap or have fermented ingredients on their menu, like miso, pickled veggies, and sauerkraut.
With a little bit of planning, you can avoid the midday pit stops at the gas station to load up on junk food. Keep your hangry impulses at bay by packing healthy snack packs, like fresh fruits and veggies. Visit farmer’s markets while on the road to stock up on locally grown food, like fresh strawberries, assorted nuts, and local cheeses. When eating out, opt for robust salads and soups, and choose to stay at hotels that offer seasonal menus, so you don’t have to resort to ordering late-night grilled cheese and fries.
One of the latest healthy alternatives to hit the mainstream are meatless options—even McDonalds offers a veggie-based burger now! Great veggie-based snacks include hummus and carrots, and spicy edamame or chickpeas for those looking for a healthier chip alternative to munch on. When eating out, many ethnic restaurants have meat-free options. At Mexican restaurants, you can order rice and beans, Asian restaurants typically offer tofu and stir fry entrees, and Indian menus are full of vegetarian and vegan options, like cauliflower or eggplant curries. Even if you’re a meat lover, these are delicious items on their own if you’re curious to try something new and creative.
Whether you’re looking to drink with your health in mind, heading on a family vacation, or just hit that age where two glasses of wine give you a hangover (you’re not alone!), mocktails offer a guilt-free substitute to some of your favorite libations. If you’ve ever picked up a mocktail cookbook, it’s easy to get inspired by the endless flavor combinations that exist, especially knowing you can down as many as you want without worry.
When traveling, swapping out non-alcoholic options with your go-to drinks will help you have the gusto to seize your day with fun activities instead of passing out back at your hotel room before noon. On the plane, exchange a vodka soda for tonic water and a bloody mary for nutrient-rich tomato juice. Trade your bottomless brunch mimosas for kombucha and orange juice. And if you’re a hop lover, try what is dubbed as “near beer,” which contains less than .5% of alcohol. Nowadays, most nicer restaurants also have curated mocktails on their menus that sound just as delicious, if not more delicious than their alcohol counterparts!
A Healthy Gut Vacation
Did all this talk of healthy food make you eager for a wellness getaway where you can indulge in delicious food around the clock? Check into The Inn at Virginia Tech, and not only will you be surrounded by the beauty of Virginia, but you’ll also have easy access to Preston’s Restaurant, Blacksburg’s premier farm-to-table restaurant that touts itself on using the freshest ingredients available. Try seafood caught directly from the Chesapeake Bay and Black Angus beef raised on the local pastures that surround the hills of Virginia Tech. Visit their website to view their full menus along with multiple weekly buffet options.