It’s a universal truth that it’s hard to eat for your heart when people around you are not. I go to restaurants and sometimes all I see is fried ___, fried ___ ___, and fried ___ ___ ___. That’s when I usually get up and leave, but that’s not always possible when you are with a large group of people or your family on vacation.
Not that I am perfect in my eating, but here is a list of how to fight the resistance:
1. Exercise: wake up early, get it over with. You’ll be very glad you did. Even if you eat more than you usually do, the exercise will help keep you aware of what you’re eating. If you prefer, don’t do your normal routine. Just do what you can and are willing to do. Exercise shouldn’t detract from your vacation, don’t spend all your time exercising, afterall, that’s not why you are on vacation! A 30 minute walk in the morning won’t hurt ya, promise.
2. Water: drink more than usual. Most people don’t drink enough anyways. Carry a reusable container so you can refill once you finish it. Taking frequent restroom breaks is much better than feeling starved mid-afternoon. The water will dull your perceived hunger and help keep your system regular. If you are scared you might overeat at your next meal, drink a full glass before you eat, that way you will be less ravenous when you start.
3. Eat slowly: take a break between bites, put your utensils down after every couple of bites, then drink some water, then eat a few more bites.
4. Eat for your heart: not necessarily a salad at every meal, but go for the healthier options. You know what they are, most likely, but here are some reminders: the marinara sauce over the alfredo, asking for dressing on the side, requesting steamed/grilled/baked food over fried (in that order!), not ordering dessert. It’s ok to ask the waiter questions. If your comrades harass you for asking questions, don’t worry, they’ll forget about it. It’s your health you are concerned with, not theirs.
5. Enjoy the conversation, the sites, and the fellowship: we don’t live to eat, despite what Paula Dean believes. It’s ok to get excited about regional fare, but eating until your stomach bulges is uncomfortable and makes me feel really gross. I have no energy and I don’t feel like carrying on a conversation after I eat too much. Gross. It can also take a toll on your conscience. To prevent this, focus on the environment and the people around you instead of the food.
These aren’t groundbreaking new ideas, but they are good reminders. Eating healthy while on vacation will also helps me feel sane while I am with my crazy family.