Summer is finally here – even in in the UK! Many of us will be preparing to go away on holiday. However, holidays can mean different foods, more food and drink and generally getting out of the good routines and habits you have at home.
So we thought we would share some of our top tips about how we travel and still try to maintain eating well. That way when you get home you may have a holiday hangover but you won’t have to face losing those extra holiday pounds.
Sarah remembers one holiday which turned out to be particularly boozy – a big group of friends and lots of sun and bottles of the local rose wine. She came back from the holiday with a proper “holiday hangover” from all the over indulgence. She actually felt worse – her energy levels were down and she was in a worse state than when she went away. And you have to deal with all that catching up at work, doing the laundry, going through the post, getting the dog back…. So get off that plane with a spring in your step with ten of our top tips: –
1) Pack a lemon – for that all important first drink of the day, don’t forget to pack a lemon so you don’t have to go shopping for one when you arrive. They even make your suitcase smell nice!
2) Pack granola – Sarah’s granola recipe is perfect for travelling – pack it in sandwich bags and you have something you can eat each morning at breakfast. You also have a handy travel snack to eat out of the bag at the airport or wherever!
3) Fly with an omelette – flying often involves using airlines where a lot of the meals include sandwiches. So Sarah makes an omtatta the night before she flies, cuts it into wedges and packs it in greaseproof paper and a sandwich bag or you can get great collapsible Tupperware boxes from Lakeland. You can even put veg in the omtatta and so you get a good hit of protein and veg, they are easy to eat and not too heavy on your stomach when travelling.
4) Take some emergency oatcakes – we always have packets of Nairn’s gluten free oatcakes to hand. They are small, come in packets and serve as a basis for a snack.
5) Think about what to eat from the breakfast buffet – quite often these are a bit of a “bread-fest”. Usually there will be fruit – don’t go for the fruit juice which will be very high in sugar but eat a piece of fruit instead. Try and get some protein; maybe oats or eggs. Be careful with sausages (unless gluten free), they usually contain bread.
6) Choose carefully when it comes to all the other buffets and meals out – our advice here is to stick with getting as much veg and salad as you can. Generally fish is on offer in most holiday destinations – Liz loves the freshly grilled sardines in Portugal. Just go easy on the carbs. If you are self-catering then many European and North American supermarkets now have health food and free from sections. Local markets will have great selections of fruit and veg. The picture on our Facebook Page is of a fruit and veg stall at La Cala on the Costa del Sol in Spain.
7) Water wine water – it is so easy to drink a lot of wine or beer in the sun! So we suggest the World Wide Web or www approach – water then a glass of wine then another water. Remember that beer is brewed from wheat grains so contains gluten, although there are some gluten free beers coming onto the market now. And also be careful of those cocktails which contain vodka as vodka can also contain gluten and it is an easy way to get caught out. We just enjoy our wine!
8) Go nuts – portable and nutritious, easy to snack on a handful of cashews, almonds or Brazil nuts.
9) Ice cream options– one of the things it took Sarah a long time to make a habit of was ordering ice cream in a tub rather than in a cone. Frozen yoghurt and sorbets can be an alternative to dairy ice cream, but they can still be high in sugar. Go for better quality ice cream where you can, which has fewer chemical additives.
10) Swap plastic bottles for glass bottles and neoprene sleeves – when plastic water bottles get hot, like when they are left in a car or at the beach or pool, they can leach some of the plastic chemicals into the water. This can particularly impact people with hormonal conditions like endometriosis as most plastics are a source of xenoestrogens so can affect our oestrogen levels. So go for a 330ml sized glass bottle – any recycled sparkling water bottle with a screw lid will work fine – there is no need to buy one especially. Then invest in a neoprene sleeve to make it safer to carry around. Sarah got hers from Australia – but you don’t have to go that far! Liz takes hers through security empty with no liquid inside and takes it out of her carry-on bag and just places it in the tray with her liquids in their plastic bag and electrical items. That way she doesn’t have to open her bag and show them it is empty when she goes through the scanner.
These tips will give you a great kick-start to eating real on holiday. And if you’d like to go that one step further and make sure there are plenty of gluten free options in the country you’re going to before you get there, take a look at Coeliac UK’s free Country Guides. They’re a good source of information and even tell you how to ask for gluten free food in over 40 different languages!
Arrivederci! Auf Wiedersehn! Au Revoir! Adios! And happy holidays!