Healthy on the Road :: All you can Eat

healthy + all you can eatFamous Last Words All-inclusive resorts are famous for their massive "all you can eat" spreads of local and North American cuisine--often hotels offer mammoth breakfast buffets too.

Buffet-Induced Brain Damage I love a great spread of food as much as the next person, but don’t enjoy the ensuing buffet-induced brain damage. Seriously, if you haven’t experienced it yourself (I don’t believe you, by the way), you have observed others taken down by this acute affliction: filling our plates with enough calories to last our entire vacation, only to feel ridiculously over-full by the end of the meal...or very wasteful as we observe half of our second helping being cleared when we finally decided to throw in the towel.

Breakfast at Home vs Away We recently spent an incredible 2-weeks in Israel. Breakfast and dinner were included in the hotel package. For me and my husband, a typical breakfast at home usually consists of a bowl of porridge, yogurt, or cottage cheese topped with some yummy nuts and fruit and a cup of coffee. For some reason, when on holiday, my concept of what I need would satisfy a linebacker!

Buffet Option OVERLOAD! Brief overview of the buffet territory we covered: 1) the table filled with food more customary to the country (in Israel: delicious variety of salads, breads, local olives, and fish) 2) the pastry station...warm croissants 3) the omelette station – how fun! Must make more room on the plate for that! 4) oh wait...what’s that over there? - the waffle and pancake station...awesome! Suddenly, CRISIS STRIKES - I have no more room on my plate! What am I going to do!?  Guess I will just have to come back for seconds. What other option do I have?

Wake Up Snap out of it! I know why is this happening? In short, I am facing all sorts of options that I never prepare at home, for obvious reasons, such as time.  There's another reason, it’s the thing that's often tossed when people travel: HEALTH AWARENESS. Generally, at home in my regular routine, I know what my body needs on a sub-conscious level. I know that eating 2 plates of waffles, eggs, bacon, toast, hashbrowns etc. won’t be sitting too well when I arrive at work, run errands, or do a morning workout.

Out of our Regular Routine I have concluded that part of the reason we engage in such gluttonous activity while traveling, is partly because we are out of our regular routine. We’re not heading out to the office, nor are we planning to workout, in fact, our grand plan for the day is to drag our over-full selves to the poolside, fall into a lawn chair, and roll into the water when we need to cool off.

EAT-A (Enjoyment, Appreciation, Thankfulness, Awareness) After about 5 days of experiencing buffet-induced brain damage, and the poor digestion and low energy that accompany indulging, I concluded that a plan of attack was needed. I set out to be more aware of WHAT I was putting on my plate and choose MOSTLY healthy options. I say mostly, because, hey, I’m on vacation!

Enjoy Those Extra Calories Choose where to cheat and where to save calories.  For example, if I channel my inner Martha Stewart, I can make waffles and pancakes at home, but chocolate-filled croissants are a treat I love and wouldn't even try to make, so I put one on my plate. I set out to be mindful and aware of the treat I was choosing and really savour it; as for the rest of my plate, I Ioaded it up with all the incredible healthy options like: protein, whole grains, local fruits and veggies, etc...

Thankful With all this talk of food and *choosing* to make healthy eating decisions while we travel, I'm thankful for: - food and the fact I have never known what it means to go hungry - the opportunity to taste local delicacies - the incredible fare that has been prepared for me to sit back and enjoy!

Be sure to check out previous Healthy on the Road posts to learn more about the advantages of being of being active while traveling and the health benefits of desiring good-for-you food in reasonable portions.  Healthy on the Road posts are published on the first Thursday of every month and written by our resident health consultant, Leah Munday, owner of

[photo by lookslikeamy]