Trying to eat healthy is a challenge in our fast paced and busy world. When you’re constantly living on the go, in your car and at work its hard to plan ahead and pack healthy food to keep you from wandering over to your nearest fast-food restaurant on your only hour long break for the day. As hard as it is to eat healthy on an everyday basis, its equally if not even more hard to eat healthy while you’re on vacation. This past weekend was Easter weekend (doubly whammy for me with vacation and a holiday at the same time) and my family came down to Florida where I live and my family, boyfriend and I drove a few hours to Anna Maria Island for around a week.
I think one of the most difficult parts about eating while on vacations is the fact that you want to eat out so often. Im lucky in this aspect because my whole family loves to cook so whenever we go on vacations we make sure our hotel or rental house has at least a small kitchen so we can cook our own food for the most part. The whole week we made our own food for breakfast, lunch and dinner and then we ate out once on Saturday. This makes vacation eating so much easier because you can control your portions and what you eat. Its important to try and squeeze in fruits and vegetables at least once during every meal even if its just an apple or a few carrots. While I did very well with eating healthy during most of my meals its also hard to cut back on the snacking. We had lots of chips and other quick snacks in our cottage and while i know it isn’t necessarily good to snack on those things, don’t completely cut yourself off from enjoying some foods you don’t usually eat. Its a vacation for a reason! Enjoy a few chips if you want to and then work even harder to burn them off the next morning! If you are actually eating out while you’re on vacation just make healthier choices! Get something from the “light” menu. Get your fish or chicken grilled instead of fried. Choose broccoli instead of french fries. Small decisions like that can be the difference of 200 calories or more on your plate.
Below are pictures of some of the foods that I made and ate while i was on my vacation this past week
Today I had minestrone soup for the first time in a while and as soon as I finished my small cup I instantly wanted more so I went to the store to get some ingredients to make my own. I decided that instead of using shell pasta I was going to use orzo pasta. Orzo is a very small grained pasta almost fully resembling grains of rice. Originally I was making a soup, but the last thing I did while making it was add the orzo and it may or may not have come out of the box extremely fast….and thats how I got minestrone chili!
The first thing I did was take my pot and heat up some oil at the bottom. I then added my salt, pepper, garlic, dried oregano and basil, chopped onion and sliced zucchini for about 3-4 minutes by themselves just to cook them down a bit. I then added my beans, peas and diced tomatoes. Lastly I added the vegetable broth to de-glaze the pan. Then I added the orzo to the soup and let it cook in the broth for around 8 minutes.
Even though adding that much orzo was a mistake it came out amazing and turned out to be a more hearty meal rather then a light soup.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium chopped white onion
- 1 zucchini
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of both dried oregano and basil
- 1 can of kidney beans
- 1 can of white beans
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 1 can of small sweet peas
- 4 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 cup of orzo pasta (can add more or less depending on if you want soup or chili)
- Parmesan cheese on top
When I have class or work in the morning my day can sometimes start off a little crazy. As easy as it is to just quickly grab a granola bar oran apple, it’s so important to eat more then just that.
Calories, carbs and sugars keep you alert and awake and give your body energy. So for those mornings that you do just grab whatever you can as you run out the door (like this morning for me), make sure that you eat something else within an hour or two. I had class at 8am and 10am today and woke up around 7:30…which is usually when I leave my apartment. I grabbed a Brookfield granola bar and didn’t look back. After I got home from class around 11 I decided to make up for my missed breakfast with this omelet and fruit!
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup of chopped broccoli
- 1/2 cup of chopped peppers (I used red, yellow and orange mini)
- 1/4 cup of shredded cheese
- sliced strawberries
- 1 small banana
This is a quick and simple omelet that took about 10 minutes to make after prep time and cook time. You can easily change the recipe based on what you like by adding more/less veggies or using egg whites.
If you go to any grocery store or specialty food store, they usually have an array of pre-made foods for anyone to pick up and grab on the go. Among those pre-made foods is usually at least one type of pasta salad. While they may look good and taste even better, many of these include heavy dressings, mayo, added calories and large amounts of fat. Instead of stopping by a store to get a packaged meal, I’ve found that it is easier, cheaper and healthier to make your own! This pasta salad that I made has asparagus, red peppers, sliced red and yellow cherry tomatoes, and some mozzarella balls. I used multiple fresh ingredients to add both color and flavor. I found that the more natural flavors you add through vegetables and cheeses, the less need there is for calorie loaded dressings.
The first thing I did when I made my pasta salad was to cook the ravioli. I decided to use spinach and ricotta ravioli instead of regular pasta to get some extra flavor and add more substance to the meal. While the ravioli was cooking, I chopped the asparagus and peppers into bite sized pieces and sautéed them in a frying pan with coconut oil, garlic, salt and pepper. The extra coconut oil and spices made a sauce that I used as the dressing for my pasta salad. Once the ravioli was finished cooking, I added it, the tomatoes and the mozzarella into the sauté pan to combine it all and coat it with the sauce.
Not only was this meal quick and easy to make, but it also was healthy and satisfying.