Healthy Travels

I Went to Scotland this weekend, Started in Edinburg for the Fringe festival and then hopped onto a three day tour from Edinburg up to Loch Ness, Isle of Skye and then Inverness. It was my first trip to Scotland and I really enjoyed all the history, the castle and all the myths and legends.

I’m quiet a traveling junkie and try to see as many countries as I can while I’m living here in the UK. I’m from
South Africa and find it very hard and inaccessible to travel around the world while based at home. So I have done what most people do and moved to London for a few years of working and spending as much time as I can travelling.

I have noticed that it is exceptionally hard to keep a healthy diet while on these trips, and find when you are constantly “eating out” it’s difficult to know if the healthy options you have chosen are actually that healthy.

Without trying to be a complete control freak, I have managed to make this trip a healthy one. Changing the snack food on the bus from chips and chocolates to Fruit and nuts, the fizzy drinks to water and a little fruit juice.

Instead of eating out every night we opted to cook our own food, that way making sure we stick to a healthy diet. But let’s face it, not all of us want to spend our holidays cooking and we did spoil ourselves to a few meals out.

The trick is to start by choosing the right restaurant, My top 3 are

1 – Greek

Traditional Greek foods like dark leafy veggies, fresh fruit, high-fiber beans, lentils, grains, olive oil, and omega-3-rich fish deliver lots of immune-boosting and cancer-fighting ingredients that cut your risks of heart disease, diabetes, and other diet-related ailment.

This cuisine also ranks high because of how it’s eaten, The Greeks often share small plates of food called meze, having just a bite of meat along with low-cal, healthy Greek staples like fresh seafood, slowly digested carbs (beans, eggplant, or whole-grain breads), and small portions of olives and nuts.

If you’re eating out, order grilled fish and spinach or other greens sautéed with olive oil and garlic.

Danger zone: Unless you make it yourself and go light on the butter, the classic spinach pie (spanakopita) can be as calorie- and fat-laden as a bacon cheeseburger.

2 – Vietnamese

Fresh herbs, lots of vegetables and seafood, and cooking techniques that use water or broth instead of oils — these are some of the standout qualities of Vietnamese food.

This cuisine, prepared the traditional way, relies less on frying and heavy coconut-based sauces for flavor and more on herbs, which makes it lower in calories.

One of the healthiest and most delicious Vietnamese dishes is pho (pronounced “fuh”), an aromatic, broth-based noodle soup full of antioxidant-packed spices.

Danger zone: If you’re watching your weight, avoid the fatty short ribs on many Vietnamese menus.

3 –  Japanese

Traditional Japanese cuisine can be super healthy. Not only is the diet rich in cancer-fighting fruits and vegetables, but they also prepare them in the healthiest way possible, with a light steam or a quick stir-fry. The Japanese also practice Hara Hachi Bu, which means “eat until you are eight parts (or 80 percent) full. These simple diet rules may be why people in Japan are far less likely to get breast or colon cancer.

Japanese staples that are amazing for your health include antioxidant-rich yams and green tea; cruciferous, calcium-rich veggies like bok choy; iodine-rich seaweed (good for your thyroid); omega-3-rich seafood; shiitake mushrooms (a source of iron, potassium, zinc, copper, and folate); and whole-soy foods.

Healthy choices the next time you visit a Japanese restaurant? Miso soup, which typically contains seaweed and tofu, or a simple veggie-and-tofu stir-fry.


Danger zone: White rice can cause a spike in blood sugar, so ask for brown rice,
rich in fat-burning resistant starch (RS).


Posted on August 30, 2011, in Challenge, Eating Plan, Health, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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