A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How to Survive Vacation as a Health Food Fanatic

My Mom, Kelley, and I made it back from visiting our beloved family (Mom's side) in Pennsylvania; too bad we couldn't stay longer.  By now, my family knows how I strive to eat healthy and I'm as cautious as a Celiac in a wheat factory when going out to eat.

For this reason, 9 times out of 10, I end up with a "non-dressed" salad and maybe a few toppings every time we eat out. Besides trying to figure out what, if anything, I'm going to eat, being known as a health conscious person means everyone else has to say something about what they're ordering. They might ask "Is this good for me?" or just make a known statement like "I know this is bad."  I know my family reads this blog sometimes, and I love you all; I am set in my ways, and there's no need to bring attention to what you're having.....I promise. Unless you want a genuine opinion! : )

When traveling, you may not always have the option to purchase grocery items, but if you do, frozen produce is your friend.  Buy things that don't have anything else added like salt or sauces. Look for mixes with beans for a healthy dose of protein.

Take advantage of roadside produce stands or nearby farmer's markets if available.  Most of the time, these places offer fresh, local foods and give you the chance to try something new.  There are plenty of stands in Pennsylvania's Amish land that I went to with my grandma and I flocked to the fresh Brussels Sprouts every time!
This was how most of my meals looked when we didn't go out.  No complaints from me, I love all of these things!

Mmmm, can't get enough of the Brussels!

At restaurants, don't be shy to play 20 (or more) questions with your server.  You are ordering food for refueling and should allow quality ingredients to make you feel and look great.  Taste doesn't have to be sacrificed unless you are a junk food junkie and only know foods high in fat and sugar.  It may take some weening off of these high calorie train-wrecks, but it'll pay off in the near and distant future.
Kelley's Salmon with steamed veggies with no butter or oil on anything.
The mashed potatoes under the salmon were like rubber.....they stayed on the plate.

Beware of how food is prepared and ask the server what it's cooked in. "Broiled" may sound healthy, but is it coated in butter and oil with a salty seasoning? Ask for your food to be cooked dry or in a broth if having fish or meat and make sure you know what seasonings they use.  The option I use most is having a salad with no dressing, any fresh cut veggies they have, and maybe a protein that has been cooked as mentioned above.  Ask for a side of oil and vinegar or even better, salsa, to use as dressing that you control.
My steamed clams were supposed to be a good choice, but these were all broken and gritty.
I had a salad to put them on top and didn't use the butter cup.  It would've been better if they were good. Does that make sense?

A much better choice for my meal; lump crap meat over salad greens. This made my taste buds dance with each succulent bite of the slightly sweet crab meat.
Yes, you'll get some flak from the friends and family that are with you, but maybe they'll be inspired to try the healthy route too!  I don't like being pushy after giving my reasons for why it's good to make healthy choices, so I try to keep to myself on the topic after I've already explained the reasons.  This is hard to do when it is continually brought up from family wanting to make a meal for us and the question always becomes "Will R.C. eat this?"  The answer is usually "No.", and I tried to make it a point that I can fend for myself and be okay.

My aunt and uncle grilled chicken and potatoes for all of us and made special ones for Kelley and me by adding nothing to them while the rest were marinated.  How hard is that?  Just do less and we're happy.  I love marinated chicken and plenty of seasonings, but I "have" to know what is used and it's better to just do that myself.  Plus, plain chicken with pepper and brown mustard and a baked potato with salsa on top works for me.

There are plenty of stories from our vacation; check back soon for how I cleaned grandma's fridge (again) and helped her walk faster than the other old folks on a tour bus!

Q:  Are you a health conscience consumer with friends and family constantly bringing it up? How do you deal with the unwanted attention?

I try to just act like I didn't hear anything or just keep it simple with "Don't worry about me."


  1. Hey RC, this is Nick. If you want some tips for your website you can email me. My personal address is:


    1. Hey Nick,just e-mailed you. Glad you found the site!!