What I Ate in Paradise

Last week my husband and I were away in Puerto Rico for a relaxing vacation. We stayed right on the beach in a little B&B, it was paradise! After getting back results a few weeks ago confirming delayed food allergies, I proved to be a challenge to the B&B. After all, I can’t eat eggs, dairy, wheat, nuts so the standard breakfast of eggs, yogurt and granola, or pancakes was a no go. They offered to get me gluten free bread to eat with fruit and bacon, but the bread proved to have egg whites in it, so I skipped out on bread after learning that and having a little allergic relapse when I ate some.

Here we are on vacation: me at dinner and one of Heman while exploring the beach earlier.

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So I kept it simple with meals, and focused on relaxation, not having to make the bed or do dishes, and no laundry for a week either = heaven!

Even if you don’t have food allergies, you may want to live life with more energy, not feel bloated in your belly or foggy in your brain. So clean eating is really important and it’s totally possible in paradise too, that way you can actually enjoy it more! Find out what foods are native to where you are traveling. In Puerto Rico, mangos are everywhere, so are bananas and plantains. They also like to grill meat and fish on skewers, called pinchos. You can get those just about anywhere. I also enjoyed rice and beans, which had bits of cooked yucca and yummy spices in the beans, delish and paired with fresh salad was a delightful meal.

There were other dishes such a mofongo and tostones, made of mashed and fried plaintains. Heman tried those out, very filling but not the healthiest. He also tried the empanadas, some great and some just okay. It’s fun to try these authentic dishes too, but the key is having them as part of the meal, not an entire meal of fried empanadas or tostones. Fish tacos were easy to find and pinchos (skewers) of fresh fish were easy to come by and super tasty!

Tips for eating healthy on vacation:

  • start with fruit for breakfast or healthy smoothie plus some protein like bacon or pumpkin seeds, skip a heavy meal so you have energy to explore for the day
  • eat outdoors as much as possible, this makes eating that much more pleasurable
  • enjoy local cuisine as side dish if it’s fried or share as appetizer
  • indulge in fresh fish or local fresh produce
  • build meals with fresh or cooked veggies
  • share desserts or skip dessert if you’re getting a cocktail
  • go all out one day and eat the indulgent local foods, then you’ll be over it and crave healthy the rest of the trip

Plate scenes…

His and her breakfast:

His = pancakes with banana compote, bacon, fruit. Hers = fruit with bacon

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Lunch at a cozy cafe: churrasco bowl with sweet potato, red bell peppers, and spinach.

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Sunset dinner: churrasco with veggies

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Giant salad with grilled mahi, topped with seaweed salad

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Overall, I ate pretty well and even though I brought a bar of chocolate with me for dessert, I ate just 3 squares in 5 days. that’s very little for me! When we got back home and I had two super busy days at my corporate job, I craved chocolate and fats like crazy. Wow this really hit me and showed me clearly that high stress = cravings for chocolate and fats. This struck me so clearly and helped me bring a direct awareness that obviously I don’t need tons of chocolate and fat in my diet so I really need to work on reigning in the stress.

One of my neighbors brought a book to me that his friend wrote about how to handle stress called, The Practice. The writer found her way to meditation and has integrated it into her daily routine for over 18 years. If you are like me and affected by stress than check it out. I’m reading through this book and it’s been really helpful!

What are your tips for clean eating on vacation and how do you reign in stress?


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