How To Eat Healthy While On Vacation

How To Eat Healthy While On Vacation

Whenever I travel or go on vacation and post up pictures on Instagram from the trip, I’m always asked, “How do you stay healthy while traveling?”

Between all the travel time and the joy of being on vacation and in a new place, it can be difficult to keep on a healthy track. In today’s post, I’m sharing a video from our trip to Puerto Rico this past Labor Day weekend, documenting every bite and sip I took (well, mostly – you’ll see), and showing that yes, it is possible to keep it light and healthy while traveling!

I constantly hear people say, “It’s vacation! I want to enjoy it!”

But guess what… you don’t enjoy vacation when you’re bloated, tired, and feel uncomfortable on the beach, because you were “enjoying it.” Enjoying a vacation doesn’t mean that you have to eat everything in sight. Vacation is a vacation from your normal surroundings – a time to perhaps enjoy the warm weather, take in a new city, and spend time with your travel partner.

Too many times have I treated vacation like a vacation from my diet!

Now, I’m not saying you should only drink green juices and salads while traveling (especially if you’re in a totally foreign country with its own cuisine), but try the local delicacies but truly enjoy every bite – and don’t overdo it. At the end of the day, you want to holistically enjoy your time traveling, not just the food part of it and if you’re over-eating, you’re not going to feel well and hence, not enjoy your time.

How do I find the balance? I like to stick to these few rules while traveling:

  • Avoid anything fried. If you’re somewhere that specializes in fried food, try it, but don’t eat it every single day.
  • Make smart breakfast choices, as breakfast sets your pace for the day. Unless I’m in a place that’s known for its breakfast (like Mexico – on my honeymoon, I think I had huevos rancheros every day), stick to what you know. In Puerto Rico, I had an egg white omelette with avocado and whole wheat toast every morning.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask your waiter for what you want. If you can’t resist the breakfast potatoes, ask them kindly not to put them on your plate.
  • I stick to a 50/50 plant-based/animal protein rule while on vacation. I find this allows me to enjoy the local cuisine, while filling up on fibrous veggies and nourishing myself. If you watch the video, you’ll see what I mean. Half my meal is vegetarian/vegan and half the meal is not (I generally stuck to seafood on this trip.)
  • When you check in to a hotel, immediately ask for fruit – they’ll usually have it somewhere in the lobby or they’ll tell you it’s in the room. Having a piece of fruit handy keeps those cravings at bay, because you have a quick snack.
  • Avoid dairy while on vacation – it bloats you and weighs you down. Now, if you’re in France or Italy (or a place known for cheeses!), of course, enjoy it – but you don’t have to eat the entire plate of cheese! Tasting and truly enjoying flavors is more important. I ask for almond milk everywhere I go and if they don’t have it, I drink the coffee black (you get used to it, trust me.)
  • For 3-day weekend trip, I like to work out 2 of those days. This not only gets your blood flowing and makes you feel better, it leaves a little extra wiggle room when you just can’t resist that pastry. Plus, when you return home, you won’t be totally off your workout schedule.
  • The trip doesn’t end once you check out! Make sure to keep it healthy on your travels back or else all your healthy focus on vacation will be for nothing. Wouldn’t you rather have tasted that delicacy than scarfed down that bag of Cheetos and a Coca-Cola on the flight back?

See these principles in action in my latest video! Watch the video to check out what I ate while in Puerto Rico and my healthy tips:




  1. Thank you for making this video. It will definitely help me with my upcoming trip to DisneyWorld. I know how the wrong foods affect me, so wanting to be prepared as much as I can with healthier choices. I also need to remember to make being at DisneyWorld the focus to be enjoyed and not the food.
  2. Can you list what you drank? Interested in the somewhat healthy adult beverages, they looked delicious! Loved the video too! Thanks!
    • When I'm on vacation, I tend to stick to wine or my go-to cocktail: vodka, club soda, grapefruit juice. I also love margaritas but always order without sugar and sometimes ask for muddled fruit to make it sweeter. You'd be surprised how willing bartenders are !
  3. I loved watching this video and seeing how you navigated your vacation eating. There were some great tips in there and I am glad to see you still keep it real & enjoy some drinks! I also love the What I Ate Today Series you do, I get great ideas from it. Awesome videos!
  4. stacey Campbell :
    Loved this video, so many great tips :)
  5. WHERE did you stay??? Their food looks amazing! I was just in Tulum over Labor Day (at an all inclusive) and the food options were not nearly that amazing. I always struggle to eat healthy and tend to always indulge. :( We're off to Italy at the end of the month and I will do my best to remember your tips and keep the delicious pasta, pizza, cheese and wine to a minimum. Or maybe I'll just be sure to get in a good work out everyday--not sure my willpower is that strong!! Thanks for a great post
  6. Hi Ali, thank you so much for sharing your vacation with us. The video was fantastic and so much fun. Can't wait to share your next Lu and Ali vacation. Just purchased "your" spiralizer. Had two. Gave one away and the other will mysterically get broken - lol! Thanks for the Labor Day sale.
  7. Great video Ali! Wish I could have seen it at the beginning of August where I packed in three mini vacations of varying length. I did pretty well, but could have done better with the inspiration of your video. I was talking to my mother the other day about how spiralizing has helped me lose weight this summer. She was wanting to try it, but didn't want to pay for the pre-spiralized veggies at the supermarket so I ordered an Inspiralizer for her through Amazon. Her birthday is on the 17th.
  8. Thank You for taking the time to film this. I think it's great Lu is interested in being mindful of what he eats. Great support system you two have.
  9. Hi I read your advices . They were fantastic. Im iranian and I cant speak english very well but I want to say in iran when I were travelling with my family we ate alot of food but I've not ate too much since I read your email. Tank you very much.
  10. Sharon Gilbert :
    Ali, I know you probably answered me but I can't find your answer. I was just wondering how you came up with the clever design for your Inspiralizer which is so much more convenient than say the Paderno. BTW I use your little machine almost every night. Tried your Chayote recipe from the new cookbook last night and found a new vegetable that I am crazy about. Thanks you! You are an inspiration.
  11. You have such an amazing outlook on maintaining balance during vacation! I love each of your meals during the vacation as well as the whole video!


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  3. […] Here are my main 3 tips (and you can also read this post for more): […]

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