How to Eat Healthy on Vacation (Without Being a Total Buzzkill)

As we prepare to flee to far-flung tropical destinations and whimsically white getaways this holiday season, we know it’s all too easy to give into eating habits that will widen our waistlines and lower our energy by the time we return.

Here are three easy ways to eat healthy on vacation, and have a ton of fun too.

eat healthy on vacation

1. Bring Ingredients From Home
I was recently in Barbados for the Food and Rum Festival and being a vegan, health-oriented person, I knew there wouldn’t be many plant-based options and I didn’t want to turn exclusively to carbs (especially while wearing a swimsuit every day.)

For the first time ever, I brought super simple, lightweight ingredients with me so that I could make Bowl Bar’s signature raw vegan chia seed pudding with a Bajan twist. I wasn’t sure if I could easily find organic chia seeds and coconut cream, so I brought them with me and I prepped the pudding in Barbados as I would have at home.

eat healthy on vacation

2. Find Fresh, Local Foods
When Bowl Bar was retailing in India, we used mini bananas, glorious pomegranate seeds, and edible flowers – everything fresh, local and delicious. When I arrived at the stunning Crane Hotel in Barbados, I asked them what kinds of local goodies they could source for me. They sweetly delivered unrefined cane sugar – something that’s been produced on the island for centuries – indigenous plantain and fragrant pink guavas.

With a little planning, I was able to make something raw, vegan, local and nutritious that was also fresh and delicious! It gave me a much-needed boost of calcium, plant-based protein, antioxidants, vitamin C and more. Try it on your holiday! The recipe is on Can’t find anything local? The next best thing is visiting a local grocery store and scouring the organic section (if you’re at a hotel with a concierge, they can help too.)

eat healthy on vacation

3. Pack Simple Snacks
Whether you’re skiing down a mountain or across warm waters, physical activity makes us hungry and holiday destinations don’t usually have the healthiest options at hand. Somehow, French fries and other processed, fatty foods always seem to be readily available. Instead, place a slim plant-based granola bar in the inside pocket of your ski jacket or throw some ripe bananas in your beach bag. Look for snacks that are high on energy and as natural as possible.

eat healthy on vacation

Eating healthy on holiday is surprisingly simple and it makes other indulgences on vacation slightly less guilt-inducing. While it was wonderful to have raw, vegan chia seed pudding in Barbados, it was equally thrilling to have a very special vegan version of the gnocchi Chef Craig Harding of Toronto’s Campagnolo made for the elegant Food and Rum Festival dinner at The Crane. Thank you, Chef!

Find more plant-based tips, tricks and recipes by Bowl Bar on @bowlbar.

Happy Holidays!