R&R and the eating out dilemma

                                                            A scenic view from 'Pictured Rocks' 

                                                            A scenic view from 'Pictured Rocks' 

Good morning! I just got back from a much needed three-day R&R. My husband and I drove approximately 1000 miles exploring Michigan's most beautiful sites. Our favorite was, hands down, 'Pictured Rocks' in the Upper Peninsula. Even though, our boat cruise was actually cancelled due to the massive amount of ice still present in Lake Superior, we explored Miner's beach, castle and falls on our own. The beach was the most beautiful site. Just imagine sitting on warm, soft sand on a beautiful day while gazing out on water with floating pieces of ice.

Our trip all in all was stress-free and just what we needed. However, we found that eating out during this R&R trip was challenging. Most places we visited only had a few options for food. Of those options most were unhealthy with very few options for vegetarians.

Before this trip I had read numerous blog posts on tips/guidelines for eating out when on you're on the road but yet none of them seemed to help me while making meal decisions this weekend. Instead, I often felt confused when looking at a menu. Do I eat the raw salad with few vegetables that probably don't have much nutrition value or do I choose an item that would normally be an 'unhealthy' choice at home?

So what did we eat? Instead of going through what we ate day by day, I think it would be more accurate to say that 75% of the food we ate this past weekend just wasn't real food. As a result, I learned two important lessons this weekend.

(1) I need to plan meals even while I am on vacation and not just at home. If I had planned our meals the way I plan meals at home, then I wouldn't have run into difficulties or have had added stress to find 'good' food choices.

(2) I need to learn to order off the menu. I usually do order off the menu anyways because as a vegetarian when there aren't options on the menu for me, I usually have to ask the waiter what the chef can make on the menu without meat. However, in retrospect I could have asked for a meal that wasn't only vegetarian but also healthier by adding + subtracting ingredients. For example, I ordered a vegetarian fajita at Applebee's. I asked the waitress to minus the rice and add more veggies. But, I didn't give her more direction than that and what I received was a sizzling plate with greasy peppers and onions. I could have asked in advance that the chef use minimal oil and specific other vegetables that would have made my meal more nutritious and more satisfying.

How do you choose what to eat while on vacation? What lessons have you learned when eating out on vacation?

Be Radiant,

~Dr. Dimpi