Thursday, January 22, 2009

All I Can Eat?

OK, so here I am on vacation at one of those all-inclusive places: all I can eat, all I can drink, everything's included. So what's a dietitian to do? My strategy, which I planned out ahead of time, was to try to include 2 fruits and 2 vegetables at every meal (except for the veggies at breakfast), to eat fish at least once a day, and to eat meatless meals as much as possible. My plan was to limit desserts to just a bite or two of a couple of selections (just being realistic, here--I know I can't choose one when there are eight of them staring at me). As for the drinks, it's tough to limit them as well, when you're passing a bar every 5 feet and seeing people walk off to their spot on the beach with chilly-looking blue and pink and purple frozen refreshments!

So far, I'm not doing too badly: Breakfast is easy. It's a buffet and I head right for the cereal, yogurt, fruit and toast. I know I will be tempted with eggs and bacon and sausage, so I concentrate on the selections of fresh breads and the assortment of fruits. I love mango and melons and they are here in abundance!

Lunch can be something from the grill or from the buffet. There is always a variety of salads and I know if I fill up on those I won't have room for too much else. So I choose a small amount of pasta salad, some vegetable sides, and the tasty fish dishes that are always available. Once I add the fruit salad to these, I'm plenty full until later.

When it's time for dessert I am lucky here because they've already portioned everything into one-inch squares. I can choose two or three tastes and know I won't get carried away into eating an entire wedge of cheesecake because there are only two bites there!

Truly, by the time dinner rolls around I'm not exactly starving. There is food everywhere you look and it loses its appeal after seeing it all day. I did have a bag of popcorn from the snack bar yesterday afternoon, and by dinner the entree of little chunks of pineapple chicken on a scoop of rice were plenty to fill me up at the Thai restaurant.

As for the drinks, there is beer and champagne, wine, and frozen concoctions flowing like water.

There are also plenty of other drinks around here, so I'm managing to keep my palate sated with rich, delicious Jamaican coffee, fruit punches, and raspberry-flavored unsweetened iced tea. And my new favorite drink: they put a large pitcher near all the pool areas filled with ice and water and chunks of watermelon and honeydew. Yum! It's very cool and refreshing with a mild hint of sweetness. I'm going to make this when I get home and drink it all the time!

Hopefully, I will come home without gaining weight which, unfortunately, is par for the course on vacations for most people. I'm trying to get to the fitness center everyday for a short stint on the bicycle or treadmill, and mind what I eat and drink during the day. It's not really that hard to do since I'm finding plenty of healthy foods that I like!

1 comment:


All good intentions aside, things did not work out exactly as I planned. Alas, the sun was calling my name and kept me from going to the gym as often as I wanted to. Also, the snacks and fruity drinks beckoned and I foolishly partook. Now I'll be working the entire month of February to get these three more pesky pounds off :(