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Registered Associate Nutritionist

Registered Associate Nutritionist

Summer Series Part 1

 As the last few weeks of summer is upon us , I thought it would be great to do a series of nutritional topics linked to the summer season. As people are enjoying the summer holidays, going abroad or just embracing the hot weather this is great time to share with you some hints and tips to eat well, but at the same time enjoy the holiday while it lasts! 

This week I am going to be discussing something that I like to do, which is eating out. I am always posting about what I consume in Restaurants or take away places especially with friends and family. But at least in the UK we kind of know what we are getting into. This can be a bit tricky when abroad, as the food is completely different, so in this instance what do we do?  

So here are my tips that I think may help: 

  • So the holiday starts when we get on the plane, It sure does right? so there is a possibility that alcohol is involved. Aside from the issues of excess alcohol consumption, nutritionally this is no different either. Alcohol contains empty calories, which means that it does not provide any nutritional content at all. The only content it provides is feeling a sense of happiness or sadness for the next few hours! Despite this if there a temptation to have a glass or two then personally the  best choices are certain spirits and wines. Examples of these are red wine, vodka, whisky, rum, champagne or prosecco. For the spirits ideally best to have this as a shot on its own, or with a drink that contains as less sugar as possible. For example if vodka is drunk with coke, a healthier alternative would be to have this with coke zero or tonic water. Changing this would then reduce the amount of calories and sugar we are consuming whilst away. Portions is another part to consider, so try not have far too much of these alcoholic drinks. The same goes for red wine, be mindful of how many glasses we are consuming, the best way is to share the bottle between a group of people, to try and minimise the amount of alcohol we are consuming. The recommended amount for a male is 3 to 4 units which is equivalent  to 2 pints of beer or 2 cans of larger. For women the recommended units is 2 to 3 units per day, which is equivalent  to 2 small glasses of wine or 2 shots of a spirit. However over the years there has been a rise of places offering alcohol free drinks, and making this taste like the alcohol version, which is fantastic to see. This has become so popular, and is something I would definitely  recommend and consider. 

  • Hotel- Arrival time at the hotel, and there is a mini bar available. Previous to my comments before try to limit the amount of alcohol in the hotel, as this can lead to making poor food choices. As the hotel serves food there may be a temptation to go for foods that are not the best choices, this is because excess alcohol consumption has an influence on the food choices we make, leading us to become hungry, and make bad choices. So what kind of foods should we consider having?  

  • If we are having a breakfast, try to go for a grilled breakfast rather than fried if possible. If there is an option try to request for certain vegetables, go for this! tomatoes or mushrooms are easy and great to get those vitamins into our bodies.  Eggs should be either poached or boiled, try to not have this fried. If toast is on the menu wholegrain/wholemeal than white bread. Plain almond croissant is better than all butter croissant or chocolate croissant, as we are trying to limit the amount of saturated fat, and sugar in these foods. If cereal is on the menu always go for porridge or oats to get that fibre content there. 

  • Lunchtime- spent the day sightseeing? it is time for lunch, the best meal for lunch is anything served with a salad, as this is packed with a variety of vegetable. Try to skip a starter meal,  this is to limit the amount of food and instead go for a main meal, that contains plenty of carbohydrates like rice, or potatoes, as this will help maintain energy levels. If is too tempting not to have a desert try to share this with someone, to reduce the calories and sugars in them 

  • Dinner- Follow the same protocol as lunchtime, however some extra points to consider is to opt for meals which have a tomato based setting, for example tomato based curries or pasta meals, try to avoid anything that is cream based, as these tend to have high amount of fat. Try to have salads a side option always. Go for chicken or turkey based or even a fish meal served with salad or vegetables. 

  • Drink- always try to consume at least 8 glasses of water a day, even whilst on holiday, to keep the body hydrated as well as to help with keeping the bowels regular. 

  • And finally do not deprive yourself of anything, try not to take healthy eating so seriously, holidays are for having fun, enjoyment, and has great benefits including reducing stress and improving our mental health. 

I hope these tips are useful, feel free to comment any more hints and tips to share with the community!!