Literally just got back from a few days at the beach - an awesome few days at that. I’ve been lucky enough to take a couple weekends a summer down there, as my boyfriend’s bestie has a house. But if you think that a yoga teacher going on vaca with a bunch of bartenders was an easy fit, well you’d be wrong.
My boyfriend and I generally eat very differently - not just different foods, but on different schedules, too. As if learning to feed myself when I’m at home and in my comfort zone wasn’t hard enough, it took me a little longer to figure out how to still eat the way I want to when at his house, or on vaca with him and his friends (or even when traveling solo).
And honestly, it was a pain in the ass at first. I’d come home feeling like shit and a little resentful about it, until I took 100% responsibility for feeding myself and doing my own thing despite what everyone else was doing.
What I’ve learned is that it’s not high maintenance or even “picky” to eat the way I want to eat, but I can’t make it anyone else’s job to figure it out for me. Which is why having some go-to foods can make it all much simpler, AND it takes out that hungry-decision-making time that can lead to a total meltdown.
So whether I’m in a new city, down at the beach, or just spending a few nights at my bf’s right here in Brooklyn, here are some things I like to have around to know that I’ll have my bases covered:
Breakfast: I wake up hungry. I can’t rely on waiting for others to get up and devise a plan, I need to have something immediately available.
My usual go-to is smoothie stuff (banana, oat milk, nut butter, spinach, frozen blueberries, protein powder if possible).
Even easier than that is granola and oat milk. Maybe some berries or a banana if I can.
As an absolute backup, I keep some oats at my bf’s so I can whip up some oatmeal in a pinch.
And finally, I know that there’s a place right down the street that makes great smoothies so even if the cabinets are empty, I’m covered.
Lunch: even if we go someplace where there’s not a lot I find appetizing, I’ll always have some things back at the house to help balance things out:
mixed greens (drizzle with EVOO, lemon, and salt and call it a day)
pretzel crisps & hummus
apple & peanut butter
avocado toast (I like sourdough and I keep it in the freezer so there’s always some around)
If I’m eating lunch at home, I might have leftovers, or even a pre-planned meal like my recent go-to: tuna salad + pasta salad (like elbows in pesto with cherry tomatoes) on a bed of greens or quinoa. A store right by my bf’s place sells delicious prepared salads like this, and I’ll just mix a bit of everything together for a satisfying meal. Even better is that one package of each salad lasts 3-4 meals when mix’n’matched like this; the tuna could easily be replaced by a chickpea salad if going all plant-based.
Dinner: pretty similar to the lunch options above, it’s easy to balance things out or just have more veggies if we’re grilling out at home. But it’s possible to make yourself a vegetarian meal even at a seafood restaurant, by ordering a mix of salads and sides: a baked potato, corn on the cob, side salad, steamed broccoli. Or, this is your time to get the fried chicken if you’re feelin’ it!
My biggest rule is not to feel bad about your order - no guilt if you indulge (you’re on vaca, after all!), but also not feeling self-conscious about ordering a smattering of sides when everyone else is getting steaks and lobster tails.
Because I’m a creature of habit, I like to have tea, kombucha, and some kind of fizzy water around so I can stick with my rituals and refreshments like I’m at home. I also love nuts and goMacro bars because they’re easy to keep in your bag, bring to the beach or on a long car ride and get a boost of protein wherever you are.
Finally I think that anyplace you’re staying (even at home), it’s good to get the lay of the land. Knowing where you can easily grab something you’ll like, so you can keep it super simple when it’s time to eat. That decision fatigue is a real thing, and I’m pretty sure all decisions get 10x harder when hungry.
What are some of your go-to foods that make it easier to stay nourished when you’re out of your everyday routine?