If you’ve had the pleasure to visit this beautiful island nestled in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts, it’s an experience you’ll never forget. However, If you never chose this place as a vacation destination, you may want to rethink. Martha’s Vineyard is home to many gorgeous beaches and quaint towns, including Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Chilmark and Vineyard Haven. Each town has its’ own New England flavor that makes it unique. And of course like many vacation spots, dining out is all part of the whole vacation relaxation package. Which is great if you don’t like to cook(!), but can add some girth to your waistline. Eating three meals daily in restaurants can definitely up the calories, so making wise food choices while you are vacationing will keep you feeling great (to look up calories–if you are so inclined, try the Calorie King app (free for iPhone). You want to enjoy meals that will fuel you up, but not add on the pounds or slow you down. Making smart food choices will you help you to return home with souvenirs, not unwanted extra pounds. In addition, you want to stay active while you’re away. Being active will not only help you to feel great but will also help you manage your weight while you vacation.
It’s important to have energy to hike, bike, swim and just walk throughout the towns. Having at least an hour of daily activity will keep you energized and relaxed as you explore new surroundings. Purchase a Jawbone or Fitbit pedometer before you leave home so you can track your daily activity.
Here are some healthy eating tips along with restaurant suggestions which offer healthy meals that will keep you well-fueled.
5 Tips for Making Healthy Food Choices on Martha’s Vineyard
1. Like many islands that have great seafood, fresh fish is a big part of many restaurant menus on Martha’s Vineyard. However many menus also are rich in fried dishes. For a healthy choice, order fish grilled instead of fried. Or go vegetarian and opt for a veggie burger. In place of the accompanying French fries, ask for a side salad, vegetable or cole slaw.
2. If the portions are large, order a side salad and an appetizer. Or have a salad as an entree. Be wary of additions, such as cheese and bacon. Have only one or ask for them to both be deleted. Ask for salad dressing on the side.
3. If you go out for breakfast, skip the home fries and bagel, and opt for whole grain toast. An omelette with vegetables will provide you with a good source of protein and fiber. Or order plain yogurt with fresh fruit for a calcium and Vitamin C boost.
4. For lunch, sandwiches which include vegetables and salads, as long as they aren’t laden with meat and cheese, are a healthy choice. Ask for whole grain bread instead of the refined white roll. Good sandwich choices include grilled fish or chicken with lettuce and tomato or hummus with vegetables. If French fries are part of the meal, ask for a side salad instead.
5. The best beverages to accompany your meal include water, seltzer, unsweetened iced tea and tomato juice. Though alcohol is commonly chosen while on vacation, keep in mind that alcoholic drinks tend to be high in calories and can increase your hunger. So go slow. Start you meal off with a non-alcoholic beverage such as a Virgin Mary or seltzer with lemon. If you desire a glass of wine, etc., wait until your meal is served to order your beverage. You should find you drink less alcohol when you heed this tactic.
Restaurant Suggestions: Each of these restaurants offer vegetable-based dishes and amazing salads, in addition to meat, fish and chicken. I highly recommend all of them!
The Port Hunter: great food and live music
The Atlantic: recommend for lunch or dinner
Among the Flowers: great for breakfast
Oak Bluffs The Lookout Tavern : beautiful view with great food, sushi too!
Nancy’s Snack Bar: excellent fish and Mediterranean food
Vineyard Haven The Black Dog Grill: great fish dishes, salads and veggie burgers
Chilmark The Chilmark Tavern: pricey but excellent local food that’s well-prepared
Lisa Stollman is the author of the new ebook The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press June 2014) and The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy (Nirvana Press 2012). She is the founder of Lisa Stollman Nutrition with offices in Huntington, New York and on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Find out more about Lisa at www.lisastollmanrd.com.