Staying Trim on Summer Vacation

Italy_V_Amalfi_Beach

As the weather starts getting warmer, you may be looking to plan a summer getaway. Before you set off on your summer excursion, make sure to follow some of the tips below to stay fit and trim on your vacation. With the many options at restaurants and all of the snack temptations around, you may find that it may be easy to over-indulge. However, the key to staying trim and fit on vacation is to eat in moderation. When you get home, you will feel recharged and not have to worry about any of the decisions you made while you were away. Eating in moderation still allows you to enjoy the local foods but also helps you keep healthy habits!

Travel Tips:

  • Know your portion sizes. Don’t be afraid to ask to have a portion of the meal boxed up to take back to your room for later. You can also split an entree with a friend and save money at the same time!
  • Opt for healthy fats. Instead of eating deep-fried and buttery foods, order foods rich in unsaturated fats like nuts, olives, and local seafood.
  • Customize you meal orders. Request to change a side order of fries to a salad, order sauces on the side, and opt for whole wheat bread instead of white bread.
  • Exercise regularly. Walk to attractions whenever possible, go swimming, use the hotel gym, or go on a local hike. Find time every day to be active.
  • Drink enough water. Traveling may dehydrate you a little extra during the summer. Make sure to drink enough every day by keeping a refillable water bottle with you wherever you go.
  • Eat in. You don’t always have to go to restaurants to eat every meal. Visit local markets and buy breakfast supplies that you can toss together in your hotel room. Buy local fruits and vegetables for snacks to take with you throughout the day to satisfy your hunger.
  • Eat comfort-style foods in moderation. You do not have to cut yourself completely off from trying local rich foods, but limit your intake so you can still enjoy the foods, while staying trim in the process.
  • Drink Sparingly. Though it is expected that alcohol may be consumed, avoid consuming sugary alcoholic drinks, and limit consumption to one or two drinks. Wine or a wine spritzer are two good choices.
  • Make meals more satisfying by focusing on consuming fruits and vegetables. Adding at least five portions of fruits and vegetables per day will keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day and provide the fiber necessary to maintain digestive health.
  • Savor your meal time. Though you may be eating on the way to the next destination, try to eat a sit-down meal instead of eating fast food or eating while traveling. This way, you will enjoy your food more, and feel more satisfied throughout the day.

Keep these tips in mind on your summer trip to ensure a healthy getaway!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the The 2015 Outstanding Dietitian of The Year by The New York Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a speaker, blogger, entrepreneur and innovator who is passionate about spreading the message of healthy eating for optimal health. To help restaurants improve upon menu choices and food preparation, Lisa recently founded Eat Well Restaurant Nutrition where she collaborates with chefs to get healthy meals on the table. She is the author of the “The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad,” (Nirvana Press 2014) and the widely-acclaimed “The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy,” (Nirvana Press 2012). In her private practice, with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Lisa specializes in weight managment, travel nutrition and diabetes for teens and adults. For more info, contact Lisa via email or visit here. Special thanks to Social Media Intern Anita Renwick for writing this blog.

Eating Healthfully in Amsterdam

A beautiful city rich in history, art, culture, architecture and canals, Amsterdam, if you haven’t been, is a magical place you should add to your bucket list. Its a great walking city with so much to see and do. Try to visit in spring so you can catch the gorgeous tulips in full bloom. Walking along the canals and viewing the beautiful houseboats is a great way to spend an afternoon. It’s also a great way to build up an appetite. Amsterdam is a melting pot of ethnic  cuisine, with a lot of Asian influence, due to it’s history as a major trading port.

Amsterdam houseboats

Although never thought of as much of a food town, Amsterdam is slowly coming into it’s own. One of the wonderful things we noticed on our recent trip was the delicious variety of vegetable-laden dishes offered on many menus. Unlike many eating places, where vegetables take up just a small  spot on the plate, restaurants here placed the vegetable front and center. After a beautiful morning visiting the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, a delicious lunch was had nearby at Warsteiner, a cute pub that dates from 1753. Order a vegetable omelette and be pleasantly surprised. Loaded with an abundance of fresh vegetables and salad, this glorious egg dish was a lovely light meal to fuel lots of walking.

veg omelette Amsterdam

For a delightful dinner, I highly recommend Humphrey’s, where the menu is heavy on plant-based fare. The Eggplant Sushi was terrific. We will definitely be going back there on our next trip.

Amsterdam eggplant sushi

There are also delicious ethnic places to choose from. Sir Hummus is a wonderful hummus and falafel spot and a great choice for lunch. Probably some of the best hummus I’ve ever tasted outside of Tel Aviv.

Amsterdam hummus

Stepping into a tavern to escape the afternoon rain was also another experience for another tasty lunch. Nieuwe Zijde is a cozy wine bar with great food. This delicious Grilled Vegetable Sandwich was a standout.

Amsterdam grilled veg sw

 

Last, but not least, do try to enjoy a favorite local Indonesian meal known as Rijsttefel, which literally means “rice table.” It’s approximately 44 courses (give or take) of small plates composed of Asian vegetable dishes with chicken, meat, fish or tofu. And served along with a bowl of steamed white rice. It can be quite spicy. If you love Asian food, don’t miss out. And a great place to give it a try is Sampurna.

 

Amsterdam rijsttafel

It was such a great experience, to not only explore all Amsterdam has to offer in art and history, but also to savor delicious cuisine. We will be back!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the The 2015 Outstanding Dietitian of The Year by The New York Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a speaker, blogger, entrepreneur and innovator who is passionate about spreading the message of healthy eating for optimal health. To help restaurants improve upon menu choices and food preparation, Lisa recently founded Eat Well Restaurant Nutrition where she collaborates with chefs to get healthy meals on the table. She is also the author of the ebook The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press 2014) and the widely-acclaimed The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy (Nirvana Press 2012). In her private practice, with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Lisa specializes in weight managment, travel nutrition and diabetes for teens and adults. For more info, contact Lisa via email or visit here.

 

Eat Like a Goddess in Athens

Greek-mealAthens,the birthplace of civilization, home to the Acropolis and Parthenon, and birthplace of Zeus, is one travel destination you’ll never forget. In Athens, you’ll experience ancient ruins and antiquities that will make memories for years to come. People come to visit Greece not only for its history, but also because it is a culinary standout. Greece is known for it’s wonderful produce, including luscious tomatoes, olives, olive oil, local fish, tangy, lemony Feta cheese, and ouzo, a licorice-flavored liquor similar to Sambucca. There are a vast array of traditional foods unique to this region that will show up on the menus of local tavernas. Think dishes such as Spanikopita (spinach pie), Mousakka, grilled whole fish, and Greek salad. Vegetables are a big part of the Greek Mediterranean diet and are consumed at every meal. Enjoy the wonderful preparation of vegetables in Athens as you experience the delicious cuisine. In addition to being an excellent source of potassium and Vitamins A and C, most vegetables are also rich in dietary fiber, which will not only help you stay regular (very important when you travel), but will help you stay trim as you’ll feel full sooner—and will stay satisfied longer. The Mediterranean diet is also known for other health benefits, which include a lower risk of heart disease and cancer, and a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Greeks are known for their longevity, especially on the island of Ikaria, where many inhabitants live well into their nineties and beyond. Stroll through the vibrant area around Ermou Street in Athens and view the busy tables at the outside cafes where diners are enjoying dishes laden with vegetables. Make sure to visit the Psyrri area, which was a traditional neighborhood in Athens, that over the last couple years has become a happening spot for art galleries, tavernas, ouzerias, and music. Here you’ll find restaurants that have a more modern approach to Greek cuisine. Definitely worth the cab or bus ride. While you’re visiting Athens, it’s good to be aware the traditional dishes you may come across in the tavernas.

The following list shows some of the “healthy” and “not-so healthy” menu items. Luckily, there are many healthy dishes served in Athens. If your plan is to stay trim as you travel, enjoy more of the dishes from the “healthy section.” Go easy on the “not-so-healthy section.” These dishes are higher in calories and fat, but are delicious, so share! Thankfully, many of the dishes served here tend to be on the healthy side! And just enjoy the friendly people, the culture, the food, the breathtaking scenery and illustrious historical ruins. You will be amazed!

Healthy selections

  • Greek salad
  • Horiatiki Salata- Tomato, cucumbers, onions, Feta, olive oil, vinegar and olives. No lettuce.
  •  Gigante beans (or Yigendes)—if you are vegetarian or vegan, a dish of these tasty high-protein beans can be your main course. Cooked in tomato sauce or olive oil and lemon.
  • Spanikopita-Spinach pie
  • Grilled fish and shellfish
  • Skordalia-potato and garlic dip.
  • Sadziki: Yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and onion dip. Great with Pita bread.
  • Melitzanasalata: Eggplant salad.
  • Taramasalata: Fish roe and yogurt spread. Delicious.
  • Fava beans: Dip or stew made from favas that can be eaten with a spoon or with bread.
  •  Patates to Fourno: Oven roasted potatoes.
  •  Briam: roast vegetables. Usually contains potatoes, onions, zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes. Similar to ratatouille. Great main course for vegetarians.
  •  Dolmades: Grape leaves stuffed with rice, onions and sometimes ground beef. Can be ordered without meat.
  • Mousaka: Baked dish similar to eggplant parmesan. Contains eggplant, potatoes, onions, ground beef, and a Bechamel topping.
  • Pastitsio: Think of it as a Greek Lasagna, but without cheese.. Layered noodles, meat, tomato sauce, and a Bechamel topping similar to Mousaka.

Not-So Healthy Menu Selections

  • Fried calamari and other fried fish/shellfish
  • Saganaki: fried cheese. Sometimes comes with tomato sauce.
  • Tiro Salata: Cheese salad.
  • Casseri: Soft cheese like mozzarella.
  • Keftedes: Deep-fried Meatballs.
  • Tiropita:  Cheese pie made with phyllo pastry
  • Patates Tiganites: Greek fried potatoes.

Restaurant Terminology 101: “Horis” means “without.” If you want a menu item sans an ingredient, just tell the waiter: hoe- ris (without) and the name of the item.

Healthy take-away tips:

  1. If having meat, fish, shellfish,or chicken, order it grilled.
  2. Make vegetables the focus of your meals. You will fill up faster.
  3. Start the meal with a Greek salad or a Horiatiki salad.
  4. If you have dessert, order one item and share it.
  5. Stay active. Enjoy Athens by foot. Spend your days walking around this beautiful and culturally-rich city. It’s the best way to visit historical sites, burn calories, and truly enjoy this Mediterranean gem.

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is the author of The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad and The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in private practice and writer based in Huntington, Long Island and NYC. Lisa specializes in travel nutrition, weight management, and diabetes for teens and adults. To find out more about Lisa, visit www.lisastollmanrd.com

Healthy Eating Abroad- When in Rome

rome-restaurantRome, where civilization and religion essentially began, is a place everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Enter a place where beauty is at every corner and one can spend hours admiring the craftsmanship put into a single building, a piece of artwork or a pasta dish that has been perfected over the years. The cuisine is something not to miss and as much a part of the experience of Rome as any other. When you experience a meal in Italy, you experience traditions that have been passed down for generations and embedded in every Italian. Meal time is family time and the typical Italian meal spans the course of 2-3 hours. There are also certain dining etiquettes one should be aware of beforehand. Check on dining etiquette in Rome. The traditional Italian meal consists of five courses. The first being an antipasti dish such as a charcuterie board or bruschetta. The main course is divided into 2 courses, the first called primo which is a pasta or rice dish, the second called secondo piatto is a meat or fish dish and contorni or side dishes may be ordered al-la cate. Dessert or dolce concludes the meal. So how does one not expand their waist line with a food culture characteristic of pizza, pasta, cheese and gelato? Here are a few tips that will allow you to enjoy the cuisine without overindulging.
1. For breakfast, order the cornetto semplice (similar to a croissant) without the fruit or cream filling. These cornettos are typically made with more sugar than croissants thus yielding a sweeter product to begin with. Biscotti are another lighter choice compared to other pastries as they typically do not contain butter. Also, opt for standing at the espresso bar to keep yourself on the go, to avoid additional charges that incur when sitting at a table and mingle with the locals.
2. Don’t feel pressured to order every course. Skip the antipasti and choose either a pasta or meat/fish course or chose to share one of each. Red sauce pastas are lighter than the cream based but there are just some dishes one must try while in Rome, Cacio e Pepe being one. Made with only butter, pecorino cheese, pepper, and pasta, the result is decadent and if done correctly the true test of Italian cuisine. Share this with your fellow diner.
3. Eat the bread with the meal not as a means to fill up before the meal arrives. Italians use the bread as an accompaniment to the meal, to scoop up the extra sauce but the bread is typically delivered to the table before the order is even placed. So you can cut an easy 200 calories by not eating 2 slices of bread before the meal.
4. Add in a hefty serving of vegetables. Artichokes and tomatoes in Rome are delicious! Order a salad and choose vegetable side dishes to accompany the main course. Or have them as your meal. For pizza and pasta, choose vegetarian.
5. Skip the dessert at lunch and dinner but enjoy single serving of gelato during the day when you are more active. Gelato is often enjoyed on-the-go by Italians. So have your sweet treat mid-day as you are walking around the city.
6. Engage in the Italian approach to mealtime. Italians eat leisurely, enjoying both the food and company. As a result they eat more slowly and allow themselves to experience the feeling of satiety before they over eat. It takes about 20 minutes for our brains to actually register that we are full. So, when you eat slowly, you will likely eat less.
And above all else, enjoy the Italian cuisine as it is not one to miss. Just keep portion sizes and moderation in mind. Buon appetito!
Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN. CDE, CDN is a nationally-renowned teen and adult weight management expert with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Lisa is the author of The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press 2014) and The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy (Nirvana Press 2012), the premier guide on healthy eating and weight management for teens. She loves to share her enthusiasm of eating healthy, traveling and staying fit. To find out more about Lisa, visit her website.