When I was returning from any vacation – even if it hasn’t been longer than a week – I would weigh myself and the result would always be the same: at least two extra kilos. So, considering the outcome, the next days I tried to keep a diet, which I did not always succeed, to be honest. And let’s face it: all diets are pure torture. They just keep you away from the little pleasures in life that, ultimately, make your day. So, I’ve tried and tried – and I even succeeded – to be more careful about what I eat on vacation, but without depriving myself of the local specialties. The basic rule: wherever you might be, do not exaggerate. Eat anything your heart desires, but stay away from the huge portions. And, last but not least, choose the traditional ingredients and dishes that have fewer calories. Even a bit means a lot.
You’re thinking of moussaka, don’t you? Well, it’s understandable, it’s one of Greek’s most loved specialties: meat and potatoes, a combination that’s – trust me! – the public enemy number one for your silhouette. So, think about it. Especially, and stress especially, if you’re there in the middle of the summer you have lighter alternatives. And equally tasty! I, for one, I always order, a Greek salad as an appetizer. It’s simply delicious! And then, I choose fish or grilled seafood. The Greeks cook them majestically and you will, particularly, love them if they were picked up that very day.
I simply love Italian food. And no, the things I crave for have nothing to do with any diet: pizza, pasta, and prosciutto. So again I repeat the ritual: I try to combine the ingredients in a healthy way. I choose pasta with vegetables, penne arrabiata or pasta alla norma. And if I’m really thriving for a pizza, I’ll look for a small, cozy Italian place, where I can buy just a slice or two. Luckily, I like margherita, the lowest in calories. And sometimes, I indulge myself with a cup of delicious ice cream.
I immediately think of seafood and, yes, it’s a fantastic idea. Mussels, Saint Jacques, oysters, all are delicious. Plus they are healthy and not heavy. Great choice, of course, if you have the willpower to refuse the french fries, served next to them. Ah, and if you’re in France, you need to eat, at least once, a portion of snails. And best of all: they all go with a glass of white wine.
Jamon or paella? I get hungry only thinking about it! And yes, I could eat them for a whole week. However, if I want to go back home without too many sorrows, I order a sea food paella and I share it with my boyfriend. And no, I don’t do this every day. I usually start any meal with a selection of tapas, the traditional Spanish appetizers: and they can be with olives, seafood (I choose them only if they are not fried), peppers, and among all these, I treat myself with a few slices of jamon. Ah, and this summer I’m really into gazpacho, a cold soup made out of raw vegetables.
In any other place your travels might take you
If you can’t find traditional dishes that do not contain a lot of calories, anywhere you might go you will find the classic grill, soup, salad, fish and seafood. If you like Asian food, go for noodles with seafood or vegetables. Or sushi – you’ll find it in almost every town. Ohh, and I almost forgot: stay away from the hotel mini-bar. When you are in the mood for a snack, just walk through the local markets and buy some exotic fruits. They are yummier and healthier than anything you might find to nibble in the mini-bar.