Travel Diet: Have I Been Eating Healthily In Canada?

I love my food. You will never find me starving myself into a size 0 or ordering a green salad at a steak restaurant. For me, digging into tasty meals is an important part of enjoying travel. So how have I been eating on the road?

I have spent most of my first two months in Vancouver and Vancouver Island where there is an abundance of delicious fresh Pacific salmon. I have never eaten so much fish in my life – whether it be sushi, a salmon burger, a fish taco or even a salmon croissant.

Back home in England, the usual fish of choice was a piece of cod that had been ‘battered to death’ in the local chippy.

Eating plenty of salmon is one of my healthy travel eating habits.

Tucking into a tasty salmon croissant for breakfast

But what about the unhealthy ones? There have been plenty of these…

Although I have been eating lots of fruit and vegetables, getting my five a day and all that jazz, I have also been eating lots of bad food.

I have a terrible sweet tooth…

I cannot say no to cake. If a huge chunk of carrot cake catches my eye in the window of a bakery, I will be thinking about it for the rest of the day. If I was strong enough not to have given in then, by the end of the day I most definitely would have indulged in something sugary.

Luckily, I have been hiking a lot and have not transformed into too much of a heffer.

However, if I carry on this way, I know I am certain to lose the battle of the bulge.

My weakness is coffee shops. I can rarely just order a cup of coffee without getting a huge cookie or muffin to go with it.

It was okay when I was working on an organic blueberry farm for two weeks. Four hours of physical work a day turns your body into a fat fighting machine.

I probably ate more than half a loaf of bread everyday, which usually would have bloated me up like I was expecting quadruplets.

But you can pretty much eat what you want when you know it will be burnt off.

By the end of my time at the farm, my clothes were falling off me; surprising considering most of them had by this point shrunk slightly from being thrown in too many hostel tumble dryers.

Eating lots of organic produce grown on the land, and having fresh eggs for breakfast, also did my system the world of good.

Then, after all of this goodness, can you guess what I did on the ferry back over to Vancouver?

Foolishly, I parked myself right outside the cafe where a sweet aroma quickly attracted my attention. Although I had eaten my lunch earlier on, within minutes I was stuffing my face with a Danish pastry AND a giant chocolate chip cookie.

My body seemed to be craving sugar and I gave in, figuring I deserved a treat after working hard on the farm.

So, my eating habits have been a mixture of good and bad.

Recently I set out to follow that famous philosophy of eating like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch and a pauper for dinner.

Did it work?

Not exactly. I always end up eating enough for three kings and sometimes get hungry at around 9pm and raid the chocolate machine.

Hmmm, did I mention that I love my food?

Do you manage to eat healthily while you travel?







  1. July 8, 2012 / 12:53

    Cut out the meat and dairy, eat only vegetables, fruit, grains (except wheat) and legumes and you will be eating healthy (sorry, but you asked ;)
    Dr E. recently posted..Baked French Fries & KetchupMy Profile

  2. July 8, 2012 / 17:19

    Not sure I’m convinced by this, sorry! I have eaten dairy all of my life and have strong teeth and bones from knocking back a pint of milk a day when I was growing up. Yes, some people do not digest dairy well, but, at the end of the day, it takes a lot of work and know-how to design a vegetarian (or is it vegan?) diet that covers all of the minerals (particularly iron) and whilst travelling, this is not a luxury I have. I like the idea of reducing meat by just having it once or twice a week and eating more fish. I think it’s a bad idea cutting out any food groups, unless you have a particular intolerance.
    Alison recently posted..Travel Diet: Have I Been Eating Healthily In Canada?My Profile

  3. July 8, 2012 / 20:16

    re: cow’s milk, here’s a very good explanation of why humans don’t need it: “Got Milk? You Don’t Need It”

    Your concerns regarding dropping meat are natural – we’ve been brainwashed since birth to equate meat with protein. But the opposite is true: animal protein damages our bodies. Adopting a whole-food plant-based diet is the single most important thing you can do for your health.
    Dr. E. recently posted..Baked French Fries & KetchupMy Profile

    • July 10, 2012 / 20:18

      But what about if they want it and like it? It worries me to think about where my food comes from, but I cannot afford to buy all organic and I like meat and dairy too much to give them up.

    • July 10, 2012 / 20:12

      Mmmmmm, this sounds delish! I should be getting to Ottawa later in the year and will be sure to stuff my face with one of these :-)

  4. July 11, 2012 / 02:41

    Great post Alison. I not only try to eat healthy on the road, but I try to work out at least once a day. But I’m not fanatical about it, I just do the best I can. Nobody’s perfect.

    Best Wishes,

    Daniel Durazo

    • July 12, 2012 / 03:34

      Thanks Mike, you put me to shame haha! It sounds like being fit and healthy is your lifestyle, so you exercise and eat healthily out of habit. Although I’m sure it’s still hard work dodging the cake. Good for you :-)

  5. July 14, 2012 / 17:56

    Eating healthy is not one of my strong skills whether home or while traveling. At least while traveling I spend far more time walking around than at home. I am slowly learning that as much as I crave the sugar as much as you seem to as well, giving in usually means I feel awful afterwards. Not just the guilt, that is easily put away, but the peak and crash stuff. So I try to manage the sugar in smaller amounts.

    • July 18, 2012 / 16:04

      The crash is the worst. In fact as I write this reply, I feel dodgy from too much sugar yesterday – double scoop gelato cone, massive slice of cheesecake, milkshake, muffin. Today is a healthy day :-)

  6. July 16, 2012 / 02:52

    I loved the discussion that this post generated. I try and adapt my diet to my situation. At the moment i equate Canada as food hell. The lack of decent cheese is doing my head in. I have cut back on my chocolate intake, but only because chocolate here is gross, and i don’t seem to crave dark chocolate as i do a family block of Australian Cadbury dairy Milk (different from the UK veriety). I am on the hunt for broccoli that actually tastes like broccoli. My search continues.

    • July 18, 2012 / 16:01

      Ha ha, oh dear doesn’t sound like you’ve been a happy eater in Canada. I didn’t realise the dairy milk was different. I’ve loved the food over here, mainly the abundance of fresh fish – something I don’t get enough of in my diet at home. And maple sausages – mmmmmm!

  7. July 27, 2012 / 04:44

    I actually eat much better when travelling, rather than when I’m living (settled down) somewhere. I’m vegetarian and find it fairly easy to eat healthy when travelling if I have kitchen facilities (even just a camp stove when on a road trip!). I find it easier and cheaper to not eat meat when travelling too.
    If eating out though….uh-oh. We stayed in a hotel in Vancouver for a week when we arrived in Canada and that wasn’t too good for my health for sure!