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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Eating Healthy On A Cruise

Eating Healthy On A Cruise

We all know how tempting it can be to abandon our good sense while on a cruise. When it comes to eating healthy, many of us tend to make poor choices and relax our restraint … grabbing an ice cream cone here, a slice of pizza there …chowing down at the midnight buffet. But there are ways to keep watch over what we put in our mouths, and with some help – along with some hard work and common sense -- your job should be made a little bit easier.

It is easy enough these days to request a low-fat or vegetarian meal on your cruise. But if you choose a sighseeing excursion at a port-of-call, the quest to find healthy food on the road gets a little more complicated.

Before you go on tour, pack a variety of nutritious foods in a small folding cooler filled with ice. Fruits and raw vegetables, sandwiches, individual packages of crackers, yogurt and granola bars are quick and easy solutions. Also, pack a few bottles of water so you don’t become tired and dehydrated while touring. You can find most of these items at the lunch buffet. Grab'm and store then in your cabin fridge for your tour.

If you are having lunch onboard, try to order your hamburger without cheese, skip the condiments, choose grilled meats instead of fried and look to the salad bar for options whenever possible.

For breakfast, stick to fruits, cereals and proteins such as eggs. Low-fat muffins are also a good alternative to sticky danishes and fat-laden donuts.

While the ship offers 7-8 meals a day, virtually around the clock, don't indulge. Remember to eat only when hungry – don’t fill up simply because you paid for it all, or because it’s there. Cruise ships tend to serve an overwhelmingly large amount of food. If you do overindulge at one meal, simply scale back a bit on the next. Forgive yourself for any “diet” blunders and take a walk around the promenade deck or swim in the pool. Also, request of your wait staff that they bring you foods that are broiled instead of fried, ask for foods that are cooked with low-fat cheese, or use non-fat milk.

At the dinner table, either avoid the appetizers altogether; or choose appetizers instead of entrees to avoid eating oversized amounts of food. When possible, avoid the midnight buffet at night. When your body slows down and readies itself for sleep, it also burns calories less efficiently. Pass up the bread basket at dinner, and certainly avoid the butter, margarine and oil that come along with it. Choose fish or poultry for your entrée, and make an effort to include lots of vegetables rather than French fries or cole slaw. Finally, moderate your desserts, choosing sorbet and not ice cream, fresh fruit and not cake. And definitely limit your alcohol intake – all those extra calories add up.

The following is a list of menu terms divided into two categories: those you should avoid and those you should embrace. Let these be your guide when all else fails.

Avoid these terms:
» Buttery or buttered
» Basted
» Fried, French Fried, Crispy
» Creamed, in gravy
» Hollandaise
» Au gratin or In cheese sauce
» Scalloped
» Rich

Look for these terms:
» Stir fried
» Steamed
» Au jus (in its own juices)
» Poached
» Raw
» Garden fresh

In short, trust your own good judgment and stick to your normal eating habits or as close to them as possible when on a cruise. Take care of yourself so you can have many happy, healthy cruise vacations for years to come!

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Cruise Traveler Magazine is an online cruise magazine offering an unbiased cruise guide, latest cruise news, cruise reviews, tips, feature cruise articles, and need to know information about cruising. Editorially independent of travel providers or cruise lines.


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