How to Eat Healthy on Vacation—and Have Fun, Too

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Hey, summer's not over yet—there's still time to squeeze in a vacation (or staycation)! So how can you enjoy your time off without going overboard with not-exactly-healthy food? Turn to Well+Good Council member and nutrition expert McKel Hill of Nutrition Stripped, who has a few smart ideas for eating what you love…while still feeling your food-fueled best.

Maintaining your health routine while on vacation isn’t just about food, working out, and picking the best options to eat. It’s about releasing stress, having fun, exploring, soaking up nature, and spending quality time with loved ones (or solo).

We don’t need studies to show that vacation is good for us, but in case you want hard evidence: People who take vacations see greater success at work, and there are (at least!) four science-based reasons we all need to take that OOO status.

Convinced yet? Great! Here are a couple of my personal tips to explore.

how to eat healthy on vacation
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Let go

How can you give yourself more wiggle room to enjoy foods, drinks, and activities that you normally don’t do? Release “shoulds” from conversations with yourself. Remember to stay present with the foundation that you’ve built in your health routine. Going on vacation is just part of life, so this is a good time to put those tools you’ve been practicing to the test.

Find some health-focused spots

If you can find some comfort in knowing you have a couple go-to places that you can grab nutrient-dense foods, make that your spot to check in daily! I always make the first stop a market, grocery store, or farmers market where I can stock up on essentials.

Otherwise, do a quick Google search or talk to the locals about where their favorite health food places are. This is just one example of how to still stick to your foundation while still being flexible and choosing options that make you feel good.

Keep up with habits you know make you feel your best

Drink lots of water and eat veggies (fiber!), healthy fats, fresh fruit, and protein. We know that these whole foods keep you feeling your best—with everything from digestion to stabilizing your blood sugars—so you'll have great energy to enjoy your vacation. If you're prone to digestion issues while you travel, you’re not alone. Be sure to pack probiotics, digestive enzymes, or any supplements you know keep your digestion on track! If you need help, email me at

When all is said and done, vacation should feel amazing—that’s what it’s all about. Enjoy!

mckel hill McKel Hill, RDN, is a registered dietician nutritionist and the founder of Nutrition Stripped, which treats healthy food as more than just fuel—and gives expert advice on using its nutrients and flavors to make you feel amazing.

What should McKel write about next? Send your questions and suggestions to

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