Dieting while on vacation

Chick-fil-A®  Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Strips®
I’ve received a few emails from some Cohen dieters who are going to the USA for a vacation and asking how I managed my diet. Here are some of my tips for all those who are traveling and are on a diet.

In the US fast foods get a big flack for serving fattening and unhealthy food. I did manage to find healthy options in a few places. The first picture was a Chick-n-Strips salad I bought from Chik-fil-A which serves nuggets and strips made from real chicken and not chopped up chicken and fillers formed into chicken shapes like in some other chains.

I know I should have ordered their chargrilled chicken garden salad instead but I was feeling rebellious but I only ate 1 chicken strip and all the veggies with just a little berry balsamic vinaigrette.

The last time I ate at Chipotle I ordered their tacos which was 3 tacos in one order. This time I ordered the salad and skipped the corn salsa, sour cream and guacamole and just topped the lettuce with barbacoa beef and tomato salsa. I should have passed on the cheese too but it was my treat.  I ate only half of the beef.
Chipotle's salad with barbacoa
Chipotle’s salad with barbacoa

I had this salad in the food court of a mall. The dressing was made of yogurt.
Grill Kabob's beef shawarma salad
Grill Kabob’s beef shawarma salad

Here are some of my favorite healthy meals in the US and Hong Kong.

Bouillabaisse from Whole Foods Market
Seafood meals at Whole Foods Market- bouillabaisse $12

Baked sea bass from Whole Foods Market
Seafood meals at Whole Foods Market- Chilean Sea Bass

Salads from Lemonade
Lemonade L.A.-Avocado, cherry tomato, pine nuts, lime and Beets, pickled onion, hazelnut vinaigrette

I also like ordering steak frites but I have the fries substituted with salad. Naturally I removed the butter on this steak I had at Bouchon Bistro.
Bouchon in Yountville- Steak Frites $34.95

One of my go-to places for good salads in Hong Kong is Istanbul Express and Ebeneezer. Middle Eastern restaurants have plenty of healthy options as long as you don’t go overboard with their yummy sauces. The salad was simply dressed with olive oil, lemon juice and pepper. 
Istanbul Express' salad with chicken donner
Istanbul Express’ salad with chicken donner

Tips for dieting while traveling:
1. Always request french fries or potato side dishes be replaced with a salad. All the restaurants I’ve eaten at gladly did this.

2. When ordering a salad always ask for the salad dressing on the side and use  vinaigrette only. The one time I forgot to do this my salad was drowning in dressing. That’s where all the calories are, in the dressing.

3. If you can’t weigh you food just practice portion control. More or less you know the size of protein you can eat.

4. Say no to junk food. That includes chips, ice cream, processed food, soda and sweets.

5. No fried food. Also avoid food with too much sauce. The simpler the preparation the better.

I hope these simple tips help you maintain your diet while on vacation. I must confess I did gain 5 lbs after one month in the US. It’s because of all the cookies I ate everyday and the ocassional dessert, cornbread and scones. Try to be better than me avoid these temptations all together.

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