While it can challenging to stick to a diet when traveling, here are my top 10 tips for how to eat healthy while on a cruise ship.
1. Disclose your dietary preferences at the time of booking
For me, that’s gluten- and dairy-free. I have had to pick and choose different operators depending on their willingness to accommodate special dietary needs, but it’s becoming more and more common these days.
The benefit of disclosing your dietary preference at the time of booking is that the catering manager will be notified of your needs and will make the appropriate orders.
2. Eat a big salad every day
Salad bars on cruise ships are usually absolutely beautiful and full of fresh veggies and toppings. Take advantage of the salad bars and be sure to have a fresh green salad at least once a day to get healthy fiber and vegetables.
3. Bring healthy snacks or staples with you
If you love a certain type of granola for breakfast or you have a strong preference for tea or something like that, bring it with you! I love adding a topping of granola to the gluten-free porridge I get at the breakfast bar to help add healthy fat, fiber, and crunch to the meal (see my list of the best gluten-free travel snacks).
4. Ask for steamed vegetables instead of sautéed
I prefer to have my fat in the form of butter on my baked potato or a on a gluten-free roll (I eat dairy-free, but I can tolerate butter), so I routinely asked for my veggies to be steamed instead of sautéed. In this way, by getting steamed vegetables you can also avoid some of the vegetable oils that are often used for cooking in commercial kitchens.
My favorite dinner on-board is salmon with steamed vegetables and a baked potato.
5. Avoid tea time baked sweets
Choose fruit instead. Afternoon tea can be tricky with so many sweets available. A healthier option is fruit or something with protein like a hard-boiled egg or nuts.
6. Choose healthy (or healthy-ish) desserts
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to be abstinent in terms of dessert. I chose simply desserts like sorbets and gluten-free cookies as opposed to the richer cakes and ice creams.
These Vital Proteins collagen single-serving packs came in handy. They blend easily into any liquid or porridge.
8. Minimize alcohol intake
Have a sip or a very small glass of red wine with lunch or dinner. Alcoholic beverages are empty calories so going light on the drinking is a healthy choice.
9. Drink enough water for you
Our cruise had mineral water available, and that was my drink of choice. Hydration is important when traveling in general.
10. Enjoy the experience!!!
I’m always about enjoying food and the experience of eating. Making healthier choices doesn’t take away any of the joy, especially if you’re easy on yourself and just do your best. Perfection is not the goal, but finding that balance between reasonable and indulgent is the challenge. Find a way to splurge a little bit every day or at every meal.
Have you cruised before? Do you have any tips I missed? Let me know in the comments!
And, be sure to pin this image about eating healthy on a cruise ship:
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