Saturday, July 4, 2009

Quinoa and Heirloom Tomato Salad (Plus Tips for Staying in Shape While Traveling)

Trying to stay on a healthy eating plan when traveling is not always easy. Actually, let me rephrase that. It's almost never easy. After all the traveling I've been doing, I have a much greater appreciation for what my clients go through when they're out of town. Being on someone else's schedule, not always having control of what or when you eat, not having your normal exercise routine...these are all factors that come into play and make you have to work extra hard to keep those pounds from creeping back on. It's ironic really...we spend months trying to get in shape for our vacation only to gain weight as soon as we get there.

Don't lose faith though. Gaining weight on vacation is not inevitable. Take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy yourself. Here are a few tips for staying in shape while vacationing.
  • Drink lots of water. You're probably going to be eating and drinking things you don't normally have very often, so don't forget to hydrate to keep things moving.
  • Start your day off right. A healthy breakfast will set the tone for the rest of the day. As soon as I got to my sister's house, I picked up ingredients for green smoothies, and my favorite Trader Joe's gluten free waffles. I may not be in control of what happens the rest of the day, but I can plan on a healthy breakfast.
  • Pack healthy snacks. You might not be able to eat as often as you're used to, so bring some healthy snacks with you wherever you go so you don't get into "I'm starving and I'll eat everything in sight" mode. Some good ideas are bananas, apples, larabars (I like the Jam Frakas...they're supposed to be for kids but are half the calories of a regular larabar and a perfect snack size), nuts, and dried fruit.
  • Stay active. I was the first one awake this morning (I'm still on East Coast time), so I got up and went for a long walk around the neighborhood.
  • Don't be afraid to make your needs known. My sister doesn't eat every couple of hours the way I do, so I had to let her know I needed to go to the grocery store to pick up some snacks. You might feel like you don't want to inconvenience anyone, but remember that your friends and family will want to help you feel good about yourself.
  • If you're in a situation where you can cook, make a healthy meal for everyone, like this Quinoa and Heirloom Tomato Salad that I made to accompany the fish we had last night.

Quinoa and Heirloom Tomato Salad
Print-Friendly Option

2 cups uncooked quinoa
2 cups heirloom tomatoes (any cherry or grape tomato will be fine), quartered
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion
6-8 fresh mint leaves, minced
small handful of fresh parsley, minced
1.5 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1 lime
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the box. Allow to cool.
  2. In a large serving bowl, mix together the tomatoes, black beans, onion, mint, parsley and goat cheese.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and the juice from the lime. Pour over the tomato mix and stir in to coat.
  4. Add the quinoa, and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley or mint sprigs.
Serves 8

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.


Robin said...

Great tips!
I really have to pick up some quinoa and try that recipe. Looks great. Though I'm not a big fan of mint so I may omit that ingredient :)

Kati said...

Those are great tips for food and traveling...especially about b-fast. Starting your day right always makes you feel better :)

Micaela said...

Miss you!

Lynn (The Actors Diet) said...

Wonderful tips! It is funny how we lose weight before a vacation only to gain it there....

Ben said...

What a great salad. I love anything that has quinoa in it. And thanks for the tips. They'll be very helpful.

Anonymous said...

I made the recipe last night, I feel like the 2 cups of Quinoa might be off? One cup would probably be best because I really want to ad a lot more onion and tomatoes. Other than that the flavors are great!

Iris said...

Anonymous - It's been a while since I've made this. I'm pretty sure I meant two cups, but to be honest, I'm not positive. Of course you should feel free to play around with the amounts and ingredients as much as you want! I'm glad you enjoyed it otherwise! I should really make it again soon to be sure...


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