Regardless of the length of the trip or the exotic nature of the location, it is always difficult to eat healthy when traveling. Whether it is having to grab a quick bite at the airport or train station, eating a meal while sightseeing, or eating the local cuisine, healthy options are either not readily available or your eyes naturally shift to the more decadent options. Believe it or not, we always weigh ourselves before we leave on a trip and then compare it when we return so that we know whether we need to work on losing any weight we might have gained.
Although it isn’t always easy to find healthy options when traveling, that doesn’t mean that it is impossible. We love seafood and can’t always get a good variety at home, so one thing that we do is to look for fish or shellfish on the menu and try to select dishes that aren’t necessarily covered in a sauce. Another trick that we use is to share a meal or eat small plates to avoid over eating. Eating healthy doesn’t mean not eating things with flavor, it is more a matter of paying attention to how the food is prepared and whether the restaurant uses fresh ingredients.
We try to be realistic and understand that we will want to eat a variety of food some of which is going to be fried, smothered in a rich sauce, or covered in cheese and we are okay with that. As with anything, it is really a question of moderation. For example, just because you are in Italy doesn’t mean that every dish has to be pasta or pizza. We are firm believers of eating like a local, but that doesn’t mean that locals don’t have some healthy choices. What do you do to eat healthy when you are on the road?
We have been to Chicago several times and have eaten traditional foods such as deep dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, and Italian beef hoagies. During our most recent trip, the temperatures averaged below 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 degrees Celsius) with wind chill temperatures that were between -15 and -25 degrees Fahrenheit (-26 and -32 degrees Celsius). With temperatures that cold, it was hard not to just have soup to keep us warm, which we did a few times. We had a variety of food from Italian, American, and even Irish. We did have a pizza, but we not big fans of deep dish pizzas, so we chose a thin crust pizza.
Of the things that we ate, some of our favorites were a seafood pasta with black linguini as well as homemade ravioli. One of our favorite restaurants to visit when we go to Chicago is Ditka’s, which is a traditional steakhouse, but we tend to eat lighter meals when we go there. We actually visited twice and did have a steak, but we also had oyster shooters and then later had a crab bisque, filet mignon sliders, as well as a delicious raspberry cheesecake.
We always try to find an Irish Pub during our travels and Chicago is certainly a great place to find one. We ended up going to the Emerald Loop, also a couple of times, and had a wonderful Irish breakfast, corned beef sandwich, and a seafood curry, which they considered to be an Irish dish. You may wonder why we went to the same places more than once during our visit and the answer is quite simple, it was too cold to walk around and go exploring and the Emerald Loop was less than a five minute walk away and we went to Ditka’s for dinner and then later for afternoon snacks.
Overall, our visit to Chicago was wonderful as always, despite the frigid temperatures. We look forward to our next visit to Chicago, although it will likely be during a warmer season. Chicago has such a wonderful variety of food and it is definitely a place where you can find things to eat that will suit any palate.
There are a lot of restaurant choices in Las Vegas, many of them coming with a fairly hefty price tag. On a previous trip to Vegas, we found Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria in the Venetian and since we love New York style pizzas, it has become a favorite place for us to stop when we are in town. The atmosphere is casual, the prices are very reasonable, and the staff is extremely friendly.
Obviously, the food is what is most important and Grimaldi’s pizza is definitely a worthwhile treat. The original restaurant is famous in New York City and their coal brick-oven pizzas have a distinct taste and flavor. Obviously there are plenty of other offerings such as calzones, salads, and traditional Italian dishes, but we chose to have one of their traditional pizzas with extra mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and mushrooms.
We sat at the bar where we had a couple of glasses of wine with our pizza and watched some sports on the television. The bartenders and waiters who came up to the well for their drinks were all very nice and quick to start a conversation, crack a joke, and genuinely seemed to enjoy their jobs. We even recognized Eric, one of the bartenders, from a trip to Las Vegas a couple of years ago. If you want to get out of the casinos and have good food at a price that won’t break the bank, Grimaldi’s is an excellent choice. Don’t have time to sit down for a meal, you can also order the pizzas to-go and take it back to your hotel room.