eating healthy on vacation.

we have some very dear friends (more like family) who share their lake house with us.  it’s in the middle of small-town missouri, where you would think it would be impossible to eat healthy.

well, it is pretty hard.  i’m not gonna lie ~ the air constantly smells like fried food. everywhere you go.  everywhere.

this post is all about HOPE.  if my friends and i can find healthy, gluten-free food in this least-likely-to-eat-healthy area of the world, then i’m convinced you can find it anywhere.

the trick is to look for local outdoor markets.  find what’s in season in that area and GORGE yourselves on it!  after all, it IS vacation!

here’s a picture of a beautiful amish market ~ it’s one of our first stops when we get down there.


the produce is awe-inspiring here…




these are some of my favorite colors in the whole world.  what a beautiful view!  especially because i know how delectable these veggies are when you throw them on the grill!  just cut your favorite in-season veggies into large chunks and drop them into a large baking dish or bowl.  toss with a yummy dressing and put it all in the fridge until you’re ready for dinner.


then go take a nap, or read a good book…

then tell your guests to customize their own skewers, get your hub to operate the grill, and sit on your duff, like a queen,  and treat yourself to a glass of chilled white!!


mom ~ avert your eyes ~ that’s a paper plate.  THE HORROR!

those skewers have ham, pineapple, shrimp, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, and don’t forget the red onion (which caramelizes on the grill) ~ so yummy!

here’s the marinade i used:

  • stone ground mustard
  • olive oil
  • minced garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • citrus (oranges and lemons or limes)
  • balsamic vinegar (just a splash to help with caramelization)
  • chopped fresh herbs

use whatever you have on hand.  olive oil and salt and pepper are really all you need, but garlic and citrus really class things up.

here’s a more asian marinade, if you like that more!

  • olive oil
  • stone ground mustard
  • lime juice
  • thai red chili paste
  • gluten free soy sauce
  • garlic
  • cilantro
  • a dash or two of sesame seed oil

just whisk these marinades together and drop in your veggies.  if you have big ziplock bags, that’s even better.

by the way, that big grilled pepper in the picture was KILLER.  poblano peppers from the farmers’ market, stuffed with fresh corn, cheese, and a little cream cheese.  then grilled.

and just a fresh cucumber/tomato salad to go with it all.  it’s so easy when you have the freshest of ingredients!

we even ate a somewhat healthy breakfast at the local diner!


just a casserole of hashbrowns, eggs and veggies, with cheese on top.  and the fruit bowl was very fresh!

(i won’t discuss the very sweet margaritas we also usually have when we’re down there.  so much sugar!  but hey ~ nobody’s perfect!)

my family always had a cooler in the car on vacations, with cold drinks, sausage and cheese, raisins in those cute little boxes, and chips and fruit.  what a treat!  and so much healthier than fast food.

i hope this inspires you to look for fresh produce wherever you are and take advantage of it.  there’s nothing like stopping at a farmers’ market on vacation and picking up some fresh peaches or blackberries for your car.  just skip mcdonald’s next time and enjoy some fresh fruit and cheese and sausage in your car.  it’s so much cheaper (even cheaper than mcdonald’s) and not as expensive when it comes to your health.

happy vacationing!

One thought on “eating healthy on vacation.

  1. Love this!!!! But, oh no, the horror, paper plates!!!! You gotta be kidding? Everything looks delicious and some very good ideas. I want some right now.

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