“I’m on vacation” is a sentence I hear often when friends and family excuse their full plates at the hotel breakfast buffet. Overindulge is a common behaviour when people go on vacation and often they have the tendency to choose really unhealthy items from the breakfast selection: croissants, muffins, sausages and sweet juices. However every hotel breakfast buffet offers some good-for-you options that are nourishing, nutritious and filling. Having a healthy and refreshing breakfast provides you with energy and a mental boost. Apart from that it is so much easier coming home from a wonderful vacation and not going on a diet immediately to fight your holiday weight gain.
Travelling a lot I am often faced with the breakfast buffet dilemma. At home I usually have a breakfast smoothie with oats (check out my Instagram for some recipe inspiration) but finding maca powder, chia seeds or even non-diary milk at a hotel breakfast buffet is nearly impossible. So, it took me some time to find my favorite holiday breakfast foods that would would be healthy on the one side but also satisfy my taste buds and soul.
When I am having breakfast at a hotel I am ideally looking for various food combinations, low-carb fruits and slow-digesting carbs, fat + proteins and low-carb vegetables or proteins and high-carb fruits. This sounds all more scientific than it actually is and these are only my ideas of understanding healthy food (I’m not a nutritionist) but with some common sense and inspiration you’ll find an energising and healthy breakfast. So here are my preferred vegan and vegetarian hotel breakfast choices.
How to eat healthy at a hotel breakfast buffet
Egg white omelette with salad
Most hotels offer egg white omelette if you nicely ask the breakfast chef. I usually add that I want it made without or only a little oil as the pans are usually already greasy from previous orders. If you like, include some spinach, tomatoes or green onion to your eggs for a more intense taste. Combined with a fresh salad of green lectures, cucumber and green pepper and you are totally on your clean eating track. Its high in protein, low in carbs and pretty much fat-free.
(Greek) Yogurt with banana, apples and nuts
Low-fat or nonfat yogurt is packed with the nutrients to get you through your morning feeling energised and nourished. If your hotel happens to include it in their breakfast selection opt for Greek yogurt as it is loaded with calcium and boasts plenty of proteins. Again, it is best to choose a plain or nonfat kind and add some fruits and nuts for some sweet flavour. Be aware this breakfast packs a whopping energy in it but it is optimal for an active day outside.
Whole grain bread with low-fat cream cheese and cucumbers
Stay away from refined grains as found in white toast and muffins because they have been stripped of fiber and nutrients. I’ve been noticing over the past couple of years that hotels (also low-budget ones) increased their selection of whole grain toast, bread and pita. Avoid the usual peanut butter and jam spread. Make yourself a sandwich with cheese and vegetables. Cheese in moderation is always a healthy choice but feta cheese in particular is a natural low-fat cheese and therefore a great option for the health conscious eater. Add some cucumbers or green peppers for a crispy taste and some extra vitamins.
Porridge/oats with berries or melon
All it takes for this healthy breakfast is a combination of some fresh berries (or watermelon), stell-cut oats and your choice of milk or hot water. It is very filling and doesn’t let you feel hungry at 10 a.m. again. Steel-cut oats contain more fiber than rolled oats but both options are healthy. Just try to avoid any flavoured kinds as these are usually packed with sugar. As I don’t drink diary milk I usually ask for hot water and let my oats soak for a few minutes before I mix in some fruits and nuts. If you feel this is too tasteless, just add a little bit of milk or plain (low-fat but also low-sugar) yogurt.
Pancakes/Waffles with strawberries
You have a sweet tooth and can’t skip the pastry section of your hotel breakfast buffet? Pancakes and waffles are the healthier alternatives to doughnuts, muffins and croissants. However healthy pancakes are all about picking the right topping. Don’t add extra sugar, whipped cream or chocolate sauce but instead top your pancakes with fresh fruits.