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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!

A Vacationer's Diet

Well, I just got back from the most wonderful Caribbean vacation yet, and now my body is trying to get back to the routine of things and the much colder Illinois weather! I was quickly reminded on the first day of arriving to the resort how difficult it was to eat healthy on vacation. An all-inclusive resort meant all the food and drinks you could possibly want. So how do you not blow your healthy meal plan on a vacationer's diet of burgers, fries, decadent desserts and delicious beverages?

The first tip is to not think about it too much. You simply won't enjoy your vacation if you spend all your time worrying about the calorie content of every food and drink you order. You should enjoy your meals; you shouldn't have to feel guilty for indulging in the crème Brule or fried calamari.

That being said, vacation, isn't the time to throw all attempts to eating healthy out the window. The second tip, is to eat slowly and try to drink water with most your meals. You'll be able to savor each bite and not fill up on sugar-loaded drinks. Also, the more time you take to eat each bite, the less food you're likely to devour. Remember, you're on vacation; time doesn't matter!

The third tip is to sit and relax but also move, move, move! Vacation is certainly a time to relax and unwind, but try spending half the day walking the streets, renting bicycles, swimming laps in the pool, taking in the hotel's fitness center, climbing the stairs instead of the elevator, etc. You'll feel better, you'll sleep better, and you'll enjoy your vacation experience that much more!

When you get back home, try this healthy meal with a Carribean kick to get back into the swing of cooking!

Barbecue Chicken Tacos (Printable PDF)

1 lb raw boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded

2/3 cup barbeque sauce

½ cup mango, chopped

½ cup red onion, chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped

¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

½ Tablespoon rice vinegar

½ Tablespoon lime juice

8 six-inch white corn tortillas

Place warm, cooked, shredded chicken in a medium mixing bowl. Add barbecue sauce and toss to coat. In a separate bowl, combine mango, red onion, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, vinegar and lime juice; mix well and set aside. Lay tortillas on a microwave-safe plate and heat, about 15 seconds. Evenly distribute barbecue chicken among tortillas; top chicken with mango-onion mixture and serve.

Yield: 8 tacos

Nutrient Analysis per serving: 210 Calories, 6 grams fat, 40 milligrams cholesterol, 360 milligrams sodium, 26 grams total carbohydrate, 2 grams dietary fiber, 13 grams protein

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Great philosophy and practical steps for enjoying a vacation and feeling good while traveling!
by Kathy Sweedler on Wednesday 11/2/2011