Written by Michelle Park, ShopWell Employee. Michelle is a 27 year old Korean American born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She works on ShopWell’s Data Analytics and assists with Product Marketing. In her spare time, she loves running, eating healthy, and traveling.
January is usually a relatively quiet month for me so for 2015 I decided to go on a spontaneous trip to Washington DC with my friend. Ever since I started working for ShopWell I have been more conscious about what I eat and try to make healthier choices. My DC trip was a lot of fun but I discovered real quickly how hard it could be to eat healthy while travelling. Here are some lessons I learned while I was on my trip:
Be wary of costly downtown fusion restaurants
I stayed in a hotel in downtown DC and ended up dining out in that area for convenience sake. My friend and I ate at two modern Asian fusion restaurants by my request because I’m the most comfortable with Asian foods, but I discovered that you don't get the most bang for your buck. The restaurants took traditional foods like Dim-sum and Korean stews and bumped up the price by offering beautifully displayed food, but sadly not much better quality or taste.
I learned it’s a good idea to be wary of establishments that rely on the allure of a trendy menu and modern appeal but are overpriced and don’t deliver on taste. I would much rather spend that money on food that’s higher quality and tastier.
Have realistic expectations when trying new restaurant choices
My friend and I wanted to explore this trip so we didn’t do a whole lot of advanced planning but we still wanted to eat at all the great local places. Having such high expectations for our meals lead to some disappointments, especially those two Asian fusion restaurants. Being realistic and a bit skeptical when picking restaurants based on Yelp reviews would have helped. Not all restaurants will turn out to be gems.
Try to order a salad and keep an eye out for dishes with veggies
I was conscious of what I was ordering and kept my meals as healthy as possible. For breakfast I opted for whole wheat items, avoided fried foods during lunch and dinner, and tried not to indulge in more than two alcoholic drinks a day. Still, when I look back on all the meals I ate I noticed my travel diet was really devoid of anything green (and I was really trying to eat healthy and balanced too!) My resolution for the next trip – I am going to try ordering a simple green salad as an appetizer and keep my eye out for dishes that have more veggies so I can get my fill of fiber and nutrients during the trip.