5 Holiday Habits to Bring Home, from Dietitian Sian Porter

Holiday habits to add to your daily routine once you land back in the UK!

Without the restraints of work and school, time spent on holiday allows us the freedom to get outside, spend quality time with friends and family and try new and exciting foods. Many of us jet off to France, Greece, Italy or Spain and have the chance to enjoy a Mediterranean diet rich in delicious fresh foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, grains and fish[1].

To help you work out which holiday habits to bring home (and which to leave on the beach), California Walnuts has teamed up with award-winning dietitian Sian Porter. From keeping your gut healthy to taking time to explore the great outdoors, below Sian Porter shares her top five holiday habits to continue long after you arrive back home.

  1. Embrace the Mediterranean diet

The traditional Mediterranean diet is seen as an ideal eating pattern. The PREDIMED study showed that a Mediterranean diet including tree nuts, primarily walnuts, was associated with a 30 percent lower risk of cardiovascular events (heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death) when compared to a low fat diet.[2] Underpinning the Mediterranean style of eating is the importance of eating together and holidays are a time to spend more time preparing, cooking and eating together at long, leisurely mealtimes. Go Mediterranean with your food choices once you’re back home too and enjoy a diet high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts such as walnuts, beans, wholegrains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil[3].

  1. Have the right kind of travel bug

Travelling, different foods and irregular mealtimes can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Walnuts are available in most travel destinations and are a useful source of fibre acting as a prebiotic for your gut bacteria[4].

  1. ‘Are we there yet?’

Travel is a necessary, but sometimes tiresome, part of getting away. Being ready with a few handy snacks means you are prepared for delays, avoiding poor and expensive choices at service stations or airports, and boosting your nutrition en route. A handful of walnuts provide 4.4 g of protein[5] and are naturally very low in sodium (salt).

  1. Get Outside

Sunny weather and empty days mean that we can spend much more time exploring the great outdoors when we are on holiday. From walking around the city you’re visiting, to taking a hike, or simply playing a ball game in the garden, all physical activity outdoors is great to get you moving.

  1. Salad Days

So much more than a limp lettuce leaf, slice of tomato and a tired piece cucumber, salads enjoyed on holiday are usually a riot of flavour and colour. Most vegetables, particularly salad vegetables, have a high-water content so help with hydration and salad ingredients such as tomatoes and peppers are rich in vitamin C. Once you’re back home, get creative and use vegetables in a variety of colours to create exciting and healthy salads. Add walnuts to boost crunch, replace less healthy ingredients such as croutons, or as a nutritious plant-based protein. The vitamin C in the salad will also absorb iron from other foods such as walnuts, helping to reduce tiredness and fatigue[6], as part of a healthy balanced diet.

[1] https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/what-is-a-mediterranean-diet/

[2] https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1800389

[3] https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/what-is-a-mediterranean-diet/

[4] Lauri O. Byerley, Derrick Samuelson, Eugene Blanchard, Meng Luo, Brittany N. Lorenzen, Shelia Banks, Monica A. Ponder, David A Welsh, Christopher M. Taylor. Changes in the Gut Microbial Communities Following Addition of Walnuts to the DietThe Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 2017; DOI: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2017.07.001

[5] Food Standards Agency (2002), McCance & Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods, Seventh summary edition. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry

[6] http://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/labelling_nutrition/claims/register/public/