açai bowl and avocado toasts restaurant healthy menu

California Cuisine: How to Eat Healthy on Vacation

As any globetrotter will tell you, it’s not easy to eat healthy on vacay. After all, a world of deliciousness awaits, whether you want to indulge in pizza al taglio in Rome or slurp udon in Tokyo. Yet somehow, California combines the most delicious menu options with the ones that are also fantastic for you (this is the state that grows 13% of the United States’ produce, after all…talk about fresh veggies!). 


We find it’s easier to eat healthy here on vacation than anywhere else when even so-called “indulgent” meals are chock-full of fresh, local, good-for-you ingredients.


Still, staying on track with your wellness goals isn’t easy on the road, but travel is in itself a healthy thing to do. (Sure, we’re biased, but we have proof — 93% of American travelers felt happier after time away, according to this study.)


Read on for our tips for eating healthy while traveling. Or, at least relatively so, you are on vacation after all! 


Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Drinking lots of water is even more important when you’re on the move, especially in warm and sunny destinations like Southern California. Traveling by air? The Aerospace Medical Association recommends drinking about eight ounces of water for every hour of flying. Bottom’s up!



Pack your own snacks or stay in places that offer a variety of good-for-you treats.
Pack your own snacks or stay in places that offer a variety of good-for-you treats.

Stash Your Own Snacks

We’ve all done it — in a moment of travel-tiredness, we’ve either made sudden food choices that we know won’t have us feeling good later on (In-N-Out Burger as soon as we touch down in California) or been stuck with poor options (airport convenience store pre-made sandwiches). The fix? Toting your own healthy snacks with you when you travel, such as nuts, dates, and protein bars. A little thinking ahead can go a long way in staving off hunger until you can get some more satisfying, body- and soul-nourishing fare.




Healthy food options at Piper.
Healthy food options at Piper.

Research Restaurant Options

Traveling shakes up your routine in more ways than one. From unusual schedules to unfamiliar places, you likely not be eating when and how you normally do. Researching restaurants in your chosen destination before you get there can help make mealtimes more smooth and stress-free by finding recommended spots that fit your eating preferences or health goals. In Oceanside, for instance, The Seabird’s oceanfront Piper restaurant and bar has become a go-to spot for a variety of healthy options. Diners practically glow, and not just because they can opt to sit on the wraparound outdoor patio! 


Get Extra Vitamins With Organic Juices

There’s only one thing better than fresh juice…and that’s organic freshly pressed juice packed with vitamins and antioxidants. It’s also a welcome way to get the nutrients your body needs while on the move, plus is one of many healthy — not to mention tasty — offerings on Piper’s menu. For an easy boost of fruits and veggies, try the Kale for the Win blend. The cold-pressed juice is practically a spa day in a glass: a perfect blend of kale, cucumber, granny smith apple, lemon, and mint. Bliss, sip by sip. 


Go Local

10/10 locavores agree: The nearer your food source, the more nutritious (and delicious) your dishes. Piper prioritizes using organic and locally sourced ingredients in all of its dishes — from farm-fresh produce to free-range chicken. One of our go-to meals? The locally caught halibut. Its omega-3 fatty acids, selenium and magnesium are only a few of the nutritional boons in this locally-caught fish. But served with a citrus salad, cream of cardoon, and ramps, this one is even better than nutritiously delicious: It’s divine. 




You can’t beat handmade dishes for nutrition, flavor, and quality.
You can’t beat handmade dishes for nutrition, flavor, and quality.

Choose Handmade 

Any dish is better — in terms of quality, flavor, and nutrition — when it’s made in house. If you’ve ever been to Italy, you know that pasta made lovingly by hand are a transcendent experience. They’re also healthier, thanks to iron and zinc in the fresh eggs used to make them. Piper’s new handmade pasta offerings featured at The Pass are created from scratch for every serving. Enjoy a unique chef’s table experience on Fridays and Saturdays at the 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. seating to taste exquisite flavors sourced locally, and made fresh everyday. It deserves a *chef’s kiss* for sure.


Find Healthy Food the Whole Family Will Love

Kids may have a reputation for sometimes being picky eaters, which can make finding family-friendly food options while traveling a complicated affair. When staying at The Seabird, however, it’s simple to feed and please all ages with food that tastes as good as it is good for you. With the Little Seabirds Eat Free package, your kids can enjoy up to two free healthy meals at Piper during your stay.