Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software
Wellness

How to Hack Your Hotel Breakfast

By
Ellen Jaworski
on
May 11, 2017

Hotel breakfasts suck. But yours doesn’t have to.

We’ve all been there: the hotel or hostel that advertises the “complimentary continental breakfast with your stay!” Free breakfast?! Sounds like a great deal!

But then morning comes and reality hits. You walk toward the hotel breakfast buffet and see the pitiful, nutritionally deficient spread before you: the sad tupperware containers of stale cereal...

The loaf of white Wonder Bread beside the toaster with the individually portioned packets of sugary jelly...

The slightly smashed pastries so full of chemicals they won’t grow mold for 10 years...

When you're traveling, the last thing you need is refined sugar-filled, carb-loaded junk that will have you bouncing off the walls as you leave the hotel, but an hour later, leave you falling asleep while you’re waiting in line to see the Mona Lisa at The Louvre.

You don’t have to fall victim to the continental breakfast sugar bomb.

With just a refrigerator, microwave, and 3 ingredients, you can hack your hotel breakfast with the 3 easy recipes below to make a healthy, cost effective, nutrient dense, and delicious meal that will give you the fuel to keep you going strong wherever your adventures take you!

How to Make a Healthy Hotel Breakfast

Making your own breakfast takes a bit more effort than just walking down to the hotel buffet but the benefits of your nutrient powerhouse of a meal will be clear when you’re still wide awake and full of energy several hours later. 

Here’s how to set yourself up for nutritional travel success:

Establish Your Kitchen

First, do the research ahead of time and figure out what cooking equipment you have access to at your accommodations. For example, does your hotel room have both a refrigerator and a microwave?

Are basic dinnerware and utensils available? If not, call the hotel’s front desk and see what your options are. Does your hostel have a common area with kitchen appliances? Check the hostel website or give them a call to find out. 

These answers will lay the groundwork for what healthy pursuits are possible.

Tip: Never be afraid to ask these questions. You’re the paying customer and your host should want provide you with information to make your stay as pleasant as possible.

Select a Recipe or Two

After you’ve determined your culinary appliance arsenal, figure out what recipes fit those constraints. If you don’t have a microwave, it’s almost a guarantee that any egg recipes will be a no-go (unless you like your eggs raw, which… ewww). 

But don’t let the lack of a microwave stop you...with only a refrigerator you can make Vanilla Protein Chia Seed Pudding instead! In addition to the 3 simple recipes below, there are countless healthy, travel friendly recipes on the interwebs so just know what your limitations are and choose breakfast recipes to match.

Tip: Be smart when you’re curating your breakfast lineup. Rarely can you purchase things like eggs or almond milk in single portion servings so make your dollar go further by choosing recipes that use the same ingredients. 

For example, the two egg recipes below use exactly the same ingredients, but are completely different breakfasts!

Gather Your Ingredients

Make a realistic grocery list. If you look at the recipes below, the idea is to keep the ingredients as simple as possible so they are easy to source, whether you’re in a bustling city or a rural village. 

Ideally, you should be able to check off that grocery list at a corner market, a convenience store, a drugstore (like CVS), or, of course, a local grocery store. Limit your shopping list to universally available items so you’re not wasting valuable sightseeing time running around looking for an impossible-to-find item that your entire breakfast depends on. Trust me, it's a recipe for disaster.

Tip: If your bank account is in good shape, buy local/ organic/ grass fed/ wild caught where possible. Studies show foods raised in these conditions have a better nutrient profile than their conventionally raised counterparts. You are what your food eats.

If the quick grocery trip is a deal breaker for you don’t worry, there’s probably an app for that. Depending on where you are, apps like Instacart and AmazonFresh have made it possible for groceries to just appear at your doorstep so you don’t even have to do the leg work!  

And if you know you won’t be able to find a specific item while globetrotting, why not pack it? As long as you’re adhering to TSA and other travel regulations, bring that favorite mushroom powder, granola, or spice blend Put it in a small, sealable bag, tuck it in your suitcase and you’ll already be a step ahead when you arrive!

Tip: Leftovers are a great additional to a hotel breakfast. Have some meat or veggies leftover from dinner the night before? Substitute those for the protein or veggies in the scramble or poached eggs breakfast below! Not only are you getting the most bang for your dinner buck by finishing the entire meal you purchased, you also won’t be creating waste!

Chef Time

Once you’ve acquired your ingredients, it’s time to put your recipe into motion and make some traveling kitchen magic.

Since it’s not your kitchen, don’t get discouraged if a recipe doesn’t turn out as planned. Every kitchen appliance is different so have patience when it comes to mishaps like discovering what temperature setting freezes everything in the mini fridge...or when it takes three times as long to cook eggs in the microwave because it’s a lower wattage than your own magic box. 

As with travel in general, cooking on the go is a learning experience so keep perfecting your method with every trip.

Bon Appétit!

You did it! 

Enjoy every bite of your delicious, nutrient dense meal that puts that continental breakfast to shame. In a couple hours, your body will be thanking you as you’re doing laps around those sugar crashing schmucks!

Recipes

Simple Microwave Scramble

(gluten free/ paleo/ vegetarian*)

Total Time: 12 minutes

Equipment: Microwave, Bowl, Plate, Fork

Approximate Cost: $5.00

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 1 cup veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc)

Instructions:

  1. Steam the veggies: Put veggies in bowl with approximately 1 tbsp of water. Place bowl in microwave and cover with plate. Cook veggies on high for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. If veggies can be easily pierced with fork, discard any remaining water and set aside. Otherwise, continue microwaving in 30 second increments until veggies are tender enough for fork-piercing.
  2. Cook the bacon: Put a paper towel or napkin on plate. Put 2 slices of bacon side by side on top of paper towels. Put another layer of paper towels on top of bacon. Microwave bacon on high for 4 minutes (or until preferred bacon crispiness is achieved). Remove from microwave, wait until bacon has cooled enough to touch, and break up bacon into small pieces.
  3. Make the scramble: Crack two eggs in the bowl you used to steam the veggies (minus the veggies). Add a splash of water and with a fork, whisk eggs until evenly mixed. Add veggies and bacon pieces to egg mixture (and salt and pepper if available) and combine. Set bowl in microwave and cook on high for 45 seconds. Remove from microwave, stir contents until cooked eggs are evenly combined with non-cooked eggs, and microwave on high for another 30 seconds. Stir egg mixture again and microwave for another 30 seconds. Repeat until eggs are cooked and then serve!

* To make this vegetarian: lose the bacon, add another egg and a 2nd cup of veggies!

Microwave Poached Eggs Breakfast

(gluten free/ paleo/ vegetarian*)

Total Time: 15 minutes

Equipment: Microwave, Bowl, Plate, Mug, Fork

Approximate Cost: $5.00

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 1 cup veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc)

Instructions:

  1. Steam the veggies: Put veggies in bowl with approximately 1 tbsp of water. Place bowl in microwave and cover with plate. Cook veggies on high for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. If veggies can be easily pierced with fork, discard any remaining water and set aside. Otherwise, continue microwaving in 30 second increments until veggies are tender enough for fork-piercing. Top with salt and pepper if available.
  2. Cook the bacon: Put a paper towel or napkin on plate. Put 2 slices of bacon side by side on top of paper towels. Put another layer of paper towels on top of bacon. Microwave bacon on high for 4 minutes (or until preferred bacon crispiness is achieved). Remove from microwave and set aside.
  3. Poach the eggs: Fill mug with ½ cup of water. Gently crack egg and slide into mug. Set mug in microwave, cover with plate, and microwave on high for 60 seconds. Remove mug to check on egg. If egg white is still clear, return to microwave and cook on high for 30 seconds. Repeat process (likely 2 or 3 times depending on microwave) until egg white is cooked and holds itself together. Carefully remove egg from mug with fork and set on top of veggies. Repeat process with second egg.
  4. Assemble your plate and enjoy!

* To make this vegetarian: lose the bacon, add another egg and a 2nd cup of veggies!

Vanilla Protein Chia Seed Pudding

(gluten free/ paleo/ vegetarian/ vegan)

Total Time: 5 minutes prep (plus 4 hours)

Equipment: Blender Bottle (or container with lid), refrigerator

Approximate Cost: $4.00

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp almond milk (or nondairy milk)
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 scoop (appx 2 tbsp) vanilla protein powder*
  • Optional toppings: fruit, maple syrup, granola

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a Blender Bottle (or any container with a lid) and shake until ingredients are evenly combined.
  2. Place bottle in the refrigerator, wait 10 minutes, give another couple shakes (to prevent chia seeds from clumping).
  3. Return to refrigerator, let set for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight), add desired toppings, and serve!

* I use this whey protein powder, but use whatever protein powder fits your dietary preferences. You may just need to adjust the amount of almond milk if consistency is too thick/thin.

Ellen Jaworski
Ellen is an aspiring primal health coach, an active member of the paleo/primal community, an avid Crossfitter, and a passionate world traveler. Based in Los Angeles, her hobbies include paleo cooking, food photography, creating art, and exploring the country’s national parks.

Edited by:  Miles Demars-Rote

Subscribe!