Skiing and Wellbeing Series #3 The nutritional value of your ski holiday ...

Posted on May 02, 2023

3 minute read

When I asked Louise Ritchie, Nutritional Therapist, for some insight into nutrition on a ski holiday her response was refreshingly frank:

“When you think of ski holidays, nutrition isn’t probably the first thing to spring to mind, after a day on the slopes it’s more about raclette with a bottle of beer or a full bodied red!”

Err … yes agree 100% Louise!

But she followed up with the following helpful info and advice:

“However you’ll probably find most resorts source their produce locally and use seasonal ingredients, which makes it fresher and more nutritionally dense, with higher levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, to refuel your body after lots of exercise.

So on your next ski holiday, take a closer look at the menu and make choices which have more vegetables and fruit, your body will thank you for it and it may just improve your performance on the slopes too!!”

I’m enjoying Louise’s light touch attitude to diet here. To my mind, a ski-ing holiday is about a hearty experience on and off the slopes. The traditional mountain fayre is calorie rich because you need them to fuel your energetic lifestyle during the day! You earn those hot chocolates, vin chaud, raclettes and fondues!

There are 600km of pistes in The Three Valleys so if you get the full area lift pass you have a vast calorie burning terrain to work off those cheesy crêpes. On average a day’s skiing burns up 3,000 calories, so there is definitely more scope for a more calorific diet than usual.

But, if you do want to take a slightly more ‘mindful’ approach to diet on your ski holiday, this will undoubtedly contribute to improved ability (and therefore also safety) on the slopes. You will reap the benefits of a well tended, healthy body. A bonus on and off the slopes.

So, if you are moved to take a more mindful approach to diet and nutrition on your next ski holiday, here are a few things you can think bear in mind while plotting and managing your nutritional journey.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day in the alps. The altitude makes your body work harder so you need slow release energy foods to keep you going. Porridge, granola, fruit, whole grain toast, eggs, avocado are all beneficial ingredients that help with this.

photo credit: pexels polinach

Favour sandwiches with lean meat or a nut butter for lunch, or salads with nuts, goats cheese, fish or meat and pulses or beans, over burger and fries for lunch.

Protein based meals help to repair muscles as well as contribute to efficient calorie fuel and burn. Skiing uses muscles we don’t normally use and the way you eat will help to manage the impact on your body.

On a self catered ski holiday you are arguably more in control of your diet than on a catered holiday. So if you are looking to be mindful about your ski holiday diet, and you like cooking this could be a nice opportunity to explore local, seasonal produce. You can also be in charge of your portion sizes too, which is an effective way to guard against over-eating in the evenings.

And … try not to drink too much alcohol if possible. If you do have a blow out – and there is no judgement here, holidays are about letting loose and enjoying yourself - just make sure you drink lots of water after an evening of après fun. It’s all about balance and repleting what you’ve depleted. ‘Mindfulness’ is your watchword.

Vegans and vegetarians?

This is a bit of a challenge in the Alps to be sure. On a self catered holiday you could look at HUSKI meal delivery service who have great vegetarian and vegan options (Huski also just a great half way house between fully self-catered and fully catered chalets – vegetarian or not).

Other tips for eating vegan and veggie well in the alps are to:

  • include using a translation app on your phone to navigate menus and mitigate against poor English translation
  • be clear with restaurant waiters who will often offer meal adaptations
  • simply talk to locals who will know where you can eat well as a vegan or vegetarian

Here’s a starter for ten list of vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurants for some of the Three Valley resorts where we offer self catered apartments:


L’Adret de la Fégère, Le Chalet du Charamillon, L’Impossible, Monkey, Cucina Angelina (on the mountain)

Val Thorens

Wok Ski (on the mountain), Supernova Café, Alpen Art, Chez Pépé Nicolas, L’ Auberge des Balcons, Le Rendez vous


Tignes Cuisine, Tummy, Niurou steakhouse, La Cantine, L’Arti, Mountain Restaurant, la Pizz’ de Tignes

So, there you have it - a short contemplation on food glorious food during a ski holiday. Such a key element of our overall health and wellbeing.

As we come to the end of our skiing and wellbeing series, I want to end with an overview from Doctor Frédéric Saldmann, cardiologist and nutritionist known for his work on preventative measures to ensure a long and healthy life. Having studied ways in which the altitude and biodiversity of the mountains contribute to a reduction in stress, improved cardiovascular function, weight loss and an improved immune system, he concluded simply

La montagne est un endroit formidable pour venir se recharger, toute l’année

[trans: ‘The mountains are an incredible environment in which to reboot and recharge all year round’]

Yes, all year round. Spring and summer in the mountains have lots to offer too. But we're all about looking after your winter season in the alps. And we’re taking bookings for next season now. Sort your winter wellbeing programme – looking forward to it will boost your wellbeing


Contact us to talk through your needs and options a bit more, any which way you like … see comms details below.

Tel +44 (0)1962 899017

Email [email protected]

WhatsApp +44 (0)7760 905559

Live Chat facility from our website



Want to outsource your food planning? See what gorgeous catered ski chalet holidays are on offer in Méribel from our sister brand The Chalet Company.

Writer Kate Swainson Price

Want to find out what others think? Read Our Reviews