So I had every intention of trying to eat healthy while on vacation. Sure, I told myself, I can indulge in a treat here and there, but most of the time I’ll make good, nutritious choices.
[Cue hysterical laughter]
Yes, I realize now I was being slightly delusional.
That’s not to say I didn’t try and look for healthy food items at meal time. But I’m not going to lie: we were at an amusement park and it was hard passing up French fries with the kids at meal time. And I didn’t want to be that mom who only got water at the ice cream stand, while her family happily licked dripping cones in the warm sun. I didn’t want to deprive myself on vacation. I wanted to have some fun – and sometimes that meant sharing a gigantic homemade chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich with Mimi, which worked out well since she really only wanted the cookie and I coveted the ice cream.
And trust me, it was worth it.
But the reality is that I am home and my pants are a little tight and I feel bloated and gross. I guess it’s not surprising – eat crappy food for 10 days, and you feel crappy in return. I learned that the hard way yesterday (our first day back) when I attempted to go on a 5 mile run and completely labored through it (which is not surprising, given my previous three meals consisted of Burger King, pizza and a smoothie). I need a fresh start, give my body a chance to reset.
Before you get too nervous, rest assured that I’m not talking about one of those hard core juice fasts or a diet where I chug Tabasco-laced water every morning (gag). I am still in half marathon training mode so I do need to make sure I am eating enough protein, fiber, etc. But after 10 days of eating processed junk, my body is craving simple, healthy, clean whole foods. So that’s what I’m going to do.
This is what your grocery cart looks like after eating junk food for over a week.
Here’s my plan for the next 7 days (with the only exception being Sunday, when I foolishly signed up for a challenging 10K course that I am soooo not prepared for, and will need my normal Race Day breakfast):
Smoothies, smoothies, smoothies.
I am a huge fan of Trader Joe’s whey protein powder (in both chocolate and vanilla), so each morning I plan on making my own little concoctions, which I usually come up with on the spot. Some of my favorite combos: pineapple-mango-vanilla whey-unsweeted vanilla almond milk-kale-chia seeds. Or chocolate whey-banana-unsweetened chocolate almond milk-strawberry-spinach-flax seed.
Salad and/or soup.
And I’m not using my typical Ken’s honey balsamic dressing (which I adore). Instead, I’ll just use a simple mix of olive oil, red wine vinegar and honey. And no (processed) Gardein chik’n strips on top, like I normally do. For protein, I’ll add various beans, walnuts and chia seeds. I also like to build my salads on a bed of grains, like barley, farro or quinoa, which also helps to boost the protein content and helps me stay fuller longer.
In addition to more salads, check out some of these lovely (and simple) recipes I’ll be making over the next week:
Fruit, nuts,, Kind bars, glass of unsweetened chocolate almond milk
Water, water, water (including sparkling).
No alcohol, which should be interesting, since my birthday is Sunday – the day of the James Joyce Ramble 10K – and Harpoon is a race sponsor. But we imbibed just little too much over the last week, being vacation and all.
Limit coffee to one cup a day, but try to get my caffeine fix from green chai tea.
Start morning off with a cup of Lemon EveryDay Detox Tea from Traditional Medicinals.
Food to Avoid
Anything overly processed (e.g. Fiber One bars, my Gardein vegetarian protein products), bread and white sugar. Dairy in moderation (I might introduce Greek yogurt early next week) and I will eat some whole grain pasta on Saturday night, in preparation for Sunday’s race, but otherwise no pasta.
Honestly, I have no idea if any of this will make me feel better, but I know it can’t hurt, and just the knowledge that I’m doing something healthy for my body is enough for me.
Also, I have a few more thoughts on dining at Disney that I’ll share in a future post (um, where are all the salads?), so be sure to check back soon.