Vacations and food

I will start by saying this- I love food but I am scared of it. My whole life food fed me emotionally rather than my body needing it to stay alive. But with making the lifestyle change that I did, I had to learn to eat food because I need it and not because I want it.

One of my biggest reasons for success is my food journal. It is my everything. While some people feel lost without their phones, I feel lost without my food journal. I feel more in control because of it. I guess it is my security blanket. It keeps me in check and holds me accountable for my actions. When people ask me for recommendations on weight loss and how I was able to lose 100 + pounds and keep it off, my first response: food journal. 

I haven’t been on vacation since I’ve been on this journey until this past weekend. My husband took me on a mini-getaway to the Poconos. While I was super excited for some relaxation, hiking, gambling, and a massage, I also feared the food situation. I have a weekly routine with food. All my food for breakfast and lunch is packed for work in advance and we have a set menu for our weeknight dinners. What was I going to do being away?! I kid you not, I began to panic. I started having irrational fears that everything I worked for all this time will go down the tubes and I will become the old me.

It took me a few moments but I gathered my thoughts. First thing I did was write a list of things we need. I like lists. I like being organized. I felt a bit calmer after that and that’s when I told myself to pack non perishable foods and I made a mental list of what I can eat when we eat out.

Foods I packed:

  • Protein bars… you all know I am always obsessing over different bars. My newest obsession is Oatmega
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Here I am doing a free Oatmega advertisement. The company didn’t ask me to do this. I just love this bar so much, I had to take this picture.
  • Nuts
  • Bananas and apples
  • Jerky

Tips for better eating while on vacation:

  • Make a mental list of what you’re going to eat while you are away. Doing this you psych yourself out and know what to look forward to.
    • Breakfast: Eggs and Fruit
    • Snack: Something that I packed
    • Lunch: Lots of greens and protein
    • Dinner: Same as lunch
      • Research restaurants and local food joints. I did research before we left. I looked at the menus and knew what I was going to eat even before we got there. 
  • Exercise/stay active. I get it, you’re on vacation and you want to relax. Personally, I find exercise to be relaxing. I also feel better about myself, Like I’ve done a good thing for myself for the day.
  • Portion control. I’m sorry, call it tough love but you don’t need to pig out while you are away. Pigging out because “you are on vacation” is stupid and you’ll regret it when you get home.
    • I know I’ve said this before…but can the restaurants PLEASE stop serving bread? WHY oh WHY must you do this to me? Next time I am going to “accidentally” hit it off the table.
  • Drink water to fill up. No juice… Juice = empty calories. I know you all know that alcohol is also empty calories. I’d strongly advise you to watch yourself. I don’t drink at all so it’s not a problem for me but I know people love to drink, especially on vacation.

The weather was too nice to spend time indoors so we visited The Seven Tubs Natural Area and did a good 4 mile walk.

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Moments after this picture was taken, I was crawling back up the hill, looking down and almost fell into the water. Thankfully my Husband was watching out for me and told me to stop crawling to my death.

We slept in a bit. Don’t judge me! I wake up the same time every day even if it isn’t a work day.

We had an AMAZING dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. 

Gambled and lost but we played craps for the first time ever!

What do you guys do when you go on vacation? Do you say, “ah, what the hell, I am going to do whatever I want?” Do you pack snacks? Plan in advance? Exercise? Have you gained weight while away? Have you lost weight while being away?

Our next trip is to Japan. This should be interesting…. *If you’ve been to Japan, give me some food advise! I don’t like fish or pork!

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Self-control…the saga continues

Self-control and food always remind me of a very dramatic telenovela. “I love you food!” “I hate you food!” “Pizza, don’t leave me. I was just overreacting!”

Omg, what about those dreadful 2am booty calls…you walk to the pantry and just eat everything.

How do we break the cycle from overeating, eating after a meal, eating when you are not hungry, and eating like crap when you have that urge?

Here are some ideas that have helped me:

 

  • Get rid of all the goodies in the pantry. Remember, you are eating clean now. Stock the pantry with cans of tuna. I promise you, it won’t be as appealing as a bag of chips at 2am. If you are desperate enough to open a can of tuna and eat it, well, I won’t judge you and good for you, keep up the high protein intake! You are welcome for this life hack.
  • I know there is a big debate on eating breakfast v not eating breakfast. For me- eating breakfast helps. I like a protein rich breakfast like eggs or a protein shake. Eggs are awesome because they keep me fuller longer and less likely to graze and snack between breakfast and lunch. Stop with the empty calories, you don’t need them! A hardboiled egg, serving of oatmeal (slow digesting carb) and some berries or 2 tablespoons almond butter or natural peanut butter on a whole wheat toast with a fruit. I’d say you are a morning champ and you get a gold star in my book!
  • Grazing is way different than having a nutritious small meal or snack. Grazing to me is empty calories and not satisfying. Eating a bag of pretzels if you are hungry is not the solution. I always have three meals a day and two snacks a day. Sometimes three snacks if I train that day (my trainer turns me into a ravenous beast). Space out your meals and snacks accordingly so you have no time to be super hungry and no time to sit and think about other foods. If your body is satisfied, your mind will be too. Awesome snack ideas: Serving of nuts, hummus and veggies, cottage cheese and fruits, I know this may sound weird, but cottage cheese and chickpeas or another type of bean. Someone gave me this idea a while back and it works. The combo is filled with fiber and protein.
  • Drink, drink, drink and drink some more water. If you are not drinking this minute, your gold star has been taken back and I am very disappointed with you. You must stay hydrated, water will keep you fuller and longer in between your meals, it will help flush out the toxins. “But Rachel, I am so full… I can’t drink anymore!” Excuse me, why are you complaining? You just said you were full. If you are full, there is no reason to be snacking. Oh, and none of that sugary stuff. Please, I know you are smarter than that.
  • I know you are craving a little piece of chocolate or a bag of chips… but hear me out before you indulge. Many years ago, the great Oprah was discussing bad food habits. The Specialist on the show said, it takes 21 days to break the habit. That always stuck with me. I know it will be hard, addictions are hard to control but you can do this. A few months back I discovered a protein ice cream (sorry folks, I will not be telling you what it is because I am here to help you break the habit not start one), while it wasn’t that bad for me (low in sugar and calories), it also did not provide me with the nutrition I needed that you would get from a bowl of let’s say, grilled chicken and veggies. It became a meal replacement and I found myself craving it 24-7 and eating the ice cream over “real” food. I gave myself a deadline to finish what was in the freezer and as of January 1st, I will kick the habit. The first few days were awful and I was having a hard time deciding what to eat because I was not interested in much but it got easier and I don’t even think about it anymore. Feed your body= feed your mind.
  • Set a goal. I feel like looking forward to something always helps control my actions. For example, my Husband and I are going on vacation in a few months. I want to be as fit, healthy, and hot as possible. Sorry in advance, babe, but I will be clothing shopping before the trip.
  • Sleeping is important. I know you all love sleep. I am still trying to catch up to all the lost sleep as a child. Why did I ever fight sleep? Sleep is one of my BFF’s next to my slow cooker. I can put food in the slow cooker and then go to sleep. If sleep and the slow cooker were actual people, I think they’d also be best friends. I noticed if I don’t get good sleep, I crave carbs. If you deny yourself sleep, the evil hormone, Ghrelin attacks and handcuffs you to a box of donuts. I know donuts are so delicious but let’s say this out loud, all together now, and “We-are-stronger-than-this. We –are-kicking-the-habit.”
  • Eat something fermented. How about those kimchi pancakes from my previous post or a pickle? Fermented foods help stop sugar cravings. Drink greens. Green smoothies are all the rage! Don’t you want to be one of the cool kids? Nutrient rich foods increase energy levels and curb sugary cravings. I love this book http://www.amazon.com/10-Day-Green-Smoothie-Cleanse-Smith/dp/1501100106 and the recipes. Even though it is a 10 day cleanse, the Author does state that this can be a snack or a meal replacement option. You do not need to do a full cleanse!
  • Protein and good fats help keep your blood sugar levels balanced. Have a healthy portion of protein, veggies and a good fat like avocado for lunch.
  • My wise mom once said, “Are you sure you want to eat that? Five seconds of pleasure is a lifetime in the hips.” Ok, fine, I’ll admit it, I ate whatever it was and it did go to my hips and I am still working it off… but we all learn from our mistakes. Why are moms always right?
  • Please pack a high protein snack after you work out and eat it within half hour of working out. No, that McDonald’s on the way home is not a mirage, it’s real and it’s testing you. Just keep driving. Again, let’s say this out loud, all together now, and “We-are-stronger-than-this. We –are-kicking-the-habit.” Easy food for after the gym: protein shake, protein bar, beef jerky, or nuts. Doesn’t require refrigeration, filling, and easy to consume while driving home.

 

What do you do to help curb your cravings? I am always open to new ideas.

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