Healthy Eating On ‘Vacation’

Ok guys – time to stop stressing about finding fat loss friendly options when you’re traveling. Sure, its not quite as easy as it when you’re home with your own fridge, but it’s not as hard as we act like it is. (Maybe some of us tell ourselves it is hard as a way of creating an excuse to make poor choices…..maybe?)

This is going to be a random post sharing some of the food choices I’m making while visiting Boston for work and some family time. Am I perfect? Nope. Do I make some concessions while traveling that I wouldn’t make at home? Of course. Will I make excuses for myself? Sure won’t!

Wednesday Night: Flight delays. Unexpected stay in a hotel. Planned to stay with my sister but my flight got in late so I ended up getting a hotel room. Plus, it was way late when I got to my room and I was exhausted + hungry. My choice? Pull a protein bar out of my bag and eat it right before falling asleep. Ideal? Nope. A big deal? No.

Thursday Morning: I followed my normal routine of meditation, visualization, affirmations, journaling and reading. Then what? Check out that hot breakfast bar in the lobby. There was cereal, waffles, biscuits and gravy, sausage, bagels, muffins and eggs. Piled up a plate of eggs and got a couple cups of coffee. Oh, and I hit up the hotel gym for a quick workout and walk on the treadmill. Boom. No excuses here!

1-eggs-in-hotel

Thursday Afternoon: I was working with my girlfriend Keri on a super special project (for all of you) and we were supposed to go to her house to film (where she had stocked up on some of my faves: salmon & brussels) but we never made it there. So, we were stuck in a suburb of Boston that seemed to only have Taco places! No joke! We could have found fat loss options there but we opted for Stop N’ Shop (a local grocery chain). We hit up the salad bar and then got a couple pieces of grilled chicken. We were commenting on how this little grocery store salad bar had no eggs or avocado – we wanted fat! We circled back around and got some cheese. You can make it work anywhere! We took the salads into Starbucks, grabbed a coffee and ate right there!

2-salad-and-chicken-breast-in-bag

Snackage! I started to get super hungry as we wrapped up our work and munched on a handful of baby carrots.

Thursday Night: Time to catch up with my favorite sister! No shame. She isn’t my only sister but she’s my favorite. We’re all cool with it. Debi decided to take advantage of having me in town and we cooked dinner together (I’m lying. I cooked). Don’t be afraid to suggest meals to family and jump in to help prepare! Take control! Don’t be passive. Heck, offer to cook for everybody! They’ll probably love it. And if they don’t? Who cares?! Not this girl. I made garlic burgers, shredded brussels and fried eggs. It was so delish and she appreciated it, too. Even if my burger was undercooked!

3-brussels-with-2-burgers-and-egg

Friday AM: Oh boy it was a rough night. My sister offered me an air mattress but I told her the loveseat would be fine. I was wrong. Ended up trying to sleep on the floor. Started the day with coffee – it couldn’t be bulletproof because she didn’t have butter (who doesn’t have butter?!) but I did blend up a cup with coconut oil and raw egg yolk before we hit the gym. We bought a day pass to a gym near her house that she’s been wanting to check out and did a fast but HELLA intense interval workout of strength and cardio (deadlifts + burpees). As we left the gym I bought a coconut cashew Quest bar to munch on.

4-quest bar in the car

Friday Afternoon: We drove up to New Hampshire to take one of my grandmothers out to lunch. We let her pick the place so I couldn’t do my normal ‘check out the menu ahead of time’ deal. No worries! There are always healthy, yummy choices to make! She picked one of those seafood diners where almost everything is fried and Debi and I were the youngest people by about 40 years. Fortunately, there was a baked haddock dish topped with some breading. They were happy to leave the breading off for me and I requested a side salad to go with it. Debi got baked scallops wrapped in bacon and we shared the fish and scallops. Don’t be afraid to ask for modifications!!!

5-fish and scallops and salad

Friday Evening: Best meal of the week. No question. My mom chose an Italian restaurant, so if you’re thinking you can’t make good decisions at an Italian place, you’re wrong! We got an incredible appetizer of burrata cheese with asparagus, crispy guanciale (think: super fancy, crispy bacon) and rosemary brown butter. It came with beautiful toasted, buttered bread but I passed on that. Mom and Debi said it was wonderful but I’ll be honest – the cheese was so dang good I absolutely didn’t feel like I was missing out. For my entree I ordered a filet that came with pancetta-brussels sprouts slaw and fingerling potatoes. I asked the server if I could skip the potatoes and have double veggies and she was more than happy to oblige. They usually are! Remember: don’t be afraid to ask. Insanely good meal!

6-cheese app with broccoli7-steak with brussels

Evening Snackage: As we watched Scandal (a day late) I had two small handfuls of almonds. Debi and her roommate had a few drinks and some homemade brownies but I just reminded myself of my goals and enjoyed their company.

Saturday Morning: Up early again! I enjoyed a few cups of coffee while Debi slept and I worked. We went to the gym for another great workout and bought a Quest bar for breakfast. Coconut cashew, again.

Saturday Afternoon: Made lunch at Debi’s apartment before heading to meet mom again. Lunch was super simple – leftover burgers and brussels from a couple nights before with added scrambled eggs and veggies.

8-egg scramble with tomatoes and carrots

Saturday Evening: Yay for family time! We headed to my aunt’s house for her birthday and a Mexican feast ensued! I was thrilled they were having Mexican because I had a million options! I was pretty hungry so I shamelessly munched on baby carrots instead of the chips and salsa until dinner. Then I piled my plate high with shredded chicken, ground beef, guacamole, salsa, green peppers and tomatoes. I was too busy enjoying their hysterical company to take a picture.

No shame in my game: While plating everyone’s cake I took a small forkful of icing to see how it was. Not worth the indulgence, for me. Then my aunt gave us all goody bags (adult style: patron and chocolate) and I ate two of the ghirardelli squares while driving into Boston that night.

Sunday Morning: Mom and I walked for about an hour before we finally found coffee. We walked for another 30-45 minutes to a brunch spot where I happily got an omelet and some bacon. Of course there were pastries and donuts but it’s easy to find fat loss friendly choices.

9-omelette-and-bacon

Sunday Afternoon: We spent a good 4 hours walking through downtown Boston and ended up at a pastry spot in the North End. If I’m gonna indulge, this is the chance, right? I found this amazing looking profiterole and mom bought it for me. I was totally willing to eat the whole thing but I figured I’d try a bite and then see how I felt. It was amazing. Creamy, delicious, totally amazing. But you know what? That bite was good enough. This is SUCH a major departure from how I used to eat! Normally I’d have devoured the whole thing because it was there, even if I was full or even if it wasn’t worth it. This time, just one bite and then the rest sat untouched in front of me for over an hour while we talked. The waitress came and carried it away and I was 100% ok with that. Happy kid, happy kid. That’s major progress from my old self.

10-dessert

We got back to the hotel and had some downtime. I called the lobby to see what floor the fitness center was on. Oh, it’s closed for construction but there is a Boston Sports Center 10 minutes from here. So, I laced up my wet sneakers and walked to the gym.

If you want to find a way, you’ll find a way. If you want to find an excuse, you’ll find an excuse. You get what you seek. I enjoyed the heck out of my trip. I ate great food and I got in several great workouts. They aren’t mutually exclusive, guys.

My message is this, friends: Can you go on vacation and eat whatever you want? Of course you can. I’m not saying you need to turn down ANYTHING. However, I stayed true to my goals very easily on this trip and it didn’t influence my enjoyment factor one iota. In fact, I think it probably raised it because I wasn’t feeling bloated, stuffed, tired or disappointed in myself. It’s not as hard as you think it is. It’s just not. You get what you seek.


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11 replies
  1. Val King
    Val King says:

    Loved the insights, Elizabeth, and your ingenuity! Remembering what you want MOST (long-term) over what you want RIGHT NOW! That’s been my motto for a long time & it works because I don’t feel “deprived” in any way. And we are not created to live deprived. Kudos to you!

    Reply
  2. Yesenia Ferguson
    Yesenia Ferguson says:

    When traveling I give into the mindset that I will recover once back home. Then the entire trip I’m miserabe! Great tips! XOXO

    Reply
    • Elizabeth Benton
      Elizabeth Benton says:

      Thanks for your comment, Yesenia! Remember that you’re always one choice away from getting back on track. Don’t worry about tomorrow or the next day, just stay in the moment. If you make a choice that isn’t aligned with your goals – just enjoy it. Don’t waste mental energy (or create a stress response) but sweating what is already done and over. Plan ahead when you can, choose foods you love and remember that good or bad, you’re ALWAYS in control of the choices you make.

      Reply
  3. Lesley barina
    Lesley barina says:

    just what I needed! Going back to Aus to visit friends and family over summer. It will be tough to maintain my equilibrium but this really helps my mindset . I can do it!… Mostly ! Lol!

    Reply

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