Thursday, July 9, 2015

Taking Healthy Eating on the Road (Vacation Eating Tips) (Whole30: Wrapping Up the First Week)

A continuation of MY EXPERIENCE with the Whole30 challenge, eliminating dairy, grains, legumes, white sugar and flour, sweeteners in an effort to curb my cravings and improve my health.

The FIRST TWO DAYS were so different from each other; one very easy, and the other very hard. 

Day 3

I woke up, and my tummy felt flatter. Hm. I felt amorous. Double hm. Those two things are pretty cool, in and of themselves. No headache. Yet. Didn't have mad crazy cravings for coffee today. If you brewed some, I'd have to deeply inhale it, but I could say no without batting an eye.

What have I gained so far? No out of control eating for two whole days. Not a record, but it's a start. When I'm eating clean, I'm not too tempted to binge on veggies. Starting the day without sweetened things like coffee, scones, smoothies, and yogurt makes it easier to say no to other yummies later in the day. Being in control is huge for me. Huge.

Waking up without my wrists hurting today was a welcome bonus. No naps today; too busy. I watched Connie's four-year-old, made two library visits, and bought groceries for our trip.

Our trip. Yep, I'm a little nervous. I've packed almond butter packets, apples, bananas, peppers, celery, carrot packets. I boiled eggs and made an egg salad of eggs and avocados. Chuck knows a great Italian deli where he wants to stop for a sandwich on our way to St. Louis. He assures me that we will find plenty of fast food places to pick up a salad for me, if I can't find anything there. He knows I'm nervous. He supports me with his kind words and big hugs when I'm feeling uncertain.

Day 4 

Chuck's working from home, so without the hour and a quarter commute, we were able to sleep in a little and go for a walk. We're leaving for Saint Louis as soon as he is done working, so today I'm packing for our trip. 

Our cooler will hold carrots, butter leaf lettuce, apples, mini peppers, avocados, and water for me. The only thing in the snack box for me are some individual packets of Justin's Almond Butter. The Wheat Thins, Honey Wheat Pretzel Twists, Fritos, and Nilla Vanilla wafers are for my sweet man. He worries he will have to hide his snacking from me. I think I'll be okay. I'm quite serious about this challenge. 

I waver, though, at times, wondering if I should restart my 30 days AFTER vacation, but then we have a vacation to Florida coming up in less than two weeks. What then? Restart again? Or just get it over with? When I think about those awful days of lethargy and headaches as my body adjusted to not having sugar and caffeine pumping through its veins, I decide to move forward, full steam ahead.

Long road trips provide such good opportunities for deep discussions. As we listened to classical music, Chuck and I worked through some of my emotional struggles I'm dealing with right now...low body confidence and not feeling like myself. Talking helps. It's just so hard to dig through my darkest thoughts, and drag them into the light and expose them to the person I love the most.

We stopped at Avanti's Deli for dinner. I ate a simple iceberg lettuce salad with two slices of tomato, and a side order of yummy meatballs. I used the meat sauce for dressing. I was grateful for eating out tips from a friend who is nearly done with her first Whole 30 experience: fajitas (minus the tortilla) on a bed of greens at Mexican restaurants, and meatballs and salad at Italian ones. (Thanks, Ange!)

Day 5. I cannot believe I'm on the fifth day of whole food eating. Breakfast was a breeze. Chuck said I should take pictures of my food; my plate was so colorful. The Hampton Inn provided the eggs and bacon, and I accessorized with avocado, mini peppers, and butterleaf lettuce. Yes, I'm on vacation, so as a splurge, I tried the decaf coffee. It was horrible. I guess I really have to admit, I'm into coffee because I'm into cream and sweetener. I will not be having coffee of any kind tomorrow.

Chuck and I brought a cooler to the botanical gardens in St. Louis. While he had ham and cheese wraps, I ate an apple and banana with almond butter. I ended lunch with a hard-boiled egg and some tomato juice. We walked over 6 miles touring the botanical gardens and going to the park.

Chipotle made dinner easy: carnitas on extra salad and guacamole. But later, that guac settled in my stomach like a stone. My body is not used to all of these fats yet. 

Woodland Faerie at the St. Louis Renaissance Faire
Day 6 

Our activity levels were up again on this day, with nearly 7 miles of walking at MY FIRST RENAISSANCE FAIRE, and then we went back to the botanical gardens for the Chinese Lantern Festival. Having our hotel provide a nice variety of foods helped us have a good, nutritious start for our day. I had a boiled egg, and had my lettuce and peppers from the cooler. I took an apple to go, and ate it with some almond butter later. We ate the foods we had packed in the cooler during lunch (boiled egg, veggies, fruit and almond butter for me). 
Saint Louis Chinese Lantern Festival at the Botanical Gardens

Day 7 Sunday. During breakfast, I looked longingly at the coffee bar, and then filled up my stainless steel water bottle with iced lemon water. At the hotel's continental breakfast, I helped myself to some scrambled eggs, sausage, and I took a banana for later. I ate some more peppers and lettuce with breakfast. 
Missouri Zoo

For our last day of vacation, Chuck and I went to the Missouri Zoo. We only walked about 3 miles that day, taking lots of time for pictures and watching the animals. We had lunch in the car. I ate a boiled egg, some fruit, and almond butter. For dinner, we went back to Avanti's, and I ordered meatballs and cooked Italian veggies this time. I just couldn't face another salad. 

Advanced planning helped me be successful this first week. Chuck's support was critical. He was willing to hit more than one restaurant to meet our different nutritional goals, but I was usually able to make things work by ordering salad, and adding chicken, beef, or pork to it. My fears of falling off plan on vacation were unfounded. It was totally do-able. 

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