Thoughts On “Getting Back On Track” After Vacation

It’s only been a week since we got back home from vacation, and we’ve gone through two bunches of bananas already.

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I didn’t ask a question, but thanks for the answer anyway, Madre ūüôā

Last week was as great a week of work as any could have been after vacation. I am so grateful for wonderful coworkers and mentors who make my job so enjoyable.

Let’s talk about “getting back on track” after a vacation.

After having three (or five) course meals for dinner every night on the cruise and heavier-than-normal breakfasts every morning, I was looking forward to a little bit of a break from endless food (although, I definitely chose to indulge in more food on the cruise). You could say that I was looking forward to “getting back on track”.

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my first meal back at home was classic avocado egg toast

But when I think of “getting back on track”, the first things that I’m tempted to do are:

  • Cut out all desserts for the next month.
  • Eat “clean” (whatever the heck that means) 100% of the time for the next month.
  • Compensate for the amount I ate on vacation by cutting down the amount/density/volume of food I eat.
  • Be strict about exercising and doing the “right” kind of exercise to maximize calorie burn.

Hear me out: These are just the first things that¬†pop into my mind¬†when I get back home. However, I’ve learned that¬†this kind of absolutist mindset¬†does me a huge disservice, and it stresses me out more than anything, which I don’t need for my digestive health or overall health.

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Pop and I went out to dinner the night we got back because we didn’t have any¬†groceries yet // vegetable bibimbap + Kalbi beef short ribs to share

I definitely did NOT eat “clean” 100% of the time¬†before¬†the vacation, so why do I need to change anything¬†after vacation?¬†I’m still working, exercising, doing my activities of daily living, etc. Those still require fuel. I also often like to eat something sweet after a long day of work, so I don’t really want to deprive myself of that.

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still lots of sweet breakfasts (that sometimes had ADDED sugars in them *gasp*)

This doesn’t mean that I still want a three course meal with a decadent¬†dessert every night. All I wanted was dried figs (which have quite a lot of sugar in them, even if it’s natural sugar) with Greek yogurt for a few nights last week, so that’s what I had.

Other days, I did still have some not-as-natural sugars. Like a slice of homemade banana bread at work, a Reese’s egg…also from work, and this snickerdoodle ice cream sandwich for National Ice Cream Day.

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You might be thinking, “Sure, Alison. But what if I actually gained a lot of weight on vacation?”

Well, I am in agreement with many wise RDs (like Robyn!) and healthy living bloggers;¬†without too much thought,¬†our bodies tend to naturally shift back to our happy weight. You’re going to be hitting your regular workouts¬†again, which I presume worked well for you before vacation. You’re going to be back to your own kitchen, and you’re not going to have access to as much food as on vacation anyway.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with consciously and deliberately¬†eating healthier and/or lighter foods after vacation. I just don’t think it’s helpful to shift to any kind of extreme “cleanse” mode.¬†

You went on vacation to get away from everyday routine for a little bit. Let yourself¬†enjoy¬†that during the vacation, but don’t let it haunt you after the vacation.

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spicy honey chicken thighs (based on this recipe) + roasted green beans for a dinner last week¬†‚ěĒ this was SO GOOD!

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turkey¬†quinoa taco bake with avocado and cilantro (and Greek yogurt added post-photo) based on this recipe¬†for another night¬†‚ěĒ this was¬†ALSO SO GOOD

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avocado egg toast + salad with homemade honey mustard dressing

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hunk o’ asiago sourdough

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quinoa with teriyaki chicken thighs + chicken spinach sausage + sautéed green beans a la Madre

It’s nice to be back in the kitchen to make our own nutritious food, but it was nice that none of us felt the need to eat oil-less, dry chicken breasts with steamed vegetables and brown rice every day. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s kind of sad if you feel like you¬†need to¬†do that as¬†“recompense”. I know I used to feel that way.

If you do want to “get back on track,” maybe focus more on the quality and nutrients of your food¬†rather than the calories or amount. Eat what you know you need and what you know makes you feel genuinely¬†good,¬†whether that’s kale or chocolate cake. Treat Trust yoself.

Needless to say, I still indulged in some sweets and rich foods this week. For the most part though, I’ve been eating foods that I normally love, which are generally nutritious and delicious. As for workouts, those have also been the same (a post about my workouts is coming soon!).

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I got Ben on the overnight oats train *high fives*

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lots of perfect cado-avos

My family even decided to go out for a rather fancy dinner on Saturday night after Mass. We were planning on using a Groupon (of course) at a Thai restaurant, but it was closed. Thus, we were diverted to a nice Greek restaurant called MP Taverna that we had been wanting to try for a while.

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three dips to share // chickpea (with some extraordinary spices), eggplant, and cucumber yogurt

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“dumplings”: basically the fluffiest ricotta gnocchi you can imagine in a tomato-based sauce with spinach, lamb sausage,¬†sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, and feta #dead

Hooray for family time and outdoor lighting! ūüôā

Yesterday I hung out with my good friend Joe from college in the city! We celebrated National Ice Cream Day with ice cream sandwiches from Melt Bakery on High Line.

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We ate lunch after dessert, which is extra acceptable on National Ice Cream Day. Joe actually suggested salads, which was shocking but welcomed.

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I think there were tomatoes, roasted red peppers, broccoli, beets and brussels sprouts in there with creamy sriracha dressing

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you literally asked for it, Joe

It was so good catching up with him and walking around, despite the fact that we were being slow-cooked by the NYC heat.

I hope you all have a fantastic week! Eat foods that are fluffy, cheesy, creamy, and spicy this week. Report back on Friday.

So tell me:

What are your thoughts on “getting back on track” after vacation?

Did you celebrate National Ice Cream Day?

Two things you did this weekend!

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Five Minute Friday #2: Less Protein, More Carbs?

I don’t know if I believe in seasons anymore.

Yesterday it was almost 60 degrees, and today there is snow.

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It has been both a beautiful and messy week over here. I won’t type too much, but I do want to preface this week’s Five Minute Friday vlog.

This week I’m talking about one part of my nutrition project, which involved recording¬†everything I ate and drank¬†on a typical day of eats. I also used the course’s diet analysis software to calculate my daily goals for calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients based on my age, weight, height, and activity level, and then entered my “typical day of eats” data to find out how my diet measures up to my goals.

So here’s what I thought about it all!

A few notes first:

  • If talk about calories or macronutrients is triggering for you, I recommend you skip this vlog today. ‚ô•Ôłé
  • I cheated‚ÄĒ the video is not under five minutes. This was actually my second take, and I still couldn’t get it under five minutes!
  • I say at the end, “Just because some nutritionist or some nutrition program tells you what you should be eating, as long as you’re as balanced as you can be…that’s all you can ask for.”
    • Clarification: PLEASE DO listen to your licensed nutritionist (RDN, LDN).¬†They know what they’re doing. I obviously don’t. My point is that even RDN-approved¬†softwares and diet analyzers are not end-all-be-alls. The computer/calculator does not know YOU in person.

video link here in case it’s not working!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

So tell me:

Do you feel better when eating more of a certain macronutrient?

How do you feel about the big protein hype?

What are you doing this weekend? Studying, working, and Super Bowl partying!

My Diet is the Anti-Whole30

Whole30. Have you heard of it?

Perhaps you have seen some bloggers or other social media figures try it out. I had seen a handful of bloggers mention it or try it for themselves in the past, and I noticed that Jen @ Peanut Butter Runner and Robyn @ The Real Life RD (both ladies I adore!) are currently partaking in the program.

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In case you have no idea what the Whole30 Program is, it’s essentially a¬†30 day eating program¬†that cuts out certain food groups (such as dairy, legumes, added sugars, and grains)¬†that could have a negative impact on overall health.

It’s not a diet in the sense of cutting¬†out food groups for the sake of attaining a certain body shape or weight. It IS a diet that completely cuts out¬†“psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days.” Learn more here.

Both Jen and Robyn are participating in Whole30 mainly for health reasons (skin issues, overall energy, etc.), and I’ve enjoyed following their Whole30 experiences so far. I especially love Robyn’s persistent¬†message about NOT restricting on Whole30.

It got me thinking:¬†Huh, maybe this would help with that nice zit¬†and dry skin on my face. Or the discomfort that I currently feel in my intestines. Or my raging sweet tooth…

But then I started thinking about a few things:

  • In college, it would be a pain in the butt to scope out Whole30-approved foods in the dining hall.
  • I would¬†really¬†feel uncomfortable¬†declining a whole host of foods or requesting¬†uber-specific cooking instructions when eating out.
  • My current diet is the anti-whole30.

…And I just don’t want to change it. I could. But let’s take a look, shall we?

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Wednesday’s breakfast was Kylie’s “banana pudding for breakfast“. It includes¬†yogurt, peanut butter, oatmeal, and honey.¬†All foods in red are no-no’s in Whole30.

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Wednesday’s dinner was two hard-boiled eggs that were marinating in teriyaki sauce + salad with cheesy, saucy pasta.

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Yesterday’s breakfast was leftover green pancakes (made with oatmeal, milk, and maple syrup) topped with Greek yogurt and banana cream sauce.

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Yesterday’s lunch was a Flatout wrap with avocado + egg + sriracha and cheese + egg. Plus some carrots, crackers, and hummus.

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A couple more breakfasts from this week with dairy, oats, some kind of added sweetener, and peanut butter.

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Check out this fabulous late night yogurt mess with peanut butter and granola.

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This delicious and wholesome dinner was brown rice + chicken (marinated in a lime, cilantro, olive oil and honey) + zucchini sautéed in olive oil.

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A meatless lunch of quinoa, avocado, roasted broccoli, hummus, and sriracha would not make the cut.

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Nay to this gem.

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Hey, look! This could work! Salad and chicken….marinated in honey mustard and olive oil, darn.

You get the point‚ÄĒ I need dairy, oats, legumes, and sriracha.

Now, I’m not saying that I couldn’t ever commit to Whole30, and I am NOT trying to bash Whole30 whatsoever. I think it sounds like a great and wholesome eating program that aims to help people¬†feel¬†better. After all, I’m writing this post because I’ve been contemplating how Whole30 could be beneficial for me.

At this point in my life, I truly believe¬†that I could do Whole30 without the temptation to restrict (calories, carbs, or fats). However, I realize that Whole30 would be a¬†drastic change to my diet. Maybe Whole30 would “change my life” (as their website says) for the better, but I don’t currently see the benefits outweighing the costs:

  • No oats, rice, pizza, pasta, quinoa
  • No¬†milk, yogurt, ice cream
  • No peanut butter (‚Üź problematic)
  • I would have to make my own nut milk.
  • I would have to ask every dining hall station what kind of oil/added sugars they use to cook the food (i.e.¬†I would not be able to eat in the dining hall).
  • I would not be able to enjoy eating out with friends.

…even if it is just 30 days. In college, that is too much added stress.

Yes, it would be awesome if Whole30 helped me have fewer skin problems, a GI tract that basically never feels icky, and a little more energy around the clock. However, for me personally right now, it is not attainable. Maybe some other time.

I do love to¬†eat healthy foods most of the time, and I feel pretty great as a result. So I guess I will appreciate how great I feel right now and not think about how great I¬†could¬†feel on Whole30. ūüôā


 

P.S. I’m currently very averse to many foods because when I was blending a¬†green smoothie earlier, the motor started smoking and it made the smoothie smell and taste DISGUSTING. I sadly threw the first batch out and made it again, but I couldn’t get the nauseating¬†odor/taste out of my head. When I ate peanut butter later, the taste of it was almost like the nasty blender taste for some reason. As a result,¬†I’m averse to peanut butter right now and it’s freaking me out!!!

Anyway, here’s some positivity to end this post:

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Linking up with Amanda’s Thinking Out Loud party today!

So tell me:

Have you ever tried Whole30?

Would you try it?

Fascinating Friday Links #35 + Hunger Monster

Hiya!

(HIGH-ya, not hi-YAH! Although, I am a ninja, so I guess the latter would be appropriate too.)

I really wanted to have Amanda’s oatmeal cookie dough smoothie this morning, but since our AP Calc class is having a celebratory breakfast party today (seriously, that class is just about food from here on out), I decided to have the smoothie for dinner¬†last night. Satisfied the craving. ūüôā

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Using Amanda’s no-fail recipe with added spinach,¬†‚Öď c. oats instead of¬†¬ľ c., and peanut butter instead¬†of almond butter. With Greek yogurt on the side for dipping, of course.

*Adding this at 5:30 in the morning: Apparently, as filling as this smoothie was, I guess it was not¬†calorically¬†sufficient¬†for me, considering I just woke up STARVING at 5 AM. That hasn’t happened in a long time! (Don’t fret‚ÄĒI’m not revisiting any old habits. I just wanted the smoothie last night, and I’m paying the price for such a light dinner.)

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The typical snack. Plus another spoonful of peanut butter after I finished this. The hunger monster attacked me.

{Alright, back to sleep…hopefully}*

Oh and here are this week’s¬†moves!

Monday: 5 min. stair master + 3 rounds of: 10 pistol squats each leg, 15 bulgarian split squats each leg, 1 min. wall sit, 25 hamstring ball roll-ins + 8 minute ab tabata

Tuesday: Ballet

Wednesday:¬†5 min. row + arm workout (that involved TRX tricep extensions‚ěĒ soreness!) + 8 minute ab tabata

Thursday: Modern {dance}

Friday: Dance company auditions for next year. Current company members do not have to re-audition, but we still have to go to lead my example! So sad that this is the last one for seniors though… *Tear*

My mom cancelled my gym membership this week, so I have one more month left to attend. It works out well because dance will be ending by the beginning of next month too, so after that, I can truly just focus on REST!

Anyway, onto the link love. Enjoy this week’s Fascinating Friday Links!

fascinating friday links

Health and Fitness

[Stress could be the culprit] Is Stress Sabotaging Your Health and Fitness Goals? via Your Trainer Paige

[Because there is nutrition advice EVERYWHERE] Why Registered Dieticians Are The Best Source of Nutrition Advice via Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

[I need these] 3 Running Mantras That Work Every Time via Greatist

[But if you don’t want to run…] 5 Metabolic Interval Conditioning Workouts (Without Even Stepping On the Treadmill!) via Your Trainer Paige

[Awesome tips] How to Stick With Your Workouts: Tips From Consistent Exercisers via Carrots n Cake

[Plants don’t get enough credit for their protein content] What’s The Deal With Protein? via The Real Life RD

[Move and groove] HIIT the Hill Workout via Fitnessista + TRX Circuit Workout via Peanut Butter Fingers + 12 Minute Interval Workout with an Equalizer via Purely Twins

Food for Thought

[Ask yourself] 20 Questions That Will Free Your Mind From Negativity via Marc and Angel Hack Life

[Important to remember these things] Building Self-Confidence via My Food N Fitness Diaries

[Interesting] White Privilege via Snack Therapy

[Honest] Truth About Pregnancy Exercise via Tiny Blue Lines

[I’ve been on both sides of this] Now We’re Questioning Encouragement? via Olive to Run

[I don’t have a furry friend, but these are awesome] 8 Lessons I’ve Learned From My Dog via Better with Sprinkles

Mother’s Day

15 Healthy Mother’s Day Recipes via Chocolate Covered Katie

10 Easy Brunch Recipes for Mother’s Day via Greatist

Gift Guide via Peanut Butter Fingers

Food for Belly

[Mhmm] Super Easy Coconut French Toast Bake via Pinch of Yum

[So many flavors!] Roasted Spring Vegetable Cobb Salad with Honey Herb Vinaigrette via Iowa Girl Eats

[I’ll take both pans‚Ķ] Peanut Butter Butterscotch Skillet Cookies via Bake Your Day

[Clouds of sweet delight] Fluffy Lemon Cupcakes with Whipped Coconut Cream via How Sweet It Is

[Summah] Blueberry Lemonade via Damn Delicious

Miscellaneous Fun

[Is this real life?] Kids Absolute Crush Salsa Routine via Huffington Post

[THIS is real life] 10 Signs You’re An Exceptional Procrastinator via Thought Catalog

Happy Friday, everyone!

So tell me:

Do you ever just want a smoothie for dinner?

What is the strangest thing you’ve had for dinner recently?

Current exercise?

Favorite links?