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 🙂

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 ➔ 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 ➔ 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 + sautÊed 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! 🙂

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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WIAW: Short and Sweet

Morning!

This post is up quite a bit later than usual because I wasn’t feeling too great last night, so I hit the hay rather than writing this post. Man, was it worth it because I cannot remember the last time I slept that long! I feel like a spring chicken!

I’ve got a ton of photos for you all of the food that has been makin’ me smile recently. Happy WIAW!

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Click over to Jenn’s blog to see more eats!

Breakfasts

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Peanut butter banana rice bowl

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Greek yogurt with chia, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, banana, leftover waffle, and almond butter

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Long time, no hot oats! Greek yogurt with hot banana oats and peanut butter on top + cereal for crunch!

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Overnight oats in jars. Favorites.

Lunches

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Soba noodles + egg tofu crab zucchini scramble (all thanks to mom) ➔ went back for seconds!

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Daliza’s leftover (torn up) corn tortillas with avocado, salt, and pepper + two soft boiled eggs

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Babysitting lunch on the go: grilled ham, brie, jam, spinach panini

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Avocado toast + carrots + crab scrambled eggs

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Toast with avocado + toast with sunflower seed butter + crab egg scramble + sautÊed zucchini

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The BEST chicken gyro I’ve ever eaten. I ate the whole thing and I had mega food baby.

Snacks

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Super quick peanut butter banana green smoothie to fuel me through carpet removal

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Amanda’s peaches and cream smoothie + greens

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Lucky Charms!!!

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Zucchini banana bread with sunflower seed butter

Dinners

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The big green salad with two soft boiled eggs + sunflower seed butter toast

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Another panini + carrots

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Our Korean feast

Desserts

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Americana

I have to keep this super short and sweet today because I’m headed to brunch with Veronica, Je’lyn, and Jeannine. They’re all leaving me for college in the next two days, so this will be our last hurrah! Oh my GOSH.

Hope you all enjoyed seeing some of noms this week. #NOMaste (I’ll explain more about where I got that from later 😉 ) Have an wonderful Wednesday!

So tell me:

What is the best thing you’ve eaten this past week?

Any ethnic foods?

 

This is Why I Love Working Out

“Whoa.”

That’s how I feel about yesterday! It was tiring and busy, but incredibly joyful and blessed all the same.

My day started with breakfast and some moves outside since it was a picture perfect day. I did this arm workout from PurelyTwins and it burned my shoulders and core! I love that it was short and sweet too, because I was anxious to get this over with:

#ALSicebucketchallenge (<— click on the link to learn more)

That woke me up for sure! My uncle that I nominated thinks I didn’t pour enough ice water onto myself though. He said my bowl “ain’t no bucket. That’s more like a soda fountain cup.” I’m expecting him to stand under an ice cold waterfall now.

I air-dried pretty quickly while I got to work baking Jenn’s fluffy flax, fruit, and veggie bread (zucchini banana walnut bread)! It looks like chocolate, but it’s just dark because of the whole wheat flour. It’s not burnt either, I promise.

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End slice while it’s still warm and crispy with sunflower seed butter— a life necessity

After lunching and munching, moving and grooving, Mom and I tackled the next house project on our list: removing all the carpets from our rooms. Guys, I felt like I ran a half marathon (or something strenuous like that since I’ve never run that far in my life) after the 3.5 hours of cutting, ripping, rolling, carrying, and stair climbing. That stuff was a full body workout! So much respect for contractors.

This, my friends, is exactly the reason why I love working out. I can help my mom move heavy furniture, carry things up and down the stairs, and fold up huge pieces of splintered foam for hours. I felt every part of my body working yesterday, but I felt strong!

I also credit the large amount of nut butter I ate in an effort to keep my energy up but…The point is that I love to work out because it helps me kick butt at daily life. We can be great servants of God through very ordinary deeds.

I’ll step off my soapbox now.

When we finished all the work, I listened to “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” since it was going through my head all afternoon. Then we showered and collapsed in the living room, where our beds are currently located.

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I’m only smiling because I was overtired and giddy as heck. Mom even said, “You must be drunk.” I assure you I drank nothing but water and a peanut butter banana smoothie. But seriously, I was just so happy to be spending quality time with my mom and to be exhausted in a good way!

After chatting for a while with limp bodies, we pried ourselves from the mattresses to go eat dinner a la Groupon.

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We went to one of our favorite Korean restaurants and ordered a lot of food (all the things on the left besides the sushi on top came with our meals— they’re Korean side dishes!) because we needed to use the full value of the Groupon and we were so dang hungry. We shared all the side dishes, a tuna-yellowtail-salmon roll, broiled eel, and bibimbap. That crispy rice on the bottom of the bibimbap is GOLD. The eel was also amazing.

We cleaned up every single plate. The owner of the restaurant seemed kinda scared yet thankful when we stacked up all our dishes continuously.

I was full, but not too full for some more apple pie a la mode when I got home! 😀

{Mom is already fast asleep as I’m finishing this post. Knocked out!}

Hope you all have an awesome day!

So tell me:

Why do you love working out?

Have you ever eaten Korean food? 

Secrets of the Weekend

Good morning!

It’s gettin’ hot up in here!!!….

…Because our AC isn’t working and it finally hit 80F in our area this weekend. I mean, I guess I’ve been wishing for heat since the black hole of winter seemed to take forever to leave us, but I’m not a fan. I just WANT a fan. (I’m over-exaggerating. It’s really not that bad at all— I get to sleep without a blanket and I don’t have to dry my hair!)

Besides that, my weekend was pretty darn marvelous!

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Check out all the marvelousness of Monday over on Katie‘s blog!

For this weekend recap, I’m gonna tell you all the fun stuff that happened as usual, but I’m also going to let you in on a few secrets about each thing. Consider it a trip inside my noggin (remember when I was pondering calling my Thursday thoughts posts “Loggin’ the Noggin?“). That is, if you even want to go into that weird place that is my brain.

Friday

Dance company auditions for the 2014-2015 company were on Friday, and even though current company members do not have to re-audition (and senior company members are leaving for college), we all still attend and do the audition class to set an example for the potential incomers. I think it went well for everyone!

Secret about the audition: A lot of girls dancing together in a stuffy studio = STINKY. It was a little tough to breathe in there sometimes, not gonna lie.

In the evening, I went to go get ice cream with my friend Michael (my super cool prom date)! We had a nice time chatting about college and such. We also went to the grocery store next door so I could buy bananas, because I need more spotty bananas in my life.

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Secret about this ice cream: It’s “almond cream” Italian ice, and I was kinda disappointed because I really wanted creamy gelato instead.

Secret about when I got home: I ate a spoonful of peanut butter.

Saturday

On Saturday morning, company had a quick and low-key dance rehearsal for a show coming up in June.

Secret about the rehearsal: I was practically falling asleep because those dance studios are like saunas.

When I got home, I ate lunch and made these “Carrot Spice Scones” from a box mix my mom bought from Bed, Bath, and Beyond for $1.50.

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Secret about this “scone”: The package falsely advertised these as scones, because they were WAY too fluffy to be scones. These were more like muffin tops, which isn’t a bad thing at all. 🙂

Mother’s Day Sunday

Breakfast in bed for my beloved mother! She is obsessed with all things coconut, so I was basically obliged to make her something coconutty. I decided on coconut-crusted cinnamon raisin French toast for the queen.

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Secret behind this breakfast: I only made one thing on this plate— the French toast. My dad cooked the turkey sausage and my mom had cut that fruit a few days before. Heh.

I made some French toast for myself as well while we were at it. I topped mine with Greek yogurt, peanut butter, seared banana slices, and maple syrup. Glass o’ soy milk on the side.

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So awesome.

Then, since I went to bed super late on Saturday night and woke up early to make breakfast, I took a super long nap on the couch. It was gloooorious and it got me energized for some outdoor moves. I was really in the mood to jump rope, so I completed Julie’s Jump Rope + Lower Body Workout with just bodyweight.

Secret about working out outside: Since I was using my phone as a timer, I left it out on the mat under the sun, which resulted in my iPhone getting a short fever.

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I also practiced double unders (which I showed off on Instagram)! They’re my new favorite thing to do now (behind burpees of course).

Secret behind the double unders: I got lucky with this shot because this is probably the most I got in a row all day yesterday. I’m still happy I can do them though!

Hot weather means SMOOTHIES, so I had one of the green (and very nut-buttery) variety for lunch:

  • ½ c. soy milk
  • half banana
  • handful of frozen strawberries
  • big handful of spinach
  • Âź c. oats
  • ½ scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 heaping tbsp. almond butter

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With Greek yogurt on the side of course!

Secret behind this smoothie: This plus a ton of water and a bunch of crackers with hummus gave me a food baby.

After a few more hours of homework and procrastinating in the form of Instagram stalking, we headed out to dinner at a Korean/Japanese restaurant! Guess what. No Groupon this time. :-O

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Traditional Korean side dishes that came with my dad’s meal

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Mom’s seafood pancake

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My eel and tuna rolls

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Complimentary cold cinnamon ginger tea as a palate cleanser/dessert

Secret about dinner: I made the mistake of wearing pants that are getting too small for me. You can probably guess why that was a problem.

Secret about what I’m doing right now: Watching Fantastic Mr. Fox — one of my favorite animated movies ever.

And those are the secrets of my life from this weekend! I hope you’re not too mind-blown by my exhilarating life.

Hope you all have a lovely Monday!

So tell me:

Did you go outside this weekend?

Italian ice or gelato?

What did you do yesterday?

Any secrets you’d like to share!