For the most part, I eat clean around 80% of the time. When I say clean, I have been eating Primal for over six months now. I cut out all grains, including breads, oats and everything in between. I cut out all extraneous sugars and try to eat as little processed foods as possible. The goal is to get all nutrients from meat and veggies if possible. I never thought I could eat this way. I am pretty low carb now, but in the past I always joked that if there was an all carbs diet I would be the spokesperson. I loved bread, I loved oats and I loved sugar way more than I even knew I did, because sugar is everywhere. Ketchup for example, has sugar. I never knew that until I started reading the labels. Now, I generally don’t eat anything without reading the label or looking up the nutritional info if needed.
The weekdays are easy, I have eggs and bacon every morning. I generally have a protein type shake with a banana at lunch and we have a protein and vegetables for most dinners. The weekends are where the 20% come in. The one major thing that should not really be a part of my eating that I do eat, is french fries. I love french fries, they are my favorite food. So once a week, we get some wings and curly fries. We eat out most weekends so some processed food and condiments come into play. I’ll have some stevia in my coffee and do enjoy a glass of milk every once in a while. I’m ok with that because while I could lose those last pesky pounds and the belly fat I have retained, I also want to enjoy life. I certainly don’t look at food the same way. I try to fuel my efforts rather than my taste buds as much as I can.
That is, until vacation comes around. I don’t know what it is about being in theme parks, but I have the hardest time maintaining my eating habits. I understand why I am constantly wanting food, we burn lots of calories walking through the parks and experiencing all those heart stopping adrenaline pumping rides, but it’s what I eat, not how often I eat it that gets me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t eat complete junk the entire time, but I could do so much better! So, this weekend we went to Universal Studios and I decided that I was going to do a bit of a food journal and write about how the foods made me feel. Primarily so I could go back and read it later and maybe do a better job next time. Every so often, I will “let it go” and have something naughty and then completely regret it. Now I will have it in print and who can you trust more than your past self telling you not to do something, right?!
Friday, Day 1: I worked from home Friday, so eating wasn’t the worst. I had the usual breakfast, but when lunch came, I didn’t have ingredients I needed for my usual protein shake, so I nuked chicken nuggets. Not the best, since they are very processed but hey, at least they were protein. When we were getting ready to hit the road, we swung into Chick-fil-a and got some grilled nuggets (better) and waffle fries (naughty, but not too naughty). At a rest stop, I got all impulsive and asked Darin to order me a Dunkacino. I assumed it was like a Starbucks frapuccino, which I enjoyed last vacation. I went to use the ladies room and immediately regretted asking for it. I texted him to please not order. When i came out, the lady was squirting chocolate sauce all over the whipped cream topping of my ordered drink. He hadn’t gotten the text. Ok, I thought. This will be the little cheat item I have today. I took one sip and knew I did not want it. Darin told me to just throw it out. I have been trying to be frugal and felt horrible, but he took it and pitched the $4 drink in the trash. I have never been so happy to toss money in the trash, and I was proud of myself because it truth be told, the second sip was not as bad as the first, but it was gone now and I was not gonna drink anymore.
That night we got into Orlando and had dinner with friends at Margaritaville. That wasn’t the plan. We were supposed to have a quick dinner at the hotel and hit the sack, but things changed. I had coconut shrimp (good but probably fried in some kind of hydrogenated oil, not great) and french fries (again?). Sure, I did not eat them all, but I had them, and the sweet yummy chutney they had for dipping the shrimp in, that I am sure had sugar in it. Dang, not a great start, but the little voice in my head reminded me that we had lots of walking ahead tomorrow. Carb load, yeah that’s it. I’m still cruisin’ at 80/20.
Saturday, Day 2: We were out way later than I was used to the night before, considering I am usually in bed at 9 and up again at 4:30, so I was hopeful I would work out but not committed to it. Good thing or I would have been disappointed. We got up around 6:00 and got some coffee. None of the food places in the hotel were open so we decided to eat at the parks. We went to the Three Broomsticks and ordered breakfast. I had a platter with eggs, bacon, breakfast potatoes and a croissant. I ditched the croissant and didn’t plan to eat the potatoes at all, but ended up having most of them to choke down the somewhat nasty egg texture. Hey, not bad. Oh, except it came with a small Butterbeer. I seriously asked for a water but it came with it. That pesky little voice told me to shake it off, it was vacation after all! Ok, so I was maybe at 70/30, not horrible considering it is vacation and a little slip is expected.
A few hours later in the sweltering sun (notice how I added that to justify the next few words…) I decided to have an ice-cream cone. Full fat ice-cream every once in a while is not so naughty in the Primal world….and I didn’t eat the cone…. and it’s hot so that helps to justify it. Sure it does. Healthy day two?… not so much so far. We were starving later in the day and decided to get lunch. There weren’t going to be too many very healthy options that were not salad (my digestive system is very iffy with salads when under stress so I am cautious with them before any races or lots of activity). I decided a single slice of pizza was what I was going to do because quite frankly it was the most appealing looking thing they had. Oh, and the little voice didn’t help. Before leaving the park, we hit Coldstone. Yes, I just said Coldstone. We shared a vanilla ice-cream with pecans in it. I used Darin to justify that one, because he mentioned ice cream earlier in the day. That may have been when we actually had ice cream, but I remembered it and thought of him when passing the place. Well, 60/40 sucks, but maybe I can work on that.
We went back to the hotel for dinner and I made it known that I wanted something healthier. I wanted some protein and veggies. I needed to recovery from this bad start! They had a nice steak with rice and broccoli. Man, it was good. It had a Brazilian sauce with it, that didn’t seem sweet but had a nice flavor. It was delicious and my brain was so happy and my body followed suit. Yay! Healthy dinner?…..check! Evil voice in my head was nowhere to be found, drowned by the sound of the yummy crunch of the broccoli. That is until I finished dinner, and decided to partake in a little adult beverage. However, I did tell myself since before we left that I would have a little drink this trip since D2 would be sleeping with his buddy’s family that night. Well, either the steak or the drink was a big mistake. I will never know which it was, but we got back to the room just in time and I spent the next while (that felt like an eternity) in the bathroom. By the time I got out, I was so exhausted I crashed. So, 50/50 on vacation, is that so bad? (It is.)
Sunday, Day3: Today’s eating was pretty horrendous actually and I am sitting here with my pants feeling way too tight and sick to my stomach. We started out great. Our last day here, but we woke up at 5:30 and ran a 5k (see the post called “Are you guys exercising?”) After the run, we headed back to the hotel for a shower and some breakfast. We were absolutely starving. I chose the most primal meal available. It was a breakfast platter of eggs, bacon, breakfast potatoes and a biscuit. I immediately ditched the biscuit and knew I was going to go ahead and eat the carbs as I felt I needed them. What is nice about Primal, is you can add back certain foods that suit you in moderation. Potatoes and rice are the ones I go to when feeling like I could use some extra carbs. Pretty healthy morning?…check!
I was still pretty exhausted from little sleep, our runs and not having had but a smudge of coffee. I thought to myself… well, self… why not go ahead and get a frappucino? Yeah, if I am good the rest of the day, and this is my only goof, it won’t be too bad. (Hear that BS I am feeding myself? It’s ok, you ran today. It’s ok, breakfast wasn’t too bad. It’s the only bad thing you will have today. You deserve it!) Well, I convinced myself and got it. 40/60, I should be ashamed. I totally forgot how dang sweet those things are. I took a sip and immediately did not want anymore, but after what happened with the Dunkacino, and knowing that I needed caffeine, I convinced myself to take a few more sips and see how I felt. Just like anything too sweet or sour or even spicy, the more I had of it, the more I acclimated to it. A few minutes later I found myself sucking ever last bit of whip cream of the bottom of the cup. It was only when I pulled the straw out and nearly stuck my finger in to get the caramel that was on the lid that I realized what I had really done. Thankfully I stopped myself from the caramel swipe and finger lick, because man I almost did it! We headed to the parks to get a couple more rides in before hitting the highway home. D2 wanted to split a Butterbeer so we had that. Healthy snack this morning?….. um, no. 30/70 this is really going in the wrong direction now.
After a couple hours in the parks we decided to head back to the hotel to have some lunch and head home. We went to the food area which had very acceptable food choices. They had a amazing rotisserie chicken with rice and veggies…. well it looked amazing. I would not know because I had…. pizza. That evil voice in myself came back and told me I did not want a repeat of last nights tummy trouble and that I can get nice and full and safe with pizza. Yeah, safe, because pizza. That voice is very convincing on vacation for some reason. Healthy lunch?….no again. I forgot how much the bread based foods expand in your stomach and made the mistake of eating until I was full, which resulted in feeling like complete crap. You would think that would have stopped me from getting that warm cheese danish I promised myself before we left. You would think. You would be wrong. Well, I at least didn’t eat it right away. It was like 15 minutes later. Hence the tight pants and feeling like crap. When we stopped at the rest stop, I kid you not, I was nearly praying that I would go to the bathroom and get whatever was killing my insides out, but no such luck. Hello, 20/80 I am opposite me, not nice to meet you.
So kiddos, lessons learned: I really need to practice telling that evil voice inside my head to go piss off. I also learned that I am really happy not eating breads. That is something I never thought I would say. I can have potatoes or rice sometimes and maybe feel a little heavy, but not like this. I also am happy to generally be off sugar. The crash that results from having it, is just too much to bear. I literally go from bouncy and happy to wanting to fall asleep and be left alone. Not all sugar, mind you. I can have an ice cream here or there and be fine, but today was just too much. I am going to name that little voice in my head, so that I can have a decent argument with it next time. It can’t be me, it must be another personality in there because I am smarter than that. Ok, this is starting to sound too much like a twilight zone episode.