Bad Choices?

Psst, hey.  Heeeeyyy, can I tell you a secret?  When I go on holidays I like to cheat.  Do you?  I bet you do.  And I bet you LOVE it too.  Sure, you feel shame afterwards and manage to return home with a great deal of self-loathing, squashing the desire to do it again.  Do you save it only for when you are away?

I tried to stop it once.  I planned and planned for it.  I was successful for one whole trip.  But then the next time I left town it happened again, and I realized I was an addict.

To chocolate.  To chips.  To ice cream.  To cheese.  To (duh duh duh) GLUTEN.

Oh, is that not what you were thinking?  I know you do it too though.

This is how it starts…

Day #1 – After Dinner.  Ok, I’m on vacation and I deserve a treat.  I can have an ice cream cone with the kids.  I mean, its only right.  This way I’ll be part of the fun, the memories we’re building with the kids.  Sure, its just a little Salted Caramel ice cream in a waffle cone.  Its fine.  We walked to the ice cream shop, so its like it practically never happened.

Day #2 – Lunch.  I can totally have a coke with my lunch.  Its ok I’m on holiday and it will just be this once.

And then…

Day #2 – Snack.  These chips look so good.  I’ll just have one.  Oooooh but they are so good, just a few more.  Well, the kids shouldn’t eat the WHOLE bag themselves.  I should help them.

Day #2 – After Dinner.  I know I had 3 glasses of wine with dinner, so I shouldn’t have dessert.  The wine is my dessert.  But its creme brulee.  And that’s gluten free so I am practically staying on plan with that (even though it is entirely comprised of dairy AND sugar).

By now, what can you do?  You are in!

Day #3 – After Dinner.  Oh, are we walking to the ice cream shop again?

Day #4 – Lunch.  If I say no bun and order a turkey burger, that’s ok right?  Then I can totally ALLOW myself 1 (or 5) of those amazing onion rings.

Day #5 – Breakfast.  TODAY I am getting back on my plan.  The egg scramble with roasted veggies is super on plan.  The spinach and coconut water smoothie was exactly what I needed.

Day #5 – After Dinner.  What?  Did we just pass the ice cream place?  Oh did you guys want to stop there again?  Alright.  Ok.  I had that spinach smoothie today, so I deserve it.

And so on and so on.

Now we’re home and I’m in detox.  Except for the leftover bag of chips from the car ride.  I mean it would be a waste to NOT finish them, right?  Owwww, my tummy hurts…

I totally can't eat just one.

I totally can’t eat just one.

Be Prepared

My Dad was a Queen Scout.  He taught me to always be prepared.  He has a direct line to Canadian Tire and can outfit a car, apartment, house, boat – you name it – with every bit of safety gear in the event of calamity – batteries, flash lights, fire extinguishers.  I remember him stocking my first studio apartment in Vancouver, I had 6 flashlights in 600 sq feet including the closets.

Dad’s preparedness is clearly genetic.  My Grandparents were legendary for their pantry.   This was Cold-War era stockpiling at its best.  Dad definitely got this from them and he passed it on to me.  Our pantry is borderline hoarding territory.  But truly, my need to be prepared is most evident when I’m heading out on the road and all supplies need to be carefully packed in a suitcase and paraded around from home to taxi to airport to taxi to hotel lobby for the whole world to see.  I admit it, I am a chronic overpacker.  Most recently I was heading out on a three day trip and I’ve packed an oversized Samsonite that is tipping the scale just under the 70lb limit (phew!).

Disclaimer: I was traveling to the Canadian Prairies in the “spring” so I had to be prepared for any sort of weather pattern.  AND it was 12 celsius when I left home and I landed in a -14 celsius windchill.  To be honest I still froze my ass off all in the name of fashion.

Nevertheless, its good to be prepared and sometimes being prepared is just having wardrobe options.  What if I have been traveling for the past week and the hotel food bloat creeps up – you need to have your fat pants or at least Spanx for moments such as this.  What if that dinner is a little more formal than you expected and the red heels are so much cooler than plain old black boots you’ve been wearing all day.  Or what if you spill coffee all over your one pair of jeans during a little turbulence.  Options are always important to be suitably prepared.

Now we need to factor in the other comfort items required for life on the road.  If you’ve read some of my previous blogs you’ll know I’m not such a fan of hotel rooms.  So to beat the travel blues, I bring some scented Voluspa candles.  I’ve also invested in a pair of lightweight Nikes so I can hit the gym.  If I’m really lucky and have the space, sometimes I’ll throw in the yoga mat.  I’m not saying I actually use all these things.  But what if I have a spare hour in the hotel and I can finally take up meditation????

We haven’t even gotten into the gory details about the food I bring just in case room service can’t accommodate my dairy, gluten and sugar free regime (UPDATE: so far so good on sticking with the plan with only the occasional cheats – thank GOD for rice cakes).  Whole food bars and packets of almond butter can save the day.

I take full responsibility for my over-packing, proudly schlepping my bag in all its glory.   The real truth however is if you think this is bad – you should see what happens when I travel with the kids!

You Are What You Eat

It's not me it's you, cheese and bread.

It’s not me it’s you, cheese and bread.

Its been 65 days since I gave up wheat, dairy and sugar.  Sounds horrendous (in a first world problem sort of way) I know.  But really, I kinda like it.  I’ve lost over 10 pounds and according to J – I’m not as gassy.  (That’s true love right?  When your partner notices your new eating regiment by the amount of gas you are or are not passing).  Is that TMI?  We all do it right?  Don’t try and make it seem like YOU don’t!

I always avoided cleanses and elimination diets like the plague.  But I felt I needed to shake it up this time and really cut out the bad habit foods that I lived on – I’m looking at you delicious granola.  It hasn’t been as hard as I would have thought.  When I do sneak a little treat here and there, I pay for it later.  Who knew that one small morsel of chocolate birthday cake could reek such havoc on the digestive tract.

The question is, now what do I do.  I am pretty sure that gluten was my secret enemy.  So it can piss off.  Luckily every grocery store these days offers lots of gluten free alternatives.  I really dig quinoa and rice cakes are kinda yummy (I know what you’re thinking, “whatever weirdo”).  But do I let dairy back in?  Or do I continue to ban milk.  And sugar.  That’s a whole other deal.  What do we do about sugar?  Are we breaking up… forever?  Maybe not forever.  Maybe I can cheat on sugar with its less refined friends?  Well hello maple syrup, perhaps you’re not just for breakfast anymore?  This is where its tricky.  I’m kind of scared to let any of this unholy trinity of food back into my life.  What will happen?  Will I pull a Roker?  Or do I stay the course and hope some new study doesn’t come out refuting the health benefits of quinoa?

At least eating plans are so common these days, you no longer get the hairy eyeball from waitresses who need a whole pad of paper to take down your lunch order and all the subsequent modifications.  I’m heading out on the road next week.  I guess we’ll really see how all this will go down when I’m faced with tour eating habits.  Must resist the late night pizza.  Cannot order a clubhouse sandwich from room service.

If you’re wondering, red wine and coffee get to stay.  I think we’re destined for a life long love affair.