Month: January 2011

The Real Housewife of Ellicott City

Happy Monday! Catching up from the weekend? Make sure you check out:

I’m actually using a comp day today because I get some time off since I worked through the weekend while in San Diego last weekend, so my weekend is not quite over. And I’m so excited to be using today to head up to Philly to see my nephew Harper! I cannot wait to see him in his home for the first time, after 129 long days in the ICN. He’s almost 7 pounds now and looking so good and chubby… Plus, I get to hold him today!! So exciting. I promise to share some pics tomorrow.

One of the most fun parts of this weekend for me was a dinner party on Saturday. My friend Rachel (who’s wedding I was in this past August) lives about 45 minutes outside of DC, so my girlfriends and I don’t get a chance to venture up there too much. When we got an invite from “The Real Housewife of Ellicott City” to come over for dinner, it was the perfect opportunity to head up there.

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In college, we had a group of six of us that were best friends, and after we graduated four of us stayed in DC, one moved to NYC, and one moved home to Boston. I’m glad to be in the group of 4 that stayed because its so nice having my best friends so accessible. And, even though we all live so close, it had been way too long since the four of us had been together!

Rachel (the host), me, Lianne, and Jess (plus wine obviously)

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Rachel set up the table so cute!

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Then the table got more full once the salad was served too.

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My plate…

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Roasted broccoli and red potatoes, plus salmon baked in foil with a walnut pesto sauce. The pesto was SO delicious – its so simple but somehow I always forget about it and how great it can be for all types of meat (or veggies). She used that same pesto to make chicken for everyone else (not everyone is a fish fan otherwise she would have made salmon for all), and it was totally delicious.

As the night went on and the wine flowed freely, it got harder to have everyone on the same page about when to take a picture.

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But then we all decided to get in the same awkward pose in sync with each other, so I guess that works?

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Smile

Then we broke out the cupcakes from Whole Foods…

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There was caramel something, chocolate raspberry, vanilla with buttercream frosting, and double chocolate. My job was to try to cut them into pieces, and I was pretty impressed with my work.

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Plus a huge pile of brownies that Rachel made. I ate way too much of this plate but it was delicious and totally worth it. Such a fun night!

Where have you met most of your friends that you hang out with? College, high school, work, other ways? My best friends are mostly from college, but I’ve made some really close friends from work, too.

Mind Games and a No Bake Cookie Recipe

Hi guys! I hope you guys are enjoying your weekend so far. I know I am. Smile

Yesterday, I had a 7 mile run on my schedule that I wanted to get out of the way first thing (aka 10am). I fueled up with a banana topped with 1 tbsp reduced fat peanut butter (2 pts+) before heading out.

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I was actually pretty excited for yesterday’s run because its been too long since I’ve run outside in the cold weather and I really enjoyed it the last time I did. I got all geared up, headed outside, and started zoning out to my music. As soon as I got to the start of the Mount Vernon Trail where I was planning on running, I saw this:

mount vernon trail

Yeah, no thank you. I am clumsy enough on my own without the assistance of ice, so I immediately turned around and headed back to my apartment for the treadmill to pound out the 7 miles.

Mentally, it was rough. The treadmills only go up to 60 minutes, so I had to break it into two cycles since it takes me 70 minutes to run 7 miles. To keep myself entertained, I kept changing my mind about when I would stop the first cycle and start the second one. Originally I was going to pound out 2 miles and reset it for 50 minutes to finish the last 5, but by tricking myself I somehow ended up waiting until the 57.5 minute mark (5.75 miles) to start the second cycle, and then I only I had to run 1.25 miles on the second one. I understand that this makes me sound totally crazy, but somehow that made the run feel more tolerable and go by relatively fast. When it was over and my clothes were so wet it looked like I jumped in a pool, I stretched for more than 10 minutes – a new record.

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I’ve never seen 1000+ calories on here before! An exciting moment.

I wanted something to refuel with a good amount of protein, and then I remembered these cookies I came up with the other day that are super simple, quick and delicious. I tweeted about them and was asked for the recipe. Ask and I shall deliver. Smile

No Bake Mini Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (4 pts+ for entire recipe)

I’ve seen several recipes for no bake cookies before using just a few ingredients, and I’ve been wanting to experiment with using peanut flour for things other than just oatmeal or on toast, so I realized this could be the perfect solution for a cookie that would deliver on both taste and on the nutrition front. These cookies are also great because the whole recipe makes 4 small cookies, and you can easily half it to make just 2 little cookies, or multiply it to make a larger batch. I personally don’t do that well having a whole batch of cookies in my house, so for me the small yield is perfect.

Ingredients:

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  • 2 tbsp peanut flour (15 grams)
  • 2 tbsp rolled oats
  • 2 tsp mini chocolate chips
  • 1 packet truvia
  • dash salt
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp water

To start, combine the peanut flour, salt, and water, and mix it until it forms a peanut butter paste.

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To that same bowl, add the rest of the ingredients (oats, truvia, chocolate chips)

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Mix everything together to form your dough.

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Form into 4 evenly sized dough balls, and place them on a piece of wax paper.

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For a size reference, here’s my beautifully manicured hand holding one.

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Now, place them in the freezer for at least 10 minutes and they are ready!

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That’s it! These babies have 4 pts+ for the whole recipe, so 1 pt+ per cookie if you make them this size. Because of the peanut flour, they have a good amount of protein (8 grams in all 4) so they are actually quite filling as well as totally delicious. You could also use regular PB instead of the peanut flour, but that would affect the points+ value, and you could also try mixing in different things (shredded coconut, raisins, nuts, etc) to change it up a bit.

Do you play mind games with yourself on gym equipment to make it go by faster? Also, what’s your favorite kind of cookie? I love white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies plus peanut butter kisses, both pretty equally. mmmm.

Accent Vlog

Hi Guys!

I saw this Accent Vlog on Caitlin’s blog last night and thought it was super cute so decided to join in on the fun!

Two things: One. I don’t know WHY YouTube chose this particular frame for the cover shot on this video. Not cute. Two. I don’t normally wear glasses – my contacts were just giving me some major issues today.

Onwards…

Accent Vlog–Beth’s Journey

If you’re interested in following along (or doing this on your own blog!), here’s the list:

The Accent Vlog: Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

  • What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
  • What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
  • What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
  • What do you call gym shoes?
  • What do you say to address a group of people?
  • What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
  • What do you call your grandparents?
  • What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
  • What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
  • What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

Do I sound how you expected me to? What’s one word that you’re told you pronounce funny? For me, it’s cherry. I have no idea why I can’t say it correctly and don’t think it has anything to do with where I’m from. Glad that wasn’t on the list!

Seven Things You Never Wanted to Know

TGIF!! Tomorrow is my first day off work in 12 days, so as I’m sure you can imagine, I’m really looking forward to it. Plans for the weekend include a 7 mile run (eek), dinner with my girlfriends, church, a meeting I get to tell you about next week, and then going to Philly on Monday to see Harper (and my sis). He’s been home for a week and I finally get to hold him!!!!! It makes me so happy I could cry.

To spice this Friday up a bit, I finally decided to come up with a list of some things I don’t think you know about me. I was tagged a few times with the Stylish Blogger Award but honestly couldn’t think of anything interesting to share, so I have been stalling! Thank you Kara, Stephanie, and Michelle for tagging me!

awardstylish-blogger1This award means they think I have great style (ha!), enjoy reading my blog, and appreciate my contribution to the blogging community. How nice! To accept, I have to share 7 things about myself, so here goes!

  1. Despite the obvious contradiction here, I played Goldilocks in my 4th grade play.
  2. In person, I am extremely sarcastic. My boyfriend always says to just assume whatever I say is not true. If there was a sarcasm font, my blog would have a much different voice.
  3. I didn’t go abroad in college. I applied for a program in Grenoble, France, got accepted, and then didn’t go because it was during my boyfriend at the time’s last semester of college (he was one year older). I came up with several other reasons that I couldn’t go, but they were really just excuses. It’s one of my biggest regrets.
  4. Once, I was in a crowded bar and was introduced to a guy. After we exchanged names, for the first time ever in my life (or since!), I said “What, no handshake?” He replied, “I would if I could.” It turned out he had no arms. True story.
  5. I had emergency back surgery back in 2006. I woke up one day and literally could not get up after having some minor pain for a few weeks beforehand. I was sent to a doctor, then to the hospital, and then had surgery the very next day. Luckily, I’ve had no issues since (relating only to my back, obviously).
  6. I worked at Friendly’s as a waitress when I was 16 through 19 years old, and actually worked at three different locations, crossing the state border into NY for one of them. To this day, I can still scoop a mean cone of ice cream.
  7. My favorite food of all time, hands down, is cheese, and I don’t discriminate about the type. Soft cheese, hard cheese, string cheese, cottage cheese, babybel cheese, shredded cheese, brie, goat, blue, feta. You get the drift. It’s the main reason I could never go vegan. I’ve seriously considered renaming my blog Beth Eats Cheese. No joke.

Everyone and their mother has already done this, but if you haven’t, I TAG YOU (yes, you).

Share something about yourself that I don’t know about you! Do any of the things on my list surprise you? I’m so looking forward to reading the responses.

Back At It

Thank you guys so much for all your comments and support on yesterday’s post! It seems like a lot of you can relate to feeling like you barely know your old self anymore. When you lose a significant amount of weight and/or make drastic changes to move towards a healthy lifestyle, a lot more changes than just the way you look to others. For those of you just starting or thinking about starting on your journey, realize that it’s much more important to focus on the day at hand and making smart, healthy decisions for yourself right now, rather than looking too far ahead and getting discouraged. I promise you that those little choices you make will eventually add up to huge strides in your own healthiness journey and before long, you’ll have a similar story to share.

Moving along – though I desperately miss the perfection that is San Diego, I have to admit it does feel pretty good to get back into my normal routine and be sleeping in my own bed (though the beds at the Westin ARE heavenly). Because of the severe weather alerts that actually did come true, I got let out of work at 3pm yesterday in hopes of beating the storm home. While I did get home before the storm, I immediately went out to the grocery store to pick up a few things. I could have made due with frozen veggies, grains, and the tofu and tempeh in my fridge, but I really wanted to get some fresh fruit and veggies and stock up the kitchen. So I did. And the drive was kind of intense with slush/snow, but the supermarket was shockingly not busy at all and I was able to zip around the store and be done in less than 30 minutes. Luckily, too, because as I was pulling back into my garage afterwards, the weather was getting worse and worse and let’s just say I was glad not to be driving anymore.

After the grocery store, I ended up doing a 35 minute tempo run, and it felt wonderful. I was trying to figure out why I felt so good during the run, and I’m pretty sure I was experiencing runners high, for the second time ever. It’s crazy how runs can be so hit or miss, and this one just felt so good that I was almost disappointed when it was over.

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Man I love my Polar. I honestly don’t know if I can go back to the Garmin, even when I start running outside again… You’d be proud of me though – I stretched for 8 minutes after my run. I think that’s a record for me.

After a quick shower, I whipped up a quick and healthy dinner with Wil, and it felt so good to be back in my own kitchen. I picked up a few parsnips at the store, and I just love them.

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This might be obvious to some, but I only learned it within the last several months. If you cut a parsnip in half before you start chopping it, it makes it way easier to handle.

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Same story with carrots. You slice those ones in half again, and then chop them to your desired size, trying to get them all about the same.

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I used to always try to cut them in half lengthwise while they were still intact, and they would always come out so uneven. Doing them this way helps a lot.

Anyways, I ended up roasting two large parsnips and four carrots in a little evoo, salt, and pepper, making some red quinoa (1/2 cup dried, rinsed, added to 1 cup of water, boiled, then brought to a simmer until the water was all gone – about 15 minutes total), and steaming just under a pound of shrimp for Wil and I for dinner (plus lunch for me today).

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Plus a little cilantro for some green and extra flavor. Super simple and clean, but totally delicious. I love steaming my own shrimp – just a touch of salt and they are sweet and flavorful on their own without much seasoning. Plus, they only take 3 or so minutes to cook this way. (This is the steamer I use, which works really well for veggies, too. Best $17 I ever spent.)

What’s the thing you miss most about being home after you’ve been away (even if you are really enjoying yourself!)? For me, it’s definitely cooking my own meals.

Before

Whew… being back in DC has been rough. It was FREEZING when I stepped off the plane last night, and they are saying lots of snow later today.. quite a 180 from where I woke up yesterday. While I try to adjust back to normal life, unpack, grocery shop, etc. (since I didn’t get home until after 10 last night), I wanted to share a photo with you guys that I recently came across of me “before”. I’m not sure if you noticed, but I added a few new pictures to the photos page (scroll down for the new ones).

You see, the before photos I had been working with previously were pretty limited because my highest weight ever was during the archaic time before Facebook. Plus, I wasn’t exactly eager to jump in front of a camera during that time, so the pictures I did have were few and far between – mostly at weddings and other events where I had no choice but to smile for a photo.

When I was home last month for Christmas, my mom and I were looking through some old photos, and she handed me one in particular that really made me take a step back. Here it is:

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As I stared at that picture, all I could think was, “Who is that girl?”

The easy answer is, that was me. This photo of me and my sister Wendy was taken several years ago, during a vacation in the Caribbean. I distinctly remember that tank top from Old Navy and remembering how “flattering” it was. The more complicated and true answer however, is I don’t even know. Yes, that was me, but I am such a different person now than I was back then that I barely recognize myself.

My good friend Molly said to me, “Its funny because i remember you being a very happy person in college, pre-weight loss, but you don’t look very happy in this picture.” Ain’t that the truth. I think its so easy to put a smile on your face, tell a joke, and hide behind other people’s laughter so that you avoid what is really eating at you. For me, it was the fact that I was obese, bordering on morbidly so. Every once in a while, though, a photo will get taken that will show the true you. If it’s any indication, I never smile a genuine smile without showing some teeth.

Seeing that photo reminds me of why it brought tears to my eyes to see “Health Hero” next to my name in the article from two weeks ago. The above photo was me for 24 years of my life. I’ve only been this “new” person for 2 years so I’m still adjusting, yet I can barely even remember what it was to be that heavy.

Besides the obvious external changes, I’ve changed on the inside, perhaps even more drastically. For starters, I now make myself a priority. I try to make “me time” every single day and to say “no” when I’m overextending myself and making too many commitments to other people. I’m not saying it’s good to be selfish and only focus on yourself, but what I’m saying is that for me, I have more to give to others when I make time for me.

Besides that, I’m much more confident and try to take active steps to make my life what I want it to be, rather than just going along for the ride. I started this blog, am actively pursuing some exciting opportunities that I’ll get to share with you soon, and have just been more proactive about my schedule and what I do with my days and time. It’s funny how they say when you try to change one thing about your life, everything else falls into place. Not only was I incredibly negligent when it came to my health, I also was very irresponsible with my financials. I’m still working on getting out of the debt I created for myself, but now I have a pretty strict budget I stick to and am much more diligent about where my money goes in addition to what I put into my body.

Do you find that life changes go hand in hand for you? When you’re diligent about some things do you find other things fall into place?

It’s Over

Sorry for the hiatus from blogging! Once Friday came and my coworkers arrived, things got a lot more hectic, and unfortunately a lot less healthy. During the first few days in San Diego, I was staffing the course, so I was there by myself and had a pretty easy schedule, with evenings off starting at 4:30 and an hour break for lunch.

Once Saturday came, I was working over 12 hours a day straight, with barely enough time to eat (though trust me I managed not to miss one meal). Since we didn’t have a lot of time, I had less options for food than I did for the first few days, but I have to say that my shopping trip was definitely a saving grace and something I will try to do every time I travel from now on. It was so great to have fruit, string cheese, peanut butter, and bread to snack on if I was hungry, rather than the cookies and brownies that were put out way too often. I did manage to have a healthy breakfast almost every day, mostly resembling this:

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Besides breakfast though, I definitely fell off the healthy eating train. Here’s a breakdown of my trip as it related to healthy living.

First, the positives:

  • I ran 3 times during the 6 days I was there. 3.5 miles, 3 miles, and 3.5 miles, only missing one 5k pace run from my training plan.
  • I had the “morning off” yesterday (meaning I had to be at the conference at 8:45 instead of 7am) and instead of sleeping in, I woke up and ran 3.5 miles.
  • I drank a LOT of water each day. The fruit infused water bar made that super easy – I have never been so happy to have a reusable water bottle with me!
  • I had a healthy breakfast every day – peanut butter and banana on toast, greek yogurt with blueberries, or fruit and oatmeal.
  • I ate a lot of fruits and veggies, and made really good decisions about eating when I got to choose (healthy options, dressing on the side, water to drink etc).

Now, for the less than stellar parts:

  • I ate a lot of sweets because they were there. There was cookies or brownies out for afternoon breaks every day, and when we ate lunch at the hotel they always served dessert (delicious chocolate cake). I don’t normally have that much of a sweet tooth, but towards the end of the trip I was tired and it was there, so I ate it. It tasted delicious, so I had another one (or two).
  • I drank more alcohol than normal – only two nights while I was there but I don’t usually drink much so I woke up feeling not so hot twice during the trip.
  • At the conference receptions, I ate way too many of the passed appetizers, a lot of which were fried (stuffed artichoke hearts which were to die for, spanakopita, etc.)
  • I wasn’t very good about paying attention to my hunger cues when I was full and just kept eating when food was there. One of the things I struggle with the most is portion control, so when I prepare my own meals, I measure things out and know I can eat the whole plate. When eating at a restaurant or when someone else is making your food, it’s a lot harder for me.

Now that I write it all out, it actually doesn’t sound as bad as it could have been. In my Healthy Travel Tips, I mentioned being realistic with your expectations, and I really don’t think I followed my own advice on this one. I really was expecting to be as good as I am when I’m home, and it just wasn’t feasible. I was sleep deprived and surrounded by a lot of my trigger foods, and I couldn’t really do much about either of those things. I could have exercised more self control obviously, but I did make some good decisions and it definitely could have been a lot worse.

That aside, I seriously am in love with San Diego. I’m in the airport right now laying over in Phoenix, getting on a connecting flight to DC within the hour, where it’s cold and supposed to snow tomorrow. I’m not looking forward to that AT ALL! Argh. I am looking forward to getting back to my normal routine, being in my own kitchen, and working 8 hour days instead of 12+!

I’ll leave you with a few photos from last night of me with my coworkers and some conference attendees at the Mexican restaurant where we had dinner and drinks.

Jackie, Me, and Kelly

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Me and Bobbie

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Kobi, Me, Phil, Tedra and Ted

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Such a fun night! I want to go back to a place where I can sit outside in January not bundled up in winter clothes…

What’s your favorite way to get back on track after an indulgent weekend or vacation?

Perfection

I am seriously considering not coming back to the east coast… I love it here.

For starters, here was yesterday’s fruit infused water selection:

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Lemon and lime, grapefruit, pineapple, and strawberry. It seriously makes guzzling water so easy slash delicious. I had one huge water bottle each of the pineapple and strawberry today. So good. These alone are enough to make me want to stay.

What’s more, I went outside for a 45 minute walk during lunch and I couldn’t get over how amazing it was outside. It was 72º, sunny, and just slightly breezy – literally the perfect weather. Since I only had 45 minutes, I walked away from the hotel for 20 minutes, looked up, and realized I was right by the grocery store I went to when I first arrived. I ended up running through the store quickly to pick out lunch, then turning around and walking the 20 minutes back towards the hotel, making it right on time.

Since I didn’t want it to end, I ate my lunch outside on the covered patio next to where the course is. The bulk of it was a humongous (literally 2 pound) salad:

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A base of spinach, topped with feta, chickpeas, kidney beans, green peppers, baby corn, tabbouleh, roasted corn, tuna, hard boiled egg, and black bean and corn salad. Plus more that I’m sure I’m forgetting. It was enormous, and I ended up eating about 2/3 of it for lunch, and the rest for a snack around 3:30.

I also picked up a small container of sunomono:

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Sunomono is a Japanese salad with a vinegar dressing with just a touch of sugar. I’ve had it in sushi restaurants before with different types of fish, but this one just had cucumber and seaweed. It’s super light but so delicious. I ended up pouring the leftover vinegar dressing over the salad after I gobbled it down.

Plus, a side of grapes.

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Unfortunately those needed to be carefully picked over because a lot of them were soft. Boo.

Besides the gorgeous weather, San Diego itself is also beautiful. Once the class wrapped up around 5, I went outside for a run by the harbor, which is just a few blocks from the hotel. The timing was perfect because the sun was just setting and made the sky such pretty colors. As soon as I got close to the harbor, I was so excited to keep running along it!

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The run itself was super low key. I stopped a lot to take photos because I couldn’t soak it all in with just my eyes. A few of my favorites…

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Saying it was a run to remember would be an understatement. I honestly didn’t even realize until I was writing this that I didn’t have my ipod. I NEVER run without music!

Since I stopped so much and kept bringing my heart rate down, I burned less calories than usual but that was a-ok with me.

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I’m guessing I ran right around 3 miles (which is what I set out to do) because I stopped the watch each time I stopped to walk.

If you could pick up and move anywhere in the world without factoring in logistics (money, family, children, job, etc) where would you go?

Hello from California!

I LOVE San Diego!!!

But first, let’s rewind a bit…

My flight yesterday was… long. I left DC on a 7am flight, so got to the airport at 6am EST. I had a layover in Phoenix, and then got into San Diego at 11:30am (2:30pm EST). I was a little less prepared than I wanted to be so I ended up having to get all my meals out during travel. If I could do it again, I definitely would have packed a pb & banana sandwich, but I was out of fruit! Breakfast ended up being a black bean, rice, and egg burrito, but I only ate a little bit of the tortilla and ate the rest with a fork (8 pts+). At the layover in Phoenix, I picked up Perfect Oatmeal from Starbucks. That’s only 3pts+, and the brown sugar packet is only 1 pt+, so 4 for the whole bowl. Not too shabby.

After I got into San Diego, I checked into my hotel, unpacked a few things, and then immediately headed to the grocery store, which is about half a mile from my hotel. It was a lot chillier out than I was expecting – in the low 60s and cloudy! Sad story for my first day in CA.

I picked up lunch at the grocery store and was able to eat it outside, which was so nice to be able to do in January.

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A tuna roll (6pts+), 2 summer rolls (4pts+), and seaweed salad (1 pt+).

As soon as I got back to my room, I unloaded the goods.

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All that plus the sushi lunch was $43, so that will definitely save me a lot for breakfast and snacks over the week that I’m here.

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Broccoli florets, carrot chips, fuji apples, bananas, blueberries (99 cents each!), roasted garlic hummus.

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Skim Milk, nonfat greek yogurt, Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Sesame bread (my FAV), reduced fat chunky peanut butter, gum, WW string cheese, and oats.

It all fit perfectly into the mini fridge they put in my room…

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And here are the “tools” I brought from home for the trip.

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Peanut flour, a plastic bowl, butter knife, 2 spoons, a 1 tbsp measuring spoon, and a 1/4 cup.

After the grocery store, I passed out for 2 hours straight. I didn’t even mean to, I just laid down on the bed and next thing I knew it was 5:15p. Even though I didn’t feel like it, I forced myself to go check out the hotel gym, and I’m glad I did because it’s the nicest one I’ve seen yet!

The gym has two rooms – one huge weight room and a cardio room.

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Free weights, plus some machines.

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Plus some stability balls, a mat, and towels.

I only got a quick photo of the cardio room because there were other people using it…

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But there were 4 treadmills, 2 ellipticals, a stairmaster, and a bike.

My plan was actually to run outside yesterday, but it was pretty chilly and I only brought short sleeved workout clothes with me, so I ended up doing 3.5 miles on the treadmill following by walking to cool down, and stretching. The run was HARD. I had to go slower than normal and really had to push myself to finish. I think the time change/long day was just getting to me, but I’m really glad I did the whole 3.5 miles on my training schedule.

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After a quick shower and a glass of milk, I ended up venturing out of the hotel for a quick dinner since I know I’ll be eating at the hotel a lot during the next week. Just under two blocks from the hotel, I found this cute little gem of a restaurant, Currant.

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It’s restaurant week here, so they do 3 courses for $20, $30 or $40 depending on the restaurant. Currant was $30, but I really wasn’t in the mood for 3 courses so I just went with an entrée. It was grilled salmon over fiery brussels sprouts with crispy sweet potato for a garnish.

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It was supposed to come with a bacon relish, but I asked for that to be left off the plate. The dish was delicious. The salmon was cooked to perfection, and the brussels were cooked with some olive oil and sriacha sauce in a pan. I only ate a little bit of the fried sweet potato garnish, but that was awesome as well. It’s funny dining out by yourself, but I brought a book with me and was in and out in under an hour.

After dinner I ended up just going back to my room and watching Teen Mom 2 for way too long. I don’t know what it is about that show but I cannot stop watching. Ha.

This morning started bright and early, and I ended up making breakfast in the room to bring down to the course with me so I could eat it when I was ready.

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That;s a flatout wrap (from home – last one) with some pb flour mixed with water and a sliced banana.

Rolled up tortilla style…

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And transported in the flatout bag made for the perfect transportable 4 pt+ breakfast. I also have an apple with me to munch on when hunger calls.

Also, my favorite part of the hotel so far…

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A fruit infused water bar! This was towards the end of the night last night, so most of them are pretty empty, but there’s grapefruit, pineapple, orange, and honeydew infused water. It’s making it VERY easy to stay hydrated! Yesterday I had a cup of each flavor and decided the orange was my favorite.

The plan for today is that the course goes until 4:30pm and then I’m free for the night. I want to do a 3 mile run today so I might venture outside depending how warm it is when the course lets out, and then in search of some good eats!

Have you ever had fruit infused water? Any trashy TV shows you can’t help yourself from enjoying?

Top Tips for Staying Healthy on a Business Trip

First, some semi-exciting news. I was down 1.2 more pounds at weigh in yesterday, making my total 11.2 pounds lost in the 5 weeks back on the new Weight Watchers plan.  That means I only have 10.4 pounds left until my goal weight, and I’m more than half way done with the weight loss this go-round! I am SURE this is going to slow down sometimes soon, but for now, I’m enjoying the ride. 🙂

I’m currently on a plane to San Diego for work and will be there until next Tuesday, so what better time than now to have a refresher course about staying healthy while traveling for work!? I travel 4-5 times a year for my job for several days/a week at a time, so I am always looking for innovative ways to stay on track while traveling.

I used to take the complete wrong approach to trips and just splurge the whole time and not plan at all. Not only would I feel lethargic, bloated, and have no energy, but almost always I would come back 5 pounds heavier. While this is not the end of the world, 5 pounds, 4 times a year = 20 pounds a year. Not good.

While a lot of these tips can apply to travel for both work or pleasure, the main difference for me about staying healthy on a business trip v. a personal trip is that your time is not your own on a business trip. Sure, you’ll have a little bit of free time, but I have a schedule for the whole time I am there. I have a little extra time during the first few days, but then starting during the weekend, I am working from very early in the morning (6am) until late in the evening (8-10pm) with only a few breaks to eat. If I was traveling for pleasure, I’d definitely plan for a lot more flexibility with my days and squeezing in workouts, but that’s not the case for trips like this!

After doing some research as well as a lot of trial and error, here’s what I’ve come up with for the Top Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling for Work.

  1. Research the hotel and the area you are staying at.
    • See if your hotel has a gym/fitness center.
      • If there isn’t a gym, figure out some workouts you can do in your room without any equipment – like lunges, jumping jacks, squats, pushups, planks, sit-ups, etc. Do some research and print out a few workout options you can do to bring with you. You can get in some great circuits with these types of exercises and really break a sweat! Also, you can ALWAYS go for a run or walk outside which is a great way to see the city and get some activity in!
      • If there is a gym, make sure you bring everything you need to workout, including socks, sneakers, headphones, and workout clothes! The last thing you want is to find the time to workout and not have what you need to do it.
    • Check the hotel website to see if there are refrigerators and/or microwaves in the rooms.
      • Did you know that you can request a refrigerator in your room because of “dietary restrictions”? I called ahead and told them I needed it for that purpose and they are giving me one for the whole length of my stay free of charge!!
    • Research to see if there are any grocery stores in your area. There is a grocery store less than a half a mile from the hotel that I’m staying at, so I plan to head there almost immediately after I arrive to stock up.
      • If you have a fridge, stock up on nonfat milk, greek yogurt, babybel cheese or string cheese, hummus, baby carrots, or anything else you can think of that’s easy to eat on the go quickly.
      • Either way: Stock up on whole grain bread, oats, nut butter, whole fruit, dried fruit, granola bars, almonds/walnuts/nut of choice, or any other non perishables.
      • If there’s not a grocery store near you, or there are some specialty items you’re not sure if you will have access to, bring them with you. I packed peanut flour with a measuring spoon so I can mix it into oatmeal in the mornings for extra staying power.
    • Pick out a few restaurants you want to check out while you are there. You can even glance at online menus and come up with some healthy options so you don’t find yourself stranded/without a plan.
  2. What to Bring With You
    • Reusable Water Bottle. This one is essential. Empty it out before you go through security, and then fill it back up as soon as you are through. Having a reusable water bottle with you will help you keep drinking water throughout your trip and stay hydrated, whether you have time to work out or not.
    • Pantry Staples – Listed above, but its important. If there are special things you like and pretty much need (for me, peanut flour right now), make a little room in your suitcase to bring them with you. Granola bars, nuts, nut butter packets (single serving sized ones are perfect), etc.
    • Workout Clothes – If you don’t think you’ll have time to workout, still bring one set just in case. You’ll be very happy if you end up with some time you weren’t expecting!
    • Snacks – You never want to be hungry and have the cookies that they serve (speaking from personal experience!) as your only option for a snack. Not only will it not be satisfying, but you’ll crash! Top picks for me are almonds, granola bars, and whole fruit like apples and bananas.
    • Utensils and bowls/plates – This is a biggie for me. If you’re planning on eating any of your meals in your room, you need to have some silverware to eat it with! Even if you’re just going to have nut butter on bread, you’ll need a butter knife to spread it with. Think about this while you’re planning what to bring!
  3. Schedule in Workouts
    • I do this in my every day life and it helps SO much to actually schedule it in. As soon as I get my schedule for these trips, I look at when I’m free and where I might be able to squeeze a workout in. I have a lunch break on Friday for 1 hour, so my plan is to go to the gym and do the 5k pace run that’s on my training plan, take a quick shower, and be back within the hour.
    • If you don’t have any free time during the day, wake up 10 minutes earlier to do a few sit-ups, planks, jumping jacks, etc. You’ll feel so much more energized throughout the day.
  4. Plan for a Splurge.
    • This one is especially important for me. If I try to be “too good” during a trip, I’ll inevitably give up and throw in the towel and eat everything in sight. This one can correspond with researching restaurants in the area. Find the place you want to have your big meal out, and plan it for the last few days of your trip. Focusing on that will help you stay on track for the rest of your time there and not make you feel deprived.
  5. Set Realistic Expectations.
    • Realistically, you’re not going to be able to stay on track as much as you can at home where you’re in your normal routine and cooking your own meals. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting expectations that you can’t achieve. Hoping to workout every day you are there if you don’t have the time to will just cause disappointment. Instead, focus on making the best choices you can make, and squeezing in activity wherever and however you can.

Wow this list turned out longer than I thought it would, but the bottom line: be prepared.

Do you travel for work at all? What are your best tips for staying healthy while traveling (for work or pleasure)?

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