Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Real-Life Survival and Celebration on Vacation

Hubby and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary (today!) last week with a wonderful trip to the Boston area. We had five full days of eating out in one form or another, and I thought I'd cover some things that worked well for me without mentioning too much about getting off-track from nutritarian eating.

In my carry-on I had two clementines, two apples, a sandwich bag of almonds, and a sandwich bag of several types of dried fruit, plus a small bag of green grapes.  When I returned I had one of the apples in the car on the way home from the airport, and the other is still withering in the bag.  We had the citrus the first day, and most of the grapes (discarded the others), and a few pieces of the nuts and dried fruit through the days.  I liked the feeling of knowing I had these things for when other choices weren't good ones.

We found a grocery the first evening and I bought some nice peaches and a box of Hodgson Mill muesli, plus some strawberries, I think, plus a little jar of peanut butter and I think some crackers to put it on (we had such a good time I've forgotten!). I also got sugar snap peas and carrots combined in a little bag, and I kept them on ice. Even without a fridge in our room we had a little coffee maker, and for breakfast three days I added hot water to a little muesli and a cut-up peach and was good to go for many hours. The fourth morning our hotel (Best Western Plus Plymouth) provided breakfast (and I was out of peaches), so I had their lovely untreated melon fruit bowl with a boiled egg and a slice of whole wheat toast.

Don't trust the waitress or the chef. In one family-type Italian restaurant I ordered a veggie-strong chicken dish (and it did have a lot of veggies) but asked that it be prepared with as little additional oil as possible. No go. It was covered with sauce (kind of a garlicky one, but not an Alfredo). On the other hand, at Sam Diego's Plymouth I ordered a vegetarian burrito and asked that they omit the cream cheese inside and the cheese on the outside, and the chef took the clue and also left off the sour cream, giving me extra guacamole, I think. A nice touch!

Fish is often the best choice in a restaurant, if you can get it without added oil or as little as possible for the recipe.  At Legal Sea Foods at Long Wharf in Boston I had a deliciously light luncheon-portion Cajun-spiced pollock with diced mango, pineapple, and jicama, alongside asparagus and some jasmine rice.   Yes, I noticed that Legal Sea Foods had a "vegetarian box," but I was at Long Wharf in Boston on the first day of my anniversary trip! :-)  At The Franklin Cape Ann (which we kind of stumbled into when another great restaurant we'd enjoyed 18 months ago seemed to have disappeared) we shared the amazing Grilled Asparagus Salad and I got the Pan Seared Atlantic Haddock.  Only now as I look at the website do I see that they have a vegetarian menu, too.  If I were visiting again, I might try anything on that menu (though skipping the mozzarella salad).  On the other hand, they have an English pea soup listed there with both crispy bacon and creme fraiche!  So perhaps they don't know what they're talking about when they say "vegetarian."  Probably my favorite find as a nutritarian from the sticks (and an hour from the nearest Whole Foods Market) was the WF directly next door to the Cambridge church we visited on Sunday morning, so I experienced the "Whole Paycheck" phenomenon with a big salad bar container that cost me $15!  I couldn't finish it, but it was delicious and about 95% nutritarian.  That was nice. Now that I've mentioned just about every other place we ate, I have to mention Rang Indian Bistro in Stoneham. Gorgeous, delicious food, including Aloo Tikka Chat for an appetizer, and I think I got the Dal Makhani.

I'm glad I'm not a "drinker."  Hubby and I shared a glass of wine at one dinner and a glass of sparkling wine at another, and we even had a first for us and each had a mixed drink in a hotel lounge one late afternoon. I'm glad to have enjoyed these drinks but also glad to have them be so special and not a routine part of life. I have enough challenges with other calorie options out there!  Weight Maven has a good post on this idea of specialness here.

My eating degenerates over the days of a trip.  I start with the best of intentions and practices, and the availability of amazing fun foods and the celebration mentality kind of get to me.  So I had a wrap (grilled veggies with some cheese) sandwich in the airport on the way home, and a donut from the airport Dunkin Donuts afterwards, then both a Diet Coke (my first of the trip!) and salty packaged snacks on the plane. My last hurrah, I guess.  The scale was up a few pounds the first day home, but I'm thankful that just a week later I'm down a pound from when I left.  I'm especially thankful that because I eat mostly nutritarian I didn't have a lot of detox to go through upon my return to nutritarian eating.

It was fun, but it's good to be home!  Our grocery stores (even in the sticks) are paradises of produce compared to what's "out there" on city streets and in restaurants and airports!


  1. Hi Cindy! Found your blog on the ETL list...
    I agree with you - eating habits get worse over the days of a trip. I also always start out with the best intentions but my resolve slowly ebbs away as the days go on!
    Sounds like you did really well, though.

  2. Great inspiration, Cindy! I will be taking a road trip soon with my girls, from Austin to Myrtle Beach, to DC (and back!) - to visit my mom and my sister. It's not the driving that intimidates me - it's the food! Wish us luck... :-)

  3. Thanks, Amy. Julie Ann, enjoy your trip! My husband grew up in Florence, where you'll likely cross or get off of I-95 toward Myrtle Beach. Lots of places to eat right there, but nothing particularly healthy that I remember!


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