May 22, 2011 § Leave a comment
I feel relaxed and fulfilled, realizing how lucky I am to be able to say that I just traveled abroad to visit extended family in EUROPE. Just returned from a trip to Hamburg and Paris (oooh la la!) where I was able spend much-needed QT with family and explore both the historic and ultra modern parts of both cities. To describe my trip in one word – FREEING. It was my first vacation after almost EIGHT months (since my last week of time off) of intern insanity and not a singe two day weekend since that time. It was needed and well deserved.
The most remarkable part about all of this, keeping with the purpose of this fitness blog, is show how I managed to stay on track while enjoying traditional Afghan and European meals. I was actually terrified to go; I know my appetite and the fact that I was traveling to food & wine-rich places with opportunities to eat my way fat again was almost overwhelming. I am also proud to say that I come from a long line of talented cooks who know their ingredients and NEVER measure. While this is a blessing, it’s also hell for me because once I taste a morsel of well-made Afghan food, I find it almost impossible to control my portions. I was also going to spend a considerable amount of time with my cousins so I was fearful that we’d frequently go out to eat and that I’d have a hard time controlling my cravings from the flavor and lipid- heavy menu options. Point is that I didn’t think I had what it would take to control myself in Europe and basically didn’t trust myself to make smart decisions. Thankfully, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
My tactic once I arrived at Manchester airport: Simple, really. Just followed the Points system. I didn’t want to spend the money on an internet package for my phone so I picked up a few paper trackers during my pre-trip weigh-in.
- tracked EVERY SINGLE bite I ate. And I mean every, from each bit of cucumber to chocolate croissants
- I did NOT limit myself because I knew I deserved the hell out of this trip and I was not about to leave without tasting some things I had dreamed of, I just tracked each bite
- Walked almost everywhere, except taking flights, driving from one city to the next in which case we either took the train or my cousins drove
- made sure I had a bottle of water with me at all times and made sure to drink at least 3 daily
- told my cousins that I was trying to keep track of what I was eating (love my family but regardless of how Westernized my family is, all Afghans have the same habit when it comes to feeding your loved ones…they pile food on your plate regardless of whether you can eat it or not and love to buy snacks/food for you everywhere you go)
- made sure to keep some homemade trail mix with me just-in-case
- took the stairs where ever possible; train stations, museums, the Eiffel tower where I was determined to take all 669 stairs to the second level, and the hotel room in paris…which was on the 13th floor
- only had one dreamy cup of cafe while in Paris (I’ve been
poisoncoffee sober for almost 2 months! Living off of a daily venti iced unsweetened green tea. Coffee/espresso makes my stomach feel like i’ve released a piranha in it)
- wore comfortable, practical shoes so that I was able to get the most out of my trip without developing painful feet
How have you stayed fit while vacationing?
Here are a few tips to review (which I should have done before I went abroad) if you’re about to embark on a trip abroad:
March 21, 2011 § Leave a comment
It was a refreshing week for several reasons, allow me to share what I’m proud of. I feel in control of my weight, I feel better control over my clinical decisions and am developing some incredible confidence, and I’m totes proud of myself for finding time to work out regardless of the hell that is bestowed upon me at work daily. I also made time to get together with co-interns not once, but TWICE…a rare occurrence for us girls. I always like to make sure that my topics intra-post are related, so I should explain that my post this week integrates my weight loss, my time spent working off a few calories, and a recipe I concocted while taking some much needed MSFitMint time with my dear friends. Yay me!
My Calm in the midst of a torrential storm
Here’s one of the ways I’ve maintained my peace in the chaos at work – my co-intern and I slip away almost daily for a skinny latte with one of Starbucks’ new Mini’s. Crap, I just realized I was grossly underestimating the punch in WW points of the caramel squares….whoops!
Weight watcher’s update: LOST 1.2 lbs this week!
I thought I’d review what I did, logged my workouts on paper AND eTools. Writing my work outs on paper allows me to visualize how much effort I’ve been putting in, notice patterns (which I love, b/c I’m a compulsive ‘trender’…I like to see progress and crave a positive trend) and forces me to work out so I have something to write down. I’ve been logging on my P90x work out sheet which I never really found useful…pretty useful now! Not only did I log workouts, I also noted whether I was on, over or under WW points….and of course if I was on call. Four to five days of work outs per week ain’t too shabby for a crazy intern!
For over one week now I’ve been craving pizza – crispy crust with an oozing topcoat of fresh whole mozzarella…
Had a girls’ night with a few of my darling co-interns, one of whom (the hostess) made a mouthwatering white pizza which really got my recipe creating mind in a swing. I thought I’d make a lighter version, add more veggies, and add a sweet tanginess with sundried tomato pesto instead of generic tomato sauce, keeping with the “white pizza” requisite. OH! And while I made this gooey/healthy piece of perfection, I was drinking a STRAWBERRY ABITA, which is the bees knees. Light and fruity beer, one of my new favorites, and better yet, with only 11 carbs per 12 oz. serving it’s only ONE POINTPlus!
- spray a nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray
- spread pesto and alfredo sauce on flatbread
- arrange torn chicken
- layer veggies and feta
- pinch of black pepper
- add mozzarella and add a few light touches of the sundried tomato paste on the cheese
- Bake for approx 10 min
Reason I’m showing off all of this unhealthy food? B/c I ate like this and still managed to lose weight. I have a strong suspicion it was b/c of the work-outs. Glad I’m tracking.
What are you proud of this week?