Long time no chat I know, but that’s because I’ve been on a wonderful 10 day vacation to Florida and New York City. Jesse’s (the amazing boyfriend of amazingness) wanted to do the east coast tour of his relatives in order to introduce me, and I happily obliged. However, perhaps of similar level of scariness to meeting the relatives was a whole other worry…. what to do about food, budgeting, and working out?
In the past, my vacations have been to my parents’ home in Wisconsin, or Jesse’s home in Portland. Both places have gyms that are very understanding to on the move travelers, and I have my running routes, routines, and plenty of other ways to make my muscles sore and my caloric intake high and healthy. People who are not understanding of a P3BG’s food needs, budget needs, and gym needs? Relatives you are trying to impress, boyfriends who plan phenomenal entertainment all vacation long, (go backstage Broadway or stay at the gym? Hmmmm) and hotels with pathetic weight racks. Why does no one ever have a squat rack? SERIOUSLY? Thus, I really, really needed to plan.
The first thing was trying to figure out how and when to work out. 2 hour weight sessions and runs are out because it’s vacation and it’s supposed to be relaxing. Yeah, about that. Anyway, also out was not working out at all. The compromise was an hour at the stupid hotel gym once a day. 15 minutes treadmill, 15 minutes biking on high resistance, and then 30 minutes of either arm or leg weights. 2 days out of the 10 Jesse and I went for a run to see the sights; the beach in Florida and Flushing park/zoo in New York. I only took off 2 days out of the 10, instead of my 1 after every 3, because there was no way I needed a recovery day after that warm up. The results? Back into my workout routine now and discovering not a lot of muscle strength loss, but fairly significant cardio and recovery speed losses. However, the bounce back is very fast. Two days in I saw my mile running intervals jump by 30 seconds and that’s only 30 seconds to go to be back in peak form. Within a week it looks like I’ll be back in the shape I was when I left. I also feel a lot less of the aches and pains that are the trademark of being a runner. I’ve heard rest time is good for you. I guess it is true!
The second thing was adjusting my diet. I eat a lot of carbs and a lot of protein. Not working out to the degree that I do meant that my diet needed to change and downsize. And how to do that when amazing restaurants were always right around the corner? And I can’t stand to order a salad? I mean really. What is more a waste of $10 than a spinach salad with raisins and walnuts? Been there, done that, I wanted to EAT. Luckily, I do not have the same aversion to vegetables cooked in other ways. On my 10 days of vacation I have never eaten more veggies and they have never tasted so good. A lot of restaurants now are very health friendly and also vegetarian friendly. Wrap that bean burger in collard greens and some wasabi carrot slaw? Yes please! No grains but a bowl full of roasted eggplant, carrots and zucchini with tofu and Ethiopian sauce? Yumm-ay! And eat half of Jesse’s sweet potato fries, of course. My three favorites have to be
And if you want some bomb gluten free chocolate cake, check out Jesse’s aunt’s restaurant!
A key I’ve found, completely on accident, it to look for paleo friendly places. Jesse is paleo, and so he can only eat meat, eggs, vegetables, and sweet potatoes (sucks right?). What this means though, is any place that is paleo friendly knows how to put the awesome into broccoli and collard greens. Trust me. I ate my heart out on this trip and lost 2 pounds. Let’s say only one is muscle mass.
But now what about budget you say? All those good veggies are expensive! To combat the cost of meals out, I did a couple time share presentations for free food vouchers and ate the crap out of free morning breakfast. Tip? Free morning breakfast can also be free lunch. Buy a container of peanut butter and take a couple of bagels up with you after the morning eggs and fruit and coffee. Voila free lunch! Of course I had no hope of sticking to my $50/week food budget. However, with the occasional free dinner from relatives, and vouchers plus hotels picking up the tab for breakfast and lunch (and Jesse helped a lot with food on the go as well!) I kept to my travel budget. All told, I spent about $200 on food for both Jesse and I. Plenty of money went elsewhere for Knicks memorabilia and rental car shenanigans, but for food for 10 days (in NYC no less!) that’s pretty good.
In summary, you can vacation, work out, eat good food, and not break the bank. Just make sure to bring your protein shake and some good company. You’ll do just fine.
This week in updates: A non-monogamous grocery relationship
Organic peanut butter is a real bitch. From $10 for a 3 week supply to $14 for a 2 week supply. And that is Safeway store brand! But it is satisfying to look at your groceries and realize how much good you are really doing. I admit to still going to Safeway. They do that thing where they artificially lower certain prices (like their organic grapefruit and salad greens) in order to get people to come into their store and shop there. Little do they know I only buy those particular products! Furthermore, some things are just necessary to buy there, like the organic peanut butter. Peanut butter at the natural co-op would be $30 for a 2 week supply. I’ll buckle down and take double the price, but I can’t afford triple for my nut needs. In theory this dual store shopping should work out, but I ran into difficulty this week trying to coordinate the budget between both stores. I forgot an item at Safeway, and thus ended up buying a few items there that I shouldn’t have; AKA Annie’s mac and cheese and some organic fresh cilantro. The result was that there was no room left in the grocery budget for a $4 pint of ice cream! Luckily I had some recreational money left in order to purchase my weekly dose of sugar and fat, but I still was a little disappointed in myself. I also got a slap in the face when I walked into the natural co-op, and saw Annie’s for about 50 cents cheaper per box, even though Safeway had a sale! Lesson learned Safeway. You won’t trick me again. Thus, if you want to start split shopping too, just really get to know both of your stores and what costs what where. Also plan ahead, so you are buying your most essential items first, and you won’t be surprised when you don’t have enough money at the second store.
In the meantime though, I have an amazing amount of fresh cilantro. Time to experiment! Expect some new recipes next week. 99 cents is doable on any budget!
The Recipe: Bare Burger Awesome Burger (what I ordered)
Order: Black bean burger
Wrapped in collard greens
Alfalfa and green leaf spinach
Two fried eggs
The sides: Wasabi carrot slaw (ask for extra wasabi if you really like wasabi) and a good helping of your significant other’s sweet fries
500-600 calories, 20-30 grams of protein, filling and delicious!