Vacation – Don’t Let Your Goals Get Derailed

May 2015 vac - train

(A precious grandparent moment – taking 2-year-old Caden on his first big train ride. I’m not sure who was more excited – the child or the adults?)

Summertime is made for vacations.  Back in May, I had a wonderful getaway with my family.  It was extra special because we haven’t had a chance to have this experience with our now grown children in many years.  Going places, sharing new experiences, laughing and being away from the normal routine is good for us.  I hope you’ve had a chance to get away or have a plan in mind soon.

 At the time of our vacation, I was 4 months into using the 21-Day Fix Program and was seeing results.  I wondered how this time away would translate with the new lifestyle habits regarding nutrition and fitness I had been implementing.  I ended up having a good experience while away.  Here are my insights about how not to get derailed with taking care of yourself when you are away from home.

Remember the week before vacation will customarily been busy.  

 I created checklists to help me get things organized:

What needs to be done before I leave in regards to my home?

  • Mail, garbage, newspaper, plants watered, animals, clean out fridge, etc.

What needs to be done before the trip?

  • Packing list (clothes, medications, exercise equipment, electronics, chargers, workout DVDs, food, tickets, money, etc.)

vac2015-view from condo
(This was the view from our condo in Oceanside – it was perfect.)

I asked myself what did I want to experience when I came home from vacation.  Would I remember that I had a vacation experience but I was still on course with my goals or would I regret some of the decisions I made in regards to my fitness and nutrition.Okay – so now it was time to test myself –

  • After 4 months, did I have a diet or a new lifestyle mentality?  A diet often has an end date attached to it – we think once I reach this weight or wear this size clothing I’m done and then we are right back to where we started.  But a lifestyle change is different – it’s action incorporated in wherever our life is – even on vacation.
  • I decided before vacation what I wanted to happen when I got home.  I envisioned where I wanted to be when I took my stats (weight and measurements) at the end of the 3-week challenge group which happened to land on my last day of my vacation.  I was down 3 lbs the day before we left.  I decided I’d give one of those pounds away during vacation but wanted to strive toward a 2 lb weight loss.  What I didn’t want to happen was to take several steps backward in my journey. 

Chocolate Banana Almond Smoothie
Chocolate Banana Almond Smoothie Recipe

So now I needed to determine how I was going to make that happen..

  • I took my Shakeology with me because it is a portable and is a delicious meal replacement. This helped offset the occasional treat food and give me balanced nutrition.
  • I packed nuts in individual baggies – again because they are portable.
  • We were driving so I packed some sliced cooked chicken, cut up veggies, and fruit.
  • I researched restaurants before we arrived and decided ahead of time what I would order.  I usually ate half of what was served. 
  • I took my 21-Day Fix portion containers with me to be used when I wasn’t at a restaurant.  Happily I realized that the 4 months of practicing this system had cemented into my mind and I was able to portion out my food without them most of the time.
  • I ate several of my favorites but modified what the restaurant wanted to serve me.  For instance I love Fish and Chips (mainly the fish) so when I ordered it, I ate all my fish, 10 french fries and substituted the coleslaw for a side salad with oil and vinegar and you know what?  I was just fine with that.  Eat mindfully – choose your favorites and determine how much you will eat.  It may taste awesome but it won’t be awesome if you have to live with the results for months to come.
  • I chose iced tea or water instead of alcohol for several reasons – it doesn’t work well with my Interstitial Cystitis.  A glass of wine or beer isn’t worth several days of pain plus it gives me the munchies and I tend to overeat and that isn’t going to support my goals.
  • I brought my laptop and used Beachbody on Demand for my workouts (I forgot my dvds – very glad to be able to stream my workouts) and a set of 8 lb weights.  Don’t have weights – use 2 water bottles or 2 cans of vegetables.
  • Drink Water and then drink more water – we should be drinking ½ of our body weight in ounces.  For example a 160 lb person would drink 80 ounces of water a day.  I found this the most challenging.  I would get busy having fun and forget.  Take your favorite water bottle with you.
  • If you are staying somewhere where you have a kitchen, take a few easy to prepare recipes.  Spend a few minutes shopping and cooking so you have nutritious food to eat while away.  This will also save money.  Pumpkin Turkey Chili is a great choice.  You can even premeasure your spices at home and put them in a ziplock bag.  
  • Yes –  I had desserts – caramel cheesecake, crème brulee and a flourless chocolate cake with coconut sorbet but each time one dessert was ordered and shared with multiple people.  
  • I did my workouts early each morning before the day got started and I could find 10 reasons why I didn’t need to do it.  I decided before vacation that my workouts were non-negotiable.  It was 30 minutes and I’m worth 30 minutes.  I’m fortunate I have a supportive family but we can often find ourselves with others that aren’t on the same journey as us.  Not everyone is going to be your cheerleader.  Be true to your values and goals – you just don’t know who you might inspire.  
  • I stayed connected to my support system (challenge group – women who have like minded fitness goals).  What a help to know they were available on line so I could document my progress and look to them for encouragement when needed.
  • Stick to your eating routine as much as you can…Breakfast, AM Snack, Lunch, PM Snack, Dinner, Evening Snack.  Eating nutritious – real food left me content and satisfied.  We were in California so I allowed myself an extra serving of fruit.  Oh why oh why can’t the fruit in Arizona taste like the fruit in California?
  • I created a self-made calendar so I could map out my workouts before I ever went on vacation.

        vac2015-Evan and Rhi (We celebrated my son’s birthday by going to Stone Brewery for lunch, tour and dessert. The food was amazing as well as the memories. The engaged couple will soon be Mr and Mrs in a few short months.)

May 2015 Vac - Family
(One last picture before we hit the road home. I have learned over the past few years how important it is to take time to vacation, to build memories. It’s not just about what’s happening during the time away but about the joy you have in dreaming about beforehand and being able to carry those times with you afterwards.)

When vacation was over I am happy to say that I was down 2.4 lbs and this experience encouraged me that I’d be ready for the next get away.

These are my latest before and after photos.   I forgot the “t” in strength but I decided not to take the time to fix it because I continue to learn it doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.

 Feb - June 2015 Before and After Pics
I keep making progress – you can too. (Getting close to 15 lbs and 20 inches gone since Feb 16, 2015) We are halfway through 2015. Make the second part of this year time you build strength and learn to fuel your body with nutritious food. The next challenge group starts on August 3rd.  For more information on how you can get started working toward your healthy lifestyle goals, please fill in the form below and I will personally contact you.  The decision is the hardest part. I am here to help you.

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Lemon Broiled Chicken

There is time management wisdom in doing the same task repeatedly at one time – one mess – many uses in the future.  It reminds me of  squirrels gathering nuts for the winter ahead.  

Lemon Broiled Chicken

Today I was a bit of squirrel.  I went to Sprouts and purchased 2 packages of skinned chicken breasts which give me 8 large breasts – $15.00 total.  By the time I was done, I had 15-3oz ziplock bags of sliced chicken for the freezer, 1-2cup bag of shredded chicken for a soup, stew or chili in the future and two breasts for the grill later in the week.  Not bad for less than $20.00.

There are many ways to cook chicken and use this principle but here is my broiler version.

Lemon Broiled Chicken
An easy way to prepare chicken
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Prep Time
35 min
Prep Time
35 min
  1. 6 Chicken Breasts
  2. 1 Lemon
  3. 1 Tbsp Salt
  4. 1 Tbsp Pepper
  5. 1 Tbsp Garlic Salt
  6. 1 Tbsp Lemon Pepper
  1. Heat oven to Broil (high)
  2. Line bottom of broiler pan with foil
  3. Spray top broiler pan with nonstick spray
  4. Mix seasonings in bowl.
  5. Trim fat, etc from breasts (don't throw away - place in water in a pan, boil, cover and simmer until tender. Then drain through colander and cool until chicken can be removed from these remnant pieces)
  6. Place chicken breasts on prepped pan. Squeeze one half of lemon on top and sprinkle with seasonings.
  7. Broil for 15 - 20 minutes (golden brown) Remove from oven carefully - the juices are starting to collect in the bottom and you don't want to get burned.
  8. Turn over. Squeeze other half of lemon on top and season.
  9. Broil for 15 - 20 minutes (golden brown) Test for doneness by cutting through a piece.
  10. Let cool and slice into portion control bags and place freezer Ziplock.
  1. Provides 15-3 oz Ziplock bags and 1-2cup shredded chicken.
  2. Note: You can always just throw away the trimmings but my grandma taught me to utilize as much of an ingredient as possible.
Adapted from Pillsbury Cookbook - 1980
Adapted from Pillsbury Cookbook - 1980
Deliciously Inspired

Peeling an Orange (Nature’s Candy)

Sometimes it’s the simple things that make life brighter – having the right tool in the kitchen, finding the right word to speak to help someone understand what you are feeling,  just taking the time to realize that you are standing in a place of beauty and nothing is expected of you in that moment except to BE or learning an easy way to peel an orange. 

First  – you’ll needed an orange.

Orange - Whole2

 Second – cut off the ends of the orange.

Orange-Cut Ends

 Third – Make 5 or 6 gentle cuts through the orange with a sharp knife.

Orange-Score and Peel

 Fourth – Peel sections and Enjoy Your Orange.

Orange-Ready to Eat

A few facts about an average orange – 60 calories, 1 gram of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 120% Vitamin C.

Maybe this picture will help you take a moment and picture yourself in a place of beauty, a place that invites you to just Be and remember that life has simple moments.

2013 Vac - Point Reyes Trail - Forest