A Vacation in Santa Cruz:Vacation Through Food

After P90X and Max 30
I like to eat. I like to eat new food. I also like to drink....a lot. But I have made a lot of progress this year on my nutrition and fitness goals and did not want them to go down the drain when we went to Santa Cruz this weekend. It was a trip without the kiddo, which usually means mimosas, breweries, and cocktail hours along with yummy food. I mean, hey if we can go to a place that does not have a kids menu, I want to do it.

The first thing I did was commit to eating my standard oatmeal breakfast and keep up with my 30 minute workouts. I chose new workouts from Beachbody on Demand that did not require any equipment. Max 30 did the trick. James was in the next room doing P90X3 workouts. Different rooms, different workouts, but we both got what we needed.

Lulu's Hot Chocolate for James
Then, I ate my oatmeal with apples and coconut oil. It was already cooked and packed from my prep work on Sunday. It kept me from putting crap inside by body first thing and I felt good about myself. It was a boost of self confidence that helped to propel me to make good choices later in the day. 

I refused to give up on my "vacation coffee" with real cream and sugar, but demanded it be the best. One of my general rules in life is NOT to eat at a national chain if a local place is available. Each morning I searched out a new, local coffee spot with something for James to eat. There, I would sip my decadent vacation coffee, beg "Just one bite!" from James, and think about our intentions for the day. I was never disappointed with the coffee I found. Chill Out Cafe and Lulus, provided decadent breakfast for James and yummy coffee for me.

Most of our mornings and mid mornings were spent doing one of three things. Walking in and out of random stores, bicycling around, or laying on the beach with a book. Not terribly active, I know. I am not the "Lets go run the Boston Marathon for fun on vacation" kind of girl. Nope I want a good book, warm sand, and no time restrictions.

We packed our own beach snacks. I packed fruit, baked chicken from home, and carrots to dip in hummus. James had some cheese, jalapeno salami, and crackers. The food kept us from becoming starving while down at the water and kept me tied over until our late lunch. It also kept me from over eating at a restaraunt. I didn't bring the whole package of crackers or cheese. Instead, we brought just enough for one serving.

Our "New" to us tandem. Bought on our way out of town!
Later in the afternoon, we invariably found ourselves riding our tandem
down to bars and restaurants looking for something to drink and eat. This was tricky for me because I like to drink (did I already say that?). Drinking usually means something sweet and full of calories. Plus, I know how toxic booze is. Our bodies try to get rid of it before anything else, So any food you eat while drinking does not get dealt with until all of the booze is gone. Usually, this means that the calories from food turns into extra weight by the end of your vacation.

Cocktail hours proved to be my biggest challenge. What I ended up doing was ordering a lot of ceviche, which I love, and trying new things that included fresh vegetable ingredients or lean protein. I forgot anything fried, covered in butter, and bread. At one place, we ordered the ceviche and spicy edamame. I had to ignore the salt content and accept that some water weight would come on. I chose infused vodka martinis or mixed drinks with fresh fruit squeezed in over sugar laden mixes. I had to accept in those moments that I would gain weight. The alcohol calories did nothing for me in terms of my long term goals, I was making a choice.
infused vodka

I did indulge in another favorite, ice cream. I am a sucker for a super creamy, gourmet scoop. This means that (much to James' disappointment) I do not indulge in chain ice cream like Baskin Robbins or Cold Stone. If I am going to do it, it has to be creamy, fresh, and unique.

We tried Mission Hill Creamery and were not disappointed. The ice cream was delicious and worth every calorie and bite.They have small 2 oz scoops.You know how the first few bites are always the best? The first few bites is all you get with a 2 oz scoop! Plus it came with a yummy waffle cone slide on top. So I could forgot the additional calories of a full on waffle cone.

  The biggest surprise of the vacation came one day at Pizza My Heart. I leaned over to look at the salads and saw a Caprese salad with the cutest, yummiest looking tomatoes, oil and vinegar, and Pesto. James ordered a slice of  meat pizza.The salad was refreshing and the tiny container of pesto had that bit of olive oil fattiness that made me swoon. Before long, I realized I had had only one bite of James' pizza and was too focused on my caprese to bother begging for more. I didn't miss the pizza.

The biggest thing I did differently to ensure not gaining a ton of weight or bringing vacation habits back with me, was to immediately start prepping for my week when we returned. Before walking in the door, I threw the first load in the washer.

Then, I hit the kitchen. I prepped my breakfasts for the week and started to thaw chicken while James ran to the grocery store. We ate turkey burgers for lunch and I had a chicken salad for dinner.

Vacation is not technically over, but why do more damage? All I wanted to do was sit down, drink some water, and watch tv. Tomorrow I will be glad I didn't.