Today our Weight Watchers meeting had the topic of how to go on vacation without going off the rails.
Since Noel and I just returned from an eight day marathon run to Wisconsin and back to Virginia, and since we both lost weight (he lost 2 pounds; I lost 3.8), we had a lot to say about how to do healthy vacations. We are not perfect, but we found:
1) Keeping fruit, granola bars, and water in the car is an important move. Weight Watchers counts all fruit and most veggies as zero points. Go ahead and indulge. It won’t hurt you (unless you can eat your weight in fruit every day . . .). We also like to put some baby carrots in the cooler with our fruit.
2) Do stop at the regional places where everyone goes, even the chains. We love Culver’s and Steak and Shake in the Midwest, especially as we don’t have them near us in Virginia. But we go with a plan. I have not yet tried a shake at Steak and Shake, although my husband has. He still lost weight. We went to Steak and Shake twice this trip. The first time, I had a salad with chicken; the second time, a cup of vegetable soup. Both were very good and satisfying.
3) Don’t make vows that you won’t keep, like not eating dessert just because you don’t usually eat it back home. We attended the graduation ceremony at our son’s college in Wisconsin. Their culinary school made the cupcakes for the reception, so I had one. The two times we went to Culver’s, I had a small lemon ice, which tasted great and was a lower points alternative to a custard with mixins! At my parents’ house in Michigan, I let my mom serve me a half cup serving of her chocolate trifle two days in a row. Excellent stuff!
4) Salad is your friend, but so is soup. Along with the grilled chicken salads at Steak and Shake, Culver’s has some excellent salads with grilled chicken and fruit, too. I had one of those both times we went. Yet, eating only salad is a sure path to boredom and feeling deprived. So when we stopped at other places, I ate soup. A late night snack at Perkins during a sudden downpour led to me ordering a bowl of chicken noodle soup while my men got burgers. So did a late night visit to Cracker Barrel after we had our long day of driving through the mountains. Soup is good, especially when I am with my son and his first question is “Do you want your crackers, Mom?” The answer, for his entire life, has been “no.” He eats my crackers.
5) Cracker Barrel’s four vegetable sampler is the best thing going. Really! I ate it the other time we hit a Cracker Barrel on this vacation. A green salad, a sweet potato, green beans, breaded okra (indulgence, guilty pleasure!), and cornbread make for a very satisfying meal.
There are many ways to do vacations without gaining weight. Those are just a few tips from where we stand!