My husband and I just got back from from Vegas. We had a destination wedding there 5 years ago and visit a couple of times a year. One of our favorite things to do there is to visit the restaurants. I’ve been thinking about how our trips have changed as I have changed.
Our wedding 8/2013
Our first trip to Vegas, we were still eating a standard American diet. I ate ALL THE THINGS that first trip. Actually, the first several trips were like that. I remember having to buy bottles of Pepto because I would feel like crap pretty much the entire trip, from all the junk I would eat. We weren’t going to fast food places, either. We were going to nice restaurants. So much bread, dairy, and sugar!!
The past couple of trips have been after we became primal. There were a couple of meals on this trip that I had that were almost 100% primal and I felt good afterwards. But every single time I ate off-plan, I felt like crap within about 30 minutes. Sad to say, but I barely ate any vegetables, while we were there. I had dessert most days, splitting something decadent with my husband.
I was so happy to return home after this trip so that I could get back to my normal routine. At the airport, at 5 am (!!) I got an acai bowl for breakfast. That was paleo, albeit high in sugar; at least it wasn’t refined. After every trip, in a day or two after returning, it’s a struggle for me and the Sugar Dragon will hit hard. It always does after a period of off-plan eating. And it takes all of my willpower to not succumb to temptation.
Every once in awhile I think it is good to eat off-plan. It’s good for a hormetic response, one that shocks the body systems into working to make you better; a kind of reset, or jolt to the system, if you will.
I definitely feel like I went a little more crazy than I would have liked this trip, mainly because I didn’t feel good during the trip and that was kind of a black cloud hanging over me. I could have made better choices but I didn’t. I definitely made better choices than I would have in the past. But the main takeaway is to have grace with yourself and to enjoy life.
During brunch one day at Mon Ami Gabi at Paris (one of my favorites!), I got the quiche Lorraine and my husband got a veggie, potato, and sausage skillet and then we shared some decadent bananas foster waffles. In the past, I would have ordered that and eaten the entire thing myself. This time, while it did taste amazing, I was actually satisfied after just a few bites.
I try to not be too legalistic about what I eat. Sometimes I struggle with that, especially when I first became primal. I have a slightly easier time allowing myself some grace if I do want to eat off-plan. But I definitely do not find it as enjoyable as I once did. I used to live for our meals in Vegas and would eat whatever I wanted. But now I have realized that the seared tuna and brussel sprouts at a five star restaurant are still just as amazing as anything else there. I even ate broccolini for the first time ever!!!! Now for those who know me, I have a strong hatred for actual broccoli (that’s a story for another time). So trying this was a HUGE step. A friend ordered it and I tried some. So good. Another meal, we got sushi with some roasted brussel sprouts which were also amazing!!!
I am learning that I don’t have to sacrifice amazing food at the expenses of my physical well-being. I need to remember that how I feel when I eat off-plan versus when I stick to primal foods and make a more concerted effort to make better choices, and not want to eat all the junk food.
Another point is this: changing one’s lifestyle is difficult. It is a process that happens over time, not in the blink of an eye. As time goes on, I learn more about myself and work hard to align my actions with my healthy lifestyle values.
Just some random thoughts on a plane ride back to reality.