Making Good Choices While Tempted

Camping is fun. The campfires, grilling, snacks, BBQing, hanging out with friends–all fun things. It can also be a challenge for someone who is trying to make good food choices. Making good choices while camping can be easy though. Think about it: you are in complete control of what food you pack with you when you go camping.  You can bring bags of chips, Twinkies, hot dogs, etc or you can bring some healthier options too.

I like to think I bring the best of both worlds: I made a half batch of chocolate chip cookies to take camping. I also bought bratwursts, some healthier chip options plus healthy things like tomatoes and zucchini from our garden. I’m really happy with the food I ate during the weekend I was in the woods.

For dinner on Saturday night, I ate lots of healthy foods. Charles grilled up chicken drumsticks and corn on the cob for dinner. I love camping food! He made the chicken two ways, BBQ and ones with an herb rub.

I ate two BBQ drumsticks and one herb chicken plus one ear of corn on the cob.

The downfall of my food choices were liquid calories, of course. I drank two glasses of vodka mixed with sparkling water. I know two isn’t the end of the world and I don’t feel bad about them. I drank beer the second night. I enjoyed the downtime with friends, chilling in the woods and chatting around a campfire.

Erika brought s’mores fixings. She had these jumbo sized marshmallows (90 calories each). I should have taken a photo of how gigantic these were! We sat around the campfire and made s’mores both nights. I made myself one s’mores each night. They were so big that one was enough. I felt satisfied with my choices.

Breakfast both days were healthy and normal–eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, tomatoes.

Sunday night for dinner Michael and I made everyone bratwursts. I also sliced up our zucchini and Charles grilled the zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper. I also made us salads. (No photos of that, I just forgot.) They also grilled up some burgers (which I skipped because the brats and veggies were enough for me).

I don’t regret anything I ate over the weekend. I made some healthy choices, I made some bad choices (beer and mindless chip snacking). It’s all part of living. Plus I balanced it out with exercise.

I went trail running, I did a lot of walking, plus the Adventures Package. Including some sort of fitness (even if it’s just walking) makes me feel better about myself, my choices and my body. I like to move, I like to keep busy. My body feels happier when I get in some activity.

The important part is to also not beat myself up about the food choices I made. Even though I had no cell service in the woods, I was still able to count my calories over the weekend. I wasn’t die-hard about counting. But having a number in the back of my head definitely made me think, “Do I really want another s’mores? Or is one enough?” I told myself I would wait 15 minutes to decide if I wanted a second. And it turned out, I didn’t want a second one.

I like that I can find balance and moderation in my life without feeling like I denied myself anything. I definitely don’t feel like I missed out on anything because I didn’t bring junk food.

QUESTION: Are social situations like camping/BBQ’s and potlucks stressful for you? How do you balance out the temptations and the fun?


I Had a Drinking Problem

I used to have a drinking problem.

I drank my calories. All. Day. Long.

If I had to make a list of the top three things that contributed to me gaining over 100 pounds it would be in this order:

  1. No Activity.
  2. Drinking My Calories.
  3. No Portion Control.

I’m going to describe a typical day of drinking in the old days. I’d wake up and I always had a big glass of orange juice with my breakfast (plus milk on my cereal).

I wasn’t having just a single serving either. I poured it into a big pint glass, which is probably two servings. Calories: 250.

I also drank a lot of the Lipton’s Sweetened Iced Tea. Like a lot. Maybe 3 a day? They were so sweet, I loved them. I sucked them down like they were water. 16 ounces was 140 calories x 3 = 420 calories.

I liked to get coffee in the morning on my way to work. But I wasn’t a huge fan of coffee itself so I loaded it with sugar. My favorite was a grande white chocolate mocha with caramel syrup and whipped cream.  Calories: 500 or so.

I drank a lot of soda too. On weekends I could drink  four a day. I usually had a soda with dinner. Dr. Pepper and Sprite were my favorites.

A can of Dr. Pepper is about 150 calories. Say I drank three in a day (sometimes one right after another). Calories: 450.

If was going out to a bar with friends, my drink of choice varied but it was often a strawberry daiquiri (with whipped cream of course) or a White Russian. Calories: 300.

And of course when you are at a bar with your friends, eating fried food and feeling good, you don’t just have one drink. Maybe two or three? Estimate that evening at over 1,000 calories just for the liquids. Have you noticed that I’m not drinking any water??

Another favorite was the Vitamin Water. Not real water, but sugar water. My favorite flavor was the dragonfruit. Calories: 150.

I haven’t even gotten to my snacking habits. I ate a lot of candy bars. Butterfingers and 5th Avenue bars were my absolute favorite. And you can’t enjoy chocolate without a big glass of cold milk. They went hand in hand for me.

I’d estimate the milk to be about 200 calories a glass.

That’s a lot of drinking! The above calories total 2, 270! No wonder I was developing diabetes! That’s more calories than what I currently EAT nowadays.

Boy have things changed. I started making small changes in the beginning. When I started counting my calories to stay under 2,000 a day I was shocked at how fast it added up when I drank my calories. I put an end to that.

  • I stopped drinking juice. Completely.
  • I switched to diet soda.
  • No more high calorie alcohol drinks.
  • No more coffee/candy drinks!

The changes I made worked. I saw a difference. I FELT a difference. I lost the weight!

How am I different now? I try to avoid any liquid that has calories. I prefer sparkling water or regular water. I drink unsweetened ice tea. Once in awhile I drink diet soda but not very often because I don’t like how it feels. The only time I ever drink juice now is when I am sick. I drink plain old black coffee with a little bit of creamer in it.

I do drink things with calories in them. I have a glass of milk with dessert on occasion but it’s not an every day thing. I drink wine. I drink beer. Again, in moderation and not everyday. Writing down all the calories I consumed in liquid form is pretty shocking to me. It’s hard to believe I did that for so long.

QUESTION: How many calories a day to you consume in drinks?