Post Labor Day Recovery

Since I started Crossfit over a month ago, I’ve been trying to eat better. I large part of the Crossfit program is the Paleo Diet, which is based on eating foods that our Paleolithic ancestors ate.  Basically you eat like the hunter gathers ate with a diet consisting of natural, unprocessed foods.  You can eat lean meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits and nuts, which means all the super tasty things like grains, wheat, dairy and sugar are off limits.  I’ve been trying to follow the Paleo about 70-80% of the time and I think it was instrumental in helping me to lose pounds and inches this past month.  I have more energy and feel much less bloated when I’m eating clean like this.

Enter Labor Day weekend.  B and I traveled down to NJ to visit my Dad and Stepmom (Hi!) and sit by the pool for the last time this summer.  Their house has always been a true test of willpower for me and as usual I failed.  They are both amazing cooks and love to use all of the ingredients that are on the “no go” list for the Paleo Diet.  The house is full of temptation: cheese, chips, ice cream, cake, you name it!

We arrived to find a delicious Arroz con Pollo cooking away on the stove and I knew I was already in bad shape.  Then the cake came out of the fridge.  It wasn’t just any cake, but my FAVORITE kind.  Yellow cake with a ganache filling and a chocolate buttercream frosting.  Oh yes…I dug in!

Evil, yet so tasty!

The next morning I went for a 4 mile run to burn off that dinner and also in anticipation of all of the food yet to come for the weekend.  I was having trouble finding something to fuel me for the run.  There were no bananas, no almonds, not even whole wheat bread to slap some peanut butter on, so I ended up having a bowl of Cheerios with whole milk and a spoonful of peanut butter.  I also popped a Gu before I went out just in case.  It was so nice to have a new area to run since I’m getting kind of bored around my house.  Look at this gorgeous tree lined (and shaded!) road 🙂

I downed a protein shake and immediately jumped in the pool to cool off after my run.  After about an hour in the pool, I was famished.  Turkey club sandwiches anyone??  Another weakness of mine!  Of course the only bread in the house was good ole white bread, which I slathered some mayo on and went to town.  Yes, I probably could’ve made a nice turkey club salad with a good balsamic dressing, but that didn’t even cross my mind.  I was too excite about the deliciousness of this sandwich.  Bring on the wheat!

The Dreaded Turkey Club

So I’m sure you can see where this is going.  The beginning of a serious food bender.  After a lazy afternoon, we moved onto dinner and I made a healthy slaw of savoy cabbage, kohlrabi and carrots with an apple cider vinaigrette.  This went really well with the BBQ ribs we had.

Ribs, Slaw & Jersey Tomatoes

What this picture doesn’t show is the generous helping of potato salad and corn slathered in butter that I had.  Oh yeah and another piece of cake for dessert…ugh.

Moving on to breakfast, my Dad made his famous pancakes and of course I couldn’t turn those down.  I’m not sure what he does, but he makes the fluffiest, most delicious pancakes ever!  I spent about another hour in the pool doing laps later in the morning before it was time to head home.  Had to get some exercise in there!

I rounded out my horrific weekend of food with tacos, corn and rice & beans at my favorite joint, bartaco, on the way home, and then a nice bacon cheeseburger the following night.  Needless to say, I woke up on Tuesday feeling like absolute crap and like my body was rebelling against me.  All that hard work out the window!  My face began to break out and I was seriously bloated.  I was having trouble getting my rings on and off!  Let the detox begin…

Yesterday I got back into my routine and stuck to the Paleo Diet all day.  I started with my favorite smoothie and had a delicious lunch at Whole Foods.  They had a mango slaw with cabbage, bell pepper and red onion that I added some grilled chicken, greens, almonds and sprouts to…yummy and filling!

Whole Foods Lunch

I relaxed for most of the day and made a ton of homemade tomato sauce (info on sauce fest to follow this weekend!) and then headed to Crossfit for my first non On Ramp class.  It was a good class and it felt really good to sweat all that crap out.  I sported my new FitFluential tank to give me that extra push 🙂

Why do front facing iPhone photos always come out so grainy?!?

Last task for the day was to make a good dinner.  I roasted a whole chicken with potatoes, carrots and onions from my CSA and paired that with a tomato and bell pepper salad.  I know I’m not supposed to have potatoes, but I had to try 2.  I left the rest for B and mostly ate the carrots.  This is one of my favorite dishes!

Roasted Chicken…nice and golden brown!
Tomatoes & Peppers

Instead of making a heavy gravy, I topped the chicken with some of my tomato sauce.  It was kind of sad to leave all of those yummy brown bits in the pan, but it was for the best.  There is something about eating fresh, local foods that always makes me feel better.  By the end of the night, I felt rejuvenated and my body was thanking me for taking it easy.

Even though I felt like total crap for a few days, sometimes I feel the need to splurge.  It helps me appreciate how good healthy eating actually makes me fell.  I know what the side effects will be from eating poorly, but sometimes sharing good food with your family is just as important as sticking to a diet.  Next time we visit, I will probably be more inclined to bring my own snack foods to tide me over so as to not eat so much of the “bad” stuff.  Bananas, almonds, almond milk for coffee, etc…  Then I won’t feel so bad when I splurge a little.  The holidays are coming, which you know are full of cookies and butter, so I need to be prepared.

Do you ever go on a food bender?  How do you recover?

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  • even though you splurged a bit at your parents house, congrats on being healthy and eating right most of the time! and congrats on losing some weight and feeling good! I feel like I “know” what to do when it comes to eating right, it’s just a matter of “doing” it! LOL. Sounds like you’re back on track now but I’m wondering.. when you get to WDW are you going to allow yourself to eat anything you want or are you setting some limits?

    • Thanks Marci! That’s a good question…
      Before the race, I will probably try to stay away from wheat and dairy as much as I can. But considering it’s Food & Wine, I will probably splurge A LOT! It’s my favorite event in WDW and I don’t want to deprive myself too much 🙂 I’m glad I went though the menu to do those post on the healthy options so I can make better choices.

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