Sunday, June 28, 2015

Vacation....plan to succeed~

Good morning!  Well, the time for our family’s annual week-long up-north ‘get-together’ has arrived along with the first 20 or so family members to invade the north woods for a week of food, fun, activity, and laughter. We have been gathering at the family camp “Pip’s place” since I was just a little girl (almost 45 years) and even though my grandparents and parents have long since passed away, the extended family continues the tradition every year. Typically we top out around 35 people from multiple generations!  This week would have been my grandpa “Pip’s” 100th birthday so we will begin the week today with an old-fashioned centennial picnic after Mass. We will don 1915’s clothing, play croquet, fly kites, and other picnic games.  Other days this week include a 60’s hippie day, redneck day, and Explorer day with a family scavenger hunt. Should be lots of fun if my body holds up and my RA gets settled down.

While weeks like this remind me of how blessed I am to have an extended family, it can be challenging to my one journey because my ‘schedule” is off-kilter (I might even have to stay up until dark for a campfire! LOL…but here I am up at 3:30 a.m. so we will see how that goes!!!) and I am surrounded by a lot of food, drink, and temping treats. We all have our day to cook for the group and other days are potluck style. I’ve managed to make it through these reunions for the past 4 years without giving in, but it takes a lot of determination and pre-planning. Sometimes it means just “leaving” the camp area to avoid the temptation. Mostly it is planning ahead and believing that it can be done.   I have put on 15 pounds since last summer but, believe it or not, it’s not because of eating the wrong foods…..I simply won’t even do that…but other factors like hormonal changes, increased steroids from the RA that is out remission, inability to walk/ride as much due to medical issues, and age….so it is even more important for me to be prepared for this week of eating/feasting/celebrating by planning ahead to succeed. 

Here are some ways I will do that…..and still partake in the festivities…..

Turkey burgers. While the rest enjoy cheeseburgers on the grill, I will make up some turkey burgers and eat one without a bun or even on one slice of 35 calorie bread.

Grilled chicken breasts….my brother will grill me up some plain chicken breasts for today’s chicken BBQ dinner

Lots of frozen vegetables stocked in freezer. Typically I cook a lot of fresh vegetables when I’m not on vacation, but popping a bag of frozen veggies in the microwave is quick and easy and fills the plate so I don’t have room for potato salad or macaroni salad (although I love them). Another tip is to make your salads using a plain yogurt dressing.

The 35 calorie bread works great for me for the big breakfasts. While others are eating Texas toast French toast, I can eat 3 pieces of that bread with sugar free syrup and still feel like I’m eating a treat for less than 200 calories.

Oscar Meyer (I think it is that brand) makes a 50 calorie hot-dog (not the turkey ones) and I’ll roast a few of those at some point this week over a campfire.

For potluck days… I’ll make low calorie dishes to pass so I know that there will be something I can eat and stay on track. I plan on having homemade chunky applesauce type dish in the crock pot sweetened with Splenda and cinnamon and cucumbers with sugar-free/fat free vinaigrette dressing.

Today, for centennial day I’ll be making root beer floats for the gang. They will love them…and I’ll partake by putting a vanilla Greek yogurt (80 calories) in the freezer later and picking up a bottle of diet root beer soda.  To me it will be a way to ‘participate” and not feel deprived.

And of course….lots of fresh fruit and WATERMELON!  I’ll likely eat watermelon at every meal.

My friends…the holiday weekend (in the USA) is coming up. YOU CAN go camping; you can go on vacation; you can celebrate and attend parties and picnics and STILL stay on track, but you must plan ahead. Don’t get caught without something ‘on plan” for you to eat. You won’t have any excuses if you plan ahead and be prepared.  You can do it!!!!