Monday, June 18, 2012

Best Laid Plans

I've been mentally writing this post for a day or so now and I'm not quite sure where to begin or how to proceed. I knew that this would be a challenging weekend for me in terms of healthy choices. I attended a conference all day Thursday so I knew my food choices would somewhat be dictated by the conference planners. And then Thursday evening through yesterday morning, my parents were in town for a visit. Again, I knew this would mean that I couldn't work out like I normally do and that I'd be eating out way more than I normally would have. Then my body threw me a curveball and had me dealing with a stomach virus all weekend!

Thursday I brought lots of snacks to the conference, which is good advice for anyone in a similar situation. I brought a mini Luna bar for a mid-morning snack, an apple to accompany my lunch, and a high calorie protein bar just in case there were no vegetarian options for lunch. I also brought one of my regular fruit and nut bars for an afternoon snack. I'm glad I brought so much with me. They had a decent breakfast table but I'd eaten before. It was hard to resist a granola & yogurt parfait with fresh strawberries though! For mid-morning snacks they had pound cake, and the afternoon snack was cookies. For lunch I was able to get a veggie burger so I had that with some vegetarian baked beans and my apple. Planning ahead made a big difference in my day. I also made a point to take to dog on a mile walk when I got home before going out to dinner.

For dinner we took my parents to a restaurant called Lotus that we like. It has sushi and Asian/Southern fusion cuisine. I had a veggie roll and their tempeh spring rolls. The tempeh spring rolls were okay, I peeled off all the fried spring roll dough though. My partner had grouper that looked amazing if you like fish. 
I'd been queasy all day Wednesday and Thursday, and Thursday night into Friday morning was a little rough for my stomach. I was confused at first because I knew I didn't eat anything especially rich or out of the norm. I should have realized then that I had something working on me but I didn't!

I had planned to run Friday morning but decided not to after the night I had. My parents came over and I made breakfast, my usual for me and egg & cheese sandwiches for them. Then we went to a local botanical garden and spent the morning there taking a million pictures. We stopped at a farm stand on the way to Charlotte and I got lots of good produce for the weekend/week. In Charlotte we went to a place called Crisp for lunch. They had a build your own salad option with a Moe's/Chipotle style salad line. I had a tofu salad with artichokes, cucumber, carrots, chickpeas & onion. It was delicious and I'd like to go back when I'm feeling better. After a quick Trader Joe's run we went home and rested for a few hours.

For dinner I grilled corn, zucchini and tofu Italian sausage plus a veggie burger for my partner who can't stand Italian sausage. I also cooked peppers and onions on the stove with red wine vinegar and spices for the sausage. It was delicious but clearly the wrong choice for my stomach! I woke up Saturday (after another night getting up frequently) with pain in my stomach like I've never had before. It hurt less when I was sitting/curled in a ball/bent over than if I was walking or standing. That lasted all day. I still took my parents to the outlet mall because we all had things we needed to shop for. For dinner we went to Thai House, another local favorite restaurant. I ate vegetarian rice noodle soup and a steamed spring roll. After rushing home for my stomach I realized that it wasn't just something I'd eaten and I tried to take it easier with food yesterday.

We had breakfast at Cracker Barrel for Father's Day and I got multigrain pancakes with no syrup, butter or sugar. I think our server thought I was crazy but I've learned it's important to ask for things how you want them in restaurants to save on calories and make smarter choices. My parents left from there and we came home to rest and do the normal Sunday chores. I ate an almond butter sandwich for lunch, then brown rice for dinner. It's hard for me to eat plain meals that I know aren't balanced, even though I also know it's what my body needs. My stomach still hurts a bit today but so far no trips to the bathroom. I took the day off work so I can make sure I'm really better, but I'm still eating plain today. I hate that I haven't been able to exercise but I'm sticking to my mantra that listening to my body is the most important thing I can do.

Along that note, I started reading "Veganist" by Kathy Freston yesterday and so far it's a little hokey and preachy but it backs up a lot of other things I've read. One of the main points she makes is about mindful eating, and that's really what I'm working toward. She also claims that eating plant based diets frees you from counting calories, so we'll see if I can make that a reality for myself. I don't know that I can go completely vegan, but I've been considering cutting down on or possibly removing dairy from my diet. I'm hoping her book will give me some insight.

I'll leave you with some food pictures from the weekend.

Grouper at Lotus

Tempeh Spring Rolls with jasmine rice and baby bok choy at Lotus

Tofu salad at Crisp

One of our banana pepper plants, I can't wait for more vegetables to grow!!

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