Taking a Vacation with the Cooking Light Diet
I took a vacation on my vacation, y'all.
My commitment to strictly following the Cooking Light Diet for 6 weeks didn't exactly fall flat on its face when I travelled to Denver last week for a little R&R. But I did take my foot off the gas. I blame craft beers. Craft beers, I hate you. [Craft beers, I'll never really hate you…]
In all seriousness, four of the seven pounds I lost have now been gained back. And I know exactly why. Yes, craft beer takes a lion's share of the blame. There are sooo many good craft breweries in Colorado. But I also wasn't diligent in following the plan. I snacked incessantly. I "took liberties" at airport restaurants (AKA alcohol paired with buffalo wings and bleu cheese). I ate a lot of ice cream. I took meals off—not many, but enough—instead of cooking delicious food that I knew would be better for me.
In short, I made dumb food decisions. BUT, I learned several valuable lessons. And I want to share them with you!
1. Don't guilt yourself out of enjoying vacation. I felt bad at first when I veered from the plan, like I was stepping out on my CLDiet. Though, in hindsight, I have no idea why. It's perfectly okay to indulge from time to time. The real problem is excess. But when you're on vacation, which is essentially a break from your reality, it's fine to treat yourself. I knew what I was doing, and I also knew that I could get back on track when I got back to Birmingham.
2. Make smart decisions when indulging. I had a big dinner, so when I got to the concert I only drank water instead of going for beer.
3. Moderation is key. I knew this before vacation, but it really comes into sharper focus once you realize you've just had your fifth craft beer of the day and it's not even 4 p.m. yet. Indulge, but don't overindulge.
4. Cook for your friends & family. It's incredibly satisfying. I enjoyed a lot about my Denver trip—the scooter rides, the Red Rocks show, the mountain air, the time spent scratching my Halo itch, and so on. But probably the thing I enjoyed most was taking these Cooking Light Diet recipes and cooking them for Vincent and Jana, my friends and gracious hosts. All the meals I cooked were ones I'd never tried before, so it was exciting and a little nerve-wracking as I toiled in the kitchen, hoping I'd picked meals they'd enjoy. And it was both gratifying and cathartic when we all sat down at the table and dug in. They loved the food, and the notion that I could introduce them to dishes they'd never tried before (and have since texted me asking for recipe instructions) was thrilling and wonderful and satisfying. So even though I didn't toe the line in terms of my day-to-day menu, I still found success by nourishing great friends with delicious food. And that was a fantastic lesson. Plus, the dinner table brought us together every evening, which was lovely.
To sum it up, vacation was a success. Even though all of my meals weren't from the CLDiet, I still stayed on plan as much as I could, and I'm determined this week to get back on track towards my goal. If you're taking a vacation soon and are a Cooking Light Diet community member (if you're not a member, you can fix that here!), heed my advice/lessons above. Above all, use the recipes at your disposal to cook for others. I'm so glad I did.
See you next week! Cheers.
*Members following the Cooking Light Diet, on average, lose more than half a pound per week.
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