Blessed Routine


There is something cathartic about just getting back to the “everyday”. The past couple weeks have been busy and completely out of routine! I had a “preparation week” which involved a double work load to get ahead for a vacation week so everything extra had to be put on hold for a bit. But you know what didn’t go on hold? My commitment to be faithful to eating the Trim Healthy Mama way!

The past two weeks were the kind that would have derailed me in the past. They weren’t bad weeks, just busy, and I could have fooled myself into thinking that it would be easier just to hit the drive through. But I knew better, so I didn’t. I also could have gone on vacation with the mindset that “Hey, it’s vacation, indulge!” But I knew better, so I didn’t. Now that’s not to say I didn’t treat myself a bit. But I planned it and I didn’t stay in indulge mode all day every day. Here are my tips for those times when routine just isn’t on the menu! This is how I made the past two weeks work for me so that I wouldn’t have to spend the next couple weeks working to make up for them.

  1. Preparation is key!
    I feel like I have said that a lot, but the truth is, it’s the truth! You can’t just expect things to happen if you don’t prepare for them. I knew vacation was coming and I knew the week before it was going to be a doozy, so I planned accordingly. I made sure that I had easy, grab and go options ready for myself during prep week. There were no complicated meals that week. I kept it simple so the stress was low while I made more preparation for the vacation week to come. I made take along snacks for our 14 hour drive and I planned the menu for the next week. We were a group of 11 traveling and we were eating all our evening meals together and eating almost all of our meals in our condo. Only two of us were “on plan” but we all ate the same meals all week long so that kept things easier. I also made up “dry mixes”. For every THM thing I planned to bake I made up the dry mixes for the recipe, put them in a ziploc bag and wrote the “wet ingredients” on the bag. This way I was prepared with ingredients that I wouldn’t be able to find easily in a store but I also didn’t have to bring my big containers of special ingredients.
  2. Easy menu!
    I already said that I made my meals during preparation week easy to do, but I also planned easy, crowd pleasing meals for the week of vacation. My family of 3 had either THM pancakes or eggs and bacon (or a crossover combo of those two) everyday of vacay. Lunch was sandwiches on sprouted bread or FP rolls with veggies and fruit. These choices meant that every day I got at least one or two e-meals in! Dinners, where all 11 of us ate together were easy, crowd pleasing meals. Dreamfields lasagana, Chicken with rice and veggies, Taco bar night (I even made masa wonder wraps for the two of us on plan) and grill night where we had burgers and hot dogs. There was always lots of salad available too! The last night we finished off our left overs. Here are some pictures of what my meals looked like:
  3. Don’t forget the treats!
    It’s vacation, everyone wants brownies and icecream, you don’t want to be left out. So don’t be! There was no way I could indulge in off plan treats every day of vacation and not get way off track, so I went prepared with a delicious treat every day. While I made regular brownies and icecream for everyone else, I also made Transformer Fudge Brownies (page 403 in Trim Healthy Table, OH MY GOODNESS those are DELICIOUS!) and Brianna’s Scoopable Vanilla Icecream for the two of us on plan. I also made the Basic Cheesecake (Page 373 in the original THM Book) which everybody likes whether they are on plan or not. We never felt deprived when everyone was having dessert!
  4. Use helpful shortcuts!
    Walmart grocery pickup is my new best friend! I use it all the time at home but this was the first time I have ever used it on vacation and it was a lifesaver. We drove 14 hours to Myrtle Beach, SC. No one wanted to walk around an unfamiliar store after that drive to pick up groceries for a week where we were bound to forget things or impulse buy. So, a few days before we left we planned a grocery pickup for the evening of our arrival. All three of the families were able to pickup our groceries at one time and we never had to make another trip to the store!
  5. If you want to have an off plan treat, plan it and enjoy it. Make it a purposeful celebratory occasion, but not an excuse to go crazy and derail yourself. On vacation I treated myself 3 times. The first night (after that 14 hour drive) nobody was going to feel like cooking so we planned to eat out. We chose a “must visit” comfort food buffet. The way I described that should tell you that the meal was not going to be perfectly on plan. But even at this “southern comfort food” buffet I found ways to stay mainly on plan and still indulge a bit. I got a plate full of veggies (green beans, tomatoes and okra, collard greens and I had a salad) and I added some non breaded meat (they had pulled pork). After I found myself no longer starving I allowed myself a very small sample of chicken and dumplings, one spoonful of sweet potato casserole, and the best piece of fried fish I have ever had. All of those “treats” were small, but they were satisfying because I took the time to satisfy my hunger before I ate them so all I was having was a “treat” and not a big off plan meal. In the middle of the week everyone wanted to go out for ice cream at a highly rated ice cream shop so I had one scoop of ice cream without any guilt because I knew that I was making good choices the rest of the week. On the way home we stopped at a Pizza place that was a part of my childhood. Again, it was a planned stop. My first plate was a huge salad and pizza toppings. Then I ate 3 small slices of thin crust pizza. That’s it. I was happy, I felt indulged, but I was in control because I planned it. All three of those occasions were on purpose. I wasn’t swept up in a moment of indulgence, and believe it or not that makes all the difference.

So, how did all of that pay off? Well, today I got on the scale and found that I am down another pound. That’s 14 pounds in the last 7 1/2 weeks! So was all that prep worth it? You bet! And it really wasn’t that hard. I had plenty of time to rest and relax, play on the beach, swim in the pool and just enjoy my friends and family because I was prepared. So don’t think of your preparation as work, think of it as insurance. You are insuring both your success and your time to relax when you are in the moment.

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