NEWKAREN43   45,972
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Eating and Traveling

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My greatest concern while traveling recently was what would I eat? Would I find healthy choices? Had I read enough Spark articles to know the right choices? I thought I would partially prepare for the challenges by taking a few things with me that I knew I could rely on; I took individual Blue Diamond almond packs and several Pure Protein bars in my carry on and more in my suitcase, just in case.

I started strong, I had my usual breakfast before I left, I had a chicken breast wrap in O'Hare Airport in Chicago...and then...I was told that I wouldn't have a choice of what was served for dinner! Momentarily derailed, I was thankful that I had almonds and bars if the going got too tough!

I will spare you all my eating details and just hit the very memorable dinners - night 1, Dutch meat snacks (breaded and fried) and french fries - night 2, cheeseburgers and french fries - night 3, broiled chicken (thankfully!) and french fries - night 4, can't remember and french fries...shepherd's pie, meat pies in pastry crust with mashed potatoes and mashy peas (finally a vegetable!), bangers and mash (that's sausage and mashed potatoes), curry chicken over white rice, and moroccan meatballs over brown rice (so thankful!) with hummus and flatbread...

By day three I wasn't concerned with eating all that much. Dinner was out of my hands, breakfast was "continental" which I found out meant I could count on yogurt and fruit and it would probably contain a croissant and/or white bread and lunch was on my an extent when traveling with kids. Food honestly became a non-issue. I ate a waffle with strawberries and whipped cream in Belgium, I had a small ice cream cone in Paris, Baskin Robins on the same day as a Lemon Tart in London, fish and chips in London and a pasty in Bath. I ate what I wanted but kept the servings small and never had seconds.

If you read my blog from yesterday on the exercise that I got on this trip, you know that I walked and climbed enough stairs for eternity! So, food and exercise combined on my 11 day journey netted me a 2 pound loss!!! Thursday the scale gave me a number I haven't seen in a couple of years!

So, I'm back on my eating and exercising and logging and Sparking! I'm rested and relaxed and ready to go back to work. Content.

Blessings to all my Sparkfriends! Karen

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SANDYDOLLAR201 6/7/2011 9:42PM

    Okay, so yes, first of all I am reading this older blog!
You see I am scrounging for blogs from my race buddies as I am now running Season 1 for myself now that the race is over for everyone else and I have time to do this.
Now I know I commented on blogs since your trip and also know how much you exercised while you were away, but I had no idea how your food choices were until I read this blog!
Considering you had very limited options concerning your food choices, you did amazing!!
I am very impressed with how well you have done and I wish I could lose more than what I am, but will be content with it for now.
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/7/2011 9:43:09 PM

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TRAVELGRRL 4/17/2011 1:36PM

    yay for you!!! I know you had a FABULOUS time and you definitely deserved to enjoy all the great food. WTG on the two pound loss.

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SMILEYBEE 4/16/2011 12:00PM

    Wow! An 11-day trip to Europe and a 2-lb weight loss ... that is remarkable! emoticon

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PAT3ONTHEBACK 4/11/2011 6:05PM

    I wrote somethign to you but my comment was lost in cyberspace. I think I was congratulating you on being able to zero in on what you *could* control with your meals--portion size. That was a very powerful thing to do. Really smart! emoticon

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SMANTZKE 4/10/2011 9:53PM


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JMGLEN62 4/10/2011 9:51PM

    What a great accomplishment to take the trip of a lifetime, enjoy the local food, watch portions, and get in the exercise to come home with weight lose.

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Working Out While Traveling

Saturday, April 09, 2011

As some of you know, I spent the last 11 days traveling in Europe with my son and some students from his art class at school. I had 2 concerns when I left, first, what would I eat that fit in my meal plans and second, would I get enough exercise in hotels, touring, etc. In this blog, I'll handle my second concern first - working out.

Before I left I pulled up the websites on the 4 hotels where we would be staying, I looked at their restaurant menus and checked out the fitness rooms at each stop. I packed my walking shoes, my sweatpants, some t-shirts to work out in, some snacks to make sure I ate 30-90 minutes after working out. I was SET!

Then I hit the ground in Amsterdam, our first stop. Local time was 9:30 am, home/body time was 1:30 am. We had a bus tour of the city and then, walking tour. We were sleep deprived, dodging bicycles who have the right of way, and we walked a serious several miles and since we were running late to pick another group up from the airport, we 'walked' with intent and purpose! I felt I needed sleep more than a workout that evening. Second day, many, many hours of serious walking - no formal workout that night either. Hm...

Brussels was our second stop, just for one night though. No fitness room in the hotel but no problem, lots of walking...

Paris, the game changed. We were on public transportation which means the Metro. It also means that all the miles (literally) of walking that we were doing was now combined with stairs, tons of stairs, miles of stairs, jillions of stairs...butt-burning stairs! No need for a fitness room, in fact I didn't even look at the room.

London, more public transportation, here it's called the Tube and there are only a handful fewer stairs than in Paris - but my butt stopped burning so I got to the point that I would take the stairs instead of the escalators just to be sure! We continued to walk miles, and many stairs and I heard from some other travelers that the fitness center was junky...I didn't care, I was getting ALL the exercise I needed on the streets and Tube of London!

I had wonderful, different, educational, upbeat work outs most of the days I was gone. And it felt GREAT!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_RAMONA 1/17/2012 2:35PM

    YOU are my hero... I seriously wonder if I would have the self-discipline to exercise even while on such an amazing trip. GOOD.FOR.YOU!

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SHIHJABO 6/22/2011 9:20AM

    YES!!!!! I found this and had a chance to read your other blogs So fun. Now I know why you were in Europe and can imagine all your trekking around The Tube and Paris. What a fun trip! I'm going back to read the other blog now. Barb

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TRAVELGRRL 4/17/2011 1:33PM

    Congratulations! I knew you would do GREAT!!!!

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PAT3ONTHEBACK 4/11/2011 4:17PM

    Very neat! I also worry about exercise rooms and hotels, and like you, it just doesn't seem to be so much of an issue after all the touring! Even though I could use some strength training, I don't like to use new equipment since i only know the basics, so I can't always take advantage of the fitness rooms anyway.

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SANDYDOLLAR201 4/9/2011 4:58PM

    Sounds like you had a great time Karen, and got plenty of exercise. Good for you! Also, even though you didn't need it, congrats on checking out the facilities before hand and preparing for the exercise. You have great motivation!

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GIANTMICROBE 4/9/2011 3:03PM

    That's so cool. I have heard Europe is a lot more fitness-friendly, i.e, lots of walking involved! Glad to hear it was so awesome! emoticon

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One week until Europe...

Friday, March 18, 2011

One of my main motivations for losing some weight, eating healthy and starting to exercise was a trip to Europe that I've been planning to take with my son this Spring. Well, we are now one week from departing for Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and London. An 11 day trip.

I've managed to lose 15 pounds and 7 inches from my waist, hips and thighs. I can walk for miles, I know how to eat right. I feel stronger and I feel healthier. So, that's a great payoff in such a short time, my first step was giving up Diet Coke on January 2.

So, I'm about ready to leave; I have snacks to take along, I have a my credit card (paid off), I have good walking shoes, I have a plane ticket, and my son is *totally* excited. I'm just a little scared...I've never been abroad and I'm afraid that I'll not find food that I know fit my eating plan. And I won't be on Spark for the encouragement and tracking. I feel like I'm leaving the nest, growing up, taking a leap...and I'm praying that it goes well and I come home at the same weight. Wish me well my friends!!!! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAT3ONTHEBACK 3/22/2011 12:02AM

    I'm sure you'll find some tasty healthy foods--and some not so healthy. I don't have any tips except be honest! That is my downfall--I lie to myself about what it is I am eating--how much, how fat, etc. I'll bet you will be focusing on other things and the food will just take second place to the sightseeing and being with your son. And that is where it should be in my perfect world. Second place or even a distant third to life, life and life. emoticon15 pounds and 7 inches is fantastic! You are on the right track! You won't want to jeopardize all your hard work to get here!

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TERRBEAR12 3/18/2011 10:01PM

    I hope you and your son have a wonderful time. Remember to drink to keep yourself hydrated and to quell the munchies. On the other hand, enjoy the food. Remember a taste is not an indulgence nor is a good meal after a long day of site seeing. Relax. Have fun.

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KEN1965 3/18/2011 9:21PM

    Have a good time. emoticon

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Spring will come...soon?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I love being outside. I'm new to Spark and I'm new to exercising; my inside exercise is strength training and elliptical but outside I can walk different routes, go different places. I want to be outside but alas, I'm stuck inside because of the weather...spring will come, I have to keep reminding myself, spring will come...hopefully soon!!!!


All of a Sudden...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Just like those who commented on my blog said...keep it up and the results come...and they did. I've lost 12 pounds since 1/2/11 and 6 pounds since I started Sparking on 1/28/11! Just when I got nervous that I was doing it wrong (according to the very fickle scale!) I dropped another 2 pounds...go figure. I can do this. In my mind I have 50 pounds to lose (before the 12), according to the goals Spark has set for me I have a total of 90 pounds...I can't think of 90. Increments of 10, that's as big as I can think right now and that's ok.

You know, I can do this. I can eat like this for the long term, I can find time to exercise, for the long term. Yep...Spark is for me...and I'm telling my friends (ok, and a few strangers!)...I really can do this!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBIGENE 2/15/2011 10:54PM

    Congrats on you W/L so far. Yes Small Goals and Small Steps = SUCCESS and this is the answer. The longer you work at it will allow your change to a health lifestyle to become effective. It does take time, that's all there is to it !!! You must be patient and learn as you go. It will all be so beneficial in the end.

Best of Luck to you.

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