Tuesday, June 25, 2013
I'll have to add some photos later; I'm currently at work (shhhh, don't tell my boss!)
Anyways, we had a great time in France. My parents, husband, sister, and brother-in-law (who is French) all went together and spent most of the time in Provence, where his parents live, checking out lots of castles and Roman ruins and other sights around Arles, Tarascon, Boulbon, etc. We went to a town on the Mediterranean and my husband and I went to the beach and enjoyed ourselves. It was windy and the water was freezing (apparently the Rhone empties into the sea nearby and keeps the water cooler in this area) but we made sure to swim a little in the Mediterranean anyway, and I totally went topless because the rest of my family wasn't there and hey, it's France and we saw much more nudity than a few boobs from other people on the beaches. :)
It being France, the food we got from restaurants was frequently quite rich or creamy or buttery or otherwise heavy, but while we were in Provence at least we generally packed our own lunches with grocery store food. My husband and I insisted on finding SOME kind of whole grain bread, so the best we could do was 64% whole wheat, but everybody else just got baguettes from the local bakery, and there were always pastries with breakfast too, and obviously there was no way I was skipping any of that so I just tried to keep my portions reeeelatively small and I made sure to eat some oatmeal and fruit every morning too. (I have no idea how the others were able to fuel their mornings on pastries and white bread with jam and honey. Sugar + sugar + sugar + sugar!) In Paris, where we spent the last few days, we typically ate lunch at bistros or little places and dinner out at slightly more formalized restaurants so it was harder to get my veggies in because my gosh, France does NOT seem to believe in offering healthy options. I did my best given my eating restrictions due to pregnancy (no unpasteurized cheese, no sausages/deli meats, only thoroughly cooked meats) and due to my own health preferences (limited red meat, as many veggies as I can get, limited cream sauces or whatever), but I would have had almost no veggies had I not packed veggie snacks for my husband and myself every day from the produce we got at little grocery stores. Nobody else in the family seemed all that interested in buying veggies, but we were very committed to eating at least one or two servings of veggies per day and maybe about two kinds of fruit each day. So that helped...but I swear, I tried to order healthy at this one place - everything looked creamy or had meats that were off-limits or came with a side of French fries - so I ordered the roasted chicken with the "vegetables of the moment". Turns out, it was dark meat bone-in skin-on chicken swimming in its own grease, with about 4 mesclun leaves scattered on top of a big pile of FRENCH FRIES. French fries were the "legumes de moment"!! I literally finished that meal in tears, I was getting so frustrated with trying to eat healthy and running into obstacles everywhere between the zillions of pastries my family insisted on buying every day and all the cheeses we bought (after making sure they were pasteurized) and the impossibility of finding light and healthy foods in the restaurants my brother-in-law kept picking. Plus we stopped in a couple gourmet candy shops and what, I'm not gonna buy a bunch of chocolates while in France and then inevitably stuff myself silly with them every evening? PLEASE. (Okay I can feel better about it now that I'm out of that situation, but it was actually making me struggle mentally with being so mad at myself, having those chocolates around and being unable to stay out of them...but really, there's no way I'm going to NOT buy gourmet French chocolates while in France.)
But at least I did pretty good, exercise-wise. My husband and I took a few jogs in Provence, we did a nice hike, we took a lot of long walks around Paris, we worked out with my resistance bands that I brought....I'm pretty proud of how we made time for working out. I think my husband would have been happy to sleep in a bit more on some of those days instead of working out because he was BEAT by the end of the trip since the days were long and active with sight-seeing and we were getting up much earlier than everyone else to exercise. But I would NOT have felt right eating all that horribly rich food and not exercising. I was already convinced I'd gained at least 10 pounds over the two weeks because my baby belly just absolutely popped out while we were there and my family as well as my sister's in-laws definitely commented on how my belly had absolutely blossomed just in those two weeks.
As it turns out, however, I only gained a few pounds! Which is good because it means I didn't really gain any fat despite the horrible eating; we must have burned enough calories that all the rest went to the twins and not so much to me. On the other hand, I do need to gain a few more pounds to reach this apparently magical ideal of gaining 24 pounds by 24 weeks in order to reduce the risk of preterm birth with twins...but I've still got a week and a half, and I tell you what, I got hard into the ice cream yesterday when I was still off from work. :) After two weeks of pastries and candies and cookies as dessert (and I am a must-have-daily-dessert kind of girl) my husband and I were both totally craving ice cream.
ANYWAYS. This is quite a long enough blog and I didn't even get much into the FUN stuff we did! (In Paris, we did lots of walking and visited Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, the Eiffel Tower - didn't go up it, but visited it a couple times, the catacombs under the city, a tour boat on the river, etc.) And I also didn't get a chance to whine about how everywhere in Paris either smelled like urine or cigarette smoke (I swear, I held my breath for like 75% of the time we were out and about in Paris; hopefully the babies didn't get too much of the secondhand smoke). I will never smell urine again without thinking of France and how it's just totally okay there to pee on the side of the street or wherever. :)
So on that note....au revoir!