Thursday, July 7, 2011

Grease, fat and sugar oh my!

I’m home from the beautiful province of Newfoundland and Labrador. For the next week, I’ll be going through grease, fat and sugar withdrawal. I’ve been on a week long, quasi-socially accepted, food industry endorsed bender, with moments of food sobriety.

My goal for my week away was to eat healthy as possible, but also enjoy traditional newfie foods too. I started off with the best intentions. We drove 30 minutes out of our way to reach a bigger grocery store in Cornerbrook. We picked up healthy breakfast foods, snacks, vegetables and fruit. I stocked up on peppermint tea and packed my stainless steel water bottle for day trips.

With the exception of two days, breakfast was always healthy, peppermint tea, whole-wheat English muffin with peanut butter and jam (home made by MIL), plus apple and orange slices. The rest of the day kind of fell apart after that.

It started at the airport; the irresistible urge to order French fries. We had heaps of time before our flight and decided to eat Fionn Macool’s pub food. I should have realized that this was one of my last opportunities to eat a vegetable. Instead my mind focused on three words: sweet potato fries. After that, the fries kept coming.

Of the 24 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) of our vacation:

- 48% of my meals included some form of potato (French fried, mashed, boiled, baked)

- 25% of my meals included French fries (on a positive note, one third of those servings were shared)

- 38% of my meals included either fish or seafood

- 10% of my meals were at the Sally’s cove chip truck (clamstrips and French fries - yummy)

- 21% of my meals included vegetables (however, 60% of those servings were starchy vegetables)

- 25% of my meals included desserts (including chocolate cake, blueberry grunt, a tasty concoction called flaky, blueberry pie and rice pudding)

- 4% (one meal) was steamed lobster and garlic butter cooked by my fabulous hubby who will cook lobster and crab, but won’t eat lobster or crab

My original plan also included packing my own healthy snacks for daytrips. I managed to accomplish this for my boys, but for the adults, not so much. Snacks have always been my downfall, and this trip was no exception. Snacks included: delicious field cookies, coconut/chocolate squares, blueberry muffins, coconut cookies, timbits, soft serve ice cream, cream puff pastry and funny enough Lay’s fries n’gravy potato chips.

So what happened? Vacation happened. Through therapy I’ve learned that one of the reasons I binge is when I feel like I’m limiting myself in some sort of way. The chip truck is literally a treat that I have once every few years. I’ve only found the field cookies in Woody Point. The rest? I can only chalk up to the fact that I was on vacation. It was a finite amount of time and now it’s over.

I would have gladly eaten more vegetables, but the fact is that most of Newfoundland’s vegetables are shipped in. Newfoundland is also known as “The Rock” meaning that there isn’t a lot of soil for growing veggies, so the available vegetables just aren’t as appetizing. On the other hand, I was happy that most mornings I sliced up oranges and apples to eat. I can tell you that I really haven’t done that on a vacation before.

So, the grease, fat and sugar detox begins. At least it will be a little bit easier since I’ve had so many French fries in the last week, that I have no interest in ingesting a deep fried potato for a long time.

Oh yes - completely unrelated, but I saw a massive iceberg (approximately 500 ft in length, 80 ft in height) off the coast of St. Anthony in the northern tip of Newfoundland... Pretty cool!

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