I got home from a long weekend in Spain late Monday night and I spent yesterday catching up with my brother's family who are home from Australia on hols (so delighted to see them). But I really wanted to write this post as soon as I got a chance, so first thing this morning I sat down at my laptop. The food I eat is so important to me, so much so that I started this website to write about it and share tips and ideas on healthy plant based eating. Since I started moving towards a plant based diet, it has been a gradual transition over time and with a lot of learning and effort along the way. At times, it seems I take two steps forward and one step back, but over the past two years I have come from someone who ate lots and lots of dairy, processed foods, refined carbohydrates and sugary foods to someone who eats a pretty much exclusive plant based and whole foods diet. I am really proud of this transition and really believe that it has helped me so much in my fight against ill health.
I wanted to share with you my eating experience this weekend. Usually when I go away, I have no issue sticking to my typical eating habits, maybe with the odd deviation which I don't think is any big deal. However, this weekend, I deviated from my typical diet a little more than usual and I wanted to share this with you. On arrival we did a massive grocery shop to stock the fridge for the weekend. As soon as we got to our villa, I felt so carefree and relaxed and immediately switched off. Breakfasts and lunches were lazy buffet style meals outside with everyone spending time grazing over their meals. Two of the mornings, I made green smoothies, but the other two I skipped them. I usually don't eat eggs, but decided I would this weekend as I was worried about my protein intake as I didn't have the usual plant based protein that I have in the mornings. So for me breakfast was toasted rye bread (I brought rye bread with me), avocado, tomatoes and eggs. I also had lots of fresh fruit. So breakfast was pretty good as even though I don't usually eat eggs, I don't mind eating them every once in a while.
For lunch, I mainly ate salads with lettuce, onion, tomato, beetroot, pinenuts, celery, lots and lots of avocado and hummus with flaxseed crackers (again I brought these with me). Where I went off piste was with cheese. I had feta cheese and even some brie every lunch time with my salad which I pretty much never have as I avoid dairy most of the time. I have to say I really enjoyed the feta cheese, but definitely am not happy to re-introduce cheese to my diet. It was yummy for the few days of my holidays, but I am happy to leave it at that.
When we ate out, choices were limited, but I did get the most amazing super food salad at one meal that I am determined to reproduce at home. On other eating out occasions, it was not so much 'Honest Project Eating'!! I had a Spanish omelette one day (so yes eggs again) and I had pasta with mushrooms another night (yes refined carbohydrates). Snack wise, instead of my usualy hummus and green juices, it was crisps and dark chocolate. Granted I wasn't scoffing bags of crisps and it was a square or two of dark chocolate, but for me snacking like this for four days in a row was a big change from my usual eating habits. I usually had wine at lunch and dinner. As I usually don't bother with alcohol all that much, this was a big deal for me!!
I guess for some people reading this, this type of eating isn't really all that bad, especially when you consider it is holiday eating. I even think it's quite funny that I now think eating feta cheese is 'being unhealthy' when I used to have it pretty much every day!! I definitely think that on holidays we can all be a little more relaxed about food. However, on this trip, I surprised myself a little. Over the past year or so, I have never really craved cheese or crisps or chocolate or been that bothered with alcohol and I don't really give them a second thought. So it was a little weird that I had cravings for them on holidays. I was talking about it with my friends and I think I put it down to being away with my friends in a familiar place and it brought back memories of a time before I got diagnosed with cancer and before what I ate was so crucial to my well being. On some emotional level I wanted to go back to that place. It's so crazy how our emotions and the foods we eat are so closely connected.
I am back home now and my emotions are mixed between feeling a little guilty for letting loose but also feeling like I needed to go with my emotional needs for the few days and allow myself to eat what I wanted at the time. I know I didn't go crazy, but that type of eating is a big change for me. I am glad to be home now and really enjoying my daily wheatgrass shots, (PS I took the capsules while away) and my green juices and salads. I stayed with one of my friends Monday night as it was too late to drive home to Kilkenny. I knew that I had no desire to continue my holiday eating habits when I got to her place and was so delighted that her boyfriend had green smoothies made and waiting for us in the fridge for our first morning back home. Perfect breakfast for my drive home to Kilkenny.
In short, a fabulous break with my fabulous friends and now I am glad to be home and eating proper 'honest project style' again xx