Saturday, March 9, 2013

Travel Tips ~ LA Style

It has been a week in the Los Angeles area. For information about why and what I did, click here

Since I had been doing so well in Beijing I was a bit worried about stunting my health progress on this trip. I can honestly say that I did really well and I know you can too while traveling.
Here are some tips 
that helped me stay on track~

  • The very first thing I did when I arrived was to take control. I stopped by Trader Joe's and picked up what you see above. I bought greek yogurt for snacks and on-the-go breakfasts, individually packed raw almonds for portion control, two salads to avoid evening restaurants, berries for a sweet treat, coconut oil for back in Beijing and almond butter for cravings. 
  • The biggest part for me was getting in the right mindset. I know it helped that I felt and acted like this was a business trip, not a vacation. I had a large task of scouting the entire LA area for communities, meeting with hubby's colleagues and appointments with realtors. I was not "taking a break" from anything so this was a large part of my success.
  • Being in the right mindset allowed me to prioritize health. I knew I would be going out to lunches with professionals so I committed to only eating out on those prearranged meetings and all other meals I would eat the groceries I had bought. I also committed to only ordering fish or a salad (getting my vefggies in) when out at the restaurant. Making my mind up in advance was a great tool to avoid looking at the menu and being tempted. I met a friend at a burger joint and ordered a grilled chicken breast with no bun and no fries. 
  • Minimizing temptations is key for me. I was worried about the free breakfast at the hotel. When I am traveling with family, we are notorious for getting our "moneys worth" at the free buffets. But on this trip I skipped the breakfast completely by booking appointments early enough to be busy in the morning, but late enough to still exercise. If I hadn't purchased breakfast items I would've been tempted by the homemade waffle maker at the hotel. One night, in my room, I wanted chocolate so bad and the berries just weren't doing it. I would've done anything for a sweet (except go down to the lobby and buy candy). I waited it out and the craving went away.

Morning runs on Manhattan Beach

  •  So far I've only talked about food choices, but a no excuses approach to exercise was crucial for me. I learned from our trip to Australia that eating right on a trip will help me to break even, but not lose weight. I gave myself a goal to lose five pounds on this 21 day trip to the US. I am without a scale, which is good, so I continue to push myself to lose that weight.  Working out is essential to meet that goal.
  • I really looked forward to running on the beach, which I did three times this week. The rest of the days I went to the hotel fitness center for timing convenience and access to weights. I am happy to report that I exercised every single day, except Sunday, on this trip so far. Even this morning, which is a travel day.
  • Exercise helped keep my mental sanity during a stressful week. By yesterday morning the mental stress was getting to me. There are so many questions and decisions ahead of us and I woke up exhausted. I decided to sleep in, instead of run on the beach before my appointments. All day I told myself I would exercise at night but I knew, in the past, I had made up excuses. However after I arrived home and I had nothing else to do, I laced up my shoes and ran on the treadmill. After I was done I felt less anxiety and more in control of our situation. 

Sprinkles chocolate and peanut butter cupcake, Newport Beach.
Approx. 580 calories!
Was I perfect? 
Well, it depends how you define perfect. I actually think I was! I treated myself three times this week. One was the decadent cupcake above, another was frozen yogurt with a friend and the last was another yummy cupcake with my niece. Again, I learned that if I don't allow myself these indulgences I get very resentful about being healthy and I want to rebel. Giving myself the independence to have a treat helps keep it in perspective. And...I counted the calories for all three treats and not one day did I go over my allotted calories!

Looking ahead
I have some worry about the last leg of my trip, beginning tonight. I am traveling to stay with my parents. My mom is a wonderful cook and shows her love by cooking and entertaining. Also, I am the epitome of relaxed when I am there so I am worried I will be tempted to slip into slothful mode. How am I preparing for this? Well, I happen to stumble upon The Biggest Loser episode this week where they went home for two weeks and had to lose 5% of their body weight to gain immunity. It was perfect timing to get me in the mindset of not backing down from my goals and ambitions.  I will check in to let you know how I am doing!

Happy trails!

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