52 Weeks of Healthy Eating- Vacation eating and training

7/8/21- Vacation starts today! Unfortunately it rained all day and I could not play on the gun range and get my 10 mile run in. Instead I am noshing on this amazing Halo Top ice cream. 590 calories for the whole thing. 15 g of carbs. Not the greatest start but it is vacation

7/9/21- Vacation day 2 and more rain, not getting much training in. Today we shopped for supplies for our road trip tomorrow. I took my bride out for dinner tonight at the Riverside Brewing Company in Cambridge Springs, Pa. She had a grilled chicken sandwich and I had the Cuban cheeseburger. My drink if choice was the Prolusion V, an unfiltered pale ale.

7/10- vacation day 3. The day unofficially started at 0330 because I couldn’t sleep. By 0600, the family piled in the van and we headed north to Gloucester, Massachusetts for a nice 13 hour drive. It was smooth sailing for most of the day.

We arrived around 1700, unpacked the van and headed out to dinner. Dinner was at the Saltwater Grille. In keeping with the theme of eating healthy, I had the blackened haddock fish tacos and a local IPA. We had laughter and all around teasing. Our waiter spilled his entire tray of water and we cheered him for almost spilling all the cups.

7/11- day 4 – up at 0600 for a 45 mile bike ride that was supposed to be gravel/ cyclocross. It wasn’t, more a bunch of mountain bike trails strung together by road and rail trails. I did 38 miles of the course and 8 miles back to my car on the road, my equipment was not up to this level of riding.

For food today, knowing that there will be a good amount of eating out this week, my breakfast today and much of the week will be egg whites and toast.

For dinner tonight, we had baked chicken, sautéed squash and kale

7/12- Day 4. Today we would spend the day in Salem, Massachusetts taking in all the witch stuff and going on a evening walking tour. My daughter graduated high school this year and she wanted to visit Salem as a way to celebrate. This would be a big eating day, and one could go crazy on vacation and lose yourself in the food experience. If you plan accordingly and exert some self control, you can eat and have fun.

town hall featured in the movie Hocus Pocus

Today, my menu was pretty basic. Breakfast was an anabolic french toast with fruit and coffee. Lunch was a fried haddock fish taco and a chicken taco with a kombucha to drink. We also stopped for doughnuts and I probably ate the total of three doughnuts. Dinner was half a dozen raw oysters, a crab cake and a bunch of salad with some local fresh soft cheese and a local IPA to drink. I munched off of my brother and law’s nachos and had a few bites of my families ice cream with a total day calorie total of around 2200 calories. Total walking calories was around 1565 for about 10 hours of walking.

7/13- day 5- A full day of eating.

The day starts at 0630 with a 5.26 mile run. Breakfast was egg whites and toast. Threw in a moonshine mimosa for fun.

Fisherman’s memorial statue

The feature today was an eating tour of the area. The tour was through Cape Ann Foodie Tours. The focus was on the history of food in Gloucester, Mass. We tried clam chowder, scallops, local Italian foods and candies.

Our stops were:

Topside grille- Portuguese owned restaurant that served us a wonderful clam chowder and a maple bacon wrapped scallop.

Cape Ann Olive Company where we sampled a variety of olive oils and basalmic vinegars. This was a great place and I could have sunk a significant amount of money here.

Virgillios- an Italian owned bakery/cafe that served us a sample of their version of an Italian combo sub. Awesome grub.

Cafe Sicila – another Italian place where we had cannolis and I had a latte. They have amazing cannolis and an Italian feel that reminded me of my family when I was a kid

Oliver’s Harbor- a Brazilian owned restaurant where we had a flat bread pizza and fried calamari, another top notch restaurant.

Turtle Alley Chocolates, a great candy shop that specialized in turtles.

Gloucester has a rich heritage focused on the fishing trade. There were many cultures represented today on our tour, Italy, Brazil, Portugal and Finland were all stressed for their influence on the local culture. We would eat at restaurants proprieted by Portuguese, Italian and Brazilian immigrants/descendants.

Clam chowder and a scallop wrapped in maple bacon.
Fried callamari
Pecan turtle

It was our family’s turn to cook dinner tonight and I prepared a huge boiled seafood dinner that served 14. Boiled sausage, corn, scallops, shrimp and muscles. It has become our family’s tradition to prepare this meal on vacation.


7/14- day 6

The day started with a large bowl of granola and kefir and some hand wringing about what to do- run or bike. The weather was atrocious, heavy fog and heavy drizzle. I chose to ride because I needed a training ride, it would not be the day for sightseeing(it was better the last 15 miles). I would get 46 miles in.

commanding view of the sea
fisherman’s wives memorial, Gloucester, Mass

Gloucester is a seaport inhabited by many ethnicities and most famously, the Italian community and their St. Peter festival at the end of June. Their greasy pole competition is the highlight of this festival. The goal is for someone to shimmy out over a telephone pole extended off a dock covered in grease and grab an Italian flag attached to the end. Virgillio’s is an Italian eatery and bakery in town that very much reminded me of my Italian family growing up. Here I purchased an Italian coffee maker, Lavassa coffee and pizzelles.

Our big eating today was lobster, I am not a fan, but everyone else is. After some debate as to where we would eat, we settled for Blue Collar Lobster. I had the fried fisherman’s platter. Sometimes you just have to accept that you are not going to be able to your dietary plan and accept that this is okay. You make adjustments and when the family went up to Rockport for ice cream, I did not get any. Today’s calorie intake was around the 3000 mark with around 1800 calories burned by riding or walking around. The lesson here is you can enjoy eating, just be mindful of the calories you are taking in.

July 15- day 7

The day started with a 6.84 mile run in an area famous for its carved rocks. Like other trails in the area, they were atrocious and not well marked. The actual run was 10, but I could not find a 4 mile section.

I took it easy today on food to give my body a rest from yesterday’s gastronomic adventure. I had egg whites with some potatoes and left over bacon and sausage for breakfast. I skipped lunch and had an apple, meat sticks and cheese for my late afternoon snacks. Dinner was grilled chicken, steamed broccoli and a local IPA. Again, you can eat what you want, it is wise though to give your body a rest after a heavy day of eating and allow your body to tell you when it is time to eat. Today’s run was fasted. As a rule of thumb, eat only when you are hungry WHEN YOU CAN. Sometimes like last nights meal, you may have to settle for what is available.

We finished the day with ice cream. I had an ice cream sandwich made of a graham cracker cookie, a cinnamon flavored ice cream and topped with cinnamon toast crunch. If in Gloucester, check out Holy Cow ice cream.

July 16 – day 8. Up at 0430 for a 0600 departure to home. Our morning stop was a doughnut shop that specializes in gluten free doughnuts. One of our party has a gluten sensitivity. Kane’s doughnuts in Saugus is the place to go. These perhaps are the best doughnuts I have ever had. My apple fritter was as big as my head.

All packed up

Home finally with a last meal with the crew at Moe’s. I am eating the Homewrecker bowl with grilled veggies.

Eating on a calorie budget is doable and has to be seen as a lifestyle choice. There is a fine line between consciousness and pathology. As you can see this week, I was loose with my budget and when I was, I adjusted course. Life is meant to be enjoyed.

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