Vacay Shunning Junk: How My Thighs Survived the Trip


Ice cream time

I think I’m still on Island Time. Two weeks ago I was packing for our trip to Ocracoke Island to attend my cousin’s wedding. Now (seemingly five minutes later) I’m packing us up to tag along with Brian on his business trip. But, first trips first.

We took 2 days to get to the island to keep it fun. The first night, we stayed in Wilmington, NC, and the next day, took the Cedar Island ferry to Ocracoke. The island is very small, and littered with various artisans and souvenir shops. We stayed at Blackbeard’s Lodge and opted to rent bikes (we brought the kids bikes). The boys had a blast riding all over. It was great to finally visit Ocracoke and see family from all over, and got some decent visiting time in during the beach day and dinners.

We took a different route home, so we could tour Kitty Hawk, and the boys loved that experience. I think it is cool that they now recognize and have a context for pictures of the Wright Brothers plane. The also enjoyed visiting a couple light houses and “bumping into” the home of the monster truck Grave Digger.

My big “stress-out” about the trip was to not lose all the fitness progress I had made since March. I managed to pack enough groceries that we did not have to eat out the entire way to Ocracoke (allowing most of our stops to involve play and exercise instead of eating), and we had a crock pot meal that satisfied several meals at the lodge. There wasn’t a whole lot I could do with the options at the wedding party meals, but there were healthier parts to focus on and controllable portions. The biking helped offset the calorie load a lot. Additionally, I brought my carpet furniture sliders (a recently-discovered fitness tool) so I could do my quick workouts in the hotel. My efforts and strategies paid off, because I maintained (or even slightly decreased) my weight that week, even with a trip to the ice cream shop.

Here is a list of the types of foods I’ve found helpful to travel with, to avoid “carbing out” and to get more satiety for the fewest calories. I still get most of the sensation of “crunchy” and “sweet/salty” that I crave when driving. Some foods require the ability to reheat or cook in a crock pot, and much of it requires a cooler (ours plugs into the a/c or d/c outlets). Smaller items, I like to portion out in snack baggies or 3oz containers for ease of access.

Beef Roast (or turkey sausage) and veggies
Pre-scrambled eggs
Pre-cooked turkey bacon
Pre-baked biscuits
Pre-made egg/tuna/chicken salad
Pre-popped popcorn
Deli meat
String cheese, slice cheese, squirt cheese
Nut and seed varieties (usually flavored)
Applesauce pouches
Yogurt tubes
Apples, bananas, cherries, grapes, strawberries, blueberries
Carrot & celery sticks
Mini sweet peppers
Cherry tomatoes
Bread/pita pockets/Triscuits
Lunchables & store-packed salads (we just them get one each for a “special treat”)
Individual packs or small jar of peanut butter (same with jelly, mayo)

I may have forgotten some. For this upcoming trip, I have put a selection of pre-portioned dry snacks in small bags (specifically, the kids meal bags from Subway), and will hang them in front of the boys’ seats with those delightful Mommy Hooks. Our stops will be centered around fuel/bathroom/run-your-brains-out activites & can then access the cold stuff for other snacks & meals. Honestly, I fight the urge to rebel and “grease out,” since I have the near-perfect excuse. I want nasty burgers and fries, chips and soda, and Twizzlers, for badness’ sake…but I’m choosing to want victory more. After all, it is my middle name (thanks mom and dad!).

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