Tuesday, June 02, 2009

What will you eat there?...Aahhh The British Bloat!

Just got back from a trip to Scotland and London. Alwyn and I try to go once a year to see his family and friends who live there. Before I left I was at my hairdressers and she said to me-

"What in the heck do eat while you are there? There is nothing healthy, is there?"

To tell you the truth when Alwyn and I go to Britain we absolutely do not try to stick to our normal healthy diet and I definitely know that the nutrition regime that we usually follow a minimum of 80-90% of the week slips to probably 50% or even worse...Gasp!!! It is as the saying goes- "It isn't what you eat between Christmas and New Years...it is what you eat between New Years and Christmas." Basically if most of your year you stick to a healthy diet of lots of fruits and veggies and lean protein, you can give yourself room to relax and enjoy yourself when you choose to such as on vacation or during the holidays.

Life is about experiences. The reason we eat healthy and workout is to experience life to the fullest, feel optimal and get the most out of life that we can. To fully experience Britain you definitely have to indulge in Fish N'Chips, the kind you get from the "Chippy" and eat out of a newspaper while walking down the street drenched in sauce, British Chocolate which is out of this world, Crisps in flavors such as Roasted Chicken and Steak and Onion, square sausage on a roll with brown sauce(Alwyn's fav), a Traditional British Breakfast which includes Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, mushrooms, Beans and fried bread and the assortment of Pies, Pasties and other cooked goods that you can only find in Britain. It is true that at a traditional British restaurant their idea of vegetables is a few green peas on the side of your plate. And then of course...the beer- I am usually a one glass of red wine kind of girl(ok, maybe two) but not in Britain- Yes, I do enjoy a Guiness or a Newcastle or my new favorite was one called Organic Honey Dew. We drank a lot of Shandies which are half Beer and half Sprite. They have lots of different beer and being married to a man from Scotland I have accumulated an appreciation for good beer.

Yes, I usually do put on a few pounds and feel less than optimal and am anxious to get back to my normal routine when I get home and within a week lose the British Bloat. It is usually a good boost for my fitness and nutrition when we get back and it is amazing that within a day or two the bloat comes off. If you follow a healthy lifestyle most of the time you can take a week completely off without too much damage at all and give yourself a break. As long as you get back to it after a week, you'll lose the bloat within a day or two.

Our damage control- We did keep up our exercise despite all of the food we indulged in and tried to drink enough water. We hiked up to a Castle which was a pretty tough hike along with squeezing in a couple workouts a week at the local gym and I got a run in along with walking what we figured to be about 5 miles a day while in London. I actually like to run when I am in a new place to explore the area and Alwyn and I usually walk around the city quite a bit.

Anyway, I just thought it was funny that my hairdresser thought that I actually eat super healthy while in Britain...because honestly I don't even try. I remember when I first met Alwyn and we went to a British Pub and I tried to order a salad and some wilted lettuce came out while he chowed down on some yummy fish and chips I swore I would never order a salad at a British Pub again. From now on when we go to a British Pub it has to be part of my 10% so when we have a week full of British Pubs...that 10% goes out the window and I enjoy myself!

BUT- I will say, because of this question I did pay more attention to IF you could eat healthy if you really wanted to and yes, of course, if you made the effort you can find healthy choices. Not at the chippy and maybe not at the British pubs but I was surprised that most of the British Pubs did have Vegetarian Options and many had a section of Healthy Choices on their menu. I did also notice a number of health conscious restaurants including- Pret A Manger and a place called LEON. Plus of course you can find grocery stores and get whatever you need. But when we sat down at our first British Pub of the trip and ordered our Shandies I was not about to order from the healthy options and miss out on a good steak and mushroom pie and chips with vinegar to go with my beer to get the full experience. And when Alwyn's dad cooked up a full British Breakfast for me I couldn't turn it down.

In all I gained 4 pounds while in Britain for 10 days and it took me one day to lose the 4 pounds. It was all just British Bloat that went along with the amazing trip we had, with fabulous experiences, good British food and of course beer!

And a renewed motivation to get back to my normal lifestyle!