I posted last week about my challenge for the week…vacationing a few days in Chicago, but doing it largely guilt-free. So how did it go?
The plan was to only eat out twice while we were there (and then once on the road each way)- we’d scored a great hotel suite that had a full kitchen and offered a free breakfast, so we packed a cooler of food stuffs and a basket of fruits and veggies and some snacks. It was enough to tide us over in case the breakfast sucked or the kids hit one of those feeding-frenzied growth spurts that leave us scrambling to find something to keep them satisfied.
Our local butcher shop has some of the BEST smoked snack sticks and summer sausage, so we picked up some of that on the way out of town. Snack sticks and bottled water kept me happy on the drive up, and the boys were pleased to get away with a Happy Meal and a half hour of rambunctious Playplace fun at lunchtime. I confess, I had a couple twinges of guilt over allowing the boys the McDonalds. But hey…this is a vacation, right? You're supposed to let some things slide.
Chris had been sent up to Chicago a couple days early for training, so after we found our way across town to pick him up we settled in to the suite with stir-fried chicken breast and broccoli slaw.
I'd declared a sort of personal moratorium on my target zones for vacation…I was going to stick to paleo/primal, but I wasn't gonna count the carbs. Thus, pears and crumbled granola bars were enjoyed by ALL for dessert!
The breakfast buffet at the hotel was pretty good. The boys were given free reign…there was no way I was going to be able to limit them to just paleo foods when I saw the spread laid out, so I kept my mouth shut about the 2 bowls of cereal, waffles or pancakes with syrup, bacon or sausage, a carton of yogurt, a banana, and a bagel with peanut butter or cream cheese enjoyed by all three kids.
The eggs were those reconstituted powdered things that end up sitting and getting really watery and nasty, so I was glad I'd brought along some real eggs of our own for omelets back in the room!
Friday was a trip to the Museum of Science and Industry. The plan had been to stop and eat lunch along the lakefront on the way back, but the windy 62F weather wasn't very cooperative, so we enjoyed out picnic back at the hotel. Roasted turkey breast and roast beef with smoked gouda, baby spinach and tomatoes and homemade garlic mayo on toasted Betty Bread. Yum!
Now, it was probably foolish and food-loving fat-girl mentality, but I couldn't see being in Chicago and not taking my pizza-loving clan of cavemen out for some real Chicago-style pizza. Friday evening we visited Giardanos, a fairly well-known Chicago-style pizzeria recommended to me by my friend Zack.
How does the Cavemom paleo/primal Chicago pizza? well…..
it’s kinda like that.
Yes, I really did scrape all the toppings and cheese and sauce off the crust and eat it just that way.
Yes, it was pretty good.
Saturday we took the kids to the Dupage Children's museum. The weather was a gorgeous 76 and sunny, so for lunch we used the outdoor grills at the hotel for our bacon burgers topped with smoked gouda, and enjoyed them with a side salad of homemade ranch on baby spinach, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and green bell peppers.
Saturday night we took the kids to Medieval Times…and had a blast. Dinner was tomato bisque, roasted chicken, a bbq'd spare rib, herbed potato wedges. The boys were delighted to be handed my piece of foccacia and my apple pastry to share!
No pics…but I assure you, it was delicious.
Sunday was the day I relaxed a little too much. On the way home, we stopped for lunch at Imperial Buffet in Bloomington, IL. If you're ever in Bloomington and not paleo/primal'ing it, I highly recommend you stop in. The service was great, the food was awesome, the place was spotless. Japanese, Chinese, American, Mongolian BBQ, Sushi…they had a ton of stuff. I started with salad, but the House salad was dressed with a dressing LOADED with sugar, so I stuck with the ranch dressing on lots of veggies. I ate mostly meat dishes (no rice or other grains and nothing breaded)- beef and broccoli, stir fried pork, that sort of thing, and stayed away from anything that tasted too sweet. However, the soy sauce, MSG, and sugary sauces did a real number on me on Monday with belly cramps.
But I still think it was worth it.
While meals were pretty good, my downfall was in the snacking…we'd taken apples, pears, cherries, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, cheese sticks, beef jerky, granola bars, and the summer sausage for snacks, and chocolate pudding for dessert.
I enjoyed them all, enthusiastically and a little too freely.
But I still think it was worth it.
The good news is I had no problem getting back on track once we were home, and I'm toying with the idea of another Whole30 to really reset my body and help me focus on all my counts.
Achievement unlocked: A (nearly) guilt free vacation.