My Healthy Living Journey

What I Ate: Vacation Edition

Are you sick of hearing about my vacation yet? I didn’t think so.  I tried to remember to take pictures of food before I dug in, but I ended up only taking 3 pictures, so you’ll have to use your imagination for some of these…

On our first night, we went out to Jake’s Bar & Grill with the hubster’s aunt and grandmother.  I didn’t think to take a picture of that meal because they don’t know I blog and probably would’ve thought I’m a crazy millennial or something. (but am I?) Usually I get the crab cakes here and I’m never disappointed, but I decided to try something new and got baked stuffed shrimp instead.  Honestly, it wasn’t a far deviation because it was “stuffed” with crab meat.  That came with two sides and a salad, so I got a Caesar salad for no other reason than it’s my favorite type of salad.  For the sides I got french fries and green beans.

The shrimp were ah-maz-ing and might be my new favorite at Jakes.  I picked at the sides and passed on the bread, but the important step for me during this whole trip was to stop when I wasn’t hungry anymore.  It’s a totally normal expectation in the states to clean your plates.  We incorrectly assume that restaurants provide us with correct portions, and whether it’s intentional or not, we give ourselves permission to overeat just because it’s on our plates.  I intentionally ate my favorites first (like the stuffed shrimp) and then picked at the rest until I was full.  So I ate a few fries and most of my green beans before I called it quits.

The next day we were walking around Cape May and got hungry, so we stopped at Carney’s for lunch.  We knew we were going out with my cousin for dinner, so I didn’t want to eat a super heavy lunch.  I ended up getting the fish tacos (from the appetizer section) and crab fries without the cheese – this was partly because the hubster can’t do dairy, and partly because I knew it would fill me up too much).


The tacos were awesome and the fries were tasty, but if I could do one thing differently I wouldn’t have eaten the tortillas.  The tortillas themselves were nothing special and the filling would’ve been just as good with a fork and knife.

Dinner was at Nino’s in Cape May Courthouse with my cousin, her 2 year old, her mother in law, and some aunts and uncles, so it turned into a pretty big family meal.  We had a great time chatting with everyone and listening to my uncle reminisce about family because his side of the family was off the boat Italian.  The food was just as good as the conversation, albeit a bit heavier…  I love a good blush or vodka sauce, so I scoured the menu for one of those items and landed on veal with blush sauce and prosciutto.  Again, I skipped the bread basket, enjoyed a Caesar salad, and ate almost half of my meal (it was HUGE).

I was pretty full after that one, so we said yes to going to Stone Harbor with the family, but no to ice cream.  This is another change in mindset for me.  Just because I’m on vacation doesn’t mean I must get dessert every night.  If I’m full, I can say no without worrying that I’ll miss out, because we can always go back when I do want it.  So we hung out some more, and watched my goddaughter (the 2 year old) run around in between bites of ice cream.  When the family left, hubby and I went on a walk around the shops in Stone Harbor before going back to the house.

The next day we went to the zoo in the morning and caught up with my cousin and some family again for a bit.  We spent a few hours there and headed back to the house for lunch.  I was pretty hungry when we left the zoo, but fortunately I had one of the New Primal beef sticks to snack on.  The Habanero Pineapple flavor was pretty good and just enough to keep me from getting hangry on the ride home.

Lunch at home was Applegate turkey rolled up with some spicy brown mustard, some leftover fries from Carneys, and organic green grapes.  This kept me full for most of the afternoon; we went to Stone Harbor to sit at the pavilion a bit before dinner.  I’ve decided I enjoy sitting at the pavilion more than actually going on to the beach because there’s no sandy mess to clean up.  We were able to go right to dinner without having to clean up or change clothes.

There were a few places that we had to go to on our trip because they’re our favorites, and the Harbor Burger Bar is one of them.  It’s a burger place tucked into the front of a movie theater, and the food is always excellent.


I decided to get my burger without a bun, even though they had gluten free buns available, because I didn’t want to feel super full and I knew if I ate the burger with the bun it would’ve been too much.  So I got a bun-less burger with arugula, caramelized onions, and some sort of delicious blue cheese concoction.  I ate the whole burger and a few truffle fries, but we took most of those home with us.

After dinner we stopped at one of our favorite ice cream places, Fleck’s, and got two sundae’s to go so that we could have a movie-date at the house.  I got half coffee and half butter brickle with caramel and heath crunch pieces.  I definitely didn’t need to eat the whole thing, but I did anyway, and I have no regrets.  It was totally worth it.

Friday morning was our traditional trip to Uncle Bill’s for breakfast.  Every other morning on the trip I enjoyed my sausage and tomato frittata with either a piece of rye toast or some grapes.  Uncle Bill’s is a classic for my hubby and his family.  We go there for good food and good memories.  I usually stick to protein/veg there too, because if I were to just eat pancakes for breakfast, I’d be starving by 10am.  I got a greek omelette (spinach, tomatoes, and feta) with hash browns and rye toast.


I ate most of the omelette, maybe 2/3 of the potatoes, and a few bites of toast before I decided I was done.  Another thing I’ve started doing when I’m tempted to pick at food even after I’m full, is to put paper napkins on top of the food.  I know this isn’t a new concept, but it’s new to me!

We decided to spend some more time at the Stone Harbor pavilion before our whale watching trip in the afternoon, and ended up seeing dolphins at the beach!  I’ve never seen them this close to the shoreline before so I was pretty amazed.

On our way to whale watching, we stopped at a WaWa and I grabbed a bag of potato chips that were cooked in avocado oil to go with my New Primal beef stick for lunch. I wasn’t super hungry, and this kept me going until dinner that night. Whale watching was pretty cool.  We saw a LOT of dolphins and got to spend some time following a hump back whale.  More importantly, we didn’t get sea sick or sunburned! So it was an all around successful trip.

Our last dinner was at our favorite restaurant, Rio Station.  Again, I normally would’ve gotten crab cakes, but they had a special, shrimp mac and cheese, and I’m a sucker for grown up mac and cheese.  I ate maybe 1/3 of it and took the rest home for lunch the next day.  It was the perfect, indulgent end to our vacation.

Overall we had a good mix of healthy staples (like breakfast at home and easy snacks) and delicious indulgences.  Now we’re home and settling into our routine, so I’ll be prepping, shopping, and cooking today.  For those of you thinking, yeah ok but did you gain any weight on vacation? I DID NOT! As of this morning, I actually lost weight compared to what I weighed before we left.  So between walking several miles most days, and being thoughtful with my choices, I was able to enjoy our vacation without ruining my progress.

More importantly than my weight, I was able to enjoy my vacation and my choices without guilt.  I knew going into this trip that I’d be eating differently than when we’re home, and I was totally fine with whatever repercussions that may cause.  It was just one week of my life, so even if I had gained weight, I wouldn’t have felt bad about it because I  knew it would be temporary.  So the lesson here is to lighten up and enjoy your life; you only get one. 🙂


2 thoughts on “What I Ate: Vacation Edition”

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