Friday, September 11, 2009

Eating Clean at the Cottage

Over the summer Shawn and I had the opportunity to slip away from the city for a few days at a family member’s cottage by the lake. It was a wonderful opportunity and we created some incredible memories during our visits. We have gone to the same cottage several other times in the past, but this year we were doing our best to eat clean while away. We found that it was far harder than we had hoped, but it also helped both of us to decide when it is worth it to indulge and when it’s best to keep to the straight and narrow.

In general, we try to bring our own food for these trips. We’re limited by things that will travel well in our cooler, but it does mean that we can load up a bag of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grain breads to bring with us. We also try to pick up a healthier snack option, as we both tend to get the munchies when we are there. Whether it is low-sodium blue corn chips, Rice Works sea salt chips or my sugar-free banana oat cookies, we are conscious of slipping in something to take the edge off and keep us from making a run to the local supermarket for a snack. Usually it works.

I did fall off the clean wagon a few more times on our trips than I likely would have at home. But as we sat on the dock watching the moon rise over the lake I found that it was easier to just sit back and enjoy the moment – and my hot skim milk with amaretto – then to beat myself up for having a sweet indulgence. One of very few on the trip. Likewise, when Shawn’s grandmother invited us to her church for pancake breakfast I at first fretted about how to avoid the lovely, fluffy sweet treats that I’m sure are brimming with sugar. In the end, I gave in and had two (sans syrup) and enjoyed both the pancakes and the company. It was a relatively small indulgence (especially without all the extras) and I walked it off later that day taking in the local arts festival. His grandmother was thrilled, I had a short sugar high, and I was back to eating clean hours later.

Now that we’re home I’m happy to have a little more control over our diets. I’m also looking forward to spending the cooler months developing even more clean snacks and treats that will travel well for next year. Does anyone have a good pancake recipe? There’s a church group that might be interested…

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