Lesson learned: If I spend a month or two eating lots and lots of fresh veggies and relatively small portions of meats, processed foods and low-fiber starches, then I decide for a week of vacation to stuff my body with lots of meats, carbs, and relatively few fresh foods, my body will rebel, big time.
What's surprising to me is that my eating this past week really hasn't been all that bad. I still took home a LOT of leftovers (i.e. kept overall portion size reasonable - most of the time anyway). I've eaten no fast food and relatively little in the way of sweets/desserts/sodas. Most of my meals weren't all that bad when evaluated by themselves (well, ok, so maybe I should have skipped the chicken fried steak & gravy but it's a once in a blue moon thing). But the lack of veggies and the excess of fried foods and the larger portion sizes over the past 10 days finally made my body rebel, and last evening I was feeling quite ill as a result. (TMI alert!) It doesn't at all help that when I'm traveling, I don't take the time to go to the bathroom as often as I should.
I'm ready to get back on track, though. I stopped by Spring Ridge Creamery (local, no hormones or antibiotics but I didn't ask what the cows are fed) for some local butter, feta and havarti (ok, ok, and two scoops of chocolate ice cream- YUM!). I tried several local produce stands but their stock was heavy on things like watermelons for the tourists, and the only local food I found were some squash which are not my favorites. I ended up at the grocery store, and was pleased to find regional organic spring mix and locally made organic bread, plus I got some organic olive oil and some garlic-stuffed olives. Dinner tonight was a huge salad including lots of snack veggies (left over from last week's gathering of siblings at my parents' house on the night before we took them out for their 50th anniversary), along with raisins, grapes, and the feta cheese, dressed very lightly with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt & pepper, plus a wedge of bread and butter. YUM.
My body just feels happier. It's telling me very clearly that I need to keep eating like this, and not like I have this past week.
Oh but that chicken fried steak was soooooo good, as was the fried okra, the ribs and onion rings, the seared tuna and creme brule at the little French bistro in town, the Mexican food, the Pad Thai and Thai curries...