Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Six Stylish Walking Shoes for Europe

Travel Shoes: Europe

1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5 * 6

We're about a month out from our next trip to Europe, and while I've booked our plane tickets, apartments, and even picked out some restaurants, there's one little detail I haven't put too much thought into: What to wear?

Our vacations typically consist of two things: Eating and walking—for miles each day. And I have yet to find an attractive pair of shoes that can stand up to the amount of walking we do. I'm so baffled by the bloggers who gallivant around Europe in their cute little sandals and heels. Do they keep a pair of sensible flats in their oversized (and equally impractical) purse?

These are the shoes that I've run across in my search for cute and comfortable options. I'm still not completely sold on any of them, so if you have any suggestions, please share them in the comments!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Traveling on the Whole30: 4 Survival Snacks

Whole30 Travel Survival Snacks

Being on the Whole30 is stressful. Traveling is stressful. When you put the two together, you're almost setting yourself up for failure.

I had to travel to Boston last week for work, a trip I'd been dreading all month because of my diet. Not only would I have to deal with the stress of traveling solo, but I'd have to find compliant food in the airport, in my hotel, and on the road. Without a car or grocery store, I was at the mercy of my surroundings—and I wasn't sure if I'd make it. 

Luckily, I took the time to prepare myself, packing more snacks than a soccer mom. And I can proudly say that I survived the trip with only a couple of small slip-ups. (Wine turned out to be a necessity—sorry not sorry.) Here's what I sipped and snacked on in those moments when I just wanted a candy bar and a Coke.

Larabars — Not all Larabars are compliant, but a bunch of them only have nuts and fruit. On the day when the office ordered pizza for lunch, I munched on a side salad followed by a coconut cream pie Larabar—and I didn't hate it.

Plantain Chips — You've got to search for a bag that isn't made with cane sugar or non-compliant oils, but plantain chips are sweet, salty, and satisfying. With a can of La Croix, they quickly quell any snack craving. 

Black Iced Coffee — When I lived and worked in Boston, I survived off of Dunkin's large iced coffees with a generous amount of cream and sugar—it was one of my favorite treats. I really wasn't sure if I could switch to black coffee, but it turns out, if it's good coffee, black is almost better. Grabbing a coffee at the airport and in the mid-afternoon at work kept me happy and energized.

Dried Figs — They may not be pretty, but figs are gooey, chewy, sweet, crunchy, and delicious. Perfect for packing and snacking.

Bonus Tip: The Appetizer Menu — Especially at nicer restaurants, chefs tend to embrace seasonal foods and experimentation on their appetizer menus, which often means creative, veggie-packed dishes. When eating out, you may have more luck ordering a couple of appetizers instead of a traditional entree.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Whole30 Week 1: 5 Things I Couldn't Live Without

Whole 30 MVPs

I just completed Week 1 of the Whole30, a 30-day diet that eliminates all sugar, dairy, legumes, alcohol, and grains. Why would I do that to myself? Because the program promises increased energy, balanced metabolism, weight loss, improved gut health, and—most importantly for me—control over cravings. Todd and I both also wanted to stop being so dependent on eating out, something we do way too often.

So what does that leave? Meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts (except peanuts), and healthy fats like olive and coconut oils. Week 1 felt surprisingly normal for me, and I was almost never hungry (although I have missed my after-work wine). We had taco salad, steak, stuffed peppers, Nicoise salad, and lots more, and spent more time together in the kitchen than we ever have before. We even travelled over the weekend then had friends over for dinner with no problems at all. Here are the five ingredients that kept me going through the week!

  • Eggs — I. Love. Eggs. Scrambled, hard-boiled, poached, sunny-side up—you name it. I ate veggie-packed scrambles for breakfast, hard-boiled eggs for snacks, and a frittata for lunch. 
  • Avocados — I made guacamole several times throughout the week and piled it on top of fajitas, chopped veggies, and turkey-lettuce wraps. It tastes so good, I feel like I'm "cheating," but it's 100 percent compliant.
  • Spinach — Whether eaten fresh in the form of a salad, mixed in with scrambled eggs, or simply sautéed with some garlic and coconut oil, spinach is versatile, delicious, and packed with nutrients.
  • La Croix — I was so happy when I learned that La Croix is allowed. We bought several cases at Target and I drink one when I'm craving sweetness. The coconut is by far my favorite, but they're all good. 
  • Zucchini — It's in season, cheap, and crazy versatile. Zucchini chips, zoodles, and simply sautéed as a side. We have some growing in the garden, and I can't wait until it's ripe enough to eat!
P.S. This is my favorite recipe from the week. 
Also, this post is why I decided to take the plunge.