The L.A. Experience

The invite to a 4-day jaunt to sunny California came suddenly and simply via text as:

Wanna go to Cali? Flights are priced at $9.95 each way, plus taxes. We have to book right away though so text me ASAP if you’re in.

The plans for this vacation were the same as always: Go out at night to dance and meet the locals and catch up on trashy reality TV during the day. This trip’s pick -the trashy goings on of the Kardashians. We kept up with them for several episodes & then
followed Khloé & Kourtney as they ‘Took Miami’. In the latter episodes,  Kourtney has a Maxim magazine bikini photo shoot and then later gets pregnant and pops out a baby, then wants to do another photo shoot post baby but has unrealistic expectations on how her body can look. Ask any mother. Sure they’ll claim to love their little body wreckers children unconditionally but they know the real reason their hips have swelled out and their bellies have stretched…

As I yelled at the TV characters (reality people ARE characters after all) because they look healthy and good and are so obsessed with looking better,  my friends send me incredulous

Oooo sexy muscles

stares with hints of black kettles and dark pots.  Ya, ya, ya well I’m just seeking out sexy strength is all (see Alicia Marie) and I like going to the gym.  Plus I have another few months to achieve a firmer look or forever hold my gut. Sigh.

Alas, I think I have a good eat/live balance at least – after all, here’s how the weekend played out:

Day 1

Pre vacation weigh-in: Yay! Lost all the weight gained during the previous vacation (a few weeks earlier). Keeping this momentum going, blueberries and high fibre cereal with almond milk are had for breakfast. Lunch will be more blueberries & whatever healthy snacks are available at the airport.

Lunch: Bottled water, half a ham and cheese sandwich (which was literally just ham, cheese and bread) and a small bag of Fritos for the low, airplane price of $8.
Dinner: The plan was a salad until I saw an In and Out burger down the block from the hotel. Having wanted to try this American chain for years, all thoughts of getting a salad go out the door. A cheeseburger, animal style (with grilled onions and special sauce) and fries are what’s for dinner today!

Day 2

Last night’s burger and fries, coupled with a poor decision to try cherry flavoured vodka (what were we thinking?) and lots of it, left me with a sore throat and a forcibly emptied stomach. On the plus side, it’s like the cheeseburger and fries and the Fritos on the plane never happened. Yay! Fresh starts rock!

Breakfast: Free continental brekky from the hotel. I plan on stocking up on fruits and lots of grainy fibre. Oh darn. Learning what a continental breakfast at this hotel means, I instead stock up on buttered english muffins, cream cheese slathered bagels and chocolate chip muffins. The healthy eating starts at lunch!

Lunchtime hits and still high off my ‘fresh start day’, I decide to order something substantial for lunch – pasta bolognese in a rose sauce. This way, I can have a big salad later on for dinner (good plan!). The large dish arrives carrying over 8 servings of pasta on it (wow).

Whoa. Thats a lotta pasta...

A local friend joins us for lunch and regales us casually with tales of playing basketball with Leonardo (Dicaprio) and Leo’s  fiancé Bar (Rafaeli) and hanging with Natalie (Portman). The dropped names are whispered so apologetically that we each utter a “pardon?!!” whilst picking our jaws up off the floor. While he only mentioned them is passing at our pressing, I’m quickly reminded that we’re in Hollywood – the land of beautiful people. Knowing I have to buy an outfit for tonight, I look at the mound of food in front of me and nibble off one serving, getting the rest to go (for the next 7 meals?). After all, I don’t want to try on outfits with a food baby.

Now THAT's classy!

At the store, I gingerly grab a few dresses in my current size in the hopes that I can still wedge into them. First up, a beautiful and form fitting brown/gold Calvin Klein dress. It epitomizes sexy to me in a Sex and the City way (the good kind!). Double checking the price tag, I see its also one of the smaller sizes, whoop! What’s more, it’s actually a little loose in the belly area, double whoop!

Dinner: Clutching my amazing dress, I head back to the hotel and polish off another 2 servings of leftover pasta bolognese (I’ll pick up some fruit later for the morning…). This would also be my last full meal of the day (see girl’s guide). The next meals would consist of olives, marachino cherries and little umbrellas.

9 hours later

It actually looks like the inside of a house, cool!

Later that night, walking back to our hotel from the famed Hollywood nightspot ‘My House’, lovely gentlemen driving by spy our sophisticated outfits and decide to show their appreciation via honks, whistles and hollering (a true way to a girl’s heart). My body language ignores them but my stomach growls in response (olives & celery just don’t go as far as they used to). Feeling great in my new dress (thank you, drunken male fans!) I decide to allow myself a small snack in celebration. I slip into the 24-hour cafe attached to the well-known Roosevelt Hotel and order a deluxe burger (grilled onions, panchetta bacon, gorgonzola cheese, etc.)  with yam fries to go. $14 and 2 large containers later, I take 2 bites of the burger and a handful of fries and am literally stuffed (damn shrinking stomach). As my father would say “My eyes were bigger than my stomach”. With plans to eat the rest for breakfast (it’s healthy-ish, right?), I wake up the next morning with no desire for any of it. However, to appease my rumbling stomach, I remove the bun and polish off half the burger (protein) along with the tomato, onion and lettuce (look, a salad, yay!). The rest gets tossed in the trash along with the remaining pound of yam fries.

Day 3

Breakfast part II: Sleeping through the continental breakfast hours, my friend saves the day by entering the room with McDonalds’ fries for all. We excitedly dig in until we taste them and they’re ice cold. Not necessarily a negative for mickey dees but some underpaid worker didn’t bother to salt them so it was like chewing cold, greasy cardboard.

Lunch: Thoughts of food pushed to the wayside (trying to choke down a carton of cardboard will do that to you), shopping was next on the agenda. Finding a great shirt to wear that night (it fits, yay!), we crave and share 1 dish of fast food Chinese.  Mmmm. Maybe I was starving but I thought it was the best dish of Chinese I’ve ever had. My shopping buddy (who had earlier polished off a large McDonald’s meal) nibbled on her half and informed me I must be starving as this dish was worse than a food court dish of Chinese grub (I wonder if that means she doesn’t want her half??).

Dinner: After a 2+ hour tour of the city’s famous  landmarks, I’m famished. Sure it was a

Uncle Phil? You still in there?

seated bus tour but all that fresh Beverly Hills was taking its toll. Time to eat. I inform my friends I want something chocolate-y, deep-fried and caffeinated. After explaining to them that its 3 different things I crave and not some amazing superfood (won’t someone please invent it?), I settle for a half slice of pepperoni pizza and a hazelnut latte (protein, grains, dairy and…other?).  Going out on our last night, the next meal would again consist of olives and lemon wedges.

After hours

8 hours later and another great night of dancing to some amazing DJs comes to an end. This time at the 2-level, 5 dance floor Highland Club in Hollywood. Heading back to the hotel, I smell a deliciously meaty combination that I can’t quite place and turn to see a Latina woman with a rolling cart selling grilled hot dogs….wrapped in bacon. Wow! I demand that she sell me one and she happily obliges. A jumbo hot dog, wrapped in bacon then served with grilled onions, watercress, ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise. Walking back along the Hollywood strip to our hotel, the attention received is now more for the hot dog “ Hey baby, lemme get a piece of that hot dog…” wishing I could share the calories but having no intention to share the hot dog, I polish it off myself with mental promises to do some laps in the pool in the morning before we leave (5 or 6 should do it).

Day 4

Breakfast: More starches and butters and jams and cream cheeses. I have already mentally added 3 additional workouts at the gym for the coming week (to make up for the lack of laps in the pool too).

Lunch: Lounging on the beach in Long Beach,  we head to Alfredo’s Lunch Shack. While I was planning on having a garden salad for lunch (hahhahahahahaha!)  they didn’t serve anything of the sort. We settle for corn dogs, chicken strips, fries while I had 2 of the best baja style tacos ever (protein, corn is the grain and the salsa verde and the lemon are the serving of fruit/veggie!). If they served soft serve twist ice cream, I would have eaten that too (dairy!).

You should be lunch EVERY day!

Dinner: on the plane ride home I get a bag of munchies and a package of m&m peanuts (you see the chocolate is the….ah who am I kidding??) and just enjoy the memories of good times shared in a beautiful city (damn those tacos were good!)

The Skinny

Good intentions are nothing without a little desire and some willpower. Eating healthy on vacation is absolutely possible but planning is obviously necessary. Back from vacation, I know that planning ahead is the key to staying on a healthy eating path and I definitely, absolutely, positively plan to get right on that….

Starting tomorrow. 😉

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pasta image source
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One thought on “The L.A. Experience

  1. Pingback: A slip of the Mexican tongue « Living, with 'Nelley

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