It’s no secret, America is famous for (amongst countless other things) fast food. As a girl with goals of a tight tummy or “baby abs” as I used to call them, and a specific body fat percentage – I find the temptations can be all too much some times. I wish I was as disciplined as I once was when I lived at home in Ireland. I feel as though lately my cravings for fries, chicken tenders and pizza slices have increased as I continue to give in to them.
So what’s a girl to do? I honestly can’t say for sure how long I will be living in the US for, because you never know what is around the corner. So I don’t want to deprive myself of the meals out, different cuisines, and the indulgences that simply can’t be found elsewhere. I think I’ve come to the conclusion though, after a busy few weeks and lots of comfort food and take outs, that my body and skin is more important to me. I kid you not, the condition of my skin is at an all time low these past few weeks. It’s easy to pop a filter on a photo and ignore it virtually, but in person – trust me the problem areas are blatantly there.
This post was originally supposed to be about staying healthy while traveling, but realistically living in New York feels like I am on a constant holiday so the temptations are always there. Eating out is always going to happen (multiple times a week) but you have to enjoy life and I certainly intend on doing so.
However, I can safely say that I notice a direct correlation between the deterioration of my skin and the food that I put inside my body. Not to mention how much fluffier I feel around the edges lying in bed each night.
I’m going to use last week’s trip to Austin as an example for this post. I started small but strong on the first morning by opting for an apple and a packet of nuts instead of the bagel that was literally calling my name. I promised myself that I was going to take the following steps to really try and find the balance between making the most of a girls trip, and feeling satisfied with my food decisions so that I felt better after a meal, and not overcome with guilt. I don’t think I did too badly of a job at sticking to these guidelines. Let me know if you find them useful!
There will always drinks and I’m certainly not one to deny myself a few. Last Wednesday was the first day that I took off work since May of this year (holiday days are not plentiful in the US) so I intended on absolutely enjoying my downtime. Instead of picking my favorite cocktail (Moscow Mules) I opted for a “vodka-fresh-water-and-some-fresh-lime” as my drink of choice. It’s definitely the most low-cal option out there in my opinion. I also made a big effort and have a glass of water between drinks. Like I mentioned above, my skin is really worse for wear at the moment so I needed all of the hydration that I could get.
I talked about this in a previous post a few weeks ago. It’s easy to pick up a monster bag of popcorn (which is always either salted to the max, or flavored with butter), but realistically I just feel like all of the on-the-go food options are just not good for you. Not to mention if you are like me and lack serious self control, it’s impossible not to consume the entire bag of something. Bags of crisps and popcorn over here are literally the length and width of my torso, and wouldn’t just comfortably fit inside your handbag for a mid-afternoon pick me up. I usually try and opt for fresh fruit, unsalted nuts/trail mix, and maybe a protein bar (depending on whether or not I can find one that isn’t loaded with sugar). Again, my skin is not reacting well to sugar so I’m trying to cut down.
Ahhh, the bain of anyone who is trying to live a healthy lifestyle’s life. A good rule of thumb to live by is avoiding fried foods. Opt for a grilled version instead. Order a side of veg, even if it is more expensive. Drink lots of water with your meal, sparkling water is better too because it will fill you up so you can maybe feel more inclined to pass on dessert. Try and order a meat & veg focused meal as opposed to a pasta based/carb heavy dish. (Nothing wrong with pasta obviously, but I just don’t trust restaurants to not load it with extra cream/butter).
I did my best to stick to these rules of thumb last week in Austin. If you’re following along on Snapchat, you will have seen Erika, Kaelin and myself spamming with all of the gorgeous photos of the hotel that we were staying in. We stayed in the Hotel van Zandt and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough for two reasons. A) It’s so stunning, cosy, and the staff were so attentive and welcoming. It was just the dream. B) It’s about a 30 second walk from Rainy Street. Rainy Street is a block of “houses” that are now all converted into different types of bars and restaurants. It is the cutest street I think I’ve ever been on. I think Austin would be the perfect place to come to on a girls weekend purely for Rainy Street alone. It was quiet when we were visiting due to Thanksgiving, but it seems like the best place to be on a Saturday night for a bar crawl!
We booked the hotel through Hotel Tonight which is the most convenient app ever. Our trip was a little more last minute than anticipated, so the app was perfect for finding the coolest hotel in an unfamiliar location. In case you missed any of the photos from our trip, you can check them out on my Instagram (@niamh_osullivan).
Hope everyone has a wonderfully Christmassy weekend!