Calories Can Be Burned, Buttery Vacation Food is Forever


Good morning!

Thought I’d take a break from re-capping to catch up with you all! :)

I’m feeling a wee bit zipped up this morning, as I drank my a.m. coffee on an empty stomach, while getting ready, instead of with breakfast. Muwahaha!


It’s no Italian cappuccino with thick, frothy milk, but it’ll do. Btw, the coffee bars in Italy only serve one size of drink (unless you get an espresso shot.) I think it was a 12oz’er. No tall, grande or venti options – one size fits all!


In other news, I left for 10 days and all of the sudden the sun doesn’t come up until 7:30am, or something ridiculous like that. I can’t believe it’s time to usher in breakfast pictures under the oven light – Fall is definitely here!

I broke out my Autumn colored placemat to mark the occasion, using it as a backdrop for my delectable bowl of Kashi Honey Almond Flax Cereal.


That’s a serving of insanely crunchy (seriously I thought I chipped a molar when I was snacking on it last night!) Kashi Honey Almond Flax cereal, a sliced banana and Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze.


Perhaps my most favorite fruit/milk/cereal combo?!


Eating a banana with milk always reminds me of my Grandpa. He had it for breakfast every morning for as long as I can remember. :)


I have a very picnic-esque lunch today.


That’s a turkey, cheddar & spicy dijon mustard sammy, 

DSC_0009 DSC_0008

a juicy nectarine (so often overlooked in favor of peaches, no?)


and a Tropical Fruit Tart Larabar!


Autumn, Autumn, Autumn!


In other news, I’m feeling doughy. My arms are squishy and my cheeks are puffy.

My vacation motto has always been, fittingly, when in Rome. When I’m in a new place with local cuisine I can’t get anywhere else, I dig in. Calories can be burned off, but the memory of buttery seafood is forever.

As I’ve tried to get my life back in order over the past two days, I’ve realized even more how important meal planning is. I didn’t get a chance to go grocery shopping until just last night, which meant dinners of a cupcake and salt & vinegar chips on Monday, and cereal and pretzels last night. No healthy meal options on hand = hard to get back into a healthy eating routine.

Well, the rest of the week’s meals have been planned, groceries have been bought and operation Back on the Bandwagon begins today. Starting with my protein & fruit filled breakfast, light yet filling lunch and a dinner revolving around some roasty, golden veggies – mmmm, I can smell them now!

If the rain holds out, I’m hoping to go for a run this afternoon too. It shouldn’t be too hard to get back in the game, as we walked, hiked and climbed our way through Italy for 10 whole days. I think my thighs might be more toned then before I left! ;)

Wish me luck and happy hump day!


Are you like me with a when in Rome” philosophy towards food while on vacation? Or do you prefer to stick to your normal eating habits as much as possible?

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  1. I love your philosophy! I think it is really important to enjoy ourselves on vacation, and for a lot of us, that means food! I still eat pretty normal most days but often have bigger dinners, and always have dessert. Oh, and ice cream at 10am. :) It’s vacation!

    • haha i hear you on the ice cream. when i went on a cruise, i ate AT LEAST 4 strawberry and vanilla fro-yo cones…per day! hey, it was free and it was fro-yo!

  2. Ashley 09.15.2010

    I definitely take your “When in Rome” philosophy to heart! Maybe a little too often though…

  3. i do a little of both. i like to indulge on vacation but at the same time, i get tired of that and do want to be healthy so it’s a balance. that’s why i love staying in places w/ kitchen access :) looks like you’re back on track though!

  4. i have the same philosophy. i dont blow empty calories on things i can get in the states, but i would gladly splurge for fresh baked spanokopita, juicy gyros, and sticky baklava like i did when i was in greece. i also love nectarines WAY more than peaches!! i hate the peach fuzz on my lips!

  5. Agreed! Ten times over…agreed! I usually end up splurging on dinners/desserts, so I try to make the swap that my snacks and other two meals are light and healthy. Because too much of a good thing, well…it ceases to be a good thing.

  6. It’s hard to stay on track while on vacation, but I like to splurge a little and eat as healthfully as I can. Workouts are a NO on vaca for me!

  7. I can tell the sun is rising a lot later here too, and I don’t know how I’m going to get any good pictures in the morning. I love the Tropical Fruit Tart Larabars and nectarines!

  8. Beth @ bethcooks 09.15.2010

    I definitely agree with your philosophy! 100%! You have to taste the local fare and experience the amazing cuisine each place has to offer. You just get to work a little harder for the couple weeks following your vacay :)
    Totally worth it though.

  9. Cate 09.15.2010

    I also concur…on my last trip I ate pretty much anything I wanted (when I DID manage to sit down!), but with all the hiking around with a 35 lb pack on my shoulders, I think I still came back 5-6 pounds lighter than when I left!

  10. Marina 09.15.2010

    I agree, I mean, who would resist ice creams, pizza, pasta…
    the part of traveling and discovering new cultures is also discovering the food.
    and it’s the most fun part :)
    I can’t wait to go to Italy and eat pizza and pasta all the time, with a gelato for a dessert.
    Frick. Now I’ m hungry :D

  11. Tina 09.15.2010

    I feel the same way. You should enjoy vacation. I tend to find most of the puffiness I come back with is water weight anyways and is gone within a couple weeks of getting back to normal habits. Then you have all the great memories as well. :)

  12. Julie S. 09.15.2010

    That’s the best part of vacay – indulge indulge indulge! It usually takes me a day or 2 to wean myself off of the health nut wagon, & I also try to get lots of exercise while I’m gone to help mitigate the damage. Like you, I oftentimes have a hard time getting back on track right away when I get back.

  13. jen 09.15.2010

    Oh, I’m totally a “when in Rome” person….unfortunatley, I’m not as good as you are at getting back on track!

  14. You just have to indulge in local cuisine when you go away. Seriously, I think it’s the law! Part of the whole travelling experience is the food and the way it is eaten, so if you miss out on that you really are missing out on part of the experience. I’m sure you’ll do a great job of getting back into a healthy routine, and your food today is a great start! :)

  15. That is by FAR my favorite cereal combo as well! I let it sit awhile so the cereal isn’t quiiite as crunchy. On vacation I definitely have a few indulgent days but overall abide by the “moderation” thing!

  16. I definitely agree with your philosophy. When you are on vacation, you deserve to treat yourself! How often are you going to be in Italy surrounded by some of the most delicious food in the world? I wouldn’t stop eating the whole trip! I always put into perspective how often I will be able to enjoy something when I splurge. Like a holiday for instance, thanksgiving is only once a year so I go all out. Vacations should be treated the same! You can always hit the gym when you get home, but you can’t go back and wish you ate an extra scoop of gelato :)

  17. Mich 09.15.2010

    Definitely When In Rome. Over labor day weekend, I went to the MN State Fair and indulged in everything fried fair fare. Fried pickles, fried cheese curds, fried Milky Ways, fried, fried, fried! I felt and still feel a little eaters remorse over it.

    Your vacation looked amazing. I’m hanging out in Southern France next summer for a friend’s wedding… and now I’m convinced that we need to take the short bus trip to Italy too! Woo!

    • Mich 09.15.2010

      Oh and we stopped off at Hickory Park on our way home from MN… that place is the death of me. I always over order and have to take a short walk around Ames before I can get back in the car to head home…. but I love it!

  18. I definitely follow your philosophy but also try to keep up with my normal workout routine if possible so I’m not completely out of it when I return home. Thankfully my last few trips have all had hotels with a great gym, but later in the month I will be staying with my friend who doesn’t workout and with no gym in site it will be more of challenge to get my body moving. But I think I’m up for it!

  19. When in Rome… I agree with that statement. You only live once..

  20. Jill 09.15.2010

    I love your “When in Rome” statement – you’re on vacation, you should enjoy it!

    PS Saw your Twitter post about missing Teen Mom last week. Here’s a site that will recap it for you

    I promise if you haven’t read this before, you will die laughing!

  21. Elyse 09.15.2010

    I like to have kitchen access when I travel too so that I can keep within my diet, but still be able to enjoy eating out. It also helps save money so that you can spend more of it doing fun things on your trip instead of eating out every single meal. If kitchen access isn’t availabe, I almost always at least look for hotels that provide breakfast every morning.

  22. Erin (penny. LA) 09.15.2010

    Yum, Kashi and bananas… an unbeatable combination!

    And somebody mentioned Hickory Park… OHHH. What a fabulous reminder of my college days. <3

    I definitely splurge, calorie-wise, on vacation. It's a time to have fun and enjoy yourself – "Calories Can Be Burned, Buttery Vacation Food is Forever" is very fitting. Dining out is an experience – and I want to have the entire experience on vacation.

  23. sarah 09.15.2010

    vacation is always the time to splurge especially in a country known for food! i walked so much in italy/sweat to death that i think i lost weight so win win haha.

  24. kate.d 09.15.2010

    I definitely agree. Don’t be too worried- I’m sure you will get back to normal with hardly any effort! A lot of times that “puffiness” is a lot of water retention and bloat that sometimes occurs when people travel. Plus, it seems like you walked around a TON while you were on vacation.

  25. Lauren 09.15.2010

    I love this motto!!! You are so wise my dear Kristin and so true. There will always be time to jump back on the bandwagon but maybe never a time to enjoy homemade Italian Gellato ever again!!!

  26. Machelle 09.15.2010

    Life can be very short….load up on good local food while you can !!! Also, as kids we would have a bowl of sliced “nanners” with milk & a little sprinkle of sugar. Wonderful!

  27. I 100% agree with your philosophy. Usually when I get back from vacation I almost look forward to getting back on the bandwagon. Something about routine just feels nice :) AND it makes you appreciate that vacation time that much more!

  28. I love your food philosophy! As you said – calories can be burned but food memories last forever!

  29. Bridget 09.15.2010

    I enjoy my vacations! I always get back into a normal routine afterwards so then I don’t feel so guilty indulging on a trip.

  30. Sara 09.15.2010

    I try to be When in Rome on weekends and on vacations. Now that football season is here, it’s too much fun to pig out on tailgate food than to try to eat healthy…it’s the weekend, after all! :)

  31. Diana 09.16.2010

    I just got back from an 11 day trip to Italy as well! We went with a tour group and went to Naples, Florance, and Rome with day trips to Capri, Sorrento, and Venice. OMG best vacation of my life. I was also so impressed with the incredible views and history every where you turned. And of course the food!! Best pasta, seafood, pizza, wine, espresso, and gelato ever. Ugh, adjusting back to real life is going to be tough. I’m on board with your plan to move to the Almafi coast. Maybe we can be neighbors!

  32. Dream Mom 09.19.2010

    Earlier this year, we went on my son’s Make a Wish trip. The place we stayed didn’t do fruit and vegetables very well so I did the “when in Rome” thing. I tried not to overeat but I definitely missed all of my f & v. When I got home, I had gained 9.5 pounds in one week! OMG! It took me two weeks to get the weight off. I worked so hard to get it off as quick as possible. Next time, I’ll buy some f & v and stick to my own menu a little closer, lol.

  33. […] still experimenting with morning photo shoots in the dark. Last week it was under the bright stove lights, this week it’s with a quick shutter under the warm-toned kitchen light. More […]

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