As no one has noticed I’m sure, I’m a bit behind on making a post. I was at a conference/vacation in San Destin, FL for a week, then drove to Oxford for a wedding (Yay, Linley and Jack!!), and finally returned to Jackson on Sunday. It was a nice break, my family and I had a great time at the beach and enjoyed the Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians Annual Assembly Meeting. I tried my hardest to fit in some exercise and I managed to do so for a couple days, but it got to be a little difficult. Having to be at the conference at 7 am meant that I had to wake up at 5:30 to get in a morning run. I definitely didn’t want to run in the afternoon though, it was too hot and a waste of relaxing sun bathing time on the beach. So, for the first two days we were there I managed to pull myself out of bed early enough to run, Dad even came with me one day! Even though not exercising was bothering my conscious, I was on vacation, which I feel was needed, so I tried to relax about it. Plus, I tried to make up for it by not splurging too much on what I ate. Two days of running on vacation is better than none, right?! Out of seven days, we only ate out three nights, which I think is pretty good as well. It’s hard to cook on vacation when you’re at meetings during the day and then have night activities too. We did manage to cook up a few things that were pretty delicious though!
Snacks for the Beach
Beach vacations are always a sink for unhealthy snacks that are beach friendly and portable. And, if you’re like my family, the kids always beg to have lunch at the beachside bar and grill where they serve chicken tenders, hamburgers, and french fries. Now that I’m old enough to realize it’s simple to avoid those circumstances, I’m happy to say that we did avoid them. It was quite simple too! For snacks, we bought whole grain goldfish, popcorn, and ingredients for homemade trailmix. I made the trail mix with almonds, sunflower seeds, and craisins using pretty much equal portions of each item. This is my new favorite snack by the way. I have always liked almonds and have recently discovered I like sunflower seeds; adding craisins gives just the right amount of sweetness. In order to keep us from eating everything in one afternoon snack sitting, I divided everything up into approximately 100-150 calorie servings using small snack size ziploc bags. Now, you may think that dividing everything up takes to much time and effort, but it really wasn’t, especially using a measuring cup. I think I’m going to start doing this at home and stop buying the ready made 100 calorie packs, it will be much cheaper and probably even a little healthier depending on what I buy. As for lunch on or at the beach, remember that it’s easy to buy sandwich, wrap, and/or salad fixings for the week at a much lesser cost than what you could get at a restaurant. We made our lunches all week and it worked out great. Hopefully you can give those tips a try next time you go to the beach, or on your next trip.
Dinner at the Beach
Being at the beach gives you the opportunity to get fresh seafood that you may not have access to at home. My family and I both like to have seafood, especially when we can get it fresh from a fish market on the coast. I was anxious to try out a new fish recipe, but hadn’t found one quite yet when my dad suggested we try to make our own stuffed flounder. I thought that sounded pretty good and he knew of a recipe we could go by. Basically he sauteed onion, green pepper, and shrimp in olive oil, a tablespoon or so of butter, and a couple tablespoons of worcestershire sauce. He then added some Tony Chacere seasoning along with some salt and pepper. I suggested using brown rice instead of bread crumbs as the binding agent to be a little healthier. We added precooked crab meat to the sauté mix and then mixed all the stuffing componnents together. Dad and I differed a little on how to stuff our fish, but it turned out okay. He used one fillet on the bottom and then cut another in half to create the sides; I wanted a slightly smaller portion so I folded one fillet for dinner and rolled another to have the next day for lunch. I think they turned out better than we had anticipated, I personally felt like I was eating food right out of a restaurant. The pictures are of my dad’s version before they went in the oven and my plate after everything was made. If you want to give it a try, but aren’t sure what to do, leave a comment and I’ll get in touch.
A healthy dessert seems to be a bit of an oxymoron, but I think I’ve found one that I can call healthy and not feel bad about it. I do eat fruit as a dessert sometimes and I definitely think that is a healthy dessert option, but I’m also somewhat of a chocoholic. I found this recipe through Pinterest and decided to make it while we were at the beach. It’s a vegan/raw cookie dough bite recipe. I was lacking the vanilla since we were in a different kitchen and I’m used to having it at home, but they still turned out yummy in my book. I also had to use a blender, so the oats and nuts weren’t ground as fine as they should have been. I think a food processor will work better. Anyway, they made for a nice treat and they were the perfect size for someone who just needs a couple bites of sweetness after a meal. Click here for the recipe, its from another food blogger and she’s got lots of variations of this recipe and others for you to try.