Trip or Treat? BOTH!

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It’s Summer time! I live in Florida, so, technically Summer started back in like… December. I know, I know. Those of you that are up North are probably saying to yourself, “Girrrrllll, you have no idea how lucky you are! The snow was awful this year, it was too cold, there was too much, blahblahblaaahhhhh. You can stop right there because I don’t want to hear it. Here’s an idea. You and I can trade places for Christmas. I’ll wake up in your winter wonderland and you can stay at my house where you’ll have to put a scuba tank on just to be able to breathe because it’s so damn humid outside. Yeah, try having a MERRY CHRISTMAS when it’s 12 thousand degrees out there. (Sheesh, is my bitterness showing?)

Anyway, it’s officially Summer now because “Summer Vacation” has begun. All the little kiddos are officially running rampant at the mall, beach, movies and anywhere else their parents can think of to take them to get them out of their hair. I work at the mall and I’m already ready for them to go back to school. LOL. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE kids. Well, I love babies or, the idea of babies. Too much work to actually own (have?) one… Nevermind, what I’m trying to say is that kids usually have a habit of making a mess of the store. I guess it’s that obnoxious preteen stage that I’m referring too. Anyway, I’ve been busy busy busy this past week! My main duty at work is to process shipment and do operational tasks. Well, we’ve been getting a butt load of shipment the past 2 weeks. I’m super excited I’m finally getting more hours but that shizz is exhausting. This upcoming week is going to be a DOOZY because our big sale starts Monday. Every semi-annual sale our store gets “tore up”. Not just by the sticky handed children, but the adults, too. It’s a fun place to work but this time of year get’s pretty hectic. Like I said, I’m a tasker. My job is to maintain visual standards (Keep it pretty!) and keep the sales floor stocked (Keep it full!). I stay plenty busy when the store is super busy. I’m telling you this so you’ll understand just how excited I am to leave for vacation on Friday!
photo 2 (2)We’re going to my favorite place in the world, Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I’ve probably been there 20 times in my life and I still get just as excited as I did the very first time. I love everything about it. When I’m there, I feel like I’m home, like it’s where I’m supposed to be, where I was always supposed to be. The first few times, we stayed in a hotel, but about 10 years ago we switched to renting a cabin and we’ve never looked back. It’s a totally different experience than a hotel. There’s so much to do! In the morning we have coffee on the back porch while we take in the Smoky Mountain view. I bake cinnamon buns while my mom cooks the bacon and eggs. During breakfast we usually finalize our plans for the day.

alum cave tripThere’s TONS of stuff to do in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area. My ABSOLUTE favorite thing is hiking the trails (Alum Cave trail pictured to the right). We’ve done several different ones. I also thoroughly enjoy playing in the rivers and streams. We’ve already decided on this trip we’re going to hike (I believe we’ve settled on Abrams Falls trail this time), go tubing (Cowboy Tubing in Townsend), go whitewater rafting, visit a cavern, go on a ghost tour and walk the main strip of Gatlinburg and obviously taste all that Smoky Mountain Moonshine has to offer (Preferably right before the ghost tour 😉 Last time, I bought the blackberry moonshine. It was to die for. My parents bought the apple pie moonshine and HOLY COW it was just as good. This year I’ve got my eyes on the moonshine soaked maraschino cherries (DROOL!)

I also want to point out that I’m sooo looking forward to EATING. Some of my favorite restaurants up there are… No Way Jose’s Cantina (Best Authentic Mexican food I’ve EVER tasted), The Old Mill (I’m pretty sure that the breakfast they serve equals my entire days worth of calories, but it’s SO delicious that I don’t even care!) and last but not least, Huck Finn’s Catfish (because MMM hush puppies!) I’m getting hungry.

Paula Deen also opened her new restaurant in Pigeon Forge last year. I’m looking forward to the chicken and waffles (combination created by God himself…)

moonshine tripAfter our active, busy days and stuffing our faces we usually are looking forward to heading back to the cabin. Usually I grab a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food before heading back up the mountain so that I have something to eat after chillin’ in the hot tub (Although Ben and Jerry may be replaced with Smoky Mountain Moonshine, you know, now that I’m a “big girl”) We usually finish off the night with a movie or board game before getting to bed and doing it all over again in the a.m.!

It’s easy to see why I love it so much. It’s so relaxed (as a vacation should be…) Last year, we went on a cruise for our Summer vacation. Cruises are tons of fun and I had a blast but there’s just too much effort involved for my liking. There’s no flat ironing of hair, putting on makeup, putting on fancy clothes, etc. when you’re in the mountains. I can literally throw on a ratty pair of jean shorts and t-shirt, put my hair in a pineapple bun and run out the door to become one with nature. Agh I love it and I’m so very excited. All I have to do is get through 4 more work days! EEEEK!

river trip

The question I’ve been asked is am I going to “count my macros” while on vacation? My answer is no. I’m not saying I’m going to go completely hog wild. I’ve been doing it so long that I simply can’t not think about the numbers when I look at food. I am going to be a little more lenient. Like I said in a previous post, it’s extremely difficult to count your macros when eating out if that restaurant does not offer nutritional information. My recommendation was to just not eat out OR to make your best judgement. It’s a little different when you’re on vacation because ONE, you’re constantly eating out so it makes it difficult to skip and TWO, when I’m on vacation I DON’T WANT TO SKIP EATING OUT! Here’s My plan:

  • If I eat a big breakfast, I’ll have a smaller dinner.
  • I’ll have a smaller breakfast if I know we’re doing something that’s a little less active like tubing or if we’re going to have a heartier dinner.
  • I’m going to try to limit myself to one “cheat meal” a day. Key word is “try”… 😉
  • When we’re in Tennessee, 90% of the things we do are active so we’ll still be getting plenty of exercise.
  • We’ve decided (Josh, Mike and I) that we’re going to bring some 35 pound dumbbells so we can do curls, walking lunges up and down the hill at the cabin, body weight squats, push ups, etc…

Gaining a few pounds, whether it’s water weight or actual weight no longer terrifies me. I know it’s not the end of the world because when I come back I’ll have the time and energy to take it right back off. It’s NOT permanent. One of my biggest issues is on the car ride up. We love to stop and get snacks. Snack calories can add up FAST. My plan is to pack my lunch and snacks so that I know exactly what I’m eating the whole 10 hour trip there. I’ll have 5 full days of eating without counting and then the 10 hour drive home on the 6th day. I probably won’t have a lunch to pack for that so I’ll just eat accordingly. It’s looking like we might spend an extra night in Savannah, Georgia like we did last time on our way home which would add an extra day to not counting (totally fine with me!) I love Savannah. It’s a beautiful city with incredible history. We thoroughly enjoy the ghost tours there!

I’m sure you guys all have some kind of Summer vacation planned, and I know that a few of you have expressed concern on how to handle the “diet” issue. My advice is to not beat yourself up. Vacations are for relaxing. Constantly worrying about your diet is going to STRESS YOU OUT. In my experience, if you deprive yourself on vacation, you’re more likely to binge once you get back home (when you’re supposed to be getting back on track.) So just have fun while on vacation. Do your best to not stress out or obsess about it. You can still make healthy choices: choose grilled over fried, veggies over french fries, eggs over pancakes, water over soda, active over inactive, etc… BUT DON’T FORGET to treat yourself a little. You are on VACATION. Have the chicken and waffles, savor every bite and then get your butt up that mountain!

I hope that some of these tips will help those of you that are a bit worried on how to handle your diet on vacation. If you think of any other questions, please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them for you! Depending on how much down time I have and/or if I even have an internet connection on the mountain, I may or may not be posting next week. We shall see! If not, my next post will be about the trip!

Until next time…


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I'm an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. I worked in a gym setting back in Florida for over 2 years, training one-on-one clients and leading group fitness classes. I absolutely loved it, but once we moved across the country to Colorado, I decided to take the opportunity to pursue a slightly different career! My obsession with exercise and love for writing collided, which is how I became a fitness lifestyle writer.


  1. linda

    June 7, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    I love your blogs and of course the advice. I LOVE the whole “if it fits your macro’s!” I am away from home and it is a wonderful way to eat and still stay of track! Thanks for all the advice.

  2. Dave

    June 7, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    I say it every time…Great Post ! They are always full of good advise and humor. I thoroughly enjoy reading and sharing them. You have definitely found your calling, Great Job !!

  3. Mike

    June 8, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Is it Friday yet?! I just want to be on vacation!

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