Count the memories, not the calories

By Claudia Zapata | 2016-10-26 02:30:30 | 6 Comments


I’m back! And, so is my blog.

Wellness news (probiotics 101), fall recipes, and a giveaway are coming soon. But first things first, let’s clear the air my conscience.

October was a big travel month for us. And, after spending 12 wonderful days in California and a few days in Cabo, the old me would be feeling guilty about some of what I ate and most of what I drank. The new me is grateful for every bite and experience, knowing I’ll immediately get back on track.

Here’s a sampling of how we differ:

The old me ordered steamed vegetables at Asian restaurants; the new me enjoyed fried cornish game hen with cashews, tamari glaze, broccoli, and flowering kale at San Fran hotspot, Liholiho Yacht Club (make reservations).

Old me shunned pasta; new me loved sweet white corn & Dungeness crab ravioli at Michelin-star Boulevard Restaurant.

I would rarely eat bread, much less blinis. But, the blinis topped with crème fraîche and Black Sea Osetra caviar Restaurant Gary Danko were so life-changing, I’ve since googled blini recipes.

And, old me would avoid appetizers. But, new me had 12 freaking courses (or was it 14? does the amuse-bouche count?) while celebrating our 15th anniversary with dear friends at The French Laundry in Napa. Because, it was the freaking French Laundry.


There were desserts and wine. And, more wine.


There was even fried chicken. Twice. The me of yesterday or today would never eat fried chicken. But, after a friend ordered four buckets of Thomas Keller’s fried chicken, I’m blaming peer pressure. And, Thomas Keller.

After a week at home, we headed back out west to Cabo, where the hubby and I continued celebrating our quinceñera with long lunches that included guacamole and margaritas. When Sean and I were dating, my dear mother-in-law warned me margaritas contained 17 Weight Watchers points (“is that a lot?” I asked, having no point of reference), and I hadn’t been able to enjoy a margarita since we were married.

But here’s what else Odie Mae taught me that I have never forgotten and embraced: “darlin’, don’t do guilt.”

So, even after umpteen courses, or TWO margaritas, I Don’t. Do. Guilt. And, here’s why I don’t call it cheating.

Because, in addition to realizing the old me wasn’t very fun, what I’ve learned is this: it’s what you do most of the time that matters. It’s not one meal or one vacation that defines your health or your waistline.

Most of the time, I eat at home, prepare big salads for lunch, roast vegetables for dinner, and work out six or seven days a week. Far from feeling deprived or obsessed, I love and take solace in my routine.

Plus, the old me is still in there, even on the road. I don’t work out every day like I do when I’m home, but I get grumpy when I’m sedentary, so I do try to exercise more often than not even when I travel. There was yoga and spinning in San Fran, hiking and killer classes at Pilates Platinum in L.A., and TRX and Insanity classes in Cabo. I wasn’t always indulging. I took my Ezekiel bread and almond butter on my California trip (“why is there bread in my suitcase?” Sean hilariously asked after I snuck it into his luggage), dragged my husband to a vegan restaurant, had wellness shots and healthy smoothies for breakfast, and scoured every menu for vegetables and vegan dishes.



It turns out the old(er), wiser, and much more relaxed me can indulge on occasion – OK, on a few occasions – without guilt, because most of the time healthy is home for me. And, life is too short to let calories trump memories.

How about you? How do you handle indulgent vacations or holidays?



6 responses to “Count the memories, not the calories”

  1. Anna says:

    Thank you for your honesty. I totally agree with your perspective. I too over-indulge especially when I travel to Mexico and not an ounce of guilt.

  2. Carmen Delgado Smith says:

    Thanks I needed that!

  3. Andrea says:

    Living in the moment. Enjoying life. When you feel like you haven’t done these things for over a decade, when you finally get the opportunity, you take it. I’m right there with you and life IS so much richer. Indulging is a mental game, knowing it will “all be ok,” whatever that means. But the foods and the drinks and the experiences have changed my world. I’ll take a few pounds for enjoying life again.

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