Food, Zoo, Kite Flying, and Shopping Adventures Galore

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the-kid-and-me-in-austinThe Kid and I had an amazing time in Austin, but it’s also nice to be back home to relax a bit too. Since we were there at the same time as the annual SXSW, there were people everywhere downtown so it was fun to just people watch and take in the sights. Austin is the perfect outdoor city with miles of paths to walk, parks everywhere, and health food stores like Whole Foods and Central Market to choose from.

We visited Austin Zoo which I’d have to call a hidden gem. We didn’t know it going in but it isn’t your typical zoo. Every animal there was a rescue animal. Yes, lions, bears, tigers, and a who lot of animals that make you wonder what people were thinking when they bought them. We got there just in time for tiger feeding and that was something that I’d never seen before. It was kinda scary! The zoo was on a gorgeous hillside just outside of the city too so the view back over Austin was breath taking.

The Kid and I did a bunch of window shopping and picked up a few souvenirs. The best purchase was a spinning kite. Apparently everyone who’s anyone in Austin has a kite so we had to join in. The wind is always blowing so kite flying was very easy even for us beginners. We managed to not lose it or get it stuck in a tree too so we brought it home to try our hand in the DFW winds at some point.

This was the first vacation that I approached with a different mindset on eating. I used to think “Hey, it’s vacation so I’m going to eat anything I want!” I usually eat out breakfast, lunch and dinner at restaurants and carry my own healthier snacks. Most vacations end with me beating myself up for pigging out and gaining a few pounds to work off. You gotta live a little while on vacation, right? I bet you can definitely relate to that feeling.

For the first time, I decided to plan out a nice treat once a day but stick to my normal eating the rest of the time. One treat a day was enough so that I felt like I was having fun but not too much to put a dent in the scale. There’s a food truck there that we found last time that has incredible donuts. These are not just normal donuts, but life changing. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I planned that for sure as one of my treats and also planned to get one to bring home and freeze for later. They are seriously that good.

gourdoughsThe first night we were there, I had an ahi tuna burger with honey wasabi and crispy nori strips. This burger was to die for even though I wished the wait for a table wasn’t 2 hours! Every restaurant in Austin is like that. The second day was Gordough’s day and I opted for Mama’s Cake. It was chocolatey, gooey, warm, and soooooo good. After eating the donut, we wandered around for a bit and I made a special impromptu purchase. The universe was definitely giving me a sign with this one. You’ll have to wait for details…

The second afternoon after the joyous donut, I realized something interesting. I didn’t really want another treat. What?! I know, right! I seriously didn’t even though I could have anything I wanted while on vacation. I was actually looking forward to eating my usual stuff again even though some of you may consider it a little boring. Luckily there were tons of choices and Whole Foods came through for me with a big ass salad to fill me up.

I finally feel like my mindset with food has changed. It’s been a rough road the past couple years with the 40 previous years of junk eating under my belt. It took a lot of trial and error, but I now feel like I’ve got a healthy relationship with food for the most part. It’s all about the 80/20 rule. The feeling of coming home and not beating myself up about my “all the food you can cram in” vacation was a great reward. I even decided to not get the donut to go for my freezer. ๐Ÿ˜‰

As an interesting side note: You may have read on here that The Kid has a severe dairy allergy. We carry the epi pen with us since it has the potential to be bad. She was eating the vegan chocolate pudding at Whole Foods and immediately started having a reaction after the couple bites. It had been a few hours since the last time she ate, so I know it was the vegan pudding that had dairy in it. Everything turned out OK after a dose of benadryl but if you’re vegan, you may be ingesting animal products unknowingly in your travels.

Do you struggle like I did with the splurging with food while on vacation? How do you handle it? Planned treats, eat anything and get back on track at home? What works for you?


  1. Great job on the food battle! Crazy about the vegan pudding possibly having dairy in it. I wonder if it’s something like casein or whey and they don’t consider that to be non-vegan because you can get it from the animal without harming them….? *shrug* thinking “aloud”. I definitely struggle sometimes on vacation, but have found lately that I’m generally okay. It’s trips home, to Mom’s cooking, that is the BIG issue for me. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Suz recently posted..We are people, not commoditiesMy Profile

    • The irony was that I asked her before we bought it if she read the ingredients. She replied it was vegan and I made her read them anyway. Supposedly it was tofu, maple syrup, cocoa, and almond milk. I assume it was a problem of cross contamination. I bet they made something else and didn’t wash the bowl well enough. Urgh.

  2. Sounds like a fun trip.
    Way to go with the eating – I’m not nearly that disciplined!
    Glad everything worked out OK with your daughter and the allergic reaction – scary when you think that a product should definitely be safe!
    Kim recently posted..22 Mile Run – Done!! (Isn’t that what you do on your 1/2 B-day?)My Profile

    • It’s taken a long time to mentally get here. I never thought it was possible so I’m very excited to have it mentally click at last. Anything is possible. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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