Normal Tastes So Good!

Posted: May 25, 2011 at 9:01 am

After getting home from the Fitbloggin conference Sunday afternoon, I quickly determined we had NO groceries. Promptly following that realization, I stated the obvious that I did not feel like grocery shopping and wanted to enjoy a low-key evening with la familia. Enter a pizza dinner out with my loved ones.

IMGP1293 me and peter IMGP1298

And I was eyeing the pizza like Baby B was eyeing that bottle of mommy milk!

mellow mushroom cheese pizza

Sometimes plain cheese is all you need for satissfying pizza. As long as it gets doused in red pepper flakes. I like some heat with my pizza!

While this dinner out with the family certainly tasted delicious, I could feel the effects of eating quite a few meals out and different than my normal choices starting to impact my body. I knew the only thing to do would be to jump right back into my normal eats the very next meal. Healthy eating can taste just as good, after all! Over the last couple of days I have crammed in the healthy and delicious goods as much as possible.


strawberry raisin pb oats
oats with strawberries, raisins, and natural peanut butter

 dried cherry coconut oats
oats featuring coconut, dried cherries from Choose Cherries, and peanut butter 


black bean wrap lunch
black bean wrap (with cheese, salsa, spinach, & tomato), carrots + hummus, and my free sample chocolate probiotic bar from Attune

 egg sandwich lunch
sandwich (whole egg, spinach, tomato, Laughing Cow blue cheese), carrots + hummus, and a sliced apple


 yogurt   erewhon cereal bowl erewhon cereal
yogurt bowl featuring Chobani peach, Erewhon Mixed Berry Crispy Brown Rice Cereal, and almonds

green smoothie and larabar
green smoothie (almond milk, frozen banana, spinach) and blueberry muffin Larabar


sweet potato and egg dinner
egg scramble (with mushrooms + onion + goat cheese) and sweet potato

chicken strawberry salad
delicious salad – details coming later 

After just two days I already feel so much better. I am so thankful that I now recognize how much quality fuel does for my body. I want to get back to eating foods like I show above…and not because I “should” or to “diet”. I used to have a really, really difficult time going back to healthier eats after a vacation or any time where I would “fall off the wagon” of whatever restrictions I had set on myself. I viewed eating in such a manner as a chore and not something to enjoy. I wouldn’t want to give up my “fun foods” and so I would often end up in an extra week or two of binging.

Now, just feeling the difference in my body motivates me to break out the spinach and oatmeal. And happily. Eating in this manner truly pleases me. It is no longer an issue to return to better-for-my-health meals (I hate using the term “good” or “bad”).  I credit that ease to finding ways to prepare meals so they taste good and working hard over the years to get more in tune with my body. Plus, it also helps knowing I don’t have to deny myself things like pizza for forever either…because each meal is just that – one meal. Dining habits don’t have to turn into a chain of overeating from going outside of standard meals for a couple days. I just remember that each meal is a choice. And I choose to eat what leave me feeling good – physically, mentally, and tastily.

  • Is it difficult for you to jump back into healthier habits after being away from them for any length of time?
  • What foods do you CRAVE when you get back to normal eats?

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68 Comments to “Normal Tastes So Good!”
  1. Hey Tina, I was on travel last week, too. And I had the exact same reaction as you. I got home and thought if I don’t get some wholesome, real food into my body, I’m going to lose it. I just felt so drained and lethargic from all the meat, fried food, and packaged food I had eaten on my business trip. It felt so great yesterday to hit Trader Joe’s and start eating healthy again!

  2. Love that picture of Baby B. Look how bright blue those eyes are! Awww

  3. Angela says:

    Haha I just asked a very similar question on my blog today! It definitely isn’t hard for me to get back into my healthy eating habits after a short time away from home. Like you said, my body just feels so much better when I know what I’m putting into it and normal feels oh so good!

  4. Not hard for me! Like you, I enjoy the treats when I’m out, and then my body is excited to jump back into spinach and hummus after a day or two! Feel so good 🙂

  5. I have to say all of your eats look amazing! For me I always love getting back to green smoothies and green juices and green tea make me feel a little more balanced again 🙂 I’m really happy that I’m know in a place where I can indulge for a few days then my body naturally craves healthier food again.

    • Tina says:

      I think green smoothie was the thing I craved the most after being away. I can’t get enough this week!

  6. Lauren says:

    Your strawberry oats look amazing! I spent the weekend at grad parties with lots of chips, dips, and not much “healthy” stuff except a great fruit salad. Monday, I was craving healthy foods because I knew it would give me energy back, and it makes my body feel so much better.

  7. Your kids have such gorgeous blue eyes!! I find it super hard to get back on the wagon, so to speak, and find myself indulging once and then saying “oh, heck with it!” as I down another slice of cake, cookie, tray of brownies…

    • Tina says:

      I have certainly been there. I just really try to think of how my body is honestly feeling and remember how I feel better when eating more quality things more frequently. It took some time to get there though.

  8. Mellissa says:

    I crave salads and veggies after being gone for a few days, even though I try to keep my eats in balance sometimes it is hard to get enough fruits and veggies in.

  9. Erica says:

    Amen! I totally know that feeling. I crave fruits and veggies. I am lovin rice or wheat puff cereal- so awesome in smoothies. Have a wonderful day

  10. I feel the exact same way about eating out. I love it here and there, but too much just makes me feel yucky. I don’t eat a lot of veggies for breakfast typically but when I get back from a vacation/trip of too much restaurant indulgence, I usually start the next day with a green monster. It seems like the fastest and tastiest way to get some healthy greens in my diet.

    • Tina says:

      Green monsters are my go to for getting in veggies stat as well. I’ve had one every day already this week.

  11. Jenn (GH) says:

    I feel the same way! And aren’t those Larabars the bomb!! I can’t believe I had never tried them until last weekend! YUMMO!

    • Tina says:

      I can’t believe you hadn’t had one before. Aren’t they great! I only wish they were bigger…and cheaper. LOL

  12. I know exactly what you mean about quality fuel being reason enough to eat well and feel good…I can get out of the habit of eating well pretty easily buy once I have that healthy satisfying meal that makes me feel strong and happy I can’t help but try to keep eating that way!

  13. Tina I’m the same way — after a few days of eating out I am craving regular food: oatmeal, smoothies, salads, eggs (prepared without a ton of oil), PBJ, etc.

  14. Michelle says:

    That picture of B cracks me up. SO CUTE (M is adorable too of course – look at those beautiful blue eyes!).

    I really hate getting out whack with my eating. I can eat junk for about a day before I start feeling bloated and sluggish. I also just prefer to cook my own food. I really start to miss the kitchen when I’m away!!

  15. RunEatRepeat says:

    I always want salads when I get home from vacation!

  16. Oats and apples! I have to have them. Being at BlogHer this weekend was interesting on my eating. I went with quick oats, peanut flour, apples and bananas. I was covered! The good was good there, but there were few options for me to eat with allergy/intolerance restrictions. I’m glad you’re getting back into the swing of things!

  17. Amanda says:

    At the moment I’m doing well with hopping back “on the wagon” after a special event or travel or whatnot. That’s not always been the case. I’m hoping it continues though!

    As for what I crave when I get back to normal eats… berries, peanut butter on a whole wheat “pitette”, hard boiled eggs, and Actual. Real. Tomatoes. that have FLAVOR.

    The last on the list is a hard one to find. I think I’m going to have to turn into a farmer soon.

  18. You are SO right – We were just out of town for over a week & when we got back my body was craving fruits & veggies! (I swear, the entire side of the family we were visiting looked at us like we were monsters when we suggested we have a salad with dinner!) After just 3 days back in town & eating our “normal” foods I feel TONS better!

    Please do share the details on that delicious looking salad!

    p.s. M looks so grown up in that first picture!

    • Tina says:

      In my post tonight. 😉

      I love vacation but am always ready to come back to normal food to. It’s amazing to me how some people seem unphased to eat certain things all the time. Then again – I guess when you don’t know different it doesn’t feel bad.

  19. Getting back to healthy eating can be difficult for me but once I do, I feel so much better!

  20. Casey says:

    I can always tell when I haven’t had my normal eats for a few days. I start to crave cold salads. If you would have told me that five or so years ago, I would have laughed. Who craves a salad?! LOL Blueberry muffin is one of the only Larabar flavors I haven’t tried. Must go next on the list!

  21. I always have to have red pepper flakes on my pizza! SO good! 🙂

    It’s usually not to hard for me to get back to healthy eating because I’m usually not feeling my best and want to get back on track! I always crave fresh fruits and veggies.

  22. I always crave oatmeal and huge flavorful salads. As much as I do enjoy eating out and the occassional ‘junk food’ I like how my body feels after healthy meals.

    And love me some plain cheese pizza!

  23. Ahh we have no groceries either! Anddd we leave again on Friday so I’m not sure there will be any 🙁 I can’t wait until next week and start normal again for real.

    Love B’s expression starring at the milky!

  24. Your eats look lovely, especially the oatmeal bowls and gorgeous smoothie, mmm mmm! 🙂

    I definitely don’t have a hard time getting back into healthy habits after traveling etc. My body craves them, especially being active, eating a satisfying breakfast, and getting lots of veggie-full meals! 🙂

  25. Sarah says:

    I went away this weekend, too, and by Tuesday night, I was ready for some of my favorite healthy staples- Ezekiel bread, avocado, eggs, hummus, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, Green Monsters, and Sunshine veggie burgers, and open-face smashed banana sandwiches with cinnamon, cashew butter, and either flax or chia seeds. I also tend to crave BERRIES, but they weren’t on sale this week, so I managed to refrain.

  26. I always crave salads. Can’t get enough after eating out for days on end!

  27. Delicious eats! I definitely crave my normal eats after a vacation.

    Because I can have some (ahem) GI issues during long runs, I I eliminate dairy 48 hours before a long run and 18 hours before a long run I stop eating high fiber fruits and veggies. As soon as my run is over, I CRAVE those foods!!!

  28. I had my first blueberry muffin LARABAR yesterday and it was pretty tasty…how did you like it?!

    And I am the same way with “fun foods” now…they are fun, but so are my healthy everyday foods.

    • Tina says:

      I liked it a lot. Although it didn’t have quite as much blueberry flavor as I anticipated. Still good though!

  29. Heather says:

    OMG, it felt so good to make homemade meals the past 2 days! They were simple, but delicious.
    How did you like the blueberry Larabar? I haven’t tried mine yet. 🙂

    • Tina says:

      I liked it a lot but it didn’t have a super strong blueberry flavor, which surprised me. Still mighty tasty though!

  30. Oh my goodness, that picture of little M is so adorable – She just has the sweetest eyes.

    Im like you, when I’ve been eating out alot (or like when I stayed at my parents place and couldnt find a vegetable to save my life), I WANT to get back to my normal eating. I want oatmeal, and I want lots and lots of veggies because I feel so much better when I eat them.

  31. Rach says:

    I love how much better our bodies feel when we are feeding them well. 🙂 Though, I’m not going to lie, part of feeding this girls’ body well definitely includes spaghetti and pizza (though our homemade healthier version!). 🙂

    • Tina says:

      Oh yes! I need those types of things in my life to feel well too. Otherwise the mental deprivation aspect gets into play and that’s not healthy either. 😉

  32. Usually when I get back from traveling I’m DYING to get back to green monsters and Greek yogurt and salads and oatmeal. I always look forward to vacation food, but usually it’s not as wonderful as I think it will be and I never feel as good. It’s nice to have a break, but I do love some healthy eats!

  33. I cannot WAIT to jump back into normal eating patterns when I’ve been away or out of sorts for a while. I crave all kind of fresh vegetables – particulary in slad form so I can eat a ton of them at once!

  34. I am always ready to get back to normal eating after a trip! I think that is a signal and that we should listen to our bodies and do it. It’s what we are needing.

    That pizza looks so good! I am going out for pizza tomorrow night and I can’t wait. 🙂

  35. Your eats since you got home look amazing and delicious! I used to have a hard time going back to healthy food after being away, but now I find my entire system gets out of whack and by the end of a week vacation, my tummy is not well. I usually crave ruffage (any type of fresh veggies and salad) and WATER when I get home ~ especially if I’ve been somewhere south where pina coladas and Coronas flow more freely 🙂

    • Tina says:

      I was craving water a TON! For some reason water wasn’t super readily available at the conference. I felt dehydrated most of the trip.

  36. Eating out definitely gets old on a vacation. When we took a family trip to Florida to hit up the theme parks, I was very overwhelmed by the fried foods and so much salt. I totally craved a salad!!! I think I usually get back into better eating quickly, because I feel so much better when I’m getting my fresh fruits and veggies.

    By the way, your oats and berries looks so good!

  37. LauraJayne says:

    I LOVE the feeling of eating clean again – I find that I crave my new “comfort” foods, and love how my whole body feels when I’m eating right again! I sleep better, think better, feel better, and even deal with things better!

  38. I love to kickstart my post vacation diet with tons of fruits and veggies, similar to the meals you showed above. It can be hard to make the time to get back on the wagon when there’s so much else to do to get caught up when you’re away for a little while, but its SO worth it!

  39. I just find it a tad insulting that when you order a fresh fruit bowl pretty much anywhere, you get a puny serving of fruit that does absolutely nothing. I always miss my fruit salads & fruit smoothies. I miss everything that I make on my own, because I control what goes into it.

  40. Geraldine says:

    I really like that saying “Each meal is a choice”. It’s simple but it makes sense to me. I’m someone who finds it hard to start healthy eating again after a weekend of being relaxed about my diet. After this past weekend it took me three days to get back on track. I really feel like it negates all my good work all week long.

  41. Ela says:

    I love this serendipity–I’m preparing a post about ‘cheat/treat’ days myself right now and have seen a couple others. That’s cool that you’re enjoying getting back to your regular diet.

    Love the pics–M looks so much like you in that very first pic, more than I’ve noticed before.

  42. Amy Lauren says:

    I love Mellow Mushroom pizza! And I’m going there tonight, but not just because you posted it, I was already going there :). I can definitely tell a difference after a vacation too, but I don’t think it hurts to eat something different every once in awhile or give your body a break with some treats :).

  43. Stacy says:

    I totally hear ya! Normal really can taste so good. I crave healthy, filling, homemade meals. Even the simple act of cooking can feel so good after a few days of eating out.

  44. Mac says:

    It used to be difficult for me to get back into my normal eating habits, but like you I am starting to crave the good normal food I eat after being gone for a while. After not eating well or eating out a lot I usually crave a big ol’ salad with lots of veggies on it!

  45. Anne P says:

    Aww that picture of your baby staring at the milk is the cutest!

  46. LOL! Lovin Baby Boys’s intense gaze at his milk! So funny! That sweet potato looks so good. I’ve been wanting one 😛

  47. vivoir says:

    I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes it’s just such a relief to go back to same-old, same-old. It’s comfy… plus food’s often the kind of thing where you have the same things because, frankly, you like them. So ‘the usual’ is often preferably to something fancy schmancy!

  48. I always crazy my healthy favorites after eating too many unhealthy things over the course of a few days. First cravings always include smoothies, salads, and eggs.

    I love that photo of little B eyeing the bottle! It made me crack up!

  49. I totally agree! After eating out too much, I find that I actually WANT to eat healthy- which is quite strange for me 🙂

  50. I too jump right back into eating whole foods when being away for a bit. Your ideas of great meals looks similar to what I wold choose.

    I LOVE huge salads to get me back into my ‘normal’ routine 🙂

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