The Answers: Traveling and Food

Jul 31, 2015

Are you so sick of these posts yet? I mean, at least the subjects are different each week right? Makes the sting a little less painful? Anyway, lets talk two of my very favorite things today. Food and traveling! 

Best place you have traveled to and why?

Hands down the best place I have ever traveled to, and I think Chris would agree, is Tahiti! I wrote a whole post on our "honeymoon" right here.  I am not sure if another vaca can top this one. Not to mention, I'm not sure how we would afford such a thing. Before we went on this vacation I remember Chris and I sitting in Washington calling our parents like "should we really be spending this much money on a vacation?" I mean we have school to pay for, Chris is getting out of the Army in a couple months we will need money in savings. But every parent we consulted said "GO! You guys need this, and trust me once you have kids you won't get opportunities like this!" I mean....could they have been more right? It costs a small fortune, like more than my car at the time. But Chris came home with all his deployment money. It was my goal while he was deployed to not have him spend a penny. So I worked two jobs, got a roommate to help out with rent, and let Chris and his paychecks pile up. When he got home we had money upfront to pay for this. Otherwise we would have needed a hefty loan. The flights and hotel stay weren't that insane for it being Bora Bora! It was the cost of food that was crazy. You figure three meals a day for ten days for two people.....ching ching! Our travel agent warned us about that little fact...but again. Once-in-a-lifetime. 

So it was amazing! From the water, to the sand, to the mountains. Everything was stunning. One day, hopefully we can reward ourselves for making it through raising four kids, and go back. 

Favorite city you have lived in so far?

My favorite city is Seattle. Now, we didn't live right in the city. Chris was stationed at Ft. Lewis, and I went to school at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. But when he got home from his deployment, we got an apartment closer to Seattle so we could spend more time around the city. We did all our grocery shopping at the Whole Foods downtown. Every weekend was spent at the market. We would even sometimes get a hotel room for the night just so we didn't have to drive home. 

Also Seattle holds a huge place in my heart considering that is were we got married. When you run off and elope, all you really have is the memories of where you decided to do that. Seattle is our memory. 

Still to this day I love that city vibe. You get the feelings of a city, but not as crazy. It is a little slower paced from growing up in Vegas. Not to mention, it is just beautiful!! I cannot wait to stop there for a few days on our way back down to the lower 48!

Food! My favorite of all favorites!! 

What is your quick go-to weeknight dinner recipe?

I probably utilize this one far too often, but my go-to easy dinner recipe that I can make with one hand (other arm holding Odette) is, lemon garlic chicken.

We always have thin sliced chicken breasts handy for purposes such as this. With this recipe you and your kids really have to like lemon and garlic, like a lot!

I just heat the oven to 375, get out a baking dish and lay all the chicken at the bottom. Usually 5-6 pieces. Then in a food processor, or small blender I juice one lemon, add 1/4 cup of olive oil, and throw in 4-6 garlic cloves. Salt and pepper your chicken, then pour the lemon mixture on top. Bake for 25 minutes and you are good to go.

We have a large salad just about every night, but I will throw in some green beans, or broccoli to go along with this one as well.

How was your experience with whole 30?

So, I will come right out and say that we loved whole30. I didn't like the first two weeks of whole30 because my body felt like it wanted to kill me, and I also felt like I would kill someone for a kit-kat. But after finishing our first round of it back in January, I can say that we have altered the entire way that we eat in this house. If you haven't heard of whole30 there are so many people that have blogged about it. Chris initially read the book It Starts With Food, which changed his whole mindset on eating. He passed along all his word vomit to me and we embarked on this whole new way of eating. Now I am totally someone who is the kale chips....sneak a handful of m&ms. I'm a work in progress. Chris has willpower like I have never seen. He just stays on the whole30 train day in and day out until he decides to have a cheat meal. But he knows he will feel like crap afterwards. The amount of energy I have seen within myself, and watching Chris go from drinking 5-6 cups of coffee a day, down to one maybeeee two, is amazing. Chris has seen a lot of health benefits from eating this way since he was having problems with inflammation, and joint pain before. I would totally suggest to anyone to just try it out. But you have to do your first 30 days by the book or you won't learn the effects. I now know that gluten gives me major headaches, which was something I have battled since I was younger. Dairy makes me so stuffed up, which before doing whole30 I thought was just due to chronic allergies.

This isn't all to say that I don't go grab a burger or a pizza. I just know that my body will "feel" different after I do it. So we have tried to make healthy choices. We cleaned out the cabinets and fridge of just about everything and started over. I now make a ton of things homemade as to cut out the preservative and added sugars, such as dressing, mayo, ketchup, bbq sauce, etc.

We still let our kids be kids as well. We made the choice to let them pick out one "special" snack to eat when we go to the store. Other than that they can just eat fruits and veggies. It was a battle I had to deal with for months, but now I see them even changing their taste buds. Until we pass a McDonalds and then they go ape shit! ha.

But overall, we came away really enjoying whole30. I know it is not for everyone. And I am sure I sound like one of those super annoying "eat healthy eat healthy eat healthy" people. I'm totally not that person, to each their own in all avenues of life is the way I see it. But, for purposes of answering this question, there ya go!

Bonus: I have seen a huge difference in Odette while doing whole30. Cutting out added sugar and dairy especially has been amazing. All the other kids I had a problem with dairy being too hard on their little tummies. They were fussy and gassy. I always ended up just limiting my dairy consumption. But now the only thing that I eat with dairy in it is creamer in my coffee. Other than that, no sugar, dairy, or bread. We have tested it out with her to see if it was actually having an impact, and I did a week with introducing dairy back in, she was constipated for four days, and I felt so sick. Now I'm no doctor...this is just what seems to work for me!

Favorite healthy meal?

My favorite healthy meal is so so basic! And it didn't become my favortie healthy meal until I did whole30, and realized that I bascially can't eat anything that I used to eat. Except a burger! A burger with no bun....but a freaking burger nonetheless!
So, I make my burger patties with just a ton of spices and a healthy squeeze of dijon mustard thrown in. Grill them up!

Top them with a spoonful of homemade mayo, some avocado, and a sunny side up egg. And hot sauce, of course hot sauce! And that's it. It seems so boring, but I can promise you the flavors are all there. And bonus, it is so filling you don't even miss the bun. We probably eat this with a large salad more times a week than we should. It is a nice alternative to fish, which I feel like we are always eating either salmon or halibut since the deep freezer is full of it, just this little burger concoction is super yummy!

So there it is! I hope I got to everyone's questions. I tried to stick them into the best categories I could, so if I didn't answer your directly, it was probably just similar to the others. I totally had fun doing this, so thanks for humoring me!!

And now back to our regular scheduled mom crap! Holla!


  1. Can we talk about how men always seem to have more willpower than women? I realize my sample population is not representative of the entire world, but seriously. My husband can go on a very strict, super-healthy (not quite whole30, but close to it) diet and doesn't even blink an eye about turning down non-compliant foods. Me? I generally eat healthy (homemade, non-processed) but I cheat like crazy! "Oh, you brought brownies? Sure, let me help myself to 3!" Gah.

  2. I have always wanted to vacation in Tahiti, it just seems like an amazing place.

  3. We looked into Tahiti for our honeymoon, but then backed away because of the price tag. I think if we had stayed home from Thailand and continued saving we would be going to Bora Bora next year, however mama ain't got time for waiting when she wants off this island.

  4. This was such fun! I can't even fathom the whole30 lifestyle but I applaud you guys for doing it. And the kids! I can't imagine what this house would look like if we took that train. We may be dealing with a mutiny!!

  5. I am dying to go to Seattle. Maybe one day the Army will allow it. :P



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