One of my absolute favorite things about living in Europe has been the ability to travel so conveniently and frequently! We have been taking advantage of every opportunity possible to go new places while we live in Ireland – visiting many of the big bucket list cities like Paris, London, Rome, Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, and Madrid as well as many other amazing, but slightly less obvious excursions such as Edinburgh, Bavaria, Ephesus/Kudasi, Belfast and more. And I travel not only for fun, but also for business once or twice a month to meet with clients all around Europe. And this weekend, I am beyond excited to be headed to London for my second ever “Pilates Holiday” with my #barrebestie, Julette. We will be in England from Friday morning to Sunday evening, taking as many barre and Reformer classes as we could possibly fit in (total count will be 11 classes!). Aside from the awesome opportunity to experience new studio atmospheres, teaching styles, and ridiculously sore abdominals, we will spend time on another one of our favorite past times – shopping for workout attire! I have been saving judiciously for the past two months, so I plan to splurge a bit investing in all the Lululemon and Sweaty Betty I can get!
Of course, traveling often presents a challenge for many people, myself included in terms of maintaining healthy habits. On the one hand, this is ok because as I once heard – we don’t go on vacation to save money or lose weight. If an experience is unique or worth it, then by all means, I believe in enjoying a holiday and special treat or day off from a normal routine. However, research and personal experience will show that often times, travel for work or fun, is used as one gigantic excuse to overindulge which can lead to serious regrets. Although some treats or breaks from routine on vacation are totally normal and acceptable, many people find that vacation can lead to a backward slide for days/weeks/months on end. As Melissa Hartwig wrote in her book Food Freedom Forever, a common occurrence, is resolving to “get back to your health diet [as soon as you return home], but your body and brain are still in fiesta mode, and temptations are hard to resist… so your poor dietary habits continue for a few days after your vacation is over… Okay, a week. Well, maybe a month. At which point you realize you’ve gained 6 pounds, and you return to [some panicky and totally not healthy] crash diet.” This has certainly been my experience more than once in the past. So while I am not going to miss a rare opportunity for something truly special, usually for me – eating something that is going to make me feel less than fabulous digestively, psychologically or emotionally is just #notworthit so usually I plan ahead and bring along some staples.
OBVIOUSLY since this particular vacation is specifically focused on working out, I am not at all concerned about missing out on my usual fitness routine, in fact, we are ramping it up a notch or two from business as usual! And I do know that since we are not planning to be in business meetings with depressing catered lunches, we will have some more freedom to explore restaurants and shops with some healthier eating options (YAY!). However, I do know that clean eating out can often be a little blah, so I always pack a few sauces and seasonings to take with me which can fit in a purse and add a lot of flavor to whatever I can find. Besides, with all this training and running across the city studio to studio – I may not be able to eat at my “usual times” and HANGER is a very real thing.
So for this trip I am ready to go with some of my own Everything Bagel Seasoning, Chimichurri Sauce, Dairy Free Pistachio Pesto, some Frank’s Red Hot Sauce to add to a plain piece of chicken or fish with a salad. As far as snacks go, I have some hardboiled eggs, Epic Bars, a few Rxbars, and these delicious Red Pepper and Pesto Frittata Muffins. Breakfast on the go can be very challenging as a lot of the more common or frequent options include sugar, dairy and grain laden pastry and bakery items. I don’t really like too much fruit and I as previously mentioned, I really need a more comprehensive breakfast option anyway. Even during the weeks at home, I like to plan ahead with some quick, portable, nutritious options which can be enjoyed either hot or cold and still taste good – which is why egg frittata muffins make a frequent meal prep appearance in the Vasquez household. This Whole30 and Paleo version has a nice satisfying and savory flavor that starts my day off right every time.
- Unsalted, Shelled Pistachios 1 cup/120 g
- Loosely Packed Basil 2 cup/25 g
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil .75 cup/180 ml
- Lemon Juice 2 TBSP
- Minced Garlic Cloves 3 each
- Salt .25 TSP
- Black Pepper .25 TSP
- Small Yellow Onion, Diced 1 each
- Minced Garlic Cloves 3 each
- Eggs 10 each
- Full Fat, Unsweetened Coconut Milk .25 cup/60 ml
- Dairy Free Pistachio Pesto .5 cup/120 ml
- Baby Spinach 1 cup/12 g
- Rocket Leaves 1 cup/12 g
- Roasted Red Peppers, Sliced 1 cup/120 g
- Salt .25 TSP
- Pepper .25 TSP
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/190 C and grease a muffin tray with a small bit of melted coconut oil.
- In a blender combine all the Dairy Free Pistachio Pesto ingredients and pulse until you reach your desired consistency. It should be well combined, but a little chunky is ok if you like it that way. You will have leftover pesto, which can be enjoyed as a sauce for many other meal options.
- In a small sauce pan sauteed the chopped onions until translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together with the coconut milk and then add all other ingredients, stirring to combine.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared muffin tray and place in oven, cooking for about 18-20 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through and the muffins are set.
- Enjoy on their own for breakfast or lunch or over a bed of greens. Top with additional pesto if you so choose!