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Vacation Food Isn't A Good Thing Any More

I remember when I was young, and going on
vacation was inextricably linked with getting to eat
“vacation food”: junk food that would normally never
pass my mother’s inspection was allowed on vacation, and we
got to indulge in that rarest of pleasures – eating out.
I’m not saying we gorged on piles of refined white sugar, but
the usual restrictions were loosened, lifted slightly, and became
part of the pleasure of the vacation.

Ah, how things change when you get older.

When we left on vacation last week, our
mini-van contained a large plastic tub full of food I brought with
us: our dried fruit, organic Cheerios, organic Oreos, two boxes of
Annie’s Organic Mac N Cheese, and favorite snacks that I knew
we probably wouldn’t find in a Florida Wal-Mart. I do,
indeed, loosen our eating restrictions on vacation –
“vacation” is the only time the girls know
they’ll ever get a soda, like root beer – but I still
try to avoid too many food dyes or really, really bad foods.

And for the most part, we ate healthier than we probably would have
a few years ago. We only at out one dinner our whole time there,
staying in most nights with grilled burgers or our mac n cheese.
But we ate out several lunches on the go, and definitely had our
share of treats: while snorkeling on Shell Island on day, an actual
Ice Cream Boat (as opposed to an Ice Cream Truck) pulled into the
protected bay and started playing the famous ice cream siren call.
I turned to the girls, grinned, and said, “We gotta get out
there!” Five minutes later we were wading across the sand bar
with a soggy bill in my hand and a huge grin on each girl’s
face as we approached our first ever Ice Cream Boat. I’m just
saying, I’m not a complete kill-joy and I know how to have a
good time.

So while I tried to keep us reasonably healthy, our produce
consumption was down and our dessert consumption was pretty near
daily. I do have to say, though, that the girls paced themselves
well: each one picked out a giant dessert, such as a huge brownie,
at a bakery early on in the week, and then took four days to
consume it all. But consume it all they did,

which meant that by the time we came home,
I had a giant tummy ache and a yearning for three solid days of
nothing but salads.

I know I’m not the only one feeling this way; Maddie spent
half an hour at the pool Wednesday morning eating her way through
an entire tub of strawberries, half an apple, and a whole bag of
cherries. We all seem relieved to be back on our reasonably healthy

The old stomach ain’t what it used to be.


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