26 Things I Learned by Age 26

Today, I am 26 years old.

I feel like I just entered the world yesterday, and yet it’s kinda like…dang! 26 years?! So much has happened in that time.

I felt like commemorating this most auspicious occasion with something I love: a list!

So, here it goes.

26 Things I Learned by Age 26

  1. The term friend is used so very loosely. Those who SAY they are your friends are your associates. Your true friends will SHOW you as much. ‘Nuff said.
  2. Life is too short to not dye your hair. Go red. Go blonde (I just did!). Go green, for crying out loud. It can be fixed if you hate it…and you might just love it, and learn it fixes a little piece of you that was fading away.
  3. Don’t confine yourself to any labels. You can be a girly-girl-hipster-thug-nerd if you really want to. Some people like to tell me how “eclectic” I am. Loving Taylor Swift AND Lil’ Wayne doesn’t make me eclectic. It makes me well-rounded. Cultured even. So, there! If it bothers anyone, kick them to the curb, because you know what?…
  4. Some people are so exhausting. Always complaining. Or always projecting their insecurities onto you. Life is TOO SHORT. Surround yourself with people who make you feel loved, alive and HAPPY. Tolerate those you have to (like family members, co workers, etc), and make sure you take any opportunity to show them how terrible their life IS NOT, should you have the strength.
  5. BE NICE. It’s so easy to be sarcastic, or mean, or petty, or upset. Everyone wasn’t raised like you. Not everyone learned proper grammar, or manners, or common sense. Is it ok? Not usually. But if you don’t have to rip them a new one, don’t do it. Sometimes, you just have to calmly say “Hey, so you know, it’s really offensive when you call me the N-word. I don’t like it, and I’m going to need to you STOP THAT. By the way, Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. day!”
  6. Family is forever. My family is far from perfect. I didn’t talk to my parents for long stretches of time, but the older I get, the more I see in what they did/didn’t do for me. More importantly, I can be grateful that all those trials, tribulations, good times, and bad times melded together to make me, ME! I’m fortunate to have them at all, and more fortunate to grow better relationships with them as I get older.
  7. You can’t do it all alone. You just can’t. I’ve tried. And I didn’t always need someone to save me, but there are plenty of times I went to bed after doing what felt like everything, and crying myself to sleep. Accept help. Accept support. YOU NEED IT FOR YOUR SANITY! People won’t offer to help if they don’t want to. See #1 and #6.
  8. Blood isn’t everything. For all the love I have for my family, there are friends I have that may as well have danced out of the womb with me. My best friend Alex has been in my life a mere 4 years, but I’d give a kidney for her. She works in the kidney and liver transplant ward at the hospital…so this would be super convenient for the both of us!
  9. Sales are everything. I pity the silly fools running around the mall talking about “It’s not as good if it’s on sale. I pay full price for everything!” Um, ok. In an effort to stay true to #5….um, it’s way more impressive to say “HEY! BE CAREFUL! THESE ARE $500 BOOTS!” and smugly think to yourself, “But, they were on sale for $200 and I had a promo code to get $50 off, and I used Ebates to get 4% cash back on the entire purchase, plus free shipping, b#tches!” No? Just me? Well….carry on then.
  10. It’s not that serious. I am a self-proclaimed Drama Queen, largely because I know people think I’m dramatic. So, obviously, if I say it about myself, the appeal wears off to people, and I’m not sitting here with my feelings hurt when someone else says it about me! However, in the midst of my Mariah Carey-esque mental breakdowns, I want you to know that I truly do realize the world is not over, and I can still hit the high notes. Dumb things happen. Bad things happen. Sad things happen. You’re still awesome. Hell, you’re still ALIVE. You win. Cope. Deal. Move on. It ain’t over ’til Mariah leaves…and then, you should be worried about me
  11. Take the vacation. As often as you can. Your boss might not like it. You may not have enough paid time off. Your boyfriend might be jealous. But you know what? You’ve got a LOT to see and experience here on your measly 100 years on earth. I don’t know about you, but I won’t be seeing the world through someone’s Facebook photos. I have things to do, and places to see! Get away for a weekend, for a whole week, or Lord willing, for longer! You will never regret that trip to Hawaii wearing your first bikini ever and not having to use an Instagram filter on a single photo! Trust me. 🙂
  12. Write it out. I have journaled for as long as I can remember. It helps me deal. There’s a lot of things I don’t want to burden others with, or that I need to just see on paper to figure out and plan to conquer. My journal is my little safe haven where I can put the pen to paper, and sleep just a little more soundly at night without all my random thoughts swirling around my head. It’s cathartic, and in my opinion, ESSENTIAL.
  13. Apologize. I have made so very many mistakes in my life. Mistakes are a given, and no one is perfect. The key is acknowledging that your mistake was not ok, not unrecognized, and that you are sincerely and genuinely apologetic. People can never stay mad if you say “That was my mistake. I am really sorry it happened. Sondra loves you.” If they do, maybe they can teach you the art of never making a mistake that they’ve obviously mastered.
  14. Eat the chocolate. See also: Buy the shoes, say yes to the sea salt scrub from the pedicure lady. Indulgence is absolutely necessary. Everyday, no. But definitely appropriate when you can. You work hard, you should play hard. A single piece of California Brittle from See’s Candies saved someone’s life the other day. I keep some on standby in my desk drawer.
  15. Life is a Runway. Right? I mean, I almost rented an Oscars-worthy gown to wear to my Karaoke Birthday Party tonight! So, if you really want the neon green shoes? Do it. The crazy peacock printed yoga leggings from LuLu Lemon? YUP! You know why? Because rarely do I see anything on a runway I’d actually wear, and people are shelling out the big bucks for it. So when I see neon yellow, highlighter looking Chuck Taylors on clearance and my dad offers to buy them for me? You bet your butt I’m getting them. And I’m gonna wear them with pride and happiness…because that’s what they do..make me happy! And when I wore them to the airport on my way to Vegas, I got zillions of compliments anyways. So do it. Look crazy. You’re making someone’s day on Instagram if it goes badly, so either way, you’re #winning. Just, you know, try not to walk that People of Wal Mart runway. I’ll know if you do, because my mom often forwards me the highlight emails.
  16. Do something new. Like always. I just registered for Italian classes in Little Italy, San Diego. I am actually TERRIFIED because I have a slur when I talk, and seem to sound a bit silly when I speak Spanish, which is similar…so I avoid it. But my big dream is an awesome month in Italy exploring and cooking next year…so  I need to prime myself for the total experience, and I know this is the way to do it. So fuhgeddaboutit. I enrolled, and I’m gonna kick butt!
  17. It’s the little things. I am a truly blessed, fortuitous individual. My birthday was celebrated at work yesterday, and they decked out my office, brought me a huge arrangement of gorgeous flowers, cards, gifts, cake….the works! But you know what warmed my heart, really? That these people cared enough about me to do anything AT all. And my cards and gifts were like they were made for me. It was truly moving and special, and it makes me so happy.
  18.  Gestures, too. Some of the best things I’ve been given can’t be found in stores. My Aunt Elsie will call my work phone to check up on me and say hello, My cousin Karen will call me just to catch up. My friend Jen, who was a bridesmaid at Alex’s wedding with me, sent Sean and I a Christmas card, even though the wedding was the first time we’d met. Alex always makes sure I have awesome accessories for my birthday to let the world know I am HERE, and ALWAYS celebrating. Sean will leave me a long voicemail or send a long text when he knows I am having  a hard day. My friend Jenny at work always brings me Starbucks if she stops by on her way to work, and knows my drink as “the usual” (as do the baristas!).There is nothing in the world like a kind gesture to make you see how valuable human interaction is.
  19. You can start a movement. We forget how influential we can be. By sharing information, insight, kind words, etc…we have the power to change anything, big or small. I once worked in a stressful environment where we were confined to a single office altogether, and you could FEEL tension. I printed out these “take one” positivity fliers and hung them in the bathroom. People would take one, and share it with someone of their choice…if they wanted to. Wouldn’t you know? By the end of the day, all the little tabs were pulled off, and people were smiling because someone left a little slip of happiness on their desk. Awesome
  20. You’re never too broke to be fancy. We are wine club members. Olive oil club members. I subscribe to a couple key Subscription Box services…it keeps me HAPPY. I love getting real mail, that doesn’t ask me to pay for something adult-ish, like my vehicle registration, and finding new awesome products as a result. Our wine club membership encourages us to get out and see the beautiful Temecula Wine Country at least 4 times a year…and we pay the equivalent of 3 whatever-ish bottles of wine 4 times a year as a result. But when I’m at the vineyard with the Wine Club card, in the members only wine section with private tasting bars, discounts, and special appetizer menus? I feel glamorous and luxurious, and like all my hard work is WORTH something.
  21. Never stop adding to your Bucket List. Mine changes probably daily. I see or hear about something and say to myself “Hmm. I am so gonna do that!” and there it is. On the mental Bucket List. And when I write it all out, I don’t remember everything, so it’s never-ending. I wanna do a whole ton of stuff. And I know I can…I’m making the effort and I’ll take the time to do so. You’re never done trying new things.
  22. Food is your friend. You don’t need to be ashamed. You don’t have to hide your goodies. You need to say to yourself, “You know…this birthday cake pop is not the most awesome choice for my weight loss goals…but the extra 15 minutes I spend on the treadmill as a result is an awesome life decision and life extender!” It’s all in how you sell it, people!
  23. You always have been, always will be, and couldn’t be more BEAUTIFUL. If someone doesn’t think so…you can’t help that. I can expose people to my awesome personality, slammin’ karaoke skills, and fun party planning ideas….they might choose to see me as a waste of space regardless. But you know what? I am MY artist. I am MY canvas. I can’t be YOUR eyes. Sometimes, a healthy “F*uck ’em!” is in order. Embrace your beauty…be it physical, mental, whatever. You have so much to offer. If you don’t think so, take an inventory of the people that you thought of when you read some other parts of this list. People came into your mind and brought a smile to your face, and it’s because they see ALL the beauty in the world in you, and choose to be a part of your magic.
  24. Saying “No” is totally ok. Can you babysit my Devil Child? Can you make 450 cupcakes for my birthday…tomorrow? Can you please just support the super stupid life decisions I am making, even if they affect you? Yeah…NO. Guess what? I just said no, and chances are nobody died. The earth is still spinning. I’m still crazy. Everything is still OK. And it will continue to be, because you are staying true to yourself and making decisions that help you maintain your health and happiness. Go you!
  25. Go ahead. Be “crazy.” I used to be so unbelievably offended when people called me crazy. Then, I realized that they are usually high-fiving me, smiling, or completely in awe at how I handled one of the several million insane situations that seems to find me on a daily basis. You know why? Because secretly, every person has a little piece of them that watches me get all “Sondra”(also often referred to in my close circle as “I pulled a Sondra!” or “I channeled my inner Sondra”), and handle business or have a blast. And why, oh why, on earth would I be as silly as to be offended by that?
  26. You can do ANYTHING you put your mind to. I used to start a lot of things, and then give up. I got too busy, or more than likely, I got too worried I couldn’t do it. And I’ve worked really hard the last 5-6 years to have more faith and confidence in myself and my abilities. You know what happened? People saw what I was doing, and encouraged me. And when they did, they sparked even more passion and ideas for me, and made me KEEP GOING. That’s how SeeSondraSlim.com came to be in the first place. And I can’t believe that I get to celebrate my 26th birthday with a whole bunch of amazing people who thought that my journey to being healthier and happier was worth checking out, and keeping up with.

I’m honored, I’m flattered, I’m blessed, and I’m finished rambling.

I love you all. New look launching soon! WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE THE NEW GRAPHICS. Ridiculously fab!

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO

SeeSondraStrategize: Healthy Ways to Hit the Town!

Hey Lovelies!

It’s a sad fact: Most people think your days of eating out after weight loss surgery (or just if you’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle) are over .Done-zo. Finished.

It doesn’t have to be that way!!!

Since I first decided to have WLS back in the beginning of 2011, I was determined to figure out how my old life and my new body could live in harmony.

When it came to the idea of eating out, it never occurred to me that I’d have to stop altogether. I was more worried about the fact that I’d most likely end up wasting mass amounts of food if I ate out frequently. My personal favorite weight loss blogger, Shelly, over at The World According to Eggface is a genius when it comes to what she calls re-purposing her leftovers. I could easily do this, but frankly, I’m a little too lazy!

There are a few simple things to keep in mind when it comes to eating out.

1. Plan your attack!

Technology is amazing! You can check out a restaurants reviews, read a menu, find directions to get there, and so much more. A few minutes before or during the car ride to the restaurant is all you need to set yourself up for sit-in success! I like to use Yelp.com to check out different options in the immediate area, and after finding one that has high reviews and decent prices, I click through to the menu on the link typically provided.

Whether you’re keeping it low-carb, low-cal, low-fat, or just treating yourself on your “Reward Day,” this is a fabulous resource! See what local connoisseurs highly recommend and adapt it to your needs! Sometimes, I’ll find myself craving a burger or tacos…and I’ll indulge! I order tacos and dump all the filling in a bowl with my favorite red sauce, and it’s heaven. Order a perfect turkey burger and get it wrapped in lettuce or with no bun period. You’d be surprised how much something tastes like heaven, even if you eliminate the part you used to live for!

2. Avoid Fast Food 

I totally said it. You gotta understand, even before I had WLS, I couldn’t really handle a lot of fast food. Sure, I’d get a craving for Taco Bell and binge my brains out, but I couldn’t STAND the way it made me feel! I REFUSE to eat at McDonald’s…so you won’t find any tips for that here. Luckily, places like Taco Bell have gotten creative and adapted their menus with healthier options, but I still prefer to just keep my distance. If you’re in the market for fast food, here are some suggestions from Shelly’s blog that I find useful. My personal choices at the “fine dining establishments” are noted in italics next to hers. 🙂

In & Out Burger: “Protein-style”
Single Cheeseburger with grilled onions (Protein style = wrapped in lettuce
instead of a bun)

Taco Bell, Del Taco: Order of Pintos & Cheese/refried beans with a scoop of meat or
chicken added

El Pollo Loco:
Grilled Chicken Breast (single piece – they are huge) or $1 side salad minus
tortilla strips & the $1 Chicken Taco El Carbon. I discard the tortilla and
dump the chicken on the salad. Great meal for $2. I go for the small Chicken Tortilla Soup.

McDonald’s: Premium Caesar Salad with Grilled
Chicken, no dressing (ask for salsa packets)

Carl’s Jr: Cranberry, Apple, Walnut Grilled
Chicken Salad (ax the walnuts if you are sensitive to sugars they are glazed) or
they will wrap any of their burgers in lettuce. Just ask for the “Lettuce Wrap”
version

Sbarro: Side of Meatballs
or Sausage with Sauce

Wendy’s:
Chili

Jack in the Box: Denver Breakfast bowl
minus the hashbrowns & white cheese sauce, Southwest Chicken Bowl or
Teriyaki Chicken Bowl minus rice

Subway, Submarina, Quiznos: They will turn any of the subs into salads. Watch the
dressings, ax the croutons/breadsticks/flat breads. I like Quiznos soup
too

Starbucks: Egg White Whole
Wheat Feta Wrap, Oatmeal, Protein Plate giveaway the date bread, Soy Lattes. I personally go for the Grilled Chicken and Hummus Bento Box, Protein Bento Box, or a fruit and yogurt parfait (the raspberry and peach is REALLY good)

Jamba Juice:
Oatmeal with banana. I typically get a kids sized smoothie from the new kids menu, and a CherryAlmond oatmeal if I am really hungry. Or, I’ll go ahead and get a 16oz fruit and veggies smoothie!

Chipotle: Burrito
Bowl minus rice (this will feed an Army)

Baja Fresh: Tortilla Soup (minus tortilla
strips)

Chick-fil-A: Chargrilled
& Fruit Salad (newly discovered), Kid’s Meal Grilled Chicken Nuggets with
fruit salad and water.

Rubio’s: You can have grilled fish on any
of their salads. Ask for dressing on the side or better yet use salsa.

Diners, IHOP, Denny’s: Scrambled
Eggs with Cheese is my standard. If they have turkey sausage even better. I typically look for the “lighter side menus” at all these restaurants and get the egg whites or one egg, turkey sausage, and fruit! I fight the urge to order pancakes or hash browns by eating bites of Sean’s!

3. Caring is Sharing

It’s the simplest trick in my book! Opt for things like your favorite Chinese place in the neighborhood, and share single entrees family style. We are inclined to order so much takeout, but you’d be surprised how much food (unnecessary calorie-laden food) it is! Whether you’re housing  new, smaller stomach, or just trying to cut back and eat better….sharing is foolproof! Sean and I will get Broccoli and Beef, Won Ton Soup and by the time we finish the soup and the entrĂ©e comes, we hardly eat any steamed rice! Ask for options like brown rice or extra veggies to kick your healthy into overdrive, and NEVER, EVER feel like it’s tacky to share. It’s your money…and it’s your stomach! The Chinese restaurant won’t pay for your funeral!

Or for those Girls’ Nights? Try family style food. I went out with the girls to a Tapas Bar and we shared 3-5 small plates and a pitcher of sangria…and it was perfect! For Alex’s Bachelorette party, we went to The Melting Pot, a trendy fondue restaurant and shared a bunch of food. It was just enough for each person without being overwhelming, and we all got to try different menu items.

4. Order from the Kids Menu or Happy Hour Menu

My favorite fast and lazy “I got off work so late and I’m not cooking” meal? A 4 piece chicken nugget kids meal from Chik-fil-A with a fruit cup instead of fries, and a diet lemonade. If I’m really feeling dangerous, I’ll order regular lemonade. I know…such a rebel!! You can do this with places like Chipotle, Panera, Noodles and Company, etc. Not only do I have a “fast food” meal that doesn’t make me feel all lethargic and disgusting…I spent less money and ate waaaayyyy less calories than I would have would a regular combo or Value Meal. Winning! My other go-to? My friend Katrina and I have monthly Happy Hour dates to catch up, and usually end up at The Elephant Bar! Elephant Bar, Pei Wei, and PF Changs are awesome because they have these healthy and delicious chicken lettuce wraps! Low-cal, low-carb, tons of protein, and enough for two people, and just $5 during Happy Hour!!

The most important thing you can take away with you from any “dining out” experience?

Your leftovers! There was a time where I felt guilty leaving any food on my plate. And I’m not one for leftovers, historically (I’ve gotten much better in the last 7 or 8 years, now that I pay for groceries!), but I’d rather eat just enough to be satisfied, and take the rest home. Sometimes I give it to a homeless person on the street. Sometimes I let Alex and Josh know they’re up for grabs in the fridge. Sometimes I give it to Sean’s mom for her lunch at work the next day. It doesn’t matter what you do…just don’t stuff yourself once you’re done eating. It’s time we stopped letting food be more than just nourishment! It doesn’t need to rule your emotions or comfort you…just needs to sustain you until the next meal!

That’s all for now, but I hope I have given you something to work with the next time you head out for a meal on the town!

Sound off! Leave me a comment and tell me what YOUR favorite tip(s) are for eating out when you’re trying to eat healthier?

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO

Recipes on the Run!

Disclaimer: I am ridiculously proud of this post. I feel like a legit “health and wellness” blogger when I read it, and I know that these recipes are not only diverse and delicious, but totally realistic when it comes to people who want low-cal meals full of flavor and convenience(without feeling like diet food). I appreciate you reading, and I’d REALLY appreciate your feedback via comments/shares/links/reposts/emails to SeeSondraSlim@gmail.com!

If you’re anything like me, you want to eat healthier.

Really, I do. Truly. I have goals to meet in the weight/healthiness department! And when I work a 12 hour day, it’s not always easy to come home and whip up a quick, healthy, and delicious dinner. These are the three pre-requisites for any item I will consume, after all! With that in mind, I have come up with a few “Quick and Easy” dinner (or lunch) recipes for those of you who find yourself in the same predicament! I have calculated the calories, fat, carbs, fiber, sodium, and protein for each recipe.

Each recipe makes one (1) serving(2 for my small stomach…leftovers!), unless otherwise noted. These would be awesome recipes for vacation too, for those of you who stay somewhere with a kitchen/kitchenette!

Quick and Easy Thai Peanut Chicken

What you need:

1 tbsp. crunchy peanut butter

3 “dashes” of low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 tsp minced garlic (I have a giant Costco jar for these situations)

1 1/2 cups frozen tri-color bell pepper and onion mix (Trader Joe’s! Or Fresh and Easy! A must have for any freezer!)

1/4 cup pre cooked chicken breast strips (make your own, or get from the cold cut section in the grocery store)

1/3 package rice noodles

What you do:

Lightly coat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray, then heat skillet to medium-low. Add peanut butter, soy sauce, and garlic to skillet, stirring frequently until peanut butter softens.

Meanwhile, microwave pepper mix according to package directions, then stir into peanut butter mixture. Add chicken. Toss peanut-chicken mixture with boiled, drained noodles.

From start to finish, it should take 5 mins to prep, and 10 mins to cook. BOOM! Double the recipe, and you have lunch for the next day!

Per serving: 328 calories, 10 g fat (2 g saturated), 226 mg sodium, 29 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 27 g protein

Pasta Florentine with Shrimp

What you need:

1 package fettuccine alfredo frozen entrĂ©e (this is the simple version. I HATE alfredo, so I just make noodles ahead of time. But for the sake of the masses, I calculated this adaptation. You can use Lean Cuisine, Michellina’s or Healthy Choice…etc)

1 1/2 cups tightly packed spinach leaves

1/4 tsp minced garlic

6 medium-sized frozen shrimp

What you do:

Microwave pasta entrée according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, lightly coat nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat skillet to medium heat. Toss spinach, garlic, and thawed shrimp into heated skillet, turning frequently (preferably with kitchen tongs) until leaves are wilted (2 mins or so). Stir shrimp and spinach mixture into pasta.

Prep is about 5 mins and cook time is about 11 mins

Per serving: 351 cals, 7 g fat (3 g saturated), 801 mg sodium, 44 g carbs, 32 g fiber, 20 g protein 

Stovetop Mexi-Casserole

What you need:

1 cup lean ground beef (or turkey), lightly packed

1/4 cup frozen corn kernels

1 roma tomato, chopped

1tsp fresh cilantro, chopped

1 package Santa-Fe style rice and bean frozen or packaged dinner (Check out the rice aisle. I buy the Uncle Ben’s version in a similar flavor for less than 2 dollars…it’s stored in pantry and cooks in microwave in a minute!)

What you do:

In a skillet, brown lean meat over medium heat. Drain fat and, return to pan. Add corn and tomato.

Microwave rice side dish according to package instructions, then stir into beef mixture. Simmer on low for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Top with cilantro just before serving. (If you’re not too worried about adding a few cals, add a sprinkle of crumbly queso fresco, or grated cheddar or Monterey jack cheese!)

Prep time is about 5 mins (see a pattern here?), and cook time is 15 minutes

Per serving: 399 cals, 8 g fat (3 g saturated), 606 mg sodium, 65 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 18 g protein

I have more recipes in the works!

I am kicking myself for not taking photos when I made these originally, but I guess I never really thought about sharing them until earlier today when I was thinking about the Pesto and Sundried Tomato Green Beans recipe I had originally planned on sharing. My bad. I will eventually post that one as well, but I came across my notebook with these and got more excited at the idea for this post!

I really hope these recipes spark your curiosity, and get you excited to hit the kitchen and try them!

Any thoughts or suggestions…send them my way!

So many exciting plans are in the works for SeeSondraSlim….I am getting more and more excited for post-op recovery, because I’ll be able to devote more time to some of the SeeSondraSlim YouTube review videos I plan to do with my BuluBox and other products I’ll use in upcoming recipes and such! I am also hoping to do a post-op mini photo-shoot featuring my new swimsuit collection.

Excited is an understatement!!!

That’s all for now, but I’ll be back before you know it. Can’t wait to share more!

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO

Keepin’ It Healthy While You Travel…Featuring a Guest Article!

So, I have been babbling for months about all my upcoming travel plans. As I have been struggling to maintain my weight in the post-op stage (walking ONLY for 6 weeks or more, each time! AHHH!), it has become clear to me that hitting the road next week, and heading to Hawaii in October,  I am going to need a SERIOUS plan of attack for my vacation fantasies to play out accordingly…without picking up any formerly lost weight! I haven’t thought about it enough lately, but I was so glad when fellow blogger, Cole Millen, reached out to me with an article that I thought would be awesome for SeeSondraSlim readers to check out. Whether you are post Weight Loss Surgery (WLS), or just trying to keep it low-cal, these tips can help anyone keep it healthy during a vacation!

“Smart Ways to Stay Fit on Vacation?”

You probably worked hard to get in good shape before your vacation. However, many people wind up breaking their diets and ruining all of their hard-earned progress when they’re away. This doesn’t have to happen to you. Sticking to a healthy lifestyle while on vacation doesn’t have to ruin your fun, either. Here are some smart tips to stay healthy while you’re away.

 Flying

Airports can be smorgasbord of unhealthy temptations. To prevent yourself from giving in, fill up on a healthy meal before you arrive. If you wind up getting stuck at the airport while hungry, put in the effort to search out healthy snacks such as fruit, vegetables, or fiber bars. If you want to get in some exercise, try lifting your heavy luggage up the stairs instead of using an escalator.

At Your Hotel

The best way to stay healthy at your hotel is to seek out one that is friendly to the needs of the health-conscious visitor. There are many hotels with this type of customer in mind. Look up reviews online and find a place that serves healthy food. I personally use Gogobot to determine information regarding hotels. I used the site for my latest trip and was able to filter reviews for some of the top hotels in Las Vegas regarding a number of different aspects. You should also find a hotel that has a good gym. Vacation doesn’t mean that you have to break your healthy workout habits.

Even at a healthy hotel, it is still possible to cheat on your diet. You should refuse the key to the mini-bar so that you can avoid giving in to any late-night temptations. You might also want a way to prepare your own meals. A crock-pot is a safe, portable solution that you can use to prepare healthy, delicious meals on the go.

Finding a Healthy Restaurant

Resorts tend to be awash with all-you-can-eat buffets. It’s best that you avoid these as even if you intend to stay within reason, many people find it hard to stop once they’ve already begun to pig out. You also want to avoid of the popular chain restaurants, as you’re likely to get thousands of calories just from one plate. Seafood restaurants tend to be a safe bet. Be sure to check out a restaurant’s menu if it’s available online so that you know what you’re getting into before you arrive.

At the Restaurant

Just about every restaurant has a mix of healthy and unhealthy foods. It’s important to know which foods you should stick to. In general, shy away from any foods that are labeled as fried, battered or breaded. You want to look for foods that are grilled, roasted, steamed or broiled. You can also usually replace your carb-heavy side dishes with healthy steamed vegetables. Even if the menu doesn’t say it, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

After working hard all year, a vacation is a well-deserved way to let loose. However, letting loose doesn’t mean that you have to abandon all of the healthy habits that you’ve worked so hard to develop. With some careful planning and will power, you can have fun on vacation and stay healthy.

Cole Millen, is an avid traveler and foodie who never forgets that life’s best memories are made through real life apprehension of legitimate “experiences.” Follow his blog at Cole’s Mill.

I want to thank Cole, again, for his contribution, and I hope that all of you got as much out of the article as I did. That’s the great thing about being  girl….I was just telling my friend Jenna about my taking a large tote bag as a “purse” on the airlines. I do this partially to smuggle snacks…and I am SO excited to get my newest BuluBox goodies (hopefully this week!), so I can have some extra protein samples and bars to take in my bag for trips!

If you haven’t yet, make sure that you use my personal Brand Ambassador promo code and get your FREE BuluBox of goodies! You can use the same code for 50% off a subscription of 3, 6, or 12 months too! The code is “BULUGAN342” and the discount will be applied immediately at checkout! By using my promo code, you get more support for SeeSondraSlim…and I truly appreciate the love! I am trying to build an empire here! 🙂

That’s all for now, but stay tuned for tomorrow’s post with a recipe for my Pesto and Sundried Tomato Green Beans! Using some fresh green beans from the farmers market, homemade pesto, and olive oil from my olive oil club….they are delicious alone, or as a simple, yet rustic side dish!

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO

Who Wears Short Shorts?!

Not me.

Not yet.

But it’s not a “never” either.

I am 16 days away from my bi-lateral thigh lift, and while I have become more comfortable with my body and wearing shorts around my house and things like that, I am experiencing some SERIOUS anticipation (and anxiety) over the fact that I will be able to buy killer running shorts, yoga shorts, and denim shorts.

People who haven’t had weight issues, body-consciousness issues, or things like that may not ever consider the fact that things like shorts can be such a daunting thing! They can be ridiculously un-flattering, and you may have the guts to wear them…but the anxiety you have wearing them all day can be a real killjoy.

Some of my favorites I cannot wait to try and buy? Why, let me show you! 🙂

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My pre-op appointment with Dr. Arya is this Tuesday, and I am excited to get the down-low on her complete plan of attack and to find out what revisions we have finalized in terms of my panniculectomy, otherwise known as excess skin removal of the abdomen!

It’s pretty cool, because heading to Phoenix for the Your Weight Matters Convention the weekend before surgery gives me the rare and unique opportunity to show the “before” and “after” sides of not only weight loss surgery, but of post-loss plastic surgery!

I am still super excited about becoming an official Brand Ambassador for Bulubox.com, and cannot WAIT to not only review the products I receive here on SeeSondraSlim, but to start being able to have extra healthy goodies and tips to take with me on trips like the anxiously awaited Phoenix one! Plus, who else has ever wished they had an extra protein bar or shake mix in their purse? Soooo much more convenient, and it makes it much easier to eat healthily, and prevent those moments of weakness at the cookie jar.

No? Just me? Lol!

Don’t forget: As a SeeSondraSlim reader, you have access to getting your first box FREE, or getting 50% off a 3, 6, or 12 month subscription by using the discount code ‘BULUGAN342‘ at checkout. Also, as a subscriber to monthly boxes (which ALWAYS ship free), you earn $$$ towards full-sized product purchases, and more!

Don’t forget to review products on the site (and share here on SeeSondraSlim!), to earn even more $$$ towards purchases, too!

In other news: Headed to the Old Town Temecula Farmers Market with Sean today, and got some AMAZING healthy eats for the week. Gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, mini Roma tomatoes, asparagus, fresh made pasta, fresh homemade red salsa, organic Italian sausage, fresh green beans, and more! We also stopped in wine country (obviously) to pick up our wine club shipment at South Coast Winery, and then headed home. I have a new favorite farmers market!

On the way back, we stopped to get some fixins’ for super fresh pizza/flatbreads I made for dinner. Garlic Rosemary crust with roasted red peppers, pepperoni, and mozzarella, and a plain crust with mini Romas, fresh mini mozzarella, and fresh basil.

Yeah, it was totally as yummy as it sounds, especially with a crisp salad on the side. Sometimes, indulgence can be fresh and surprisingly low-cal, too! Low-cal is super important to us after the wine tasting we had. The gentleman helping us had a VERY heavy hand, and a penchant for ignoring that we have only 5 tastes each. He kept saying “So, I’ll show you this one next….” or “if you like that, you’ll LOVE this….” and he did NOT strike out. Not once! We have been members for a year now, but his help navigating the menu and his attention to our preferences was awesome. We left him a $16 tip 🙂

That’s it for now, but I’ll be back soon! Here’s to a great rest of the weekend! 🙂

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO