Why I ate Buttermilk Pancakes on Vacation

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.


I’ve been on the road for 183 days, so far, this year.  Typically I fly in, teach, and fly home or directly on to another class.  I may travel further for my job than you do, and it might be a slightly different job, but it’s still just my job.  I’m not on vacation.


Two weeks ago, though, I had two classes scheduled in Hawaii.  My husband came with me and we added a few days of vacation before I went to work.  It was unusual and glorious!!  Let me know if you’re not tired of seeing pictures of sunrises, sunsets, hiking, and scuba diving.  I have plenty more I can share.


Like you, I ate a little differently on vacation, than I do on a regular work day.  Many people find weekends, vacation, and restaurants specifically challenging.  For that reason, I thought I’d share some of the choices I made while traveling.  It is possible to chill, enjoy vacation, and enjoy food without negating your health and fitness gains (or losses as the case may be).




On the plane.  I had these choices

(A) Quest bar and coffee or

(B) Pretzels, peanuts, or airline snack boxes.

Why did I choose the Quest?

The snack boxes are filled with fat, sodium, and sugar.  I’m not opposed to any of those things in moderation but travel can be dehydrating as it is.  We spent 10 hours in the air and another 4 hours in airports so movement was very limited all day.

I prefer “real food” to these bars but they work very well for travel.

It’s not about being perfect.  It’s about making the best choice from among the choices available.




This was actually dinner at the hotel.  ===>

I don’t believe certain foods should be reserved for certain times of the day.

Why did I choose this?

After flying all day, I craved fresh fruit and some vegetables (there was spinach and mushrooms in the omelet).  Egg whites are a great source for protein.  My husband had a chicken Caesar salad – he felt the same way I did about getting some veggies.




We were up at 3 on the first day of vacation (there was a 6 hour time change from DC) and after enjoying Greek yogurt and fruit while walking on the beach and watching the sunrise, we left for a day of hiking.

For lunch we split a turkey, bacon, avocado club and and sweet potato fries.

Why did we split the meal?

There was so much food on the plate that we both left the table full.  It made no sense to get two huge meals since we had no way to keep the leftovers.



Day 2 also began at 3 o’clock in the morning with breakfast on the beach for sunrise.  We had dive boat reservations at 10.  After two dives and some time on the boat, we headed to lunch.  We were hungry!!!!  Salt water, sun, and ocean breezes tend to have that affect on me.  I ordered a Denver egg-white omelet and buttermilk pancakes.  Brent ordered chocolate chip pancakes.  I ate the omelet and one pancake (I brought the other two with me for peanut butter foll-up snacks on subsequent days).

Why did we order pancakes?

Why not?  We were hungry.  Comfort food was beckoning.  Our dives totaled two hours, we planned a short afternoon hike, and another walk on the beach for sunset.  There was plenty of movement today!





What we didn’t order.  

Waffle & Pancake Blvd (where we ordered the delicious pancakes pictured above) had plenty of offerings we didn’t choose.


They had deep fried Oreos.  I’m not a huge fan of Oreos anyway so I certainly didn’t need them battered and fried.





If Oreos weren’t enough, they also had deep fried cheesecake.  They almost got me with this one!!



I decided I would eat my food before I made a decision about ordering dessert.  I couldn’t even finish my pancakes so, in the end, I didn’t need dessert.  (and I didn’t feel deprived….  I was full and hate that uncomfortable feeling of being stuffed).  I can deep fry cheesecake at ANY point in the future if I decide I want to.  It’s not going to disappear from the earth just because I didn’t eat it in Hawaii.


Each item in my health triad:  Mindset Mostly  *  Nutrition  *  Movement   was considered in my choices.

How much did I move in a given day?  The more exercise I had, the more hungry I would be and the more food I would eat.

Which choice would give me the protein and fresh fruit/veggies that I have set as a top priority for myself?  After that, which healthy fats and carbs would I like?

It’s always mindset mostly.

I can think, “I can’t have this or that”, “Oh my gosh, why can’t I have fried cheesecake?”, “I have to be good” and other things like that.  Such a mindset would leave me feeling deprived.  If I can’t have something – that is the one thing I want!!


I can think, “I can have anything I want on this menu.  I would like to make the best choice for my goals though.  First I’m going to select a protein, then I’ll select a healthy fat, and a carbohydrate.  I might have dessert but I’m going to eat my meal before I make that decision.”


Do you see the difference?  Do you think the different way of looking at things will help when you feel at the whim of the menu?  Try it the next time you go out.  Let me know how it goes.




1 comment

  1. Good for you for making healthy choices. It’s so easy to be tempted when away from home and so many different choices are offered. Sounds like you had a great time there. 🙂

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