Thursday, December 30

Recycling Day

The Waste Management truck pulled up to my house today collecting the recycling from the last two weeks.

As I carried the trash out to the curb I noticed the contents. Normally the green bin is full of containers of Greek yogurt, boxes of high fiber cereal and bottles of water.

Not today.

Today the bin was overflowing with cartons from Daylight Donuts, boxes from Papa Johns Pizza, aluminum tins from Godiva, cardboard containers from Harry & David, and enough wine bottles to host one helluva dinner party. Okay, maybe two, possibly three.

It's been a fabulous holiday, but now I'm dealing with the hangover. The aftermath of the season.

I think I need to enter some sort of detox program. Or maybe go to a sweat lodge. Or try one of those lemonade cleanses. I've got to do something because I feel awful—sluggish, fatigued, bloated and just plain fat. Woo Hoo! Happy New Year!

Thankfully I don't need to call the Betty Ford Center. The remedies for ridding myself of the post-holiday bloat are actually pretty straight forward.

1) Start drinking water again. 

For some reason when the holidays hit, my water consumption drops. I'm not sure of the causal relationship but it happens every year. Now that the partying is (mostly) over, I need to get back on the H2O bandwagon. Water literally flushes the toxins away.

2) Stop the daily cocktail hours.

While it's been fun hosting family and friends and enjoying a few glasses of wine, the daily consumption of alcohol has got to go. As much as I hate to admit it, I'm not twenty any more. My body can't take it. (I mean twenty-one of course. I never drank while I was underage.)

3) Say hello to my long lost friends—fresh fruits and vegetables.

No one I know shows up to a holiday party with a tray of raw vegetables and some hummus dip. It's simply not done. Holiday food is cheesy, sugary, fatty and sometimes deep fried. No wonder I feel bloated. Reintroducing fruits and vegetables will lower my caloric intake and increase the fiber in my diet. Something that's been sorely lacking the last month.

4) Say good-bye to sugary treats. 

As hard as it is, it's time. Time to tell the sugar cookies, coffee cakes, gingerbread houses, chocolate truffles and all the other desserts to go away. It's for the best, really. But I'll miss them. Especially the Russian Tea Cakes, they're my favorite. Whatever my family doesn't eat and I can't give away by Sunday is getting thrown out.

5) Get back to the gym.

While I kept up my twice weekly strength training sessions during the holidays, I only made it to one cardio class. In four weeks. Yikes! I'm supposed to be doing cardio three times a week. Oops. Next week I'm back on it. Promise.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday and may 2011 bring you much happiness and good health.

Friday, December 24


Every year, the week before Christmas, I smugly drive by Short Pump Mall, a smirk crosses my face as I observe the traffic. Dummies, I think, if only they’d done their shopping early they wouldn’t have to fight the crowds.

I think back to my dentist appointment on December 7th. The dental hygienist, making her requisite small talk, asked me if I’d started my Christmas shopping.

“Oh,” I announced brightly, my eyes brimming with pride, “I’m almost done.”

“You’re smart,” she responded, “I haven’t even started yet.”

Yes, every year I pat myself on the back and praise my organizational skills.

Until December 23.

That’s when, every year, it hits me. 


This is my punishment for being smug. For feeling superior to those who don’t plan ahead. And it happens to me every year.

You’d think I’d learn. You’d think I would, I don’t know, REMEMBER THE STOCKING STUFFERS! But I don’t. So I’m out on December 23rd and 24th with all the other poor planners wandering the shops, fighting the crowds and stalking people in parking lots hoping to get their spot.

You probably saw me at the mall yesterday. I was the one in the green tweed coat, eyes full of desperation, and remorse.

Thank you karma for the comeuppance. I deserve it.

So what’s a penitent girl to do? What are good stocking stuffers?

My mind went in to overdrive. Well, I thought, I have lots of clementines in the house, maybe I could pierce each orange with a bunch of cloves and call it potpourri? Or I could use all that leftover Halloween candy?

But no, I couldn’t do it. So off I went in search of decent gifts.

Here’s what I scored during my travels. If you’re struggling for ideas, maybe these will help.

1.   I have four words for you. Bath and Body Works. This place is a gold mine. Lotion, perfume and hand sanitizer, oh my. Plus they have those fuzzy socks with the lotion built in. Perfect.

2.   After working out with Marq at the Advanced Wellness Centre, I noticed their holiday gift certificates. Who doesn’t love a massage? And they’re offering a holiday gift special—a one-hour massage for new clients is only $55. Sweet.

3.   Do your kids like music? Costco sells a four-pack of iTunes gift cards below the face value. Why buy them anywhere else?

4.   Speaking of gift cards, they’re the perfect stocking stuffer. Whether it’s Lowe’s, Target or Barnes and Noble there’s a gift card out there for everyone. Last year Santa gave me a Starbucks card and a Chick Fil A card to support my two beverage addictions—coffee and iced tea. It was fabulous.

5.   Underwear and socks. These were stocking stuffer staples in my childhood home. I could always count on Santa for new undies. As a kid I hated this tradition but as a parent I get it. They’re cheap, functional and best of all they take up a lot of space!

6.   DVDs and small books fit inside a stocking nicely as well.

That’s it. I’m tapped out, both mentally and physically. Good luck with your last-minute shopping.

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for a happy, healthy 2011!

Wednesday, December 22

Food Spotlight: Clementines

‘Tis the season for those sweet easy-to-peel oranges called clementines.

This little orange stuffs a lot of goodness into a tiny package. One clementine is only 35 calories, plus you get 5% of your daily fiber, 60% of your daily vitamin C and it’s a good source of niacin, thiamin, folic acid and potassium.

My issue with the fruit is the quantity it's sold in. Why are they only sold by the truckload? You can’t just buy four. No, you have to buy a crate-full.

So of course, that’s what I bought. And now I’ve got clementines out the ying-yang. I offer them to every guest that stops by, to the mailman and garbage collector. And I’m considering making them into a citrus-themed wreath.

I love them, really I do, but other than enjoying them as a convenient snack what do you do with them?

Sunday night, out of desperation, I searched the internet for clementine recipes.

Here’s what I made: Spinach salad with clementine-vinaigrette and fish tacos with clementine salsa. It was delicious!

Maybe I can hold off on building that wreath after all.

Here are the recipes for those two dishes. Enjoy!

Spinach Salad with Clementine Vinaigrette (modified from The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook)

1/3 cup walnut halves
1 pound flat-leaf spinach
1 teaspoon grated clementine zest (about 2 clementines)
2 tablespoons clementine juice (about 3 clementines)
1 teaspoon finely minced shallot
pinch of salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons walnut oil (you can find this at Kroger and it makes this dressing fabulous)

1. Toast the walnuts in a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

2. Combine the zest, juice, shallot, salt, pepper, and walnut oil in a bowl and whisk until smooth.

3. Place the spinach and walnuts in a serving dish. Drizzle the dressing over the spinach and walnuts and toss gently. Serve immediately.

Fish Tacos with Clementine Salsa

For the salsa:

3 clementines, peeled and segments chopped into small pieces
½ roasted red pepper, chopped (Buy a jar of peppers. You don’t have to roast your own)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice from ½ a lime
½ teaspoon cumin

1. Combine all the ingredients into a bowl and mix. (Can be made ahead of time and left on the counter for flavors to blend.)

Note: This takes a while to prepare. Not because it’s a difficult recipe, but because it takes some time to peel and chop the clementines.

For the fish:

4 cod fillets (you can use tilapia, mahi mahi or any other white fish you enjoy)
Zest from one lime
Montreal steak seasoning
Olive oil

1. Place the fish on a baking sheet.

2. Drizzle each piece of fish with some olive oil, lime zest, and Montreal seasoning

3. Broil for 8 minutes, or until fish flakes easily

To serve:

Extreme Wellness Tortillas (in Mexican aisle at Kroger)
Sour cream
Baked Fish
Clementine Salsa

1. Fill each tortilla with ¼ to ½ a fish fillet, some clementine salsa and a dollop of sour cream.

Saturday, December 18

Food Spotlight: Tea

Balancing six mugs in my arms, I tentatively descended the staircase into the kitchen.

Michael, hearing my entry, turned toward me and noticing my burden asked, “What are those?”

“Dirty mugs from our bedroom,” I responded. “They’re from my nighttime hot tea habit.”

“Good God! You’ve got almost every cup we own up there,” he exclaimed.

“I know,” I said sheepishly, “I think I have a problem.”

I do have a tea problem, but unlike my raw cookie dough obsession, this one is actually good for me.

Defining “tea”

Real tea—green, black and oolong tea—is derived from the Camellia sinensis plant.

Herbal teas, like chamomile, jasmine and mint are not tea at all because they don’t come from this plant. They are labeled tea because they are prepared in the same way as real tea.

Since herbal teas are not derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, they do not have the same nutritional properties as green, black or oolong tea.

For the purpose of this article, I’ve chosen to focus solely on green, black and oolong tea. Herbal “teas” are not part of the discussion.

So, why is tea good for me?

It’s the antioxidants baby! Antioxidants are important because they neutralize free radicals, those nasty compounds that damage our cells and which many scientists believe, contribute to aging, cancer and heart disease.

Antioxidants are found in many fruits and vegetables, but according to John Weisburger, PhD, senior researcher at the Institute for Cancer Prevention in Valhalla, N.Y, "Whether it's green or black, tea has about eight to ten times the polyphenols [a type of antioxidant] found in fruits and vegetables."

Which tea should I drink, green or black?

The difference between green, black and oolong tea is in the processing. Green tea is minimally processed, the leaves are withered and steamed after being dried. Black and oolong teas are more heavily processed, the leaves are crushed and fermented after being dried.

While the teas all start from the same plant, the extra fermenting of black and oolong teas changes the antioxidant profile. All three types of tea have antioxidants, but green tea has more EGCG, an antioxidant that is thought to play a key role in preventing cancer and heart disease. Thus, green tea is widely regarded as the better choice.

A word of caution, there are many health claims in the media about the benefits of green tea, but the bulk of the research is based on animal studies. Human studies, thus far, have been inconclusive, leading the FDA to strike down a proposal from green tea manufacturers allowing them to link green tea consumption to a reduced risk of breast and prostrate cancer. The FDA not only refused to allow this health claim, but further stated that:

“… existing evidence does not support qualified health claims for green tea consumption and a reduced risk of any other type of cancer.”

Okay, so now what?

While the research is still pending on tea’s cancer-preventing properties, the fact remains that it is loaded with antioxidants which makes it a healthy choice as a daily beverage—much better than a soda.

To get the most from a cup of tea, you need to drink brewed hot tea.  Bottled tea from a vending machine or ordering iced tea at a restaurant doesn’t count. Those preparations are so diluted that the antioxidant level is virtually zero. Plus, many of the bottled teas are loaded with sugar.

With cold weather upon us, brew a cup, sit back and enjoy the warmth. Oh, and the antioxidants too.

Monday, December 13

A Weekend Retreat from the Chaos of Christmas

A sea of headlights and taillights greeted me as we drove past Short Pump Mall Friday night. Our minivan headed in the opposite direction, away from the congestion and noise of holiday shoppers toward First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach.

While the majority of humanity filled the streets and stores in preparation for Christmas, we took our kids camping. This past weekend was our second annual “Family Longhouse.”

Our Family Longhouse is an offshoot of the YMCA Indian Guide/Indian Princess program. The YMCA program is designed for fathers and their children. Through monthly meetings and twice-yearly camping trips (called “longhouses”) it provides opportunities for dads and their kids to share experiences and have fun together.

The camping weekends with daddy are a highlight of my children’s lives, so much so that they wanted me to experience a longhouse weekend too.

“It’s okay,” I assured them, “There’s no need for Mommy to go camping. I’ve been camping and I’m really, really, really happy that Daddy takes you.”

But the kids insisted. “You’ll love it!” they declared.

Seeing the excitement on their little faces, listening to their stories of longhouses past, I finally relented. But with some rules.

When Mommy goes camping that means a cabin with running water, electricity and a coffee maker. I love being out in nature—during the day, with fresh clothes on, a clean body and fully caffeinated. Those are my standards. I don’t do tents, sleeping outside, bugs, shivering, and percolating coffee over a campfire.

While I refuse to be without indoor plumbing, there were a few modern conveniences I was happy to leave behind—namely, TV and computers. Void of our customary entertainment, we amused ourselves with cards, board games and outdoor activities. On the beach we kicked the soccer ball, tossed a football, played Bocce ball, horseshoes and laughed at our dog Snickers as she ran into the ocean playing with Ricky, an exuberant chocolate lab. (Snickers was so excited to play with her new friend, she forgot she hates the water. Until a wave struck her chest, then she made a hasty retreat.)

We hiked along Bald Cypress trail, climbed up the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse and with hot chocolate in hand, drove down the boardwalk to view the holiday lights. We even had time for a long, luxurious afternoon nap.

As we returned home Sunday afternoon, traffic still clogged the entrance to the mall. I couldn’t help but imagine all the harried shoppers rushing to finish their Christmas shopping. I have a list of items to attend to as well, but I’ll get to those later. For the moment I’m savoring the quiet time spent with my family. 

Climbing trees at First Landing State Park

Enjoying Virginia Beach

Snickers (brown dog in the foreground)
after she remembered she hated the water.
She stood at the edge, only getting her paws wet.

Playing "Life." My career was a supermodel and I made
$2 million a year. Clearly, it was just a game. And I lost.
Even in the fake world I couldn't pull it off.

Hiking Bald Cypress trail

The girls with Snickers

My beautiful family. Except that old guy.
Where'd he come from?

Thursday, December 9

Okay, Okay, I'll Meditate

Something is going on in the universe, pushing me, no, demanding that I meditate. No less than six people have recently suggested that I would benefit from the practice.

Is it the fact that my shoulders are permanently attached to my ears? Is it the eye twitching? The scattered thoughts? The distracted and confused stare? What exactly about me do they see that makes them think, "Boy, could you benefit from some stress relief?"

"I've tried it in the past," I tell them, "It's just not for me."

Unwavered they respond, "Yeah, you should really try it again. Really."

So here I am, giving in to the universe and trying it again because apparently, I could really benefit from it. But this time I'm trying a different technique.

Traditional meditation, where you sit quietly focusing on nothing is a disaster for me. I'm incapable of shutting down my brain. It's constantly spinning, reminding me to get bread at the grocery store, schedule my dog Snickers' vet appointment, clean the house for the upcoming holiday party and help Amanda with her science project. How anyone can sit still and NOT think is beyond me. This is why I'm not the Dalai Lama. I'm not enlightened. I live in the dark stressful space of an anxious mother.

I need a different kind of meditation, a technique that occupies my mind, gives me something to do. Thankfully, I recently learned a type of meditation that does just that. It's got some fancy medical name which I cannot recall so I coined it "See-Hear-Feel" because I'm kind of an idiot and that moniker helps me remember what to do.

Here's how it works.

First, sitting in a comfortable position, begin breathing through your nose, taking several deep, calming breaths.

Next, let your eyes wander around the room and find an object that appeals to you and focus on it. This is the "see" part. Continuing to breathe through your nose, notice the object and the characteristics that make you want to look at it. Is it the color? The way the light hits it? Mentally describe the object to yourself, focusing only on what you see.

Then, continuing your nose breathing and staring at your object, focus on what you hear. The whir of the heating system, cars passing by outside, clocks ticking, whatever is around you. Again, make a mental checklist of the sounds in your vicinity.

Finally, turn your attention to what you feel—physically, not emotionally. Maybe you feel the chair pressing into your legs or your legs crossed over one another. You might notice that you're hungry, cold, or warm.

Continuing to breathe through your nose, you should feel markedly different by now, much calmer, more relaxed.

Our stresses and worries live at a very high level of cognitive function. We are problem solvers constantly trying to fix the issues that plague us. This technique works because it forces our thoughts on basic sensations, what we see, hear and feel, placing us in the present moment, temporarily giving us a respite from our worries.

I like this technique because it can take as little as five minutes and it gives my mind something to do. Plus I can do it anywhere, no special CD is required.

My final piece of advice is: DO NOT pick your "to-do" list as the thing to focus on. Admiring your handwriting or the way the sun highlights the word "coffee" on your Costco list isn't effective.

Happy meditating everyone!

Monday, December 6

Food Spotlight: Cranberries

One of my favorite holiday side dishes is cranberry sauce. Unfortunately I am in the minority when it comes to an affinity for this delicacy. At our Christmas table the single can of sauce passes from one family member to the next like a hot potato until the serving dish rests at my side.

Why the distain from my family? Don’t they enjoy the tartness, the ruby red color? Or maybe the canned variety with its gelatinous texture is unappealing?

This Christmas I’ve decided to make my own cranberry sauce in an attempt to get my family to embrace the berry. After all, it’s an antioxidant superstar.

Not only are cranberries a powerful free radical fighter, on par with the blueberry, but research has proven the old wives tale of drinking cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections (UTI).

Cranberries contain elements that stop bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract. Thus regular consumption of cranberries is a good preventative step for women who suffer recurrent UTIs. Research however, has not proven that cranberries are a good treatment for a UTI. If you get one, you need medical attention to treat it.

Adding cranberries to your diet is easiest with cranberry juice, but buy the light version. Ocean Spray’s light cranberry juice has 40 calories in a cup versus 130 for the regular stuff.

If you can’t stomach the tartness of the juice straight, try this mix: half cranberry juice, half seltzer water and a twist of lime. It’s light and refreshing, plus it looks really fun and pretty in a glass. I often drink this at parties when I’m not feeling like a cocktail. Your office Christmas party could the perfect time to give this a try. Have the bartender put it in a martini glass and it’ll look like you’re having a cosmopolitan. Instead of getting tanked and telling your boss you think he/she is an idiot, you can stand back and watch your colleagues make fools of themselves. Ah, the joys of the holidays. 

Here are some other recipes to help you incorporate cranberries into your life, including a version of cranberry sauce I’m going to try at Christmas.

Happy cooking!

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Turkey Salad

Cranberry Waldorf Fruit Salad

Friday, December 3

Assessing the Post-cruise Damage

Reluctantly, hesitantly, I stepped on the scale this morning, bracing myself for the damage I’d caused during last week’s cruise.

And the damage was…drum roll please…

zero pounds.

Miraculously, unbelievably, the digital display read the same as when I left. I shook my head, blinked several times and glanced at my hands. I must be leaning against the wall or hanging from a bar above the scale, I thought. There’s no way that’s accurate.

But there it was, in black and grey, in digital glory.

After I stopped jumping up and down and high-fiving myself, I wondered how in the world I pulled that off.

I ate dessert every night, drank wine, and had a Bloody Mary for a nightcap. Every night. I don’t normally eat and drink like that. How could I not put on a few pounds?

After some careful introspection it occurs to me that I have a few personal characteristics that support a healthy weight management style, even when I’m sabotaging myself.

1) I’m a food snob.

I’m a picky eater. Not like my seven-year-old who only likes a limited number of foods, but in the quality of what I eat. If it’s not really good, I don’t eat it.

This is the shrimp risotto.
Looks fabulous, right?
Sadly, it was horrible.
For example, at dinner one night on the cruise I ordered shrimp risotto. It looked beautiful but the shrimp was overcooked and rubbery and the rice was undercooked and crunchy. I took two bites and pushed it aside. It just wasn’t worth my time. I didn’t ask for another plate, I waited for the next course which happened to be dessert and it was spectacular. Well worth skipping the entree for.

The same thing happened at breakfast. I never loaded up on pastries, doughnuts, pancakes or other sugary treats. It was clear these items were from a box. They weren’t homemade. They weren’t special, so why bother. I stuck with the basics—fruit, eggs, oatmeal, bacon, toast—choosing instead to save my calories for dinner when the good desserts were being served.

2) I don’t stuff myself.

When I was in high school we owned a basset hound named George. We adored that dog and like bad parents fed him all sorts of inappropriate food. One night we gave him an entire pot of spaghetti. He ate the whole thing. For the next several hours he lay on the family room floor moaning, his belly distended beyond his ribcage on both sides of his body. He looked like a python that had just engulfed a deer. Poor thing. He just couldn’t stop himself.

Thankfully, I am no George.

Even though I was eating more high-calorie foods, I often ate only half of the contents on my plate, stopping well before I reached the George-point.

It reminds me of an article I read recently about the people of Okinawa, Japan. One of the places profiled in Dan Beuttner’s book, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. Okinawa is known for it’s high concentration of 100-year-olds. These people have been studied for years to discover their secrets to longevity. One of their cultural norms is to eat until they are 80% full. They purposefully and methodically stop eating when they feel mostly full. Since it takes 10-20 minutes for the brain to get the message that you’re satiated, if you stop at 80% and wait, you’ll find that you’re actually full. Whereas if you stop at 100%, you’re stuffed, like George.

3) I’m impatient.

With 3,000+ people on board the ship there was always a line for the elevators. Instead of patiently waiting, I took the stairs. Even in high heels. Up and down I went, day and night. Additionally, we walked everywhere—taking the kids to their Adventure Ocean Club, meeting the family at the Schooner Bar for trivia night, going back to the other side of the ship to get the kids and put them to bed, etc. If I was smarter I would’ve brought a pedometer with me. I know I walked more on ship than I do at home.

All these things combined must have cancelled out the extra calories I was consuming. It reminds me that small changes can make big differences.

During this time of year, between work and family commitments, travel, holiday shopping and office parties, it’s difficult to get to the gym or pass on all the treats. But some simple solutions like being picky, eating less and walking more could be all you need to maintain your weight this season.

It worked for me. 

Thursday, December 2

Overindulgence On The High Seas

Our ship off the coast of
Cocoa Cay, Bahamas

My Thanksgiving week was spent aboard Royal Caribbean’s cruise ship the Freedom of the Seas. I can sum up my experience in three words.




Between the casino, the endless buffets and the bars, which began offering alcoholic beverages at 7:00 am, the cruise should have been called Sinning on the Seas. The only vice missing was pornography.

At least that’s what I thought, until my sisters and I spotted an aging porn star sunning herself on Deck 11. We’re only guessing she’s an ex-adult actress of course. With her long, bleached blonde hair, double-G breasts, rhinestone-studded false eyelashes, lips so full and tight they looked like they were inflated with a bicycle pump, and skin the color of an Oompa Loompa’s, she might be the owner of a tanning salon or possibly a tattoo parlor. But we’re sticking with porn star.

While her appearance was gawk-worthy, that’s not what really fascinated me about her. I was impressed, envious even, of her strut, her confidence. The way she sauntered over to the deck hands to ask for a towel as if nothing was amiss, passing rows of suburban moms from Connecticut, Missouri and Virginia, all turning our heads and elbowing our neighbors to watch her walk by. She completed her journey, shaking her assets in her black string bikini, acting as if it was the most glorious thing to be the color of burnt sienna.

I wish I had an ounce of her chutzpah.

When I wasn’t staring at our porn star friend poolside, I was glancing around the dining room at our 3,000+ traveling companions and observing their eating choices. Cruise ships are a fascinating place to observe human dietary behavior. And for the most part, overindulgence ruled the day.

With an all-inclusive setup, 24-hour access to a stunning amount of food, and customers with an “I’m on vacation” mindset, plates were piled high with bad choices. Pastries, doughnuts, sausage, bacon and waffles for breakfast. Pizza, burgers, fried steak, chicken and French fries for lunch. Lobster, steak, mashed potatoes, and pie for dinner. All this chased with Royal Caribbean’s drink of the day—Coco Loco, Mango Madness or some other fruity rum concoction.

Compulsive eaters beware. Cruising is not the place for you.

And even me, who my sister claims has the self-restraint of a Tibetan monk, felt the pull of temptation.

I controlled myself fairly well, but as the days wore on, I felt my will power start to wane. With everyone else on board eating and drinking like they were on death row it was hard not to pile on.

I remembered my dad’s admonishing words from childhood, “If all the other kids are jumping off a bridge are you going to too?”

It turns out I would. Especially if there was tiramisu, crème brulee and a chocolate brownie in the gorge below.

By Day 6 I had joined my death row inmates. My simple breakfast of fresh fruit and a bowl of oatmeal was no longer enough. “I need some protein too,” I declared. I returned to the table with eggs, bacon and toast, a complete breakfast unto itself, and my second plate that morning.

While I passed on dessert at lunch, I always indulged at dinnertime. And then there were the Bloody Marys after dinner. That counts as a vegetable right?

On the positive side, I did make it to the fitness center, climbed the rock wall, spent two days snorkeling and swimming in the ocean, and shook my moneymaker during 80s dance night. All of which burned off maybe two Bloody Marys and a cookie.

As we prepared to disembark I filled out the customer feedback form leaving the following advice for Royal Caribbean:

“As a service to your guests might I suggest an Overeaters Anonymous booth on the Royal Promenade. A small office between Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Parlor and Sorrento’s Pizza would be ideal.”

 I'll leave you with a few photos from my gastronomic journey.

Breakfast at sea

The main dining room.
How can you not overindulge in this atmosphere?

A typical dinner—seafood skewer of lobster, shrimp and scallops.

Followed by a typical dessert. Yes this was for one person.
Janelle drinking a virgin Coco Loco.
My sugaraholic daughter was in heaven.
I could've said no to the fruity beverage,
but you get to keep the glass. So we ordered four.
We wanted a full set.

Ah, the Bloody Marys. My vegetable servings for the day.

The cruising clan. Three generations under one roof.