Exploring new places, eating great food, and spending time with special people = 3 of my favourite things in life.
So this trip to Barcelona with my mum was always going to be brilliant.
We stayed in a hotel literally just off La Rambla, which was a perfect location for two people with no sense of direction whatsoever.
Every time we got a bit lost and my google maps got confused by all the tall buildings, we soon came across signs for La Rambla and found our way back.
It was also a great location because it was literally just a few doors down from the most amazing chocolate shop.
If you don’t know by now, I LOVE chocolate.
And this place had stuff I’d never even seen before. ‘Kronuts’ (a cross between a croissant and a donut) and ‘Kruffins’ (basically a stuffed croissant shaped like a muffin), as well as various truffles and chocolate sandwich biscuits that were smothered in more chocolate and on a stick like a giant lollipop.
To me, this was heaven.
And yes, I went there every day.
“I’ll have that one, and that one, and that one, and that one…”
The kronut stuffed with Nutella and with an oreo biscuit on top was not something I would recommend from a calorie or nutritional viewpoint, but I had to try it. And it was reeally good.
We walked loads, partly because we knew we would be eating loads, and really enjoyed just wandering around the city.
All the little individual shops were very cute, and often we turned a corner and found the cathedral or some other beautiful building to admire.
Then there was the chocolate shops…
We may have accidentally stumbled into these and tested the free samples once or twice (or three or four times).
We also did the hop on hop off bus tour, and had booked tickets to an inside area of Park Guell, and the Basilica Sagrada Familia.
Park Guell was a lovely outdoor area to walk around, with monuments designed by Gaudi and a great view over the city. Got us lots of steps too, allowing us to share the kronut we bought on the way to the bus, and was a very enjoyable place to spend the morning.
The Basilica was just incredible. It’s ENORMOUS. And amazingly detailed in the design and all the decoration and statues on the outside. Inside was beautiful too with all the stained glass windows and the shafts of light streaming through them. We’d booked to go up one of the towers there so had an amazing view over the city at the top.
Then we walked nearly an hour across the city to get to our dinner reservation.
Being a massive foodie I am an extensive researcher on trip advisor, and had booked a restaurant for each night to make sure we got to sample some of the best places and tastiest food. Every place we went to was brilliant with delicious tapas and local dishes. This one was rated number 3 for the whole of Barcelona and was just wow. Had to be booked over a month in advance and was well worth it, made the perfect last dinner for our trip.
We flew back late afternoon so spent our last morning wandering around, heading down to the harbour area to enjoy the sunshine and then back up around all the shops.
Finished with a final food flourish at another highly rated place on tripadvisor that we would never have found otherwise. Both went for pretty healthy options here and it was another delicious meal to round off a brilliant trip in a fantastic city.
I wanted to write and share this blog with you partly to show how far away from perfect I am when it comes to eating well ALL the time, and partly to show you that it’s OK to relax and enjoy yourself every now and again, and even gain a few pounds when you away.
It pains me so much when I talk to women who didn’t fully enjoy their holiday because they were worried about putting on weight, or who were devastated when they got back and stepped on the scales.
Life is for living.
You’re on HOLIDAY. Most people don’t get holidays all the time. The main thing to do is relax and ENJOY it. Enjoy spending time with loved ones, and enjoy some different and tasty food if you feel so inclined to do so. Don’t binge on crap just for the hell of it, but don’t deprive yourself of things you really want either.
Unless you go crazy and eat and drink everything in sight, you wont inflict any damage that can’t be undone within a week or two.
I came back feeling a little softer round the edges, but that’s cool. Now for the next few weeks I’ll happily eat healthy, walk daily, lift weights and keep track of my calories, and will soon be back to where I like to be.
If you’re like me and most of the clients I work with, you don’t want or need to be perfect all the time. You don’t WANT to be in supermodel shape, you just want to be slim, fit, healthy and feel happy with your body. And at the same time still enjoy great experiences, indulge in tasty foods now and again, and live life. You CAN do that.
It was brilliant not worrying about calories and just enjoying whatever we wanted for a few days. Sometimes it gives you that refresh that you need to then come back an appreciate healthy food and exercise again.
So you find you’ve over-indulged and need to lose a few pounds, PLEASE don’t panic and beat yourself up.
Keep track of your food for a week or two. If you don’t want to count calories, just try having slightly smaller portion sizes or cut out one or two snacks. Prioritise eating protein in each meal, lots of vegetables and some fruit. Drink plenty of water, and keep active. It will drop off pretty quick if you do these things.
Above all, be happy for the experiences and the fun you had, and then carry on living and enjoying life.
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