Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blogger's Block and our Southern Food Tour

Over the past week there have been a couple of instances when I sit down to blog about our home visit and I can’t seem to put anything into words. I guess they 'd call that Blogger’s Block. Well, whatever it is- I got it. We’ve been having a great time, but true to form, it has been a crazy blurry whirlwind of cities, and people, and food. It’s like I don’t have time to process one event, or digest a meal, before we’ve moved on to the next.
Since I left you last, I watched the LSU Tigers defend their home turf against the #3 South Carolina gamecocks. It was a heart-palpitation-causing game, but that's just part of being an LSU fan.
When the final seconds ran out, the stadium was still jam packed. That’s how close it was.
I was thrilled to spend the day in Baton Rouge with my husband’s family and two of my besties. It was a sweet time in one of my all-time favorite cities, with some of my all-time favorite people, watching my heart and soul play football on a Saturday Night. I totally bleed purple and gold and experiencing a live upset was such a thrill. Geaux Tigers!
P.S. Living in Scotland has totally rubbed off on me as evidenced by the fact that I ordered Jack and Coke at the tailgate. Somehow I subconsciously switched from a Beer girl to a Whisky girl overnight. Jonathan was so proud of meJ.

On Sunday we headed out early to Orange Beach, Alabama, where Jonathan’s parents just bought a 3 bedroom condo. It was great because my parents decided to come up for 2 days so we got some quiet and relaxing time with both sets of our parents.
There are two main groups of people in the world: Beach people and Lake people. I’m definitely in the latter category, but I have to admit that there is something quite soothing about the ocean. It’s been a stressful couple of months, and it was nice to sit on the patio and watch the waves roll in, and witness how Orange Beach got its name:
Talk about a sunset. The few we saw while there might even rival the Scottish sky.
For now it’s back in Covington where Jon and I are getting in some last minute shopping and rounds of golf before Jonathan heads back to Aberdeen for work. The shopping sprees are bringing back flashbacks of preparing our initial shipment, which is of course, inducing frequent and ridiculous panic attacks.
At times I feel like I'm about to have a schizophrenic psychotic break right there in Target, complete with auditory hallucinations. For instance, on one shoulder, I have a rational angel saying- ‘Laine, Scotland has plenty of candy to get you through’ and then on the other shoulder, I have a gluttonous devil saying ‘but these giant packs of peanut butter m&ms are 3 for $8’. It tears me up inside, it really does.

I’m having a great time and excited to spend the next week with my parents, sister, and nephews at Disney World and Universal Studios, but I am slightly jealous that Jonathan is headed home. I still have 8 days of travel ahead of me. 8 days of disjointed exercise routines and round-the-clock junk food. At this point in the trip I have gained 10 pounds. Yep, 10 pounds!!!!

I’m trying not to let it bother me but I am officially the heaviest I have ever been and yet people keep force feeding me Chinese, Greek, Cajun, Japanese and Mexican food. It’s making me anxious to return to my daily 7 mile forest jogs with Bailey and my diet of cereal and sandwiches. I guess that’s just what happens when you have to cram a year's worth of American cuisine into 3 weeks. And of course our 4 weeks of travel before leaving Scotland for the US didn’t help matters.

Any advice on how to stay healthy on the road? Jon and I are both struggling with this, especially since southerners apparently prove their love for you by inducing food comas and peer pressuring you into ordering the greasiest appetizer on the menu. Yep, maybe the peanut butter m&m purchase wasn’t such a good idea. But on the other hand, they were 3 for $8….


  1. A couple of things we do that seem to work for us are: only go out to eat once per day, don't drink other than weekends (which can be tricky but it is usually the main reason for my home leave weight gain), share one meal so we can enjoy dessert. My main issue is the portions in the states are huge compared to what I'm used to but once the stomach starts stretching back its all over :) I never weigh myself while I'm traveling and I usually wait about 3 days after returning to do it otherwise it can be really demoralizing! Good luck and don't stress about it it's only your first home leave you will figure out what works for you!!!

    1. These are great ideas! I'll try to think of what I do. It may be a little scattered. When we are traveling, we try to stick to grilled foods. If somebody orders an appetizer and you feel obligated to eat it, just have a few bites. If I order burgers or sandwiches, I'll take off one of the buns (whichever side has the most dressing on it or the one I don't need to hold it together... hehe), and I'll ask to substitute veggies for the fries. I know.. it's so hard b/c fries are so yummy. Fortunately for me, my husband orders fries so I get to eat 1 or 2 of his! About the one-bun thing; sometimes people look at me funny, but I just tell them that I can't eat it all because it's too much bread. That always satisfies their curiosity. :o) At Chinese and Japanese places, order steamed rice and dishes. Also, either don't eat the rice with your meal or just eat half of the rice. At Mexican restaurants, go for fajitas without the tortillas. Order charro beans; avoid the refried. At Greek places, try the vegetarian dishes and/or half the portions. I definitely agree with the above about drinking, but it's not just alcohol. We also do our best to avoid sodas. I have a "coke Friday", and all my friends and family know about it. HAHA. I only have soda on Friday. It helps me to set up something like that when I am very busy and tempted to go for something quick with caffeine. Watch out for things like coffee drinks with lots of cream, syrup, and sugar, which we Americans tend to go for when our lives are hectic! Avoid the free bread at restaurants. Ask for dressings on the side. Try to always make sure you are taking something home. You don't have to clear your plate. One last piece of advice: Don't be embarrassed to make healthier choices when you are out with people. It's a good thing. :) Hope the tips help. Cheers!

  2. Hello - I hope you don't mind me contacting you but I was wondering if you could provide some information about Aberdeen. I have a job interview next week and I would need to relocate there. Since you are an expat I was wondering your views? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind Regards, Abby

  3. The weight will all come off when you get home and back in your routine. That's why you make healthy choices every other day of your life, so that you can enjoy vacation without guilt :)

    Have fun at Disney and Universal! I bet you'll walk 10,000 steps in half a day, that'll help even things out too XO