Tag Archives: the mission

Day 37: Veg-loading – my new strategy

Day 37 was all about veg-loading. Think carb-loading, but a lot less fun. Veg-loading is my new strategy for surviving nights out!

Pre-drinking is a thing of the past. It's all about the pre-vegging!

Pre-drinking is a thing of the past. It’s all about the pre-vegging!

Day 37’s night out was actually a date! As mentioned in a previous post I find it quite challenging to eat healthfully when going on a date – I get nervous, I forget to eat, I have some drinks and then I eat bold stuff when I get home.

This time around I was determined to keep it healthy. I figured the best way to do it was to stock up on vegetables and other good food throughout the day, as I knew I wouldn’t have time to eat when I got home.

Thankfully, this is really easy to do in work. I will always be extraordinarily grateful for the abundance of fresh fruit and veg we get. When you want to be healthy it’s so easy!

So, I had kale and crudites at breakfast with some eggs, crudites as a snack, a HUGE salad, with a variety of veg for lunch and then more crudites and hummus in the afternoon. I also worked out and drank a shed-load of water during the day. When I left to go out I felt satisfied and clear headed – not like the hungry, dehydrated wreck I was on the last date.

My huge salads

My huge salads


I’ve actually already made it a habit to eat a lot of vegetable at meals. I could never be the the type of person that just eats tiny portions – that’s why a conventional, calorie restricting diet would never work for me. I need something substantial in my belly or else I would be driven demented with hunger. So I eat loads and loads of veg.

It’s funny, I work with a lot of Frenchies, and whilst they’ve never said it, I think they are slightly appalled at the amount I put on my plate. The French, in my mind, have really mastered the art of eating – they take small amounts of fine, high quality food. My mountain of raw veg and chicken, with only lemon juice as a dressing, most likely seems barbaric to them.

‘IT’S GOOD FOR YOU!’ I feel like shouting sometimes, when I see them look over in my direction at lunch. ‘YOU’RE EATING A PASTRY! STUFFED WITH CHOCOLATE! I DON’T CARE IF IT’S ONE OF THE MINI ONES.’

I’m a little jealous of the French, clearly. They’ve probably never had to veg-load in their life.

On to the date – we went to The Royal Cuckoo in the Mission. This is a great spot for a date, especially mid-week. They’ve got a great drinks menu with lots of good cocktails. It’s all low lighting, fairy lights and cosy seats. They also played some live jazz as well. I’m not a huge jazz fan really, but it was fun.

So, happy to say I managed to keep it relatively healthy on a date day. I think veg-loading, or healthy-food loading is the way to go in the future!



Day 14: The Take-Out Challenge

  • Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs and egg whites, steamed kale with enochi mushrooms, watermelon and strawberries
  • Lunch: Mixed salad, grilled chicken, hummus, olives, berries (try berries or any fruit in your salad – may seem odd but it’s yum! Kudos to my friend Ly for bringing this into my life)
  • Snack: Sugar snaps, cherry tomatoes and walnuts
  • Dinner: Prawn salad (spring grees, cooked prawns, roasted red peppers, mango, avocado, queso fresco) from The Liitle Chihuahua
It's a veritable, vegetable fiesta!

It’s a veritable, vegetable fiesta!

I did it, I did it!!!!!! I passed one of the 100 Healthy Days in SF challenges!!!

Note- these are not necessarily challenges I devised at the beginning of my 100 healthy days, but rather events that occur during every day life that I know will be difficult to navigate without going mad with the food. It turns out there are many! And we haven’t even hit any kind of holiday, first date, monthly emotional roller-coaster or bad hair day challenges yet.

San Francisco does great Mexican food, it’s a fact. Maybe even THE BEST, if you put any faith into the ‘America’s Best Burrito’ contest, which La Taqueria, in the Mission, recently won. Mexican wave for you guys!

As such, I wanted my parents to experience it. We don’t have great Mexican restaurants in Ireland. The food tends to be of the Tex-Mex variety and you don’t even get free tortilla chips. I knew we would be lining up for a year if we wanted to get into La Taqueria post-award so I suggested we try The Little Chihuahua in Noe Valley. This is also great food – really fresh ingredients from sources that use sustainable farming. They were a bit too wrecked from all the sightseeing and shopping so we decided to get a take-out.

Take-outs are normally a nightmare for people eating healthfully – you get FOMO, there are typically no real healthy options, you’re normally starved by the time the food comes so you end up eating way more than you should.

BUT good sense prevailed and I went for the Tostada salad. I left behind the tostada (basically deep-fried carb of some sort) and halved the portion (it was HUGE). I also politely declined the free tortilla chips, much to the delight of my parents. SUCCESS.

I think a lot of it had to do with keeping well hydrated during the day and having a really healthy, veg filled snack late in the afternoon.

Regardless, this has given me a much-needed confidence boost. I know it is possible to make the right choice! Bring on the next challenge! (I’m not looking forward to the bar hair day one though. It can get emotional).

Note – I ordered the take-out from trycaviar.com. The site is great, easy to use, and they seem to have much better restaurants than grubhub.com.

Day 10: The Pre-Gaming, Night Out Challenge

  • Breakfast: Omelette with smoked salmon and tomatoes, coffee with milk
  • Snack: Fruit tasting at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market
  • Lunch: Chinese Chicken Salad at Gott’s Roadside in the Ferry Building
  • Snack: Iced Coffee
  • Dinner: Left-over salmon with roast potatoes and fennel
  • Pre-gaming: Prosecco, mini cup-cake, tortilla chips and guacamole
  • Gaming: Vodka Soda
  • Post-Gaming: Pizza…


Day 10 of my 100 Healthy Days in SF brought the greatest challenge to date – the pre-gaming night out. (Or, if you’re in Ireland, the pre-drinking before going on the tear). And I am ashamed to say, I failed spectacularly. 

From the start, I’ve known that social drinking would my Achilles heel. It’s probably the whole reason why I feel the need to embark on this challenge. I’m relatively healthy during the week and feel empowered and motivated to make healthy choices. However, as soon as Friday comes and the suggestion is made to go for cocktails/beers/dinner/margaritas my resolve crumbles faster than low-fat feta cheese. It’s not just the drinking, it’s the whole package – the unwinding after a long week, the catching up with friends, the debating over what cocktail to try…it’s just all so social and fun. 

So, today’s event was a night out with some of the Irish people living in SF. Our friend Kev was over visiting from Dublin, so of course we wanted to ‘catch up’ (aka go on the lash). We started out pre-gaming at another friend Katie’s house in The Mission, followed by drinks at my fave bar The Latin American Club (beware the Margaritas – they are lethal!).

In fairness to me, I couldn’t have been faced with more difficult foes. Kev is the Emperor of ‘getting on it’ and it’s practically impossible not to be affected by his good buzz and Katie is always on hand to pour the bubbles. I just couldn’t say no. Actually I didn’t even try. 😦

So, I ended up drinking a lot, and then going for pizza afterwards. The shame!

I’ve been beating myself up about this ever since, but I’ve decided to stop doing that. This is the first time I’ve met with this challenge during the 100 healthy days, and while I failed it’s not the end. I just need to come up with some strategies to ‘healthify’ the nights out. Some ideas:

  • Drink a TON of water the day before going out so you’re not dehydrated and reaching for the neared liquid to hand
  • Eat a big, protein and veggie filled meal before-hand so your blood sugars are balanced and you feel in control
  • Drink a glass of water as your first drink
  • Bring your own ‘healthy’ beverage to the pre-game
  • Have a healthy snack prepared for when you come home, so you don’t feel the need to go to the pizza place

The next time I go out, I will be prepared!!!

In other news, I spent a lovely day with the folks wandering around the famer’s market at the Ferry Building (a must for those visiting SF) and then doing the city bus tour, joined by the bold Kev.



Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Buidling. Check out dem peppers!


Irish reunion!

Day 7: One week milestone!

  • Snack: 10 almonds
  • Exercise: 45 mins spin class
  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs (half egg whites, half regular), sauteed escarole (I had never heard of this veg before), celery, coffee with milk
  • Lunch: Mixed salad with loads of veg, chicken, avocado
  • Snack: Half a carton of Chobani Greek yogurt and half a banana
  • Dinner: Kale salad with smoked salmon and chia seeds, apple cider vinegar, nectarine

Photo Collage Maker_JHXJUY

Today marked the one week milestone in my 100 Healthy Days in SF challenge. Whilst there are still 14.3 weeks left in the challenge I’m going to go right ahead and celebrate! Whilst the victory is small, I feel proud of myself for being consistent – both in terms of eating healthfully and blogging every day. Go me!

kale party

One week in and how do I feel? Not radically different- I obviously haven’t suddenly lost a stone or developed a six pack (not that I would want a six pack), but I do feel good. I feel slightly more alert and energetic than usual. I’ve also noticed that I’m not battling any major sugar cravings, which is amazing.

I was even able to go to Mitchell’s ice cream parlour in the Mission with my roommate last night and resist getting a scoop. Anyone who has ever been to this place will know how hard it is to say no. Their ice cream is goooood! Check them out. My fave is the Grasshopper Pie. Arrgghhh enough talk about ice cream.


Mitchell’s Ice Cream parlour in The Mission. Check them out! 688 San Jose Avenue


It just goes to show that even one week of healthy eating can have a positive effect on your well-being. I’m looking forward to seeing how I feel at the end!

Michelle x