Tag Archives: wellness

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 9: The Wine Tour Challenge

  • Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs, banana
  • Snack: Half a banana, wine
  • Lunch: Meats, cheeses, tomatoes, olives, cheeses, cheese
  • Snack: Wine, wine, wine
  • Dinner: At Slanted Door – 1 x fresh spring roll, 1 x crispy spring roll, cellophane noodles with crab, glass wine, coffee with milk
  • Snack: Cheese
Meals today were mostly of the grape variety. And cheese...

Meals today were mostly of the grape and cheese variety. 

One of the nicest things to do when you’re visiting San Francisco is to head off into the hills for an afternoon of wine tasting – Sonoma and Napa Valley being the most convenient areas from the city.  You can hire a limo, join a group, or cajole (bully) a friend into being the designated driver (sucker). Blissful hours are spent wandering through vineyards, sipping on delectable vintages and trying to decide which of the cheeses you bought at the farmer’s market will go best with the 2010 Chardonnay you’ve just tasted.

Sounds idyllic, right? It is.

But days like this are a NIGHTMARE for anyone trying to eat healthily.

1. Wine is obviously high in calories.

2. Cheese goes amazingly well with wine. And cheese is also high in calories and potentially other not-so-healthy things like trans-fat.

3. When you have one glass of delicious wine, you want another. And another. And sure why don’t we buy a bottle for the limo.

4. You don’t drink enough water, so you’re thirsty, so you drink more wine.

5. At the end of the day you’re slightly buzzed so all you want is to eat carbs.

As a result of all of the above, my day was not the healthiest. So, I think I probably failed the Wine Tour challenge. But what are you supposed to do? Decline the invite and sit at home drinking green juices? Actually, that’s probably exactly what you’re supposed to do if you’re really dedicated to living a 100% healthy lifestyle. But, I still want to do fun things and live the full SF experience. I just need to be as healthy as possible.

So, what would the ideal healthy wine tour look like to me? I think it would mean going to wine country, doing the tastings, being able to choose your own healthy lunch (or bring your own picnic), not having any extra wine, drinking enough water and going home to a healthy, home-cooked meal.

Lesson learned.

But it was still a lovely day and I’m glad I was able to give my parents that experience.

As regards the details of what we did – we joined a tour group run by Valley Wine Tours in Sonoma. We visited some lovely wineries – my favourite being Jacuzzi, which had more Italian type wines. I did find an amazing Sauvignon Blanc in Bartholomew Park Winery as well. We had a lunch stop at Larson Family Winery, which was nice. They have dogs you can play with (I say play, but all they want is for you to feed them) and some fun lawn games to play. The tour itself was only OK I would say. I’ve heard rave reviews about the owner Bob, but we had a different driver.

Dinner that night was in Slanted Door on the Embarcadero, which has won a few awards. Tasty Vietnamese food and the views of the Bay Bridge at night are spectacular.

Tasting the wine

Tasting the wine


Lawn games at Larson Family Winery

Views of the Bay Bridge at night

Views of the Bay Bridge at night

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

Day 5: Labor Day – last day of summer and vacation

Breakfast: Turkey, slice of cheese, tomato, low fat greek yoghurt, strawberries

Snack: Banana and iced coffee

Lunch: Grilled salmon salad with goats cheese and almonds, glass of wine

Dinner: Selection salads at airport (edamame, tomato and avocado, kale and peach, chickpea)

Snack: Crudites, hummus, sunflower seeds (on the airplane!)

Photo Collage Maker_wKCEVP

Today was Labor Day – my first one in the US. I had no idea what the purpose of this day was so I had to look it up. It celebrates the social and economic achievements of workers apparently! It also heralds the last day of summer. Sad face.

Today was also the last day of my mini vacation, which was rather apt. We spent it walking down Venice Beach and then headed to Hollywood Blvd. Venice Beach is a bit seedier than I imagined, but there were a lot of ‘typical’ sights to see – rollerbladers with strollers, surfers with six packs (!), skaters in the skate park and a massive body building competition by muscle beach! Hollywood Blvd was interesting enough and we got a bonus view of the Hollywood sign, which was lucky!

As for healthy eating, I was able to avoid poor choices for the most part. I decided to give the eggs a break as I had had them so many days in a row. So, I went for turkey instead. A few years ago I would have turned green at the thought of turkey for breakfast (or even eggs for that matter) but since giving up cereal about 2 years ago, I’ve come around. It’s not that bad!

A surprise for me was the snack on the Delta flight home. Not only was it free, it was healthy! Crudites, hummus and sunflower seeds. It’s very rare to see this on any flight – it’s normally pretzels or a big lump of sugary carb, Interestingly, they were only serving Coca-Cola drinks on the flight. I got to thinking, as Carrie SATC would say – did Coke sponsor the snacks to try to associate themselves with healthy options?

On the flight home I mused over my healthy eating challenge and how I fared during the vacation. Overall, I would happily declare it a success. Whilst not all of my choices were 100% clean or healthy I definitely made a more concerted effort than I normally would. I did allow myself a glass of wine, the odd piece of cheese and some frozen yogurt, but in general I avoided the really bad stuff- processed carbs and excess sugar. If I had been 100% clean I think I would have been slightly miserable. And what’s the point in that?

Tomorrow I will be throwing myself wholeheartedly into the challenge – clean living and back to exercise!!

Skater boy at the skate park in Venice Beach

Skater boy at the skate park in Venice Beach




Me on Venice Boardwalk

Day 1 – the day before the vacay

  • Breakfast: Egg whites, steamed kale, chia seeds, raw red peppers and a large coffee 
  • Snack: Cherry tomatoes
  • Lunch: Chicken with mixed green salad
  • Snack: Carrots and aubergine dip
  • Dinner: Omelette with cheese and tomatoes and mixed green salad
  • Lots of water and nettle and dandelion tea
  • Exercise: Power Sculpt class, 1 hr


Day 1 Food


As today was the day before the big Cali road trip I tried to go as easy on the food as possible. It’s so hard to be 100% clean and healthy on vacation (and in fairness, kind of boring) so I kind of feel like as much good work as I can do beforehand the better. So this meant loads of water and herbal tea and no refined carbs or sugar – including sugar from fruit. It wasn’t 100% perfect – I accidentally had eggs twice and I could have done without the cheese but it was a good enough effort. Even my parents peer-pressuring me into having a glass of wine didn’t sway me!

And even though my quads were killing me from the workouts earlier in the week I dragged my butt along to the exercise class today. Squat-hell. But hopefully worth every minute.

Overall a good day, ending with some road trip planning with my Mom. Some exciting days ahead with some of the best scenery in the world!

Day 1 Food