New Habits and Spa Giveaway

Well, guys, we’re back to reality.

Living in the Philippines was so incredible, BUT it was also a year of kinda bad habits. Bad meaning really fun and convenient and easy and live-it-up-while-you’re-young, but not very healthy. And bad meaning I’m a little worried that we’ve come back to family and friends right at the peak of wear-your-swimsuit-at-the-lake-all-day season. Gulp. I made some healthy things, like these lentils, this skinny veggie Alfredo lasagna, and this quinoa black bean casserole, but in between eating all that stuff I wasn’t always being so good. Here are some of my bad habits and how I hope to turn them into new, better habits as we transition back home.

Bad habit #1: eating out.

People eating at a table.

I feel like I’ve been eating out for one year straight. It’s wonderfully inexpensive to eat at a restaurant in the Philippines. This is a picture of us with my friend Angie at our favorite Thai restaurant. Pad Thai, you guys. PAD THAI. My nemesis. So shopping for groceries, cleaning and preparing them, and washing all the dishes afterward was an expensive, sweaty nightmare compared to the comfort of eating in the air conditioning and not having to make or clean up any of the food. Every meal was a battle of convenience, cost, and comfort vs. the health benefits of making our own food at home.

At-home goal: eating out less. I love it SO much, but we are going to need to cut back on the restaurants and keep at-home meals balanced. Here’s a diagram from the Slim-Fast website that is a great tool for building a meal or a recipe that has the right amount of everything. I love stuff like that.

plate diagram

Bad habit #2: delicious local foods and snacks that are fried to golden crisp perfection.

Banana que in a skillet.

Filipinos know how to fry, and I am a girl who loves her fried food. It was a perfect disaster. I found myself deciding between fried lumpia (egg roll) and fried brown sugar bananas for my afternoon snacks. And loving it.

At-home goal: taking advantage of the wide variety of healthy snacks available to me anywhere, at any time. I have really missed the convenience of health foods here. Now that we’re back home, I’ll be stocking up on fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and taking advantage of the healthier pre-packaged snacks that are made full of protein and fiber. I love that on my way to school, on a day when I’m all out of groceries and don’t have anything to bring for lunch, I can pull into the dinky little gas station by our house and grab a Slim-Fast meal bar with an apple and a water. That kind of convenience has been sorely missed this year. Awesome.

Bad habit #3: not exercising.


That’s actually a picture of me working out back when I DID work out. But the Philippines did not have regular, enjoyable exercise in the stars for me. For so many reasons that I won’t get into, I found it incredibly difficult to do any kind of physical activity while living abroad, soooo I just didn’t. For a year. And as expected, my jeans are a wee bit tighter than they were when we came.

At-home goal: get more active. Eat more protein. Do more muscle work. Run outside more. I’ve missed those lake runs like crazy this year.

My real reason for wanting to slim down in the next few weeks? So that I can jump right back into the summer season, including the swimsuit part, without looking like I ate fried foods and didn’t exercise for a year while living abroad. We can just keep that part a secret, right?

Your turn! What secret habits are YOU trying to hide? Midnight snacks? Spending more time sitting (blogging!) in exercise clothes than actually exercising? Secret candy drawer? Leave a comment and two lucky winners will be picked at random from participating blogs to each win a $1,000 SpaFinder gift card! Yip-dip-skip-dee-doo!

For more information about Slim-Fast you can visit their website here or their Facebook page here.


No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 6/13/13 – 6/30/13.

Be sure to visit the Slim-Fast brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I have definitely spent too much time sitting since I started blogging! My goal is to spend part of my lunch break walking outside and to focus on packing healthier lunches instead of frozen food. Oh, and to make dessert less often which is so hard because it looks so dang good in pictures. 🙂

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    My not so secret habit is drinking fancy coffees…i just cant stop!

    $1000 GIFT CARD…OH HELLS YA!!!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    i spend too much time saying “i’ll work out tomorrow.” i gained 3 pounds in a week… i should probably get on that.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Currently I’m hiding the fact that I’m not running, but still soaking in the “good for you” comments. Of course, now I’ve confessed and feel guiltier. Guess it’s time to tie ’em back on!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Melissa M

    I have been spending to much time eating the candy in my bosses office! Time to stop going in there for a after lunch treat! 🙂

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Leila S.

    Eating when I’m bored… I probably should squeeze in a few crunches when the energy dips rather than grabbing the cookies that make me have to squeeze into my jeans!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Now that summers here, I’m tempted to eat ice cream more frequently and to drink a cold drink or sugary cocktail. Not bad every now and then, but not every night!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    anna marie

    ummmm, eating late at night. i love a bowl of cereal or some triscuits with peanut butter, semi-healthy just not a great time to snack. So I am drinking more water and trying to cease the late night snacking. great blog! really love your recipes!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo




  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    My bad habit – I can’t just have “a little bit” of something. Put a cake in front of me and I WILL eat at least half of it. Free chips at Mexican with the girls, helloooo 3 baskets worth. I’m trying to work on enjoying “bad” foods sparingly and therefore I’d be able to eat them more often.

    Thanks for the sweepstakes, and for offering up some great ideas. I was abroad for 6 weeks once and came back 10+ pounds heavier!! At least you fit in your jeans. Yeah… I may have bought a pair abroad. Let’s say I hope to never wear them again!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    In the summer (OK fine all the time) I have a really bad habit of stopping for ice cream cones at fast food restaurants. I know it’s not the worst thing I could eat, but they ad up quickly!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Alicia H.

    My secret is always having a stash of chocolate somewhere in my room, no matter what diet or healthy eating plan I’m following.

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    My secret habits? Well, indulging the food that I just style and photograph for the blog. I know…lots of good…yummy food though. But, I really need a lot more exercise than I think, just to maintain my weight.

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I just enjoy napping too much. And as a shift worker my schedule can be hectic so I rely on naps instead of exercise for energy….oops!

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Computer time! and sometimes making excuses not to exercise! Just have to get in the habit of doing it!

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Oh, man, I have such a sweet tooth. I need to convince myself that dessert isn’t a necessary part of my everyday life!

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m an ice-cream-aholic. So summer is big time ice cream season and I’m all about it. Two scoops of ice cream every night is probably not a good idea….

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I could really benefit bt winning this giveaway. I lost 100 lbs 30 years ago and have slowly gained all of it back. I am a snacker and have alloed my portions to balloon. Recently I have started snacking in fruits and veggies and am working o n portion sixe.

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Late night eating has been a bad habit I picked up since my surgery 6 months ago! I really really really really need to stop this! I know it’s wrecking my diet!