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Day 192: Why am I exercising?

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Day 192:  Workin' it out.

Day 192: Workin' it out.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been using my over the door resistance band gym system that Pat and I brought back from the States for a mere $26 in order to get fitter. So far, I’ve noticed firmer arms, a flatter tummy and a teeny-tiny bit of slimming in the legs (we’ll get there!). But why? Why am I feeling like I need to do this whole exercise thing – because let’s face it I’d rather not.

In passing, I mentioned that my mom was feeding Pat and I like 8 meals a day when visiting in the US, which was a total exaggeration and still accurate at the same time. I was lucky to have not put on any weight in Malaysia, but the USA was throwing food at me left and right, and it was food that I both love and hadn’t eaten in years. I couldn’t say no.

This, my friends, is why I am exercising:

Mexican Food

From the moment we landed in the USA, we were on a mission to eat some Mexican food, especially since I have been ranting and raving about the quality of it all compared to what’s available in Australia for, oh, 2.5 years! We hit up Chipotle a couple of times, had a birthday Mexican celebration in Los Angeles and enjoyed the biggest burrito ever (along with chips and salsa) after landing in Chicago. Oh sweet free chips and salsa Gods, you rock.

mexican collage

Steaks, Burgers & Barbecues

America does really good beef, and the burgers… okay, Australia, you really need to take notes. A burger is beef, all beef… 100% ground beef and not that meatloaf-type crap you get here Down Under (I’m sorry, Oz, it’s just not what I like). We enjoyed amazing burgers back home, and Pat even got this double patty stuffed burger that was pretty damn amazing.

We got our steak and potato fill by eating at both Texas Roadhouse and Logans in East Peoria (Texas Roadhouse was better). As for barbecue, we had some pulled pork at Sheffield’s in Chicago and at Famous Dave’s in Peoria.

Big American Dinners

I guess people usually only have big turkey dinners around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it’s my favorite meal of all time. In fact, my mom has actually cooked me a big turkey dinner on my birthday before because I love it so much. Obviously she cooked it for us when we visited.

We had a couple of cookouts (I made Pat say “cookout” instead of “barbie”) with all the trimmings like potato salad, macaroni salad, baked beans and the like. And, did you know that the best fried chicken in East Peoria is found at Wal-Mart? Yep, we ate that, too.

dinners

Pizza

From the cheesy stuffed pizza at Giordano’s to the thin crust of Davis Brothers, we had our fill of pizza (although is it really ever enough?). There are so many things I’d like to bring back to Australia with me, and one of them is a nice variety of pizza chains.

pizza in america

Unique Restaurant Experiences

In San Francisco, we ate at The Stinking Rose, a restaurant that makes all its food with garlic. I’m talking garlic fontina fondue, garlic ravioli and 40 clove garlic chicken (served with 40 cloves!). In Chicago, we partook in a Russian tasting extravaganza at the Russian Tea Time. Mmm… beef stroganoff.

unique restaurants

Fast Food

There were seriously so many places on my to-eat list in the States that we couldn’t do them all. When it came to fast food, we did manage to hit up Quiznos, Wendy’s (thanks to Rebecca in L.A.) and also Arby’s for the roast beef!

Snack Food

Habanero doritos. Peanut butter M&Ms. Spicy funyuns. Pop tarts. I think we were too full from our meals to even want to buy snack foods, so these are all we got I do believe.

american snacks

Soups

The whole soup, salad and sandwich type establishments in America are quite popular, and I realize now how much I miss them. There’s nothing like a sandwich and a cup of soup when the weather is cool to make you feel all warm and healthy inside. We ate at a few places like this around the country and loved every bit of it.

soups

Desserts

Besides the birthday cake that was forced upon us at home, we had our fair share of goodies while in America. I finally got Pat to taste what a real s’more is like thanks to a lovely cookie-cracker known as the graham cracker. We picked up some healthy dessert in Chicago — some frozen yogurt (please disregard the flabby arm below). My mom also bought us some peanut butter cup ice cream bars.

Drinky Drinks

While sitting at the slot machines in Vegas, I would request white russians from the waitress. When walking down the street there, I preferred my giganto-sized margaritas, those of which also helped when watching Criss Angel perform. We tried out several microbrews while in Chicago, and Pat took it upon himself to down a few pitchers of $3 PBR in my hometown. It is so easy to forget that alcohol has calories.

drinking in america

To top it all off, this post doesn’t even talk about the buffets we devoured in Vegas. No, I’ll let you read about that over on this post.

Wow, we ate so, soooo much food in America!

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29 Responses to Day 192: Why am I exercising?

  1. Rebecca July 12, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    And this is why we get such a bad rap throughout the rest of the world when it comes to food! When you lay it all out like that, oy, I’m getting sick just looking at it all!

    (Though I’m all in for everything listed above in small portions:-))

    (Texas Roadhouse! I went to my first one last month! So gooood!!!)

    • Brooke July 12, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

      I <3 Texas Roadhouse... the steak, the sweet potatoes and the sweet rolls! We always ask for more rolls before getting our to-go box! πŸ˜‰

  2. Adventurous Kate July 12, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    Currently going through the SAME THING!! My British boy just visited for two weeks, and in between my mom stuffing us with food the whole time (did I mention she’s Italian?) we had constant ice cream, huge burgers, two GIANT plates of clam strips, butter-drenched lobster…time for some exercise!

    • Brooke July 12, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

      Haha, and your foreign boyfriend probably wants to try it all as well, right?! It was a triple-whammy between my mom, my own personal wants, and the wants of my boyfriend πŸ™‚

  3. Christine July 12, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    Oh my gosh, Arby’s and Reeses peanut butter cups and Smores and Chipotle and turkey dinners! Getting so hungry and homesick thinking of all these things I’m missing out on! p.s. did you try In & Out while in California?!

    • Brooke July 12, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

      Don’t hate me, but no we didn’t try In & Out! It was brought up so many times but we just couldn’t fit it in πŸ˜‰

  4. Erin @ Brownie Bites July 12, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    I am officially hungry because of this post! Wow, the USA really does have some yummy and terribly sinful food, don’t we? I was holding it together until I saw the photo of Giordano’s pizza. Oh man. I don’t think my thighs have recovered from the time we ate there in Chicago. Yum yum yum.

    Now I have to go exercise.

    • Brooke July 13, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

      Haha sorry to make you hungry πŸ™‚ Oh and yes, that Giordano’s… it’s killer πŸ™‚ YUM

  5. Si @thedepartureboard July 12, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    Time to go back to the States. In the third world country of England we cannot compete with that fine array of nosh! But I’ll give it a go! I did notice a hint of Salad in the Hamburger, very healthy.

    Love the blog.

    Regards, Si @thedepartureboard.com

    • Brooke July 13, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

      Haha thanks Si. Just so you know, we did make sure to eat some veggies here and there… but it was a conscious effort!

  6. Amy July 12, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    I love that you went to Arby’s, lol. I keep hoping they expand to Australia so I could have more leverage in trying to get my husband to move there. He works at their HQ running their social media stuff. Surely if they opened chains in Oz they’d need someone to run social media campaigns to get the name out there, right? πŸ˜‰

    • Brooke July 13, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

      oh my goodness, please bring Arby’s here… I LOVEEEE their roast beef! πŸ˜€

  7. Shereen July 13, 2011 at 5:33 am #

    You had some really yummy looking food, but I feel for ya. Last time I was in Vegas my pants didn’t fit very well by the time I was on my way home. More walking! That’s my motto on every trip I take now. That resistance band really works? I think I will get one to toss in my travel bag for my trips!

    • Brooke July 13, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

      Yep, the resistance band door gym really works, as anything works if you use it enough. It’s called Gold’s Gym HOME GYM, and it cost $26 from Wal-Mart. I think going to Vegas just means, “Break out the elastic band pants,” to anyone going there πŸ˜‰

  8. Nomadic Samuel July 13, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    Indeed, there is like a million and one ways to put on the pounds in the US. The food is fantastic though. Did I noticed a Chicago stuffed pizza in that gallery?

    • Brooke July 13, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

      You DID notice a Chicago stuffed pizza… OH my gawd – so much cheese πŸ˜‰

  9. Jeff July 13, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    This post made me smile Brooke. All that food IS hard to resist. Happens to me every time I go home for a bit.

    • Brooke July 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

      OH, so hard to resist! πŸ™‚ Glad I’m not alone in my struggles.

  10. Bluegreen Kirk July 14, 2011 at 12:19 am #

    I cant surely understand why you are exercising! Just visiting some of this travel blogs and looking a the photos of the food makes me gain weight. I don’t know how you gals/guys manage to do it. I would be as big as a house with all the new and delicious foods to try and at such cheap prices. I rarely hear or read about anyone cooking anything at home much less working out. Ice cream and alcohol taste great but it wont help the cause! lol That pizza looks so good…

    • Brooke July 17, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

      I guess that’s just part of travel… eating out at places we can’t get at home. We can cook our own food at home so that’s no fun πŸ˜‰

  11. Randy July 14, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

    Funny, I think Beth has that same door gym system! So much good food, and yet, all so bad! I was happy to see that two of my San Francisco favorites–Anchor Steam and The Stinking Rose–got a nod too.

    • Brooke July 17, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

      Ha, awesome! I’m loving my over the door gym… I can FINALLY see the results – not bad!

  12. Deidre July 14, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    I SERIOUSLY miss mexican food. I’ve had to start making it myself, complete with homemade tortillas and homemade salsa.

    I don’t even know how to go to the movies without milk duds.

    • Brooke July 17, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

      Missing Mexican food is my biggest food issue anywhere in the world! πŸ˜‰

  13. Cornelius Aesop July 15, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    I like this image You have those pre-mixed margarita, daiquiri and lemonade mix (alcohol included!) in your ‘Snacks section” lol

    My wife is a fan of those too, and for under $2 who can blame ya. @(^_^)@

    • Brooke July 17, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

      Haha, it was mainly for the funyuns, but they are good snacks! πŸ˜‰

  14. Kelsey November 15, 2011 at 2:50 am #

    I have a love-hate relationship with food in the USA. It tastes so good, but it’s so bad for you!

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