Calories Out, Too Many Hush Puppies In: Training, Food and a Trip To Mississippi

“Anyway, like I was sayin’, shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it.” -Bubba, Forrest Gump 

Wednesday I drove home from a five-day trip down to the MS Coast. Minus getting lost on a back road in Alabama thanks to an unexpected highway closure and detour, it was uneventful. (Sidebar: I sometimes actually like a good detour. Getting lost is a great way to discover new things, in this case, the Everhope Plantation.) My bike did not fly off the bike rack at my sort-of legal cruising speed and I didn’t indulge my urge to stock up on chotchkies at the Stuckey’s gas station. I very much love Stuckey’s gas stations. I love that I can fill up my tank, grab a drink and purchase a two-foot long stick of Oriental musk incense or a key chain-sized dream catcher. When I drive home for Christmas, at least one or two people get one of the famous Stuckey’s pecan log rolls in their stocking, classic and diabetes inducing. If you have no idea what the heck a Stuckey’s is click here.

(Photo Source:

Before heading down to the coast last week, I knew deep in my soul that there was potential for major warfare between my will power, my fork and my mouth. We’re talking about the Gulf Coast here, people. If you can catch it, you can fry it. In fact, I’m not sure that I knew before leaving the coast for college that people prepared seafood any other way. If it wasn’t fried, it was at least covered and smothered in a crabmeat cream sauce of some sort. Grilled fish with lemon? There are at least 7 ingredients missing in that little recipe. Batter, up, please!

My plan to counteract the inevitable barrage of calorie bombs was to not skip even one training session while on vacation. The only days I had off according to the plan were on the days that I drove; because you know it just takes so much out of you to sit on your butt for seven and a half hours and not fall asleep at the wheel. Here is the official Biloxi 2012 fitness and food breakdown:

Day 1: I drove to Mississippi and headed straight to Chef Scott’s in Ocean Springs, MS for southern style sushi filled with cream cheese and covered in crawfish and smoked whitefish. I have to give my 21-month old niece and her deft baby hands props for being more proficient in using chopsticks than I will ever be. I got a nosebleed on the way home from dinner and the only thing I could attribute it to was the ferocity with which I stuffed approximately 30 pieces of sushi in my mouth. Gross, I realize, but it’s how things went down.

Day 2: I got in a 2-mile run and an 800-meter swim in the morning. I was able to get a 5-day pass at my sister’s gym so that I could get in my swims. Thank you eFitness in Biloxi, MS. My brother-in-law and sister, Christopher and Kelly, are also training for a triathlon so it worked out perfectly.


I had lunch that day with my mother and ordered a lovely grilled snapper salad. I must admit, though, that before the salads came, I fell face-first into a bowl of hush puppies and negated any positive choices I made with my actual meal.

Later in the evening, at the Ruth’s Chris in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, it was round 2: me against crab stuffed mushrooms, oysters, steak and sweet potato casserole. I did not win, but at least we looked good doing it.


Day 3: I had an amazing hour and a half bike ride down to the beach with my dad. Later in the day, we all met at my parent’s house for Sunday dinner, which was another amazing meal complete with pork roast and homemade banana pudding pie. One cannot be expected to pass up a home-cooked Sunday dinner, right?

Day 4: I completed another 800-meter swim. In the afternoon, my two sisters and I got together with their children and survived a wicked thunderstorm with the help of a pan of brownies.

Later, for dinner, my brother-in-law fried up all of the fish he and my nephew caught the day before, plus some okra and French fries. It’s not my fault he’s a wizard with a deep fryer.


Day 5: My dad and I got in another bike ride. Not as long as the one on Sunday, but still a good workout. For the final meal of my stay, Christopher made what is officially my favorite meal on the planet, traditional barbecued shrimp. The name is deceiving. The “barbecue sauce” is actually a mixture of butter, spices, celery, lemons and some other ingredients that I can’t recall. I purposefully do not have the recipe for fear that my life would become nothing more than one big trip to the grocery store to buy shrimp and butter. I was too busy inhaling the shrimp to stop and take a picture.

Day 6: I drove home from Mississippi back to Nashville. No workout, although, I was completely unpacked within two hours of being home. Endurance unpacking is apparently my forte.

Today is Friday and I’m still feeling a bit groggy from the food hangover I came home with, but I got right back on the training wagon yesterday with a great run. It was overall a wonderful little getaway, but it’s back to regular life and a much cleaner diet. Maybe.

Next: My two new coaches from TriSuccess in Nashville!


9 Comments on “Calories Out, Too Many Hush Puppies In: Training, Food and a Trip To Mississippi

  1. LOL! Sounds like my recent business trip to Montana. One would think “cowboy country” meant wild game steaks and huge bowls of beans (which it did for my husband) but the delicate crab cakes, veggie ravioli in cream sauce and excellent local microbrews were my dietary undoing. And trying to run in that thin air up in the mountains? Well….exercise was less than stellar. But being back home means getting back to business. Good job on a great run!

    • Oh, crab cakes! They are one of my top favorite foods of all time. The steak I had this past week had a crab cake on top of it. Amazing. I’m sure the mountains make for a beautiful/scenic run, but probably not the easiest. At least you tried!

  2. Mmmm, that all sounds wonderful, except for one thing, In the UK Hush Puppies are a brand of shoe, usually very comfy ones thats your Mum would like, Please tell me what a Hush Puppy is over the pond?!

    • I think they are shoes here as well, but not very popular. I haven’t seen a pair since I was in elementary school, I think. Hush puppies are a round deep fried ball of cornmeal, sometimes with other spices, but mostly just cornmeal. They are primarily a southern food (in the southern states of America) and served with seafood. There is a picture in my last post. They are one of my favorite foods in the world. And completely horrible for you. 🙂

  3. “southern style sushi filled with cream cheese and covered in crawfish and smoked whitefish. ” Honest cream cheese and sushi just aren’t …um…appetizing to me. I applaud innovation but that is crossing the line of tastiness. Better to have avocado for “smoothness”. Keep on running, etc. And may those dishes be less tempting or just not in one’s consciousness.

    • Trust me, I understand how it may sound fairly unappetizing!! Most every sushi restaurant has at least a few types rolls with cream cheese in it. It’s not usually what I prefer either, but there’s something about these rolls that I was describing that makes them a must-eat on my trips to the Gulf Coast. Yes to the avocado and yes to not being so darn tempted to eat like crap on vacation! 🙂

  4. Long drives are killer! I have moved too far away from my home so once a week I make the trip home to see family and friends. It is 2.5-3 hours depending on the traffic (across the worse highway in North America). That means six hours in the car. I can barely walk by the time I unfold myself from the car so there is no exercise after the driving. What I like to do is make sure I get in at least a 5k walk before I head out. It is the only things that saves me.

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