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Vacation Treats

by Meghann on June 16, 2009

I get a lot of e-mails asking how I balance healthy eating while enjoying vacation.

  • First of all I would like to state that eating well to me is not a chore, but something I enjoy doing on a regular basis and on vacation.
  • Second of all I am human after all and love the occasional indulgences on vacation just as much as anyone else. You just have to remember to keep it all in moderation and that a little splurging never hurt anyone. πŸ™‚

This afternoon was another one of exploration for my family. We had special plans for dinner, so we took our time getting there and exploring all of the fun stops along the way.

My tummy was growling by the time we got on the road so I had a TJs Strawberry Fruit Leather to calm it down.


Everyone in my family are big foodies, if you can’t tell, and we love exploring different produce stands and Farmer’s Markets when ever we pass them. We stopped at some produce stands right near our cabin and also pulled into an adorable Farmer’s Market Stand in the small town of Cashier.


This place was filled with beautiful fresh, local vegetables, baked goods, fresh BBQ and a ton of other fun finds.


The store even had it’s own mascot. A pig named Biscuit who slept right outside the store.


My siblings had never had fresh figs before, so when I saw them on the counter I knew we had to purchase a couple.


The 6 of us split the 2 figs.


I had a big bite as well and I had to admit this wasn’t the best fig I have ever tried. One of my old co-workers had a fig tree in her yard and she used to bring in the sweetest, tastiest figs that I would gobble by the basketful. These figs were kind of bland compared to hers and I am sad my siblings first fig experience was such a disappointment. πŸ™

After Cashier we made our way to the small town of Highlands right near the NC/ Georgia border.


Somehow we found our way into another chocolate shop.


They had yummy Pecan Praline samples that I had to have a nibble on.



I am in love with any chocolate shop that offers free samples! Sometimes all I need is a little bite to make me happy.

My Mom bought a Dark Chocolate Covered Graham Cracker and a Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Cracker.

I had a bite of each, but only got a photograph of the peanut butter one.


Soooo good! The 6 of us split the candies and they didn’t last long at all!

We definitely took the scenic route to our destination and the views were breathtaking.



So what was our final destination?

The Dillard House in Dillard, GA of course!


For those of you unfamiliar with The Dillard House please let me educate you! This is a family favorite that we have been going out of our way to visit since I was little. It’s a family style restaurant that serves up a big ole southern meal that is sure to satisfies any person’s hunger. Trust me this place is not for the faint of heart. Everything is rich, fried and delicious.

Check out the dinner menu –


I have been dreaming about this meal ever since I discovered how close we were going to be to the restaurant. The last two years I have been unable to make the trip to Dillards House, but this time I was determined to get my fill. This is a once in a blue moon treat that I had no problems indulging in to the fullest.

Once we were seated our table was filled to the max with wonderful homemade southern style food.


It’s like Thanksgiving in June. πŸ™‚


My first plate had a little taste of everything.


Of course I had to go back for seconds.


and there were several bites of all my favorites along the way. πŸ™‚

What’s a big southern meal without dessert?


Peach Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream. Yum!

So you see I did indulge in all my favorites and if you could see my now there would be a big smile on my face just remembering that feast. Obviously, its not something I would eat every day, but I think once every year is fine by me. πŸ™‚

When we got back to the cabin all we wanted to do was relax by the lake.


My Sister and I split a Blue Moon.


I think Scooby is in heaven up here!


Right now I am stuffed, happy and ready to put my PJS on. I believe a nice cup of tea and the couch in front of the TV are calling my name.

Sweet Dreams!

1 Melissa @ For the Love of Health June 16, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Great words to live by Meghann πŸ™‚ Moderation with everything is so important.

Great photos! I am all for the Thanksgiving in June!!

Have a great night!

2 Katrina (gluten free gidget) June 16, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Everything in moderation… even indulgences! If you don’t indulge every once in a while you will go CRAZY!!!! I’m glad you are having such a fun vacation with your fam!

3 HelpMeghanRun June 16, 2009 at 9:19 pm

You’re making me more jealous every day! πŸ™‚ I would skip the southern stuff and have more chocolate…mmm…

4 jocelyneatsfresh June 16, 2009 at 9:23 pm

mmmmmmmmmmmmmm that southern food looks so has honestly always been my dream to do a southern state bed and breakfast tour..(being from Canada) I just thought it would be so fun! …The food would be great (obviously)…and amazing history and sightseeing!..Possibly honeymoon material πŸ˜‰ (the bf also loves the idea)

5 Run Sarah June 16, 2009 at 9:25 pm

I’ve never tried Souterhn food but it looks amazing! Looks like an awesome day πŸ™‚

6 Meganerd June 16, 2009 at 9:29 pm

That’s awesome that your family members are foodies, too! My family would probably just keep driving and not notice those places until I was like ‘ oh oh let’s stop there!’ They also would NEVER agree to eat at a vegetarian restaurant. You family sounds awesome lol.

7 Whitney June 16, 2009 at 9:29 pm

I’m so jealous you can get fresh figs! I’m lucky if I can find dried figs at the Farmer’s Market here in Pittsburgh. I was tempted to purchase fresh ones at the grocery this past weekend, but they were $1 each, which made me go.. yikes!

Have fun on vacation!

8 Danielle June 16, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Oh Meghann, I think you have the cutest family :). I’m so glad you were able to enjoy your vacay to the fullest, indulgences and all! I feel the same way about healthy eating, it is so funny how many people ask me how I do I could possibly do it all the time. How can something that makes one feel so great be difficult? Some people don’t get it πŸ˜‰

9 kate June 16, 2009 at 9:48 pm

HIGHLANDS?!?!?!?! my aunt has a house in highlands and there is an awesome frozen yogurt place in highlands called Sweetreats…I think. It is amazing! you should check it out if you have time!

10 Jess June 16, 2009 at 9:55 pm

It’s so funny all the places you are visiting I’ve been to, too since my grandparents used to live in Franklin, NC when I was in MS and HS (well, not the brewery….that would have been swell-but I was quite underage at the time!). I love the Dillard House and have spent many a afternoon poking around the shops in Highlands. Fun.

11 Bec June 16, 2009 at 10:25 pm

sounds like a great day, that meal looks delic!

12 Rose June 16, 2009 at 10:35 pm

I want to go on vaca with your fam!

13 Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) June 16, 2009 at 10:53 pm

I’ve spent every summer for the past 11 years or so on Lake Glenville, right between Cashiers and Highlands. It is SO gorgeous! Love spending my summers water skiing, wakeboarding, hiking…and eating fudge from Kilwin’s. We also visited the Dillard House and stayed overnight once long ago. So fun!

Glad you guys are loving your trip!

14 smallchangesaddup June 17, 2009 at 1:14 am

I love that you have such a healthy attitude towards eating and treating yourself every now and then. I’m off to New York in August, and I fully intend to splurge on coldstone icecream and Reece’s peanut butter cups – we don’t have them over here so it’ll definitely be a one off occasion! If you can’t cut loose on holiday, when can you?
I also love how you enjoy eating healthy foods. I do, too – I crave fruits and veg. My sister thinks I’m mad and is always asking “Are you still on a diet?” when I turn down fries or whatever…she doesn’t seem to understand that I actually prefer eating this way and that it’s a permanent change!

15 mayapamela June 17, 2009 at 1:54 am

A chocolate covered peanut butter cracker…what a great idea!

16 caitlin June 17, 2009 at 5:31 am

how many times have i said im jeals of you? because im jeals of you.

17 Amanda June 17, 2009 at 7:47 am

I <3 Kilwin's! They are actually a Michigan company, based in Mackinac Island. The best part of going to Mackinac is going in and out of all the fudge shops for free tastes!

18 Pearl June 17, 2009 at 7:58 am

so glad to hear that you’re all having a great time!

19 Susan June 17, 2009 at 8:00 am

I’m with you, eating healthy is not a chore, it’s something I love to do!! And splurging in foods you love rather than just eating uhealthy food because it’s in front of you. I’ve never had traditional southern food before, it kinda scares me! πŸ˜›

20 jentrinque June 17, 2009 at 8:09 am

I love your eating philosophy – when I get too wrapped up in eating healthy all the time, it makes me crazy! When I let myself have a treat when I want it, I choose healthy stuff the rest of the time, naturally!

21 Danielle June 17, 2009 at 8:29 am

That dinner looks awesome, last fall my fiance and another couple went to Amish Country and we ate at a family style restaurant it was so much fun! Definitely an indulgence but something I’d definitely do if we went there again.

22 Ada June 17, 2009 at 8:40 am

That pig was such a cutie! Even though they didn’t taste so great, those figs looked amazing, as did that peach cobbler! I am glad you are having a fun vacay:)

23 redheadyellowdog June 17, 2009 at 8:43 am

my mom is absolutely obsessed with kilwins!! haha just mention the name and she’ll already have her car keys in hand πŸ™‚

24 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) June 17, 2009 at 9:04 am

Sounds like a great day!

25 Sarah (from See Sarah Eat) June 17, 2009 at 9:11 am

Kilwin’s is the best! I went there a few times when I was in Tennessee πŸ™‚ That Dillard place reminds me a lot of Huber’s Farm in Indiana which is about an hour from where I live in KY. Love it!

26 brandi June 17, 2009 at 9:21 am

We have a restaurant like that here called The Homeplace and it’s SO good, but just like you said – not where you would eat everyday πŸ™‚

Sorry about the figs – that stinks!

Hope you’re having a good morning!

27 catruns June 17, 2009 at 9:22 am

Aw, good memories! My husband and I honeymooned at a friend’s cabin between Highlands and Cashiers a little over a year and a half ago. I hope we can make it back sometime soon. We missed the Dillard House though, it looks fabulous!

28 Whit June 17, 2009 at 9:26 am

Thanks so much for showing everyone that you can splurge once in a while and still be healthy! LOVE this post.

I am an NC native, so I need to go check out the Dillard House, sounds like I’ve been missing out!

29 Melissa June 17, 2009 at 9:37 am

your sense of balance and actually desire to make healthy choices most of the time is one of the things I like best about your blog. glad you are enjoying the vacay!

30 Kelly June 17, 2009 at 9:40 am

I’ve really enjoyed reading your vacation adventures! Makes me feel like i’m there too…without the wet bathing suit. lol Thanks for inviting us all! πŸ™‚

31 Caitlin June 17, 2009 at 9:41 am

thanks for the input about eating healthy on vacation. That will definitely be useful as I travel over the summer πŸ™‚

oh and btw your new hair cut looks awesome–perfect for summer !

32 Island Girl Eats June 17, 2009 at 10:24 am

I know that I sound like a broken record, but I am so jealous! It looks so beautiful there. What a perfect place to take a vacation.

33 Holly June 17, 2009 at 11:16 am

Thank you so much for posting about this Meghann…vacations are meant for relaxation and enjoyment – that means food, too! Glad you’re all having a great time – your family is so cute. πŸ™‚

34 Emily June 17, 2009 at 11:32 am

You are your sister are so adorable!

I like your attitude about vacation food…it is a vacation, and indulging is ok! Thanks for showing us that eating out while on vacay is not a stressor! πŸ™‚

35 Graze With Me June 17, 2009 at 11:34 am

I completely agree, go nuts on a good meal when it’s really worth it! I have the same attitude towards food, it’s too good not to splurge sometimes right?

I think I have that same shirt you’re wearing…

36 Matt June 17, 2009 at 11:36 am

That dinner looks awesome! It looks like something I would get out here!

37 Julia June 17, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Oh man I want some of that fudge….
I’ve never been to NC, but it looks so beautiful. I hope you enjoy the rest of your time there, and all the good eats!
Oh and I added you to my blogroll if that’s ok πŸ™‚

38 Julia June 17, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Ooops I mis-spelled my own link on my last comment. Too distracted by thoughts of chocolate πŸ™‚

39 geegs23 June 17, 2009 at 12:30 pm

such a beautiful area.. I went to school at WCU in Cullowhee but haven’t been back up that way in AGES.. That meal looks fantastic!

40 Nicole (dishin') June 17, 2009 at 1:15 pm

The candy looks delish – I always indulge on candy on vacation! That restaurant looks like fun too. I’ll need to keep it in mind if I’m ever in GA πŸ™‚

41 luckytastebuds June 17, 2009 at 1:55 pm

yeahhh i love love love that soft serve atop the peach cobbler. That would’ve been my highlight. THAT and the fresh fig, which I’ve never ever seen before in my entire life!! COOL!!

P.s. I’m hosting my very own Big Lucky Giveaway and I hope you’ll come check it out!! πŸ™‚

42 Tay June 17, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Looks like you have such fun with your family πŸ˜€
Great attitude about staying healthy on vacation and indulging. Indulging on special treats you REALLY want and only come around once and a while is a normal & healthy thing to do! Looks great!

43 Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) June 17, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I’m lovin’ the way you’re blogging about your vacation. It looks like you’re having SO much fun! πŸ˜€

My vacation is coming up in July, and all these vacation posts are making me super excited. πŸ˜€

44 Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now June 17, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Mmm isn’t the Dillard House just sinfully delicious?!

45 Christina June 17, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Cracker Barrel used to be my family’s yearly place to stop on the way to our vacation destination in NC. Not nearly as cool as the Dillard House! Definitely looks like it’s worth the splurge!

46 Ashley June 17, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Wow, all of your indulgences look worth it!

I’ve never had a fresh fig and can’t even really guess what they would taste like.

47 Lynn (The Actors Diet) June 17, 2009 at 7:43 pm

Fresh figs are my fave! But nothing is more disappointing than one without flavor. Sorry you had to go through that….

48 Andrea [bella eats] June 17, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Meghann – I used to live in Highlands! Kilwin’s was a daily stop…its no wonder I gained weight after graduating college! And, I’ve been to the Cashiers farmer’s market many times and hiked Whitewater Falls lots of times too. We even took my dad there one time when he visited but it was too foggy to get very far. Aw, thanks for taking me down memory lane! πŸ™‚

49 Stephanie June 18, 2009 at 10:12 am

If you happen to be in the Los Angeles area in September, I could send you home with bushels of figs – we have a VERY productive tree (and our figs look like the ones you tried, but are VERY sweet). My dear neighbor makes amazing preserves with them too!

You can’t bean a praline pecan – YUMMY!!!! Nuts are healthy! πŸ˜‰

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