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June 2014 Blog topic is: Eating Paleo while traveling. Specifically, I chose how I ate Paleo while on a cruise.
I had no idea that the year I'd take my first cruise, I would be eating low-carb Paleo as part of my long term weight maintenance and post auto-immune maintenance plan. No exposures to gluten! I did have a one night lapse on the ship (sugar in mint jelly on some lamb... sigh!). More on that later.. Reminder: I'm grain free, dairy free, legume free, and nut free and almost completely processed sugar free. I found cruising very do-able on a Paleo food template.
1. Planning: Envisioning how things would go:
A. I picked a cruise line that had a gluten free menu and had good feed back on gluten free sites. The last thing I want to have on a long trip is an "unintentional glutening" I'm in a lot of pain and it does change our activities for the day if I get exposed.
My emotional/binge eating will come back with a vengeance if I fall back into patterns with grain and sugars. Even if I am on vacation, I've got these conditions 24/7 and the responsibility to manage them to the best of my ability. Day in Day out. I accept that and planned accordingly.
B. We planned our eating strategy a few months before we left home:
- Hotel before cruise- breakfast buffet where I could eat Paleo and my daughter could eat Primal.
- Choosing high quality, real food. I had an interview with Dietitian Cassie (Low Carb Conversations, episode 81) My daughter started examining low-fat and no-fat yogurt ingredients and choosing not to eat it. She realized there was a lot of either sugar and/or chemicals. She was also learning how good eggs, bacon, avocado/guacamole/salsa ,and whole fruit could taste for breakfast. So much more filling than cereal and waffles!
|Primal Fuel for Jr. Family Member|
- Day to Day plan for the cruise: A big, big discussion about how food would be set out all day. Deserts for my daughter were okay, once a day, reasonable serving, stick with dark chocolate or full fat ice-cream or full fat butter where possible. No all day munching on junk. NO on the soda package that most families bought for unlimited soda and diet soda. Yes, occasionally a hot chocolate or tea after a cold outdoor event for her. Ice cream sundae bars, unlimited pizza = no or limited amounts. Bun less burgers, turkey burgers, veggies, fruit, cheese, nut butters, guacamole, YES!
- Hotel after the cruise I booked a Home Wood suites for a few days in downtown Seattle. The room had a kitchenette and was within walking distance to public transportation and a downtown grocery store. Instead of waiting to get home to get back to home cooked meals, we could start in Seattle.
A. Getting to know the assistant waiter: The waiter came and spent a long time the first evening talking to me about the gluten free options. I convinced him that I wouldn't be eating the gluten free rolls and bread, but he could help me avoid hidden flour in sauces. Clear soups were gluten free, creamy soups all had flour.
|My cruise breakfast, hard-boiled eggs for later|
3. How it all worked while cruising:
A. Breakfasts in the formal dining room. I could always order eggs, omelets made to order, and bacon or sausage. There was always salmon available, too. I would obtain hard boiled eggs to take on shore excursions.
B. Lunch was usually from the buffet bar. Protein, veggies, and sometimes fruit
|Walking deck and my home for the week!|
|Lamplugh Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park|
D Dinner: Almost always in the fancy dining room. Good steaks, salmon, seafood, lamb, veggies, and berries for something sweet.
|There was a lot of seafood.|
E. Food I brought: 85% chocolate to have at dinner with decaf coffee, beef jerky for on shore trips.
|This sign marked the 15 pies on the buffet.. oh, maybe 15 people in the life boat??|
F. Food for the Seattle tour: Easy! We shopped for our favorite foods that we eat at home and I cooked in the hotel.
|Seattle grocery shopping for cooking at the hotel|
|Ground turkey salad bowl and Space needle with a view, walking fuel|
Here's what worked:
1. Planning before the cruise started. Setting up some ground and cruise rules!
2. Communicating so I could be strict gluten free and eat great food.
3. Bringing food with me both to stay gluten free and save $$
4. Steering clear of sugar so I could put my full time and attention into the trip. Feeling great, walking lots.
Here's what didn't work for me before I went Paleo/gluten free
1. No planning, just show up and eat, and eat some more..what the heck I'm on vacation!
2. Not communicating about what I needed, just going with food that is set out for me.
3. Eating junk food, because what the heck, everyone was doing it... I'll start my diet when I get home..
4. Eating a lot of sugary foods and being stuck in the emotional/binge eating cycle. Lapsing on a bit of mint jelly (too much sugar and I knew it...) on some lamb one night. Felt terrible. Not worth it. Laid on the bed with depression setting in, thoughts of the Titanic.. (sigh) A great reminder of why I stay away from sugar!
|Chihuly Museum, Seattle|
Gwen at Against the Grain
Jeanette at For Life
Leigh at Poonapalooza