Thursday, September 27, 2012

Vacation Keto: It can be done!

So I spent last week in sunny California.  It was a combo trip: a quickie vacation ending in the awesome wedding of my only brother. I had a fantastic time, and ate tons of good food. And with the exception of one meal (come on, I'm going to eat wedding cake), everything I ate was entirely keto.

Don't think I'm a saint for sticking to my "diet" while out of town.  I just figured that my underlying difficulty metabolizing carbohydrates doesn't go away just because I do.  This wasn't about gaining weight, I just didn't want to make myself ill under the guise of having a good time.  Keto is tasty and makes me feel good; neither of those things make vacation anything less than totally awesome.

Keto is not a diet: it's a lifestyle.  It's also quite easy to stick to while travelling - fun, even!  I treated it like a kind of a game: How many carbs can I *not* eat today?  Something else to consider: it's very handy not to be hungry all the time while one is sightseeing.  Just sayin'.

So how did I do it?  Easy!  Here are some of my keto-friendly travelling tips.

  1. Avoid Italian restaurants. It's not that you can't go keto at your local pasta joint (salad, anyone?) but why torture yourself.  If you MUST eat something with tomato sauce, go for pizza.  Load it with meat and eat just the toppings.  Yummy!
  2. Appetizers - fried mozzarella and buffalo wings are pretty darn safe.  BBQ wings not so much, sorry.  The sauce is usually loaded with corn syrup or molasses.  The fried cheese just needs to be denuded of its breading and then you can chow down to your heart's delight.  Don't mind the stares, you're on vacation.  No one there will ever see you again.
  3. Steamed veggies are the best side dish EVER.  Most restaurants will steam and season them to perfection.  One place even brought me a plate of fresh butter on request.  I actually cleaned up the veggies before finishing my excellent herb-crusted steak.
  4. Drink water, not diet soda.  Don't tease yourself with sweetness, it'll make dessert much more tempting.  Water is awesome, especially with a slice of lemon.
  5. Meats are everywhere, but be sure to get your fat!!  Butter, sour cream, greasy sausage with your eggs.....do whatever you have to.  It helps keep you full and focused.  Remember, protein can still be turned into glucose.  Fat is your best friend, and it's oh so tasty too.  Remember, you're on vacation! You deserve yummies.
  6. Make your cheat meal totally worth it.  Let's be honest, you're gonna eat something "forbidden" sooner or later.  Don't let it be an accident, ie that white chocolate-topped fudge cake that's just too tempting to refuse.  Plan what you're going to cheat with and plan when.  It'll give you something to look forward to, and adds to the fun of the game.  By the time you get to that cheat meal you'll feel so proud of yourself that the sweets will really satisfy.  Even better, you might find that the treat is a bit too sweet, almost a let-down after the fun of eating keto.  Talk about motivation to get back on track!

Most of all, enjoy yourself!  You're on VACATION!!!

1 comment:

  1. I am keto because I have type 2 diabetes and I am able to manage my disease with diet and exercise. To suggest that it's okay to have a cheat day on keto is to suggest that someone abandon this way of life for about a week since that's how long it takes for the body to get back into a state of ketosis. I have found so many satisfying meals staying within ketosis and the idea of cheating equivalent to poisoning myself. Plus once you have given up carbohydrates you also lose the cravings. To have a cheat day would be like a recovering alcoholic have a drink. When you are true to a ketogenic diet --- especially for health reasons --- there are no cheat days.

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