Disaster Management on Vacation
I mentioned vacation eating in the 2nd month’s results post but this deserves some space of its own. It’s very important that our diets allow us the luxury of eating well, really well, while on holiday. Or is that really badly? We all need to fulfill the desire to be just a little wicked every now & again!
My recent vacation put that theory to the test.
A quick plug for Canada’s Maritime provinces & Quebec here … they are all amazing. We left Ontario, by car, with stops in Quebec City (you’d think you were in France!) & Fredericton, New Brunswick. All on the way to Halifax, Nova Scotia. We were in Nova Scotia almost a week, a stunningly beautiful place, before taking the ferry across to Prince Edward Island. Yet another gob-smacking adventure of one postcard-like scene after another. After a few days there we went back to the banks of the Saint Lawrence river, in Quebec. One last stay in Montreal was the perfect finish to a great vacation, before we reluctantly headed back home. Amazing scenery, incredible food & great people everywhere we visited. I can’t wait to go back. The “incredible food” component is what concerns us most here, of course!
My plan was, & deliberately so, very loose. I wanted to see the impact of a pretty free flowing approach to eating while on vacation. I generally tried to avoid known bad things. For me, those include processed & packaged snacks, doughnuts & other such food-like products. Normally, I would consider bread off limits. Not only because it more closely resembles a modern snack food than it does a grain-based food, but primarily because it doesn’t agree with me. For me, it is both mood altering & gut damaging. However, I know the Maritimes are famous for their lobster rolls. And Quebec is famous for its smoked meat sandwiches. I wasn’t missing out on either, I was committed to indulging in the full experience, bread & all!
During the first week of the adventure, I generally tried to make better choices. I had my lobster but with a salad. Though I did have those breaded Digby scallops with French fries. And I seem to remember some beer battered fish & chips along the way! I’m pretty sure that I left some fries on the plate for one of those meals. Not something I’ve been know to do very often. As time progressed, I was allowing myself a little more freedom. Typically, & during times when I’m trying to lose weight, I tend to avoid eating significant amounts of starchy carbs with my proteins & fats. This strategy sometimes went out the window!
The traditional maritime “lobster supper”, for example, included the starch-laden seafood chowder, the endless bucket of mussels (for three but I was the only one eating from it & almost finished it!), the PEI potatoes swimming in butter, & the lobster (all shown in the bottom left, center, & top right pics in the collage above). I did manage to avoid the freshly baked bread, & dessert, on this occasion. Primarily because I was stuffed! The lobster roll (bottom right) was delicious. And the smoked meat & chopped liver sandwich (top left), with fries, is still a mouth-watering memory. I actually left some fries on the plate this time too. While getting fat, I was never leaving anything on the plate so this involuntary action is a pleasing outcome of the diet. Along the way, I did have one ice cream, cone & all. And a bar of chocolate that was less dark than it ought to have been. Okay, I admit it … it was a totally bad bar of milk chocolate. But it was different & it had bits of vaguely healthy ginger & fruit in it!
Ironically, one of the poorer meal choices of the trip happened when we got home. There was a big bag of frozen, & breaded, calamari in the freezer. These were even quicker than ordering in so I had I had two panfuls of those. OMG, the heartburn & indigestion! What do they put in that breading?
To counter all this, I only had breakfast on 4 or 5 occasions during our holiday. No big sacrifice this, since I almost never eat breakfast at home. And I skipped lunch, probably about 3 days a week. This was unnoticeable on driving days, when I was quite happy with my coffee. With cream, no sugar, of course.
My control “group” for this “experiment” was my skinny wife, who effortlessly maintains a BMI of 19. And she does this while eating all sorts of garbage. I know, infuriating, eh! While I was sometimes making good choices, & skipping a meal here & there, I still out-ate her by huge amounts. Yes, I’m bigger. Yes, my resting metabolism will burn more. But I still ate with the kind of freedom that I thought appropriate for a big guy on vacation. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.
At the outset, we both weighed in. And at the end …
My wife had gained 5.2 lbs … while I gained 0.4 lbs!
Come on, tell me you’re not impressed! LOL
Of course she has already, without thought or effort, returned to her normal weight. While my body really has no idea what normal is any more. I should probably try to outline a more detailed vacation diet but with a result like this, who cares! Though next time, I will try to have something waiting in the freezer that doesn’t punish me like those breaded calamari did!