Monday, May 7, 2012

Travelling Low Carb

I’ve been travelling off and on for the last several weeks.  One of the biggest saboteurs to my low-carb eating is not being at home, and to be honest it’s because my resolve go on vacation and I lure myself into eating things I shouldn’t.  You know these excuses, “I’ll never be here again!” or, “Honestly, will this artisan pizza really hurt me?”, or even worse, “The pain will be worth it!”

On my latest quick trip to Seattle, my husband and I visited old haunts we used to frequent when we lived here.  Thankfully, we skipped Top Pot doughnuts, which was just a couple of block away from where we lived, knowing that the intoxicating smell of yeast and sugar would be too much to pass up.  Also, I know what sugar does to me!  So instead, we decided to murder our intestines with Neapolitan pizza.

We were so excited to drive out to the pizza place because of the incredible yummy toppings and sauce, but also because we were being bad.  Oh so bad.  As in, “Shhh, I won’t be blogging about this!” bad.

Well, we went, we ordered, we ate, and then something terrible (but good) happened.  We realized it wasn’t worth it.  An hour after eating, I was feeling a little light-headed and the bloating was just starting.  The taste wasn’t as savory as we remembered, the service was just above mediocre, and it was all darkened by the intestinal pain we knew was forthcoming.  And did it ever come.

My husband exclaimed very frustratingly, “Is there nothing we can eat anymore!”  Well, this no-wheat lifestyle is limited if you spend your life travelling or not eating at home.  And our foray into dinner to find something to soothe our tummies and nourish (not kill) us yielded this:

The above is an wedge salad delightfully sprinkled with blue cheese, blue cheese dressing made in house (so no gluten startches), tomatoes wedges, and bacon!  Wheat-free, low-carb and completely delicious.  Yes, darling, there are things to eat.

And then we went to the grocery store and picked up lots of low carb treats, including these very ripe, organic strawberries that the Seattle Whole Foods is stocking.  Strawberries and full-fat Greek yogurt is modestly low-carb, and it makes a delicious dessert and breakfast.  The picture you’re looking at is my husband’s and my breakfast this morning.  Those muffins are egg and sausage muffins I brought from home in case of a food emergency.

 Marcona almonds from the bulk foods section - better than French Fries!

It’s Monday morning, and I’m still feeling the digestive effects of getting rid of Saturday afternoon’s pizza orgy.  I’m ready to go home and have some bacon.

How do you stay low-carb and wheat-free while travelling?  Isn’t it awful how wheat is in just about everything when you dine out!



Adrienne Shubin said...

As you know, I am getting ready to leave for the land of pasta, bread and plan is to go ahead and indulge in those things in moderation. And when possible, make protein the star.

I admit I'm a bit afraid I will bloat up like a balloon and not fit into my clothes once I am there...but I think I'll be okay with all the walking we usually do when in Europe.

Great travel tips, Rebekah.

Anonymous said...

It seems you were in Seattle while I was in Austin! That salad looks amazing! It is a catch 22 I think because you want to cheat on vacation but you want to feel your best as well. You are right though, many times it just isn't worth the cheat.

Jodie (aka mummaducka) said...

Unfortunately, protein is so expensive and the food suppliers want to maximise their profits by using heaps of cheap 'fillers' (bread, pasta, rice, fries) I travel a wee bit with the children whipcracking and it is mostly country - agricultural shows. I search for specialist vendors selling their meats as the stars. If I find say an indian curry vendor or chinese food I just get the main and make it perfectly clear no rice! Or I might have grilled fish with no fries! (hubby paid $32 for 2 pieces of grilled fish one morning for me for a quick breakfast!!!)
I have been known to peel the batter off a piece of fried fish too or eat the insides of a sandwich/burger and leave the bun.
Perseverance and willpower is my key!

Anonymous said...

First to all the readers, I'm sorry for all the typos and grammatical errors! Let's just chalk it up to the leftover effects of wheat brain.

@ Adrienne - I say think about the foods you really, really want to indulge in and schedule the day you'll have them. Also, tell yourself you can't have the chocolate croissant and the pizza on the same day - there must be a 48 hour waiting period between cheats. And then concentrate on the things you can eat, like a glass of red wine with salumi and olives.

@ Amy - We ate at Tutta Bella, and it just wasn't the same. I was so upset that I intentionally sabotaged myself for mediocrity.

@Jodie - Holy cow, you pay $30 for two pieces of fish?! I'm not sure I would do that, which just shows how dedicated YOU are! Hubby and I are going on a long road trip in three months, and we're already planning what will be packed in the cooler. But even if a cooler isn't an option, my egg and sausage muffins have been lifesavers on more than one occasion. And only 1 1/2 net carbs per serving.

Beryl said...

I can't believe you were in Seattle and ended up eating high carb. I can't remember the name of the place, but right by South Center is a Barbeque place with no carb sauce that tastes just like the real thing. Great pizza toppings on such poor crust, that you just peel off the cheese, toppings, and sauce and only eat that part. Then there is Lunchbox Laboratory, (just don't get a bun with your burger). And the salads - just about every place has some kind of special salad. I don't miss living in Seattle, but I sure miss the the low carb eating there.

Anonymous said...

@ Beryl - The ONLY reason we had Tutta Bella pizza is because it was a favorite haunt of ours when we lived there and we were craving the artisan toppings they use. We knew it would hurt, that it was really bad, but assumed the pain would be worth it. Not this time! We will go back to visit Seattle to see friends and family in the future, but we're sticking with the no wheat regimen forever (until I can go to France and have a croissant).

Beryl said...

I knew that! And totally understood. My comment just meant that I had taken all Seattle's (and Portland's) food choices for granted before moving to Tulsa. Eating out flour-free in Seattle was so easy and good. Lots of delicious choices. It is so close to impossible to eat low carb here that I've given up. Luckily we don't eat out that often.
The croissants in France are worth it. So unbelievable that I'm sure they can't be made of just traditional wheat flour - so maybe they aren't that bad. ;)
Thanks for all the recipes!

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, I took Seattle's plethora of healthy things for granted, too. It's one of the reasons we pretty much eat at home all the time now that we live in Austin. I have many, many relatives in the Tulsa area; knowing their girth, it's not hard to assume that healthy, low-carb options are difficult to find in eastern OK. Hushpuppies and catfish, anyone?

Ank said...

Yeah, eating out low carb is a bit special. But I do it all the time. I always order the grilled chicken , and don't eat the side ( which is usually rice/potatoes) AND order separately a dish or sautéed vegs/mushrooms if they have it. Else, just the meat with a standard cabbage/tomatoes/whatever salad. no dressings. But I know a lot of nice restaurants where you can eat deliciously French/Turkish/Lebanese food and everything can be low carb ( French cooked duck, or oysters or crayfish or shrimp or whatever, lamb racks, hummus, etc). I peel off the breading from the Viennese Schnitzel . At the Chinese restaurants i mainly choose the more saucefree dishes and don't eat the rice. Is is exhausting? Mainly for the way most persons think i'm high maintainance.
As for the road, i always have almonds, dehidrated appricots, fresh apples when I travel.Also I pack a small plastic box with some chunks of emmental cheese some strips of bell peppers , and for one day only trips some dried boiled chicken breast. And at any grocery shop you can buy some yogurt, or some sandwich and only eat the turkey/chicken and the lettuce inside.
For me, like I said, the worst part is saying, "no, thanks, no fires" "I don't feel like pizza" "I'd rather have a glass of wine than a beer" all over again.

Anonymous said...

Ank - You are prepared! I am impressed with your resolve and discipline on the road. I did find that the best meal I ate this last weekend while travelling was the yogurt/nuts/strawberries I picked up at the store. Eating "at home" beats eating out every time.

Anonymous said...

So funny, I don't low carb but I diet all the time to maintain my weight loss, I have my home made healthy muffins packed in my suitcase for France!

Anonymous said...

@ Tabitha - the only way to avoid things you don't want to eat - whatever they are - is to make them yourself! For tonight, my husband and I will be enjoying a boeuf bourguignon with garlic-rubbed toast I made from a wheat-free and sugar-free recipe. I can't do that in a restaurant!