Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Plan on Vacation

The ultimate test of a true healthy-eating lifestyle is the ability to take it on the road.  The Plan author Lyn-Genet Recitas acknowledges that “Most everyone can lose weight if they stay home and cook every meal in their kitchen, strictly adhering to their friendly foods.”  But what fun is that?

Ms. Recitas recommends the following guidelines for traveling on The Plan:
  • Stay hydrated
  •  Eat as many friendly foods as possible
  • Stick to half portions of foods you haven’t tested or that you know are reactive
  • Moderate excess sodium by including foods high in potassium.  Can you say “salt-free potato chips and guacamole?”
  • Drink your red wine – it helps flush out sodium and aids digestion
  • Relax and enjoy
We recently returned from a six-day road trip to Arizona for Spring Training.  We had the luxury of staying with relatives, which meant a) a refrigerator for our non-dairy milk and a cupboard for our healthy cereals, and b) a say in the food that we prepared while we were there.  In fact, when we discussed The Plan with my uncle, he thought some of the recipes might help him deal with pre-diabetes.  They were already reducing the sodium in their diets.  We substituted salads for the mashed potatoes and gravy when we had dinners in.
That left restaurants and ball parks.  Here’s what we learned.

1   Breakfasts are easy.  Every restaurant we patronized offered at least one healthy egg choice, and every restaurant was more than willing to substitute fruit (friendly) for the potatoes (decidedly unfriendly).  That said, I did get raised eyebrows when I told one server to leave the bacon out of my omelet.
2.       Salads were always a good choice for lunches.  Unfortunately, I have yet to find a ball park that has a salad concession.
3.       Ball parks, by design, serve pretty unfriendly foods.  Hot dogs – Dodger dogs or otherwise – are completely off limits, and peanuts and Crackerjack have way too much salt.  We found a beef and bean burrito, which we split, at our first ball park.  We ate in restaurants before the games after that.  See #2.
4.       Margaritas are a friendlier choice at a ball park than beer.  This did not stop us from having an occasional beer.   Alcohol at a ball park must be “chased” with lots of water.
5.       Sometimes you just have to say “What the heck,” and enjoy a fine meal.  We went to a wonderful Italian restaurant our last evening, and enjoyed the pasta, wine, and limoncello without guilt.

Yes, when we stepped on the scale upon our return, we had both gained weight.  The good news – it took only eight days of healthy eating and we were back on track.

I sent my uncle a copy of The Plan when we returned.

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