My children are basically grown. One just graduated from college, one is in college, and one is a senior in high school. My husband and I figure our days of getting the whole family together easily for a vacation are about to be numbered. So we were excited when we found a week that all of us (and my Mom) could get together. We rented a condo at our favorite nearby beach and headed south. One thing made me a little nervous though. How hard was it going to be to eat well and keep my blood sugar numbers in check while eating out frequently?
My idea of a vacation does not include cooking every meal. So my mom and I put our heads together and came up with a game plan. We decided to take or buy everything we would need for breakfasts and lunches. Easy stuff that everyone can make for themselves. We bought things like oatmeal, eggs, cereal, chicken and tuna salad and quesadillas. Then we decided to cook some foods ahead of time for some easy dinners. For one dinner, Mom made some of her spaghetti sauce (which my kids are convinced she invented and which I can put over spaghetti squash instead of noodles). For another meal I grilled some chicken breasts. Things that could be easily carried in a cooler. Then we planned to buy meat for another evening meal for the hubby to cook on the grill. Then we would eat out the other 4 nights. When we got there, we bought some fresh fruits and vegetables and we were set. Actually much easier than I thought it would be.
Eating out posed some challenges. Like many people, when we go to the beach, we tend to want seafood. It is very easy to find any type of fish you want either grilled or broiled–which works very well for me. The problem was with the side dishes. Most of the restaurants give you a choice of potatoes (mashed, baked or fried), cole slaw, hush puppies, rice and corn. And of course the ever present bread basket. Most also allow you to order a side salad at an additional cost. While I always ordered a salad, most of the other sides were a diabetic nightmare. You can certainly eat those foods but you have to be very careful with portions and restaurants usually give you way more than you should eat. I ate my fish, salad and about half of one of the carb laden side dishes. Stayed away from the bread. My post dinner blood sugars did pretty well–only one night was it a little high and even then it wasn’t too bad.
The most important thing is to eat mindfully. Pick foods that are flavorful but be aware of the carb count of your favorite foods. It is nice to know that you can eat out and enjoy delicious food without messing up the hard work you have been putting into controlling your blood sugar.
How do you eat well while on vacation?