Eating Well On Vacation (or not)

My husband and I went on vacation at the beginning of the month. Each part had some unique aspects to finding good foods to eat. During week number one we went on a cruise up to Alaska. During week two, we spent time with his family in Southeastern Alaska.

Eating well on the cruise was the harder part of the vacation. The cruise line tries to allow people to eat well. They now offer all sorts of low fat and no fat offerings. However, the offerings for most part are still filled with vegetable oil fats and there is little real food.

Breakfast offered the easiest choice. Eggs, cooked the way I like them. I’m a big over easy fan. While regular bacon or sausage may not be the best, at least there was some good protein. I could choose from a variety of potatoes (which may or may not have been real) or bread. While some muffins were labeled whole grain, there was only a traditional flat looking wheat bread in the choice. While I couldn’t find full fat yogurt, I did find whole milk.

The first day I found myself famished. I couldn’t get satisfied. As I thought about my sudden hunger, it occurred to me that my body is so used to plenty of good fats that it couldn’t satisfy itself on the fake foods. That was the point at which I started adding in the homogenized whole milk (although I doubt it was the best).

Lunch offerings were cafeteria style and it varied. Some items looked like they could have been freshly made and then placed on the warming trays, but most looked as if they were frozen foods with little nutritional value. There was a nice salad bar and fruit bar, but the protein choices and full fat options were limited. No whole milk was offered during lunch. I also didn’t know where to look for “real” food.

Dinner was sit down and there was a choice of five entrees. I’ve cruised before and normally dinners were fairly satisfying. Not this time. I don’t know if it was the cruise line or if my body is just used to getting good fats. Most of the options held some level of “low fat”, although given that some low fat choices looked fatty, I suspect there were plenty of unnatural substitutions.

I know that that week I ate far too many carbohydrates as my body attempted to satisfy itself with the poor nutritional level of the food. Even as time passed, knowing what was going on, my body’s cravings didn’t change. Nor did they change in the face of the fact that I really didn’t LIKE any of the cruise food.

One day we were walking around Ketchikan and had some lovely fish and chips. I have no idea how they were made but it was fresh halibut. I think that was the one day I felt really satisfied.

In my next post I’ll explore the good and bad of eating in a small isolated town in Alaska. Hint: while not perfect, it was way better than the cruise ship!

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Bonnie Koenig has been a licensed acupuncturist since 1999. She is passionate about helping people find real healing and real health. In the process she keeps asking about our attitudes towards sickness and health. Only by being clear on what sickness is, can we ever find health.

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