Insulin Resistance Diet and Travel
As many of you may know, I live in Sydney, Australia, but originally come from England. Although I don’t make the trip back to the UK as often as I would like, when I do get on one of those long-haul flights, I know I’ll be sitting in one place for many, many hours at a time. So how can you keep to an insulin resistance diet when you travel?
The flight (one of the longest you can do) has many similarities to a standard sedentary lifestyle – you barely move, you have food and drink at regular intervals and you pass the rest of the time either watching the entertainment provided, reading, playing computer games or sleeping. How many people recognize themselves in that scenario?!
I recently made the trip there and back, and this was the first time since I was diagnosed that I have been faced with the challenge of eating “low carb” on a plane. I decided at the outset not to specify any dietary requirements, but just to see how I could adapt what was served to suit my needs on an insulin resistance diet. I know enough about carbohydrates to make the right choices.
Firstly, let me tell you that although some discipline is required, it was not too hard to do! I have now been eating this way for so long that it’s second nature to me to scan a menu and to quickly identify the ingredients in any meal which will be good for me and those which I should avoid. I knew there would be items served up which I would leave. I also decided that I would allow myself ONE indulgence on each of the 4 flights – Sydney to Singapore (8 hours), Singapore to London (14 hours) and the return versions of those 2 flights. 4 treats!
Let’s look at the menu choices (goes without saying I travel in economy class): For the first flight, the choice was fish with rice or lamb with polenta. I chose the fish, which was served in a spicy sauce – see picture, right. I left the rice and ate the salad and the green beans (if I’d chosen the lamb, I would have eaten the meat and veg and left the polenta). I left the bread roll and the dessert. There was a pack of cheese and crackers – you guessed it – I ate the cheese and left the crackers. My treat was red wine – I had 2 glasses and a sleep!
On the next flight there was another “dinner”, a long period of night, and breakfast 2 hours before arrival in London. As I had the menu in advance, I planned what to have, including my treat! The evening meal on this flight was a grilled vegetable salad, followed by braised pork with white wine sauce and veg (I left the potatoes and the bread roll it was served with). There was also a dessert – I didn’t eat it. Trust me, it wasn’t that hard – I knew my breakfast treat was going to be better!
For breakfast they served either cereal or eggs/sausage/mushrooms – easy choice! There was also a yogurt and a fruit salad, both of which I enjoyed after I had eaten my protein-packed hot meal! And my treat was a warm cinnamon Danish with my coffee. It was the only starch I touched in almost 24 hours, and it was delicious. I didn’t feel guilty and it did not make me gain weight, because of all my other choices.
I felt full and satisfied the entire time and did not have cravings for snacks between meals. At no point did I feel the choices were out of my control. I did not feel deprived or as if I was “on a diet” and even though I wasn’t able to keep to all of my usual routines (notably exercise!!), I made a conscious effort to consider my best options at all times. If I can survive flights like this, I know you can survive your travel hardships and keep to your insulin resistance diet too!