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Archive for September, 2013

A buffet of desserts on a cruise ship.

Cruises can be a diet killer if you aren’t careful. Photo from Flickr: KLGreenNYC

Last week, I wandered onto a cruise ship with 6 friends for a fun five-day trip to Cozumel and Progresso, Mexico. Not too long after we boarded, one of my good friends announced that she fully planned to walk off of the ship the same weight as she got on. I hadn’t thought much about it (lazy me), but I decided to join her on this mission. Both of us walked off that cruise ship without gaining any weight. In fact, she maintained her weight perfectly, I came back .2 pounds less.

We rock!!!!! Ok anyway, here’s how maintained our weight on the cruise:

Exercise

  • We both agreed that we couldn’t take the elevator and we only broke that rule once (5 flights of stairs in ridiculously high heels for formal night sounded dangerous). My legs were on fire quite a bit due to this rule.
  • I worked out four out of the five days. I did weights twice and cardio twice, each for about an hour.
  • I incorporated exercise into my excursions. I climbed up and down the Mayan Ruins, swam around for a while in a cenote, snorkeled and played volleyball on the beach, etc. I rested too, but I tried to add additional “steps” to my day.

Diet

  • My friend’s other rule was that she was just going to sample, not eat, the rich foods. So, we tried a bit of everything, but we only tried a LITTLE (like two bites) of pretty much everything rich/unhealthy.
  • We took fruit and cereal boxes with us for snacks between meals. We added our protein to keep us full by incorporating cheese and/or protein powder into our snacks.
  • I memorized when different food places closed and planned accordingly. So, for example, if my next snack was at 10 p.m., I was at the buffet line right before it closed at 9:30 p.m. to make myself a plate of fresh fruit and cheese.
  • It wasn’t long into our cruise before I started craving vegetables (I kid you not), so I started filling a salad bowl with cucumbers and carrots (not the iceberg lettuce, that stuff is worthless) and took it back to my room for snacks.
  • They also had a veggie stick snack on the free room service menu, so i ordered that about once a day.
  • A few days in, I started ordering the side of steamed vegetables as my appetizer vs. the fried whatever was on the menu that day.
  • I avoided desserts. I wasn’t perfect, but I stayed FAR FAR away from the dessert bar and I never once touched the round-the-clock ice cream station. Mostly, I’d just ask a friend if I could take ONE BITE of whatever dessert they were having and stop at that.
  • I did order the melted chocolate cake the last night and took a few bites and then asked our waiter to take it away ASAP (yes, I felt bad wasting food).
  • The day of our Mayan excursion, we weren’t going to get lunch because we were to be back by 1, but that’s still a long time, so we ordered peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, put them in plastic bags we’d brought, and took them with us so we’d have a decently healthy snack.
  • I still carried protein bars with me and ate those if they were the healthiest option available.
  • I didn’t drink that much. Oh, I know, this one isn’t fun, but it gets easier when you realize one Pina Colada has over 525 calories in it.

 

What’s your best tips for staying healthy while on vacation? Here’s some more of mine:

Travel tips for hypoglycemics and healthy eaters

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A couple of weeks ago, I was scanning the news and noticed the below article. I’m not sure what made me click on it, but I’m glad I did, because it reminded me of something that I’ve forgotten to address up until now.

Driving with low blood sugar is similar to driving drunk. Don’t do it! if your blood sugar is low, eat (always) and then either stay where you are or wait until your sugar level comes back up, but don’t get behind the wheel when your blood sugar is low. You are not only putting your life at risk, but many others that you could potentially harm.

Driver who hit Tennessee house, gas station had 5 wrecks in past year

“Ward told police he’d felt dizzy then blacked out. He also told police he is hypoglycemic and is on medication for stress.”

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/23/gas-station-crash-explosion/2692797/

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a woman sleeping

From flickr: cvx_2k

Whenever I explain to someone that I’m hypoglycemic (usually apologetically while I pull out food to eat in the front of them) and what that means (eating every three hours), the number one question I get is, “Do you have to get up in the middle of the night too?”

The answer is, sometimes. It used to be 50% of the time, but I’ve gotten it down to about 20% of the time. Yes, it’s not fun.

What causes it

Usually, it means I ate poorly or decided lots of alcohol sounded like a good plan (you’d think I’d learn by now, but sometimes I’m FANTASTIC at forgetting). Those two factors, or really bad, the combination of both, mean I’m going to have a low blood sugar attack. But, sometimes it just happens.

How do I know when I need to get up?

My body wakes me up. It’s not a hungry feeling I get; it’s a feeling of panic. I feel scared, disoriented, and jumpy. Again, it’s not fun.

What do I eat when I get up?

My first choice is one cup of milk. Milk has the perfect combination of carbohydrates (about 12 g) and protein (7 g) needed for a snack. And, 1% milk is about 100 calories, so it’s not going to break you calorie-wise.

In the rare cases where I’m also hungry and a glass of milk isn’t enough, I usually grab a protein bar.

Taking care of your teeth when you get up in the middle of the night

In the movie Panic Room, Sarah Altman, who is diabetic, has a refrigerator as her bedside table. I don’t recommend this because it encourages you to eat and go right back to bed. You MUST take care of your teeth, so while you are up eating, brush your teeth. Unless, of course, you like a lot of cavities.

Side effect

Obviously, I’m pretty tired the next day, but I’ve also noticed that, for some reason, if I have an attack in the middle of the night, I’m FAMISHED the next day and can’t seem to get full no matter what I eat. Seriously, it’s like I traded appetites with a teenage boy.

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