Diet Vigilance: Away from Home

How hard is it to maintain a low-calorie, gluten-free, and dairy-free diet when you’re traveling and vacationing? I’d be lying to you if I said diet vigilance was easy. During the last month, the spouse and I travelled to Florida for a family birthday and have spent a week in Tucson as part of a one-month vacation stay. For the latter we have rented a furnished apartment-condo with a not badly equipped kitchen.

I’ve already written about the ways that I coped with air travel. But now I’m in a place where I can cook, but really want a vacation from that as well. So, what to do? Here are some of my strategies:

1. We’re not eating out and are, therefore, saving money. Rather, I splurge on already cut vegetables and ready-to-eat salad makings. This is an extravagance I don’t indulge in at home, but it sure saves time.

2. I roast large (okay, huge) quantities of vegetables that serve us for more than one meal. For example, I’ve made roasted butternut squash with onions and sprinkled lavishly with curry, and roasted broccoli florets with carrots and parsnips and spiced with rosemary. This helps me meet my vegetable quota. I don’t have any roasting pans so I’ve been using casserole dishes. I cook my combos 350 for 30 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered–this works just fine. Vegetables, I’m discovering, are very tolerant.

3. We go on day trips, and I need portable lunches. No problem in the US Southwest where corn tortillas blossom in the grocery stores. When packed in a sandwich bag, a corn tortilla sandwich, made with turkey, sheep cheese, a pickle and lettuce, holds together very well. I’m already wondering where I’ll find tortillas in Ottawa.

4. I buy Laramar bars to pack along with apples and mandarin oranges for hiking trips. The bars aren’t low calorie, but they are gluten-free and dairy-free if they have no chocolate, and help provide energy that I need when I’m walking for a couple of hours.

5. I don’t make elaborate dinners and fancy cooking is out. Enter the grocery store, barbecued chicken. We strip off the skin (sigh) and have a couple of meals. Tomorrow I plan spaghetti (I found gf noodles), and I’ve already done a quick fry (with chicken broth) with chicken tenders.

6. When in doubt, pick up some sushi!

If you have any other tips, please let me know.

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