One of the hardest parts of managing type 1 diabetes without medication is staying disciplined while traveling. Whether it’s a business trip or a vacation, they both present many opportunities for me to get off the wagon.
I’m Only Human
I know many of you that follow my blog and are educated on T1D probably think that I’m part human, part robot for being able to almost go 3 years without medication. I am very disciplined but at least 3 or 4 times a week I’m probably eating something that I shouldn’t be, so I’m far from perfect. The good thing is that since most of my diet is raw vegan made up of healthy choices, my body is able to manage a hiccup here or there.
That said, vacations are a whole different animal. As I’m sure you all experience, vacations are full of eating out and minimal exercise. Not a great recipe for a T1D trying to stay off of medication.
Staying Off Meds at Disney World!
I had the pleasure of going to Disney World earlier this month with my wife, son, daughter and my mom. I was actually nervous about this trip because I knew it would be chaotic with a 2 1/2 year old and 9 month old at Disney, but it actually was easier than I thought.
I was on vacation from Saturday through Thursday at Disney. I only test my blood sugars once per day in the mornings when I first wake up (fasting blood sugar). My readings for the week were 102, 112, 98, 114 and 99. These actually didn’t differ much from my typical readings when I’m on routine.
I thought a good idea for a blog would be to describe how I handle being on vacation for a week but still being able to maintain some semblance of my typical diet.
I love my raw nut granola (recipe). This has been my breakfast for over 2 years since I started the plant-based diet. I just brought a container of this on the plane and took it to Florida. Each day for breakfast, I just ate a huge bowl of this with almond milk like I usually do. This breakfast is great because it’s a ton of calories and is very filling, so I am usually not hungry for a while after I eat it.
Lunch was a little trickier because I was usually at the park and was forced to eat something at a food stand or restaurant. A couple of days my lovely wife actually packed my usual salad that I eat. This was great, but it was logistically tough carrying items like this on our stroller that was packed to the brim.
Our first day at Animal Kingdom, we actually ate at this one buffet style restaurant that was very vegan friendly. I was amazed at all of the options. Honestly, it was probably one of the most vegan friendly restaurants that I ever ate at. It was called Tusker House Restaurant.
I would suggest it if you are ever at Animal Kingdom. It also has some Disney characters walk around during lunch to take pictures with you and your kids. Aiden loved it!
Another day I got 2 sides of green beans! Mmmmmmm. Here is the menu of where I went (menu at Starlight Cafe). It literally was the only thing on the menu that I could eat. It also was quite astonishing at how unhealthy this place’s options were considering it probably has more kids go through it than anywhere else in the world.
Dinner was were I cheated a little bit. One of the evenings I ate out at the resort restaurant and had a shrimp salad with avocado. Another night we got Chinese take out, but I just ate steamed vegetables, but did dip them in a sauce that could have no way been healthy.
This vacation was a little unique in that I was constantly walking and pushing a stroller. I didn’t worry too much about getting off of my exercise routine because I knew walking for 4 to 5 hours per day would be good exercise.
I won’t lie, I had some drinks each night. This definitely helped my blood sugars stay a little lower during the trip. I mean, you have to enjoy some beers when you feel like you are in Germany.
Ultimately, I was able to manage my blood sugars well on this vacation with no real highs. Vacations make it challenging to stay on a plant-based diet, but sticking with my granola and the usual salad for lunch helped me stay on track for the most part during the week.