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Old 11-21-2013, 04:01 AM   #1
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Losing weight and "the food experience"

On another thread, a relatively new poster commented that he'd abandoned low-carb eating on a cruise because the food is 'part of the cruise experience.'

It reminded me about all the concerns on this board about the holidays--i.e., how to deal with Thanksgiving pies and Christmas cookies, along with all the other high-carb foods that various families regard as holiday 'tradition.'

It is my belief that at some point any individual who wants to make a commitment to low-carb eating needs to reframe the context of holidays (including birthdays and anniversaries) to emphasize other aspects than food, and to develop food 'traditions' that are more healthy and consistent with one's personal goals. Otherwise, there will always been some 'event' to side track the person--and as many have reported, it's often difficult to get back on plan.

I will admit that the temptation of the cruise experience is that all the food is already paid for when you board the ship, and it seems a shame not to taste (and eat) as much as possible. But, in fact, in making my low-carb choices, I find that I'm eating the most expensive food offered and ignoring all the relatively cheap carbs that they (wisely) want to stuff you with:-) So by eating wisely, I'm also getting my money's worth!

Last edited by Leo41; 11-21-2013 at 04:03 AM..
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:28 AM   #2
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First of all, I'd like to say... I always love to read your thoughts Leo. Your experience and insight to living the LC lifestyle is something I aspire to. So thank you always.

Secondly, I also didn't respond to the thread you're referring to because to me it was filled with grasping at menus and complaining and excuses.

I've pretty low tolerance for excuses, not that I haven't done it myself at times, I'd love to blame everything under the sun for my weight and health problems, but I know, and admit/own it.. The responsibility is ultimately mine. No stressors, no schedules, no support from family and friends, no inability to cook and plan, no ONE moment in time is to blame for my weight and health issues. I am. And I think once folks realize that, the excuses start to look and sound pretty lame and that's when you get serious about getting ahold of your health.

The cruise issue i have no experience with as I've never been on one. But I can imagine the temptations are many. There comes a point where you just have to tell yourself nope. Can't have that. Sorry self... That's not for you and move along.

That point is usually paramount in an LC journey and obviously hard for some ppl to get thru. For me however, it's been a big relief. It's OK to be told no sometimes, we are a want it all and I want it now culture and when getting in control of a health crisis like being obese sometimes there are big NO's. That's simply how it is in my opinion.

So for me, I've accepted the fact that I can't have it all, and being told no, by my plan is ok. Is it fair? Does it make me mad at myself? Or the world? Neah. It simply IS what it is. Am I going to blame it on my stress, schedule, or inabilities? Nope. It simply IS.
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:31 AM   #3
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I'll be honest, I went on a cruise 6 weeks into starting low carb, my mate and the other passengers thought I was crazy by not getting my money's worth, as food is a big part of cruising for some people. It was to me on the other cruises I've been on as the food is generally pretty darn good, but I'd already lost over a stone before going and that was all the motivation I needed.
I still ate well, in fact, it's probably better on-board, they cater to you, there's always an expensive meat dish, you just replace the high gi carbs with low ones or side salad, I had some great steaks on-board
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:31 AM   #4
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Well, as far as cruises go, I think they are wonderful low-carb experiences. Plenty of meats, eggs, cheeses, fruits, veggies, butter. Even some unsweetened whipped cream on occasion. So if you feel it's part of the cruise experience, go to town.

But the broader concept here is the one you brought up Leo, and that's how we view the world and the role of food in it. There's a lot more to the holidays than cookies and pie. Good thread Leo.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo41 View Post
On another thread, a relatively new poster commented that he'd abandoned low-carb eating on a cruise because the food is 'part of the cruise experience.'

It reminded me about all the concerns on this board about the holidays--i.e., how to deal with Thanksgiving pies and Christmas cookies, along with all the other high-carb foods that various families regard as holiday 'tradition.'

It is my belief that at some point any individual who wants to make a commitment to low-carb eating needs to reframe the context of holidays (including birthdays and anniversaries) to emphasize other aspects than food, and to develop food 'traditions' that are more healthy and consistent with one's personal goals. Otherwise, there will always been some 'event' to side track the person--and as many have reported, it's often difficult to get back on plan.

I will admit that the temptation of the cruise experience is that all the food is already paid for when you board the ship, and it seems a shame not to taste (and eat) as much as possible. But, in fact, in making my low-carb choices, I find that I'm eating the most expensive food offered and ignoring all the relatively cheap carbs that they (wisely) want to stuff you with:-) So by eating wisely, I'm also getting my money's worth!

Thats why I dont cruise... it would be like vacationing on a giant floating pizza hut, no thanks.

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Old 11-21-2013, 09:22 AM   #6
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I think that some people can and do treat carbage as some people drink alcohol - an occasional thing, not to excess. One meal or weekend indulging but back on the wagon come the next meal or day.

However just like there are people who can't have one drink, there are people who can't have one cheat or it derails them. That anology only goes so far though. People must eat food or they will die. No one has to drink alcohol ever. Some people must always avoid carbage always but it is difficult because you cannot simply not eat. There is always going to be temptation and opportunity to slip up.

For me, the holidays will be the chance to try a couple new LC treats and I do I mean a couple. I can't eat the stuff I used to eat or I will get sick. I might overdo a *few* carbs or calories with a gluten free LC treat...but it won't make me ill and won't set me back. One LC treat on Thanksgiving and one LC treat on Christmas is enough.

It might not be easy, but that is how I need to look at my "food experience" this season. There is no good excuse for eating something that will hurt me.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:06 AM   #7
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I completely agree. The holidays, and special events, used to be all about the food for me. I'm still really looking forward to eating things that are on plan, but it's not all consuming. I have no desire to eat anything that isn't on plan and I'm looking forward to the time with family more than the food.

No excuses, no complaints. This is the way I eat, and I'm thankful that it keeps me healthy.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo41 View Post
On another thread, a relatively new poster commented that he'd abandoned low-carb eating on a cruise because the food is 'part of the cruise experience.'

It reminded me about all the concerns on this board about the holidays--i.e., how to deal with Thanksgiving pies and Christmas cookies, along with all the other high-carb foods that various families regard as holiday 'tradition.'

It is my belief that at some point any individual who wants to make a commitment to low-carb eating needs to reframe the context of holidays (including birthdays and anniversaries) to emphasize other aspects than food, and to develop food 'traditions' that are more healthy and consistent with one's personal goals. Otherwise, there will always been some 'event' to side track the person--and as many have reported, it's often difficult to get back on plan.

I will admit that the temptation of the cruise experience is that all the food is already paid for when you board the ship, and it seems a shame not to taste (and eat) as much as possible. But, in fact, in making my low-carb choices, I find that I'm eating the most expensive food offered and ignoring all the relatively cheap carbs that they (wisely) want to stuff you with:-) So by eating wisely, I'm also getting my money's worth!


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Old 11-21-2013, 11:11 AM   #9
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I don't think I saw the original thread that is referenced, but I did go on a cruise in March after 4 months of eating LC with the full intention of staying as LC as possible. I did fairly well, but as the week went by I did eat more and more things that were not "on plan" and I ate a good number of "no added sugar" desserts which I know were not necessarily LC. But I take full responsibility for any food I ate on the cruise. And I did gain weight that week, but it also dropped off within a week of coming home (it was all water weight from getting kicked out of ketosis). I don't know exactly what my point is , other than people have to make choices about what they eat every day. It is a lifetime WOE for me, so if I do get off track for a day (or a week in the case of the cruise), I just get right back on. There is no other option for me any more.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:44 AM   #10
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Leo. I think it's all about the level of commitment. Some are committed and some as just 'doing low carb'. IMHO It's just as easy to stay on track on a cruise as it is to derail yourself.

What everyone has to realize is life happens. And it keeps right on happening. There will always be something you can use as an excuse to eat 'carbage'. (I like that word!) So, everyday we each get to chose.
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Old 11-21-2013, 12:34 PM   #11
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I don't think eating lots of carbs has to be part of the "cruise experience." You can eat well, be satisfied, without tons of bread, pasta, or desserts.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:20 PM   #12
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Good post, Leo41.

As I've mentioned before, I love to eat. I will not give up the "food experience." It's just a different experience now, that's all. Cookies, cakes, pies, potato chips, rice, etc - they are no longer part of my food experience. I don't even miss them because I have made other foods that I love part of my experience.

I think of it this way. It's like I've moved far away from my former neighborhood and visiting there is no longer possible. Do I sit around and mope and remember how great all the things in the old neighborhood were? Everything I see in my new neighborhood, do I compare it to what I used to have and come up lacking? If I do, what do I expect will happen? I will feel lack, I will feel sad for what I have lost, I will not notice things right in front of my face that might be as good or even better because I am caught looking behind at what I can no longer have.

No, thank you. I will go out, meet new people, try new places, etc. And that is exactly what I have done with low carb. I focus on the steak, and do not fret missing out on the potato. I celebrate bacon and don't worry about passing on toast.

So much of success is a mindset, it really is. It cannot be stressed enough.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:00 PM   #13
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Agree with the general sentiments above. It is about reframing thinking, otherwise eating lowcarb will become just another diet...as soon as weight is lost and goal is achieved, there is no point going back to bad old habits, as it will become another reason for doing low carb again! I think the sooner we all realise this woe is a lifetime commitment, not a quick fix to get some weight off the happier we will be and the easier it is to seek out yummy low carb treats, real foods, foods that are good for our bodies!
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Old 11-22-2013, 03:15 AM   #14
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I agree with everyone's posts and I also agree that the excuses we use need to be handled to really be able to commit to lc, the weight loss journey and to reach our goals.

We all go thru stages of getting to that commitment.

longer on plan most of us do realize that food has to be controlled in ALL environments. from holidays, to cruises, to birthdays, eating out at fav restaurants etc. We learn what our bodies can handle. how sensitive we are or if we can eat something and get back on track.

I didn't read that thread either. But one thing is everyone has demons getting into a huge change of eating lc for life. The mindset does have to change but it doesn't happen overnight. It sure didn't for me

All thru changing into LC I had to visit a few delish buffets loaded with my favs. Slowly I adapted. One time I would have something I love which wasn't lc, another visit I would walk by it and have a taste of a better lc option but still higher than I should be eating and now at this time in my journey I can pass it by completely.

I have gone thru alot of phases getting to where I am today. more committed to lc than ever!
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:31 AM   #15
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I think of it this way. It's like I've moved far away from my former neighborhood and visiting there is no longer possible. Do I sit around and mope and remember how great all the things in the old neighborhood were? Everything I see in my new neighborhood, do I compare it to what I used to have and come up lacking? If I do, what do I expect will happen? I will feel lack, I will feel sad for what I have lost, I will not notice things right in front of my face that might be as good or even better because I am caught looking behind at what I can no longer have.
I think this is so good I have copied it for myself and to share with a family member who is having a hard time! Thanks!
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:35 AM   #16
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But one thing is everyone has demons getting into a huge change of eating lc for life. The mindset does have to change but it doesn't happen overnight.
This is very true. But it is one thing to struggle, ask for and accept advice and quite another to slam the door on any idea that is given. You need to be open to the process of change in order for it to happen.

Which isn't to say I haven't been at that stage. I have. Like you say, it's all a process. I think people just get frustrated trying to help someone who is in that phase. But of course we all have the choice to move along without letting it frustrate us.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:37 AM   #17
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ETA: thank you so much, girondet! I hope it helps your family member, even a little.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:44 AM   #18
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Yes seems to me that it is a process, and our paths will differ.
Not everyone will be on the same path at the same time.
With that bit said, I need to adhere to my own chosen path.
I veered a bit off in the last 6 or so weeks, but I stumbled into some lessons needing reinforcing. I have learned from them. That's not to say I will never stumble off path again, but I am hopeful that my way back to the path will be prompt.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:07 AM   #19
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Good post, Leo41.

As I've mentioned before, I love to eat. I will not give up the "food experience." It's just a different experience now, that's all. Cookies, cakes, pies, potato chips, rice, etc - they are no longer part of my food experience. I don't even miss them because I have made other foods that I love part of my experience.

I think of it this way. It's like I've moved far away from my former neighborhood and visiting there is no longer possible. Do I sit around and mope and remember how great all the things in the old neighborhood were? Everything I see in my new neighborhood, do I compare it to what I used to have and come up lacking? If I do, what do I expect will happen? I will feel lack, I will feel sad for what I have lost, I will not notice things right in front of my face that might be as good or even better because I am caught looking behind at what I can no longer have.

No, thank you. I will go out, meet new people, try new places, etc. And that is exactly what I have done with low carb. I focus on the steak, and do not fret missing out on the potato. I celebrate bacon and don't worry about passing on toast.

So much of success is a mindset, it really is. It cannot be stressed enough.


Excellent thread!
I have a 2 foot plaque on my wall which says:
"Happiness is found in the journey...Not at the destination"

So many new experiences to enjoy...not all food!
Keeping this body in better shape than it was in before...so that my journey will be healthier.
We each get to choose!
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:37 AM   #20
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Am I the only one who feels that the cruise is about the travel????? Ive eaten low carb on cruises.....the food is not the center of my experience..it is the people we meet and the places we visit.....l/c lifestyle is easy on a cruise because of all the l/c choices..we don't plan our trip around the food....but around the places we visit...
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:24 AM   #21
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This is very true. But it is one thing to struggle, ask for and accept advice and quite another to slam the door on any idea that is given. You need to be open to the process of change in order for it to happen.

Which isn't to say I haven't been at that stage. I have. Like you say, it's all a process. I think people just get frustrated trying to help someone who is in that phase. But of course we all have the choice to move along without letting it frustrate us.
I agree. One must read alot of advice and pick and choose what works for them in their personal lifestyle. I nitpicked thru forums and found what works for me best. I sure had to ask a ton of questions, reject alot of good advice that didn't work for me tho to come up with a plan that I can follow.

I guess it is read as much as you can, ask as much as you can, then weed thru and find what works best for yourself. trial and error in the end but everyone has a path they eventually find.
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:11 PM   #22
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I will admit that the temptation of the cruise experience is that all the food is already paid for when you board the ship, and it seems a shame not to taste (and eat) as much as possible. But, in fact, in making my low-carb choices, I find that I'm eating the most expensive food offered and ignoring all the relatively cheap carbs that they (wisely) want to stuff you with:-) So by eating wisely, I'm also getting my money's worth!
I haven't been on a cruise... YET! (Living in Florida, there are some REALLY tempting prices! I expect to sail the sunny seas within the next year!)

But I imagine cruise-ship food will be much like a trip to Golden Corral: I COULD eat the carb-loaded crap... or I could dig into a really nice steak, and some fresh veggies! (Pick on Golden Corral all you like... It's one of the few places where you can get "clean" foods of your choice -- without mystery-sauces -- and combine them how you like. I almost always get steak, then broccoli and cauliflower, but sometimes I'll make myself a killer salad to go with the steak.)

The food "experience" is important, yes.... I just get to decide WHICH food I want to experience! (Though lemme tell ya, if they have some good seafood, I won't say no to that, either!!)
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:18 PM   #23
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Good post, Leo.

I've found it pretty easy to go on vacation, enjoy holidays, even birthdays, all on plan 100%. For me, it is more about the company than the food, although I find there are plenty of amazingly good things I can eat on those occasions and still stay on plan.

I've made solid lifestyle changes. Most of the foods I eliminated are ones I consider unhealthy (for everyone) so there are no plans to add them back in. Ever. For any occasion. The foods I eat are real foods that are healthy & that taste great.

When I eat out and others are eating things I don't eat anymore I never feel deprived or tempted. Instead, I feel a bit sad that they are probably doing harm to themselves & just don't realize it. (I keep that thought to myself.) To eat the way they eat would deprive myself of the good health & fitness I am working so hard to get & keep.
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Old 11-23-2013, 05:25 AM   #24
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Good post!

That being said, everyone is not the same. Some people can take breaks, and be OK. The problem is, the carb-addicted brain manufactures thoughts that lead everyone to think that they are one of those people, because that brain wants the temporary but powerful reward feeling of sugar hitting that tongue. It's the same brain circuitry that reinforces a cocaine addict's behavior. A good sign that one may be one of these (unable to take breaks) is that there is "cognitive dissonance" - a conflict between thoughts of staying on plan and reasons not to. My suggestion is that if you find yourself in a personal debate, make the decision to stay on-plan.

I think that it helps to remind us what the end-goal of a vacation might be. Yours might be different. I want to feel healthy and refreshed, guilt and extra pounds are not my goal. I have "fallen off" on vacations, and had the guilt and extra pounds. I enjoyed aspects of the vacation but totally missed the target goal of having a vacation in the first place. I've also "stayed on" and these vacations did what they were supposed to do -- help me recharge, heal, and feel better about myself and connections with my family.

I confess I've never been on a cruise but do eat buffets near the beaches. Sure there are lots of high carb options that are tempting, but there is also the biggest assortment of meats I will ever get to try. I am imagining it's the same on the cruise, but don't know for sure. My best vacations entailed getting up and working out, and then enjoying the beach, and getting to eat some great assortment of LC meats, cheese, melted butter, and cooked and seasoned vegetables at buffet dinners.

Just some thoughts. I've enjoyed everyone's perspectives on this topic.
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Old 11-23-2013, 07:06 PM   #25
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my problem with the "food experience" is that I use food to deal with stress and treat it as a "reward" for a hard day. This means I eat sausage patties in the morning, have no lunch at work, and then I'm starving for dinner and I pig out on meat and salad- and i think this is hurting my weight loss a lot. I think if i thought of food as just food, just a way to keep myself full and content, my eating habits would be better. I wouldnt have to eat a ton of food at the end of the day as a reward. The hardest part for me is moderation, even though I know just a slice of brisket at lunch would help my hunger pains a lot during the day, i tend to see that hunger pains as a justifcation to eat more food when i get home, like I am "saving up" for that big splurge (even though it is all on plan).

For this week, I am going to challenge myself. I am going to eat lunch everyday at work and then eat a smaller dinner when I get home. I am going to do something else to reward myself for being at work all day- like getting a manicure or going in the hot tub. It won't be about my hunger this week and me eating a lot because of it, it will be about me finding other ways to release stress.
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:56 PM   #26
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This is a great thread! I think that if food wasn't an "experience" for us, that most of the country wouldn't be overweight! Obviously we'd have a better grasp on what food's purpose is, to nourish the body/fuel the body not create a social situation...
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Old 11-24-2013, 02:01 AM   #27
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Thanks, Leo41, for a great post. I lok forward to the day I can go on a cruise and see for myself. I equate it to my vegan brother. Would he go on a cruise and have meat just because it was expensive and paid for? No. He is vegan for health reasons, and doesn't eat meat to save his life. He would eat what he needs to to support his life and life style. I would do the same thing. Staying away from the sugary and starchy treats as someone said is almost a no-brainer as they are the cheapest of all the food they are trying to get you to eat and if it were about the food, I would stick with the gourmet options.

Recently, I joined my brother in the vegan world and gave up meat, dairy and eggs. It's been a little over 2 weeks now. I don't think I could go back. I am doing it for more than just health but also for the environment and animal causes.

But staying on my plan allows me to focus on the rest of my life and the cruise, the people I meet, the places I'll see, the whole experience and not make myself sick with being a gourmand.
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Old 11-24-2013, 11:39 AM   #28
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If there is such a thing as a cruisaholic, that would be me.

Last June DH and I cruised with my DB and SIL, both very low carb (I am more paleo while eating JUDDD hi/low calories and DH strictly eats the SAD).

NO problem for any of us.

The only problem on cruises is - for me - they don't serve enough veggies. Again, np. DB, SIL, and I just ordered multiple appetizers and multiple entrees, ate what was appropriate for our WOEs, and ignored that which we knew will make us feel bad. More opulent, wonderful food than any of us could eat and - lol - three of us came back with no weight gain.

DH is still working on removing what he gained.
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GOAL 10/3/12
Still at goal 2/6/13
STILL below goal 2/15/14

I did not "lose" weight. I evicted it. It is gone and it ain't coming back!

JUDDD cares about calories. JUDDD does not care what you eat. Your body probably does.
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Old 11-24-2013, 12:49 PM   #29
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Nancy-
At a sit-down meal on a cruise, you can ask your server for double and triple the vegetables--or any amount you request.

Since I always request that they leave off whatever starch is included in the entree, I ask for extra vegetables. But if you want to ask for even more, they are always happy to oblige.

At the buffets, of course, there's no problem because you can take however much you want of anything.
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Old 11-24-2013, 01:23 PM   #30
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Our next cruise will be number 60 so we've been on a few over the years. I have no problem cruising and having a great dinning experience. Breakfast;I see Mr. Omelet Man who makes me a large omelet with cheese and ham. I add a some bacon or link sausage, coffee and I'm good to go. Lunch;Usually a double cheese burger with no bun, large salad with dressing and veggies. Dinner;Filet mignon(s) or lobster tails, green beans/veggies, salad/dressing and a sugar free dessert. In the Concierge Lounge prior to dinner I will enjoy several adult beverages usually Chivas Regal or Knob Creek with ice and a little water with some un-battered buffalo wings. So I agree food is a part of the cruise experience it's up to you if you want a good LC food experience or not.
Here is sun up on our last cruise from our balcony, I can smell the salt air from here!
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