When we booked our trip, my Honorable Husband was having serious digestive problems and was still on a gluten and dairy free diet. I called the airline to ask about getting meals for special diets, and they didn’t have any trouble at all signing us both up for gluten free and dairy free.
Oh my! Anyone interested in eating healthy should request special diets. The food we were served was far superior to the food that those around us ate on our flight to Europe and our flight home. We got a big piece of fish or chicken for lunch and dinner, instead of unidentifiable pasta with a little bit of protein. We got fresh fruit for every meal instead of dessert. We got rice crackers instead of bread. It was well balanced, healthy, and BTD friendly.
I have a diabetic friend who had taken a similar tour with the same company early in the summer. I asked her about the food. She said that every morning there was a huge breakfast buffet. The way she described it, I felt confident that I could start each day with a healthy breakfast. More than half of the time our evening meals were part of the tour. I expected that those would be nice dinners with meat and vegetables. So I had a plan.
You may remember that earlier in the year I began to flip my meals and was eating a big breakfast and a big lunch, but a light dinner. For the trip I packed every day’s “breakfast mix” in a ziplock bag. I still call it “breakfast mix even though I don’t eat it for breakfast anymore. It is a mixture of ground nuts, lecithin granules, rice bran, protein powder, and larch powder. If dinner was included for the day I would have breakfast mix for lunch. If dinner was not included, I would get a salad for lunch and have breakfast mix for dinner.
The first morning at breakfast I was amazed. There were three kinds of eggs, smoked salmon, cold cuts, fresh fruit, dried fruit and breakfast beans. Of course there was a whole counter full of sweet and non sweet breads and rolls I was never tempted. There were several varieties of cheese. I didn’t eat cheese except in Switzerland. I did indulge in real Swiss Swiss cheese, just to say that I tried it. I ate a huge high protein breakfast and stashed a banana and an apple in my back pack to add to my breakfast mix.
I followed that routine every day. Some days there was an omelet chef who made custom omelets. I would load on the vegetables and skip the cheese. Some days there was mackerel instead of salmon Some days there were gluten free crackers. Most mornings there were breakfast beans, prepared slightly differently in each country. There were always enough choices to have a hearty BTD compliant breakfast.
The dinners on the tour were also good for me with one exception. One night we had pork chops and carrot cake. I ate them, because I was hungry and there was no other choice. So did HH. But later in our room, we both felt uncomfortably stuffed. That is probably my only dietary regret on the trip.
Sometimes dinner was a buffet. Then there were lots of choices of meats and cooked vegetables. Many times we were served fish, which was always delicious. While I was surprised that it was hard to find a salad with meat for lunch, we often had salad at the beginning of our dinner, and I was able to request olive oil instead of dressing. There were lots of cooked vegetables and they were always well prepared. We were served a lot of potatoes, but I usually did not eat them. There was plenty of other good food to eat.
Did I try to avoid all avoids on the trip. No, I did not. I wanted to experience some of the local culture. In the Black Forest, our tour director recommended Black Forest Cake. HH and I shared a piece. One night we had apple strudel. In Texas our apple strudel is lots of crust, a little bit of apple, and lots of icing. German strudel was lots of apple, a little bit of crust, and a dusting of powdered sugar. In Oberammergau our tour director pointed out a shop and said it had the best ice cream in all of Europe. I looked at HH and said, “We should try some.” Oh my! I have never tasted anything like it. It was soft, but not quite as soft as Dairy Queen or frozen yogurt. There were so many flavors! All I can say is the lemon was outstanding. In Zermatt I had chicken schnitzel, a local specialty, and I didn’t worry about the breading.
I didn’t eat common avoids like rolls for dinner, orange juice for breakfast, or chocolate chip cookies. I was able to find beneficial and neutral food in abundance. My avoids were few and far between, chosen as a unique part of enjoying travel to another country.
The last week of September, I took pictures for a beautiful wedding. It usually takes me about three weeks to edit the hundreds of pictures I take at weddings. But this fall has been complicated by some other jobs. I knew the bride and groom were eager to see their pictures so I sent some of my favorites to them via DropBox. A few days later I sent some more with an apology that I was not yet finished with their pictures. The bride emailed me saying, “Honestly we like receiving them in groups. It keeps the excitement from the wedding going. We don’t mind!”
Our trip to the Alps was in August and here I am the first week of November finally writing my last Alps blog. I have enjoyed keeping the excitement from the trip going, and I hope you have enjoyed it too.