In this blog post, I cover what it feels like going on vacation with a pre-diabetes diagnosis, my mindset, and what I plan to take with me in terms of food and supplements. I also recorded a live show so you can watch it below or read the summary.
This is my first beach vacation in 4 years, since before I was pregnant and I'm so excited. We are off to the Caribbean.
- I am Neha, the co-founder of SwitchGrocery, a friendly low carb grocery store that ships across Canada
- I received an official pre-diabetes diagnosis in 2022, which means my average is between 5.7 and 6.4. In Canada, "a normal A1C level is below 5.7%, a level of 5.7% to 6.4% indicates prediabetes, and a level of 6.5% or more indicates diabetes."
- My background is South Asian and I do have a family history of diabetes and heart disease.
- I started monitoring my blood glucose by wearing a Abbott Freestyle Libre in 2022. I plan to wear this on vacation.
- I am managing my pre-diabetes diagnosis through a mix of lifestyle (exercise), a flexible low carb diet, and fasting.
Is true food balance achievable when it comes to a vacation? Should I stay Keto / Low Carb during a Vacation?
Is true food and fun balance achievable when it comes to a vacation? Should I follow a diet while on vacation or during the holidays, special events, while travelling? This is extremely personal. On a recent interview with Robert from Keto Savage, he recommended understanding yourself - "when it comes to nutrition and food, some people are better suited to be moderators and some people are better suited to be eliminators? I would never want to give advice that's suited from one to the other" He also goes on in the interview to say you have to do what works for you.
I personally am a moderator, especially on vacations. If I restrict myself too much, I go the other way, and food also takes up too much of my brain space. However, wearing an Abbott Freestyle Libre, I am also going to see the impact of everything I eat on my blood sugar in real time. This can be a useful tool in that sense but the other side of it is you definitely will see the impact of everything you eat as a moderator.
My Mindset on Vacation as a Pre-Diabetic
My mindset going into this vacation is important. Here are my thoughts:
1. I want to have fun. After 3 years of not travelling and a global pandemic, and my first vacation with my kiddo, it's just time for me to have a good time. That can mean the pool, the beach and food! If there is a dessert I like, I will try some of it or all of it depending on my mood.
2. I want to respect my diagnosis and where I am right now. I have pre-diabetes and I am insulin resistant at this time. I'm okay to take some steps to scale back on sugar and carbs.
3. Movement - I want to move a LOT on this vacation and I know that movement, especially morning movement brings down the "dawn effect" for me which is the rise in blood sugars in the morning.
4. I don't want to obsess over my food choices. I want to keep it simple.
Low Carb Snacks to Take With You on Vacation
1. Dessert - There will be no sugar free dessert available to me on the resort. This is the most important thing to take with me, and I plan to take chocolate. Mindful Monk are fudge squares and Coco Polo is sugar free chocolate.
2. Meals - There are 2 keto friendly meal options that will save $ on my eating budget on vacation, also keep my blood sugars in check but also give me satiety and something delicious. Keto Chow Meal Replacements and Keto Brick meal supplements.
3. Lots of Water and high quality salts - I'm taking a SwitchGrocery blender bottle with me for my water and electrolytes. I'm also taking Redmond Real Salt or Keto Chow electrolytes with me to mix in for electrolytes.
Another electrolyte tip I have is by Megan Ramos from The Fasting Method, who recommended keeping salt flakes under your tongue (unprocessed natural salt) and Vancouver Island Real Salt Flake Sea Salt flakes are UNBELIEVABLE for that.
4. Starbucks Drinks - There's a Starbucks at the resort and I'm bringing Sweet Monk monkfruit sweetener with me. Just 5 drops and I'm in heaven.
5. Bars - I LOVE Keto Bars! They don't melt on the go and have only 5-6 ingredients, you can pronounce them and they are a huge hit with our kiddo.
6. Savoury Snacks - Mr. Tortilla Multigrain or Chile Limon Chips, Whisps Cheese Crisps, Snacker Yogi Puffed Lotus Seeds, Pili Hunter's Pili Nuts. Pili Nuts are super nutritious, filling and the highest fat, lowest carb nut out there AND sustainably sourced.
These are all great low carb savoury snacks to keep for a day on the move.
Other meal ideas
- I will request Berries and Cream or Yogurt for Dessert where possible. This should be available at the fruit stations at a buffet.
- I will bring nuts for an easy nutritious grab and go.
- Lots of water - bring a Yeti or Swell bottle to carry around.
- Night Time snacks - There is a nespresso in our room, so I will ask for decaf pods and cream to enjoy a nightcap.
Is true balance achievable on vacation?
Is true balance achievable? It totally remains to be seen. I will wear the Abbott Freestyle Libre, so we will know real statistics from my vacation week!
I did a LIVE RECAP SHOW on after I got home from the Caribbean about the impact of vacationing in the Caribbean on my blood sugar. Find that episode here.