I used to be the sort, whose weight used to fluctuate wildly. So while I tried my best to exercise and attempt to be healthy (my pre-primal definition of healthy anyway), come vacation time and I’d come back looking like I ate the whole country.
Until I went primal that is.
In a new series I’m going to attempt to make a primal travel log after every trip. Since 2012 starts of with the first holiday in week 1 itself (I’m off tonight), I have some catching up to do. So very briefly I will outline my holidays since going Primal in April 2010. In other words, this post is about how to lose weight when on a holiday.
Trip 1: Family holiday May 2010 – Singapore/ Malaysia. Just a month since I had taken the 30-day primal challenge. All of April till my birthday (on the 7th of May) I was super good. No alcohol, no grains no sugar. I had already dropped 3 or 4 kgs in the first month itself. On my birthday I had some cake and some wine. But when we went to South East Asia at the end of the month, my husband and I had a ball eating primal food, feeling no desire what so ever to eat anything sweet, and coming back thinner than before we left.
The trip of discoveries - It was so easy in the delicious buffets to pick the pakchoi flavoured with soy sauce, and the amazing seafood and salads over the un appetizing stale looking noodles and bread. I remember a few strange looks from people around when they noticed our plates. How we attacked the oranges at breakfast - when the others found them sour, we regaled in their sweetness. How we were put off when we had a sip of someone’s Starbucks (extra sweet) frappe. And how a single bite of ice cream was enough to keep us satisfied.
Going primal definitely kills that sweet tooth and junk food cravings - this I was sure off on that trip.
Another thing we discovered was how we could continue having fun when at an amusement park for example, without feeling the need to stop for lunch. Earlier if I was late for meals I would get splitting headaches, now I was free to eat only when I was really hungry – which was not too often as I was eating real food and not empty calories.
Trip 2: Portugal August 2010
– Awesomely primal trip. All three of us on that trip were eating paleo. (My brother
was already a seasoned paleo eater since 2005/6) Seafood and grilled meat galore with smattering of fresh veggies made up our food. Absolutely delicious, fresh, high quality coffee to boot and lots and lots of walking in the sun. Need I say more?
Needless to say, I came back 2 kgs less than what I had left with, much browner and neither my smile nor my tan refuses to fade. And that was after doing the tourist-trap thing of indulging in sangria. Nuff said.
Trip 3: Jodhpur and Shimla (Wildflower) Feb / Mar 2011 – We went for a friends wedding to Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Since it was a wedding and since we were with friends, we ate and drank a lot. Because it was a decently luxurious holiday (by our beach bum standards anyway) we didn’t walk too much. So by the time we reached Wildflower Hall in Shimla I did feel bloated. As you would expect from a hotel of that caliber, there was a weighing scale in the bathroom.
And hey! I had lost weight!
Impossible you say? Not quite. You see, by then I had started a lot of workouts that had prompted me to gain a good deal of muscle mass. So while on that trip, I must’ve lost some muscle mass and put on some fat instead, that’s why the puffy feeling.
‘That’s cheating’, say you.
So what? It gives me motivation to keep going. In spite of knowing where the weight loss had come from, it’s still weight loss. The scales were actually moving in the right direction! That’s a huge motivation for someone who’s been over weight all her adult life.
Trip 3: Spain May 2011 – It wasn’t that easy to eat primal fare here, primarily because most of the tapas had bread with very little meat, and a lot of cured meats, and potatoes were also prevalent. And of course me being my touristy self, I wanted to eat churros and chocolate in at least 3 places to make sure I have the proper ‘Spanish’ experience. But as always, it was an active holiday with plenty of walking. And to be fair, I was at least 70% primal most of the time.
The verdict? No gain no loss, lots of tan (and sangria) in nearly 3 weeks of fun in the sun.
Trip 4: Ladakh August 2011
– A road trip where a friend and I drove 2000 kms in 10 days. While on the road, passing through absolutely uninhabited landscapes, the breathtaking views were enough to curb an appetite. And for a primal appetite, what better way to practice a bit of intermittent fasting
Normally on a trip like this, you eat what you get. But because of some pre planning, I had come equipped with nuts and some primal bars to munch on. So while I did manage to get eggs for breakfast more often than not, I’d go till the night with nothing much in my tummy except primal munchies. At night a hot bowl of soup with its loving warmth was enough.
And yes, I lost weight. So much so that I actually looked like a druggie with my dry hair, sun burnt lips and sunken cheeks! Not exactly ideal, but easily rectified once back in the humid climes of Mumbai.
Trip 5: Pondicherry October 2011 – A very short trip it was, just a weekend. Which is why I did let myself indulge. I ate the most amazing hand churned chocolate ice cream on a tip off from a friend. Then there was mysore pak at the Chennai airport. Also, the simple brown rice and tomato rassam at the Auroville mess. After all it was just a weekend and then I was back to my regular life and food. It sure does help to choose well!
Trip 6 : Goa November 2011 – Almost a week of lazing around and lying on the beach. This time around (after over a year of self experimentation) I had come to the conclusion that alcohol is a no no when living primally. It makes me so sick because by eating clean, there’s no scope of it being absorbed by the food I eat. So this trip to Goa was one with very little alcohol and plenty of seafood.
Bumming around was not that slothful after all.
The bottom line is that the primal lifestyle, becomes such an ingrained part of you, that even in the most frivolous of circumstances you don’t feel the urge to indulge in stuff you know is really bad for your body.
I cannot imagine eating the way I ate in pre – primal holidays. A muffin here and an ice-cream there, washed down with beer. Yes that!
There were two more trips that I’m not getting into the details off. The 1st one was Gujarat in June 2010, with my vegetarian family. I was very newly primal and rather anal about sticking with it, so pulled I it off. Then there was Dubai in December 2010. That was the blip in my otherwise clean record. I think. I can’t say for sure as I don’t remember too clearly how much I ate.. or drank. Some trips are like that no?
Thanks for reading once again! I’ll be back from Thailand soon with plenty of primal stories to tell. Have a safe trip. (Says you)