Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The lows and highs of LCHF eating abroad

Travelling and dieting is hard, no matter what diet your on. Let's face it, airports and stations and coffee shops want to sell you coffee and cakes and sweets. Remember how I couln't find anything with no sugar in but water in WH Smiths? Well that's what you eat when your travelling, unless you have brought a picnic.

This week started out badly, a tasteless coffee at Gatwick, a nicer one on the train from Schiphol to Rotterdam; cakes everywhere and not a sausage or hunk of cheese in sight. Arrived late and caught a Caesar salad in the bar. It was gone in a minute and I went to bed hungry.

Woke up hungry and had breakfast at 6:30. The 'raw' milk separated in my cup and the second cup scolded me. Quick scrambled eggs but I had to be with the client early so no seconds. There was nice looking sugary stuff all around me. My little chimp sat on my shoulder asking why I didn't just take one of those pain au raisins? No one would notice, would they? Someone told me the other day to feed my chimp so I took a banana from the stand and put it in my bag for the chimp to have later. That shut him up.

It had been 6 hours since breakfast and I was hungry again. I wandered for 40 minutes looking for some lunch that I could eat; coffee bars with cakes and paninis, corner shops with 100 varieties of sugar. Nothing. Then a student told me about a shop that sold salads, it was back in the Medical Center where I am working. So I find the shop and found the salad but, get this, they can't take credit cards, and they can't take cash. Just cash cards. A couple of nurses look at me as if I'm some kind of freak but a nice chap says there may be a restaurant nearby that takes MasterCard.

I follow his instructions and find it. A cashier confirms that they can take my card. I see soups and salads and I think I may be in heaven. I wander around and choose some spicy soup, a plain salad with thick balsamic oil, a tuna wrap (I will bin the wrap) and a boiled egg. That should do nicely. I take this manna to the cashier and she say's 'oh!' perhaps we can't take your card after all. Or those nice fresh Euros you have!  I must have been looking desperate as she calls the smart young manager and he looks me up and down; I think he can sense the pain I am feeling at having to walk away from that tuna, and, cool as anything he says; 'Enjoy your lunch sir; you can pay me next time". Nice one sonny; I might just remember to do that.

This evening after a modest set of mile reps in the park I am hungry again. There was nothing to eat this afternoon as my kind of snacking is just impossible away from home unless you can find a supermarket big enough to stock <5% carb stuff. I must remember never to leave Britain again without M&S Luxury Nuts.

There is a Michelin starred restaurant in my hotel but I can see the look on my boss's face when I present that expense claim; so I head to the bar where I eat possibly the best burger I have ever eaten. Sans pain it came with super-sized egg, a bacon, red-onion and asparagus compote and a truffle-cream sauce; with a side of sweet-chilli prawns. The meat was like something I'd never seen or tasted before; a cross between fillet steak and mince. Perhaps it was a returned tartare that they couldn't bear to bin. It was sublime. I was just washing it down with a glass of fine red when suddenly the bar erupted into euro-vision song time.  Time for bed then.

Got to take the rough with the smooth with the rough I guess.

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