Low Carb Vacation With The Cake Lady

Graylin Bee
By Graylin Bee Latest Reply 2013-10-14 22:25:19 -0500
Started 2013-10-11 21:52:36 -0500

Seriously, will this even be possible!!!!
Just slightly concerned about a marvelous upcoming vacation. It will be my 1st time away from my usual routine since being diagnosed with diabetes. Well, outside of a hospital anyway.
Lucky me, I am going to spend 5 days with The Cake Lady (aka Mom) and 2 of my 3 sisters in sunny California for the Rose Parade.
Since The Cake Lady is also the Queen of Carbs and my sisters have no fear of carbs, I am a tad nervous about where I will end up at meal times. The vacation package includes several breakfasts, a couple of box-lunches, and a couple of other meals. They do claim they offer "special diets" consideration on request. I would rather not rely on what they think is diabetic friendly and just try to pick and choose from what is there. Plus try to have some emergency food I know works well with my BG.
We will be staying within about 2 city blocks of a Grocery store (really a guess since Gooogle maps shows 2 MALLS between the hotel and the Grocery store). Dear Hubby called the store and they do not carry almond flour, one of my emergency mix with protein powder and/or chocolate hazelnut butter and make little bite size protein balls with enough carbs for an easy safe snack. When I grind my own almonds and mix with chocolate hazelnut butter it tastes like Almond Roca and keeps my BG good if a eat a few during work. Don't really want to pack a bag of almond flour, with my luck it would manage to burst open at some point during travel and make a major mess. Or a Ninja chopper and a bag of nuts.
The tour info admonishes us not to carry much with us when we go to the Rose Parade as seating is cozy. The are firm in stating No Umbrellas, in case of rain, they will issue ponchos. So, I guess a cooler to keep some cheese would be a bit bigger than an umbrella would also be frowned upon.
Other than a Luna Protein bar I found this week with no grains (and passed the 2 hour BG test with awesomely good BG results) and individual size peanut butter containers I am drawing a blank as to what to rely on for emergency rations. Any grain free, non-refrigerated, single size fit into a purse ideas?
Will breakfast mean oatmeal or dry cereal (both no-nos for me to have a low BG). Or the dreaded (used to be loved) make your own Belgium Waffle. Maybe I should risk the messy suitcase and bring almond flour. Then I could empty some out of my pockets after I pilfer an egg and other ingredients in a stealth raid of the hotel kitchen during the wee hours of the night when maybe no one is looking and make my own version).

22 replies

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-10-13 19:21:41 -0500 Report

I have packed everything in luggage including alcohol and had no problems even with the airlines handling the luggage. If you want to carry your almond flour, put the bag in a zip lock baggie. If you are still unsure, use two baggies fastening in opposite directions. I have carried cookies, pretzels and chips in this manner with no problems.

Even before I was diabetic, I rarely purchased meal plans. However, you can buy string cheese, carry nuts, your Luna Protien Bar, baby carrots. I saw small single serving containers of peanut butter that had cracker sticks. All of these can be carried in your purse. I saw a lady with what looked like a purse at an event and turned out it was a lunch bag. It was colorful and it had outside pockes for her keys, ID and phone. She glued velcro on the pockets so they would close. She told me she was diabetic and bought it to carry her snacks when she is out and that she got it at Big Lots. I also never leave home without my packet of Crystal Light to add to water. Check out the grocery store you will be surprised at what you might find that is easy to carry and requires no preparation.

If you are going to be staying at your mom's can you prepare your own meals or at least prepare veggies and your almond flour snack? I never worry about food when I go somewhere, I know that if I eat something that might cause a spike, I am going to be doing something active and will burn it off. Enjoy your trip.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-10-14 16:33:38 -0500 Report

Thanks, Joyce. Mentioning the baby carrots reminded me that some stores have a mix with apples and some cheese cubes in individual packets. I think I found one once that even had a few almonds with it.My oldest sister is the planner for the trip. As far as I could tell the only opt out option for meals was the dubious "special diet" statement. After seeing what health care facilities and restaurants consider is diabetic friendly, I would rather try to forage for myself. Just had a kitchen staff member upset because she thought we from the nursing staff were not aware a resident was diabetic. Well, she also has panic disorder and is often having a non diabetes related panic attack over something. Besides thinking she is having a heart attack, or her positional vertigo is freaking her out. Said kitchen worker was upset before breakfast because resident had been allowed to eat regular desserts the day before. She just knew that it was all about the diabetes that the resident was having a behavioral issue.So was lecturing that we need to offer her the SF Jell-O or SF pre-packaged cookies. Ya' know, after all it is all about the sugar a diabetic consumes,. Oh no, not the breads and noodles and rice kitchen staff pile on the plates in the kitchen.
Sorta sorry for my sorta of the topic tirade. But I fear that is how the tour people would see my diet concerns. They would not understand if they offered me a higher carb gluten free instead of regular bread sandwich. Or that the oats and rice in the gluten free option would leave me with a higher BG than the too high BG I wanted to avoid with the regular white flour bread. Or a higher carb SF cookie instead of whatever a "normal" dessert would be. I would rather have the hope I can bribe Mom or a sister by trading a cookie for some of their protein option.
Last month I grabbed up 2 very cute quilted insulated lunch totes at a ridiculously great price. I am thinking a can fit a smaller insulated bag in the bottom and use another small bag in the top to haul other essentials - camera, ID, BG tester, non perishable food, etc. I use a double insulated bag to keep my stuff at work handy and usually the little ice blocks have barely started to thaw by the end of my shift. They have held the temp very good even the times I have worked 10 to 12 hours. And I can use a smaller amount of ice so less weight to lug around.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-10-14 18:43:54 -0500 Report

I have gotten to the point that I no longer worry about food where I go. I can always find something I can eat.

Now that I think about it, I went on a police ride along and I bought baby carrots and cubed cheese, and I grabbed some spinache leaves that I bought for salad to take with me. I found cheese cubes packed in individual packages and I think it was Kraft Cheese.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-10-14 19:03:57 -0500 Report

Oh good. Kraft tastes great to me. A few brands seem to taste slightly salty to me. I think I have tried the Tillamook individuals and they are good, also. Need to check with Google maps the distance to the grocery store from the hotel. Unless the first evening meet n' greet with "Light Refreshments" includes some cheese I could stash for later, I might need to make a shopping trip. The Smore's Fiend Sister might be persuaded to come along for the walk, just to get her supplies.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-10-14 19:30:18 -0500 Report

I bought a block of cheese on sale think it was Hellavagood and it was really salty. You can also get an extra ice bucket from the maid to put ice in for your cheese. Zip lock baggies are a staple in my suitcase along with my flashlight.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-10-14 20:31:37 -0500 Report

Always have a flashlight or 2 with me. Comes in very handy when suddenly faced with a public restroom having its lights go out (has happened more than once to me).
Thanks for the reminder about ziplocks. They were always a suitcase item, but it has been awhile since I needed to pack for an adventure.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-10-14 22:25:19 -0500 Report

You never know when you will need a flashlight in a hotel room. I always pack an extension cord for my curling iron. Thankfully I don't have to carry a curling iron anymore. I keep my hair cut very short.

Nick1962 2013-10-14 13:50:22 -0500 Report

We got our almonds confiscated on a cruise (the whole nut allergy thing), but pistachios made it through last time. Seems kind of insignificant when a captain can beach the whole darn ship.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-10-14 15:54:26 -0500 Report

Oh, so should I worry even it is a plane and not a ship I am taking? I had almost definitely decided to take an unopened jar of dry peanut butter in place of almond flour. Would the TSA screeners also decide I might try peanuts as a mass weapon of allergy? Then what about my chocolate peanut butter individual containers? Would even almonds be able to travel unhassled?
Should I start actively working to get all grain eliminated from a safe distance from me, since my body treats it as a threat, i.e. higher BG. Although a slower path to death then anaphylactic shock, can lead to it.
I have a niece in the daycare industry and one who teaches elementary through high school art and they both have to use sunflower butter in the peanut free zones where they work. Perhaps I should be forced to pay a slightly higher price and bow to pressure and try it…sigh more vacation stress.
Just remembered, my world traveling sisters bought cheese in Holland last year on a cruise. They both on separate flights brought samples to us stay at homers. Perhaps tomorrow at Tuesday's Carb fest I can sound them out about the ability to get nuts from here to there without problems.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-10-14 18:16:50 -0500 Report

Yes Graylin, now if a passenger informs the airline they have a nut allergy you cannot carry nuts on that flight nor will they be served. Pack them in your suitcase that is going to be checked.

My boss nearly caused two different flights to land and her taken off for arguing about not being able to have nuts and the other for eating nuts after the flight attendent made an announcement that no nuts could be served or eaten on the flight. She decided she was going to eat them anyway because the passenger was seated in the front and she was in the rear.

No one says you can't carry them, you just have to pack them in luggage that is not going to be inside the cabin with you. I know on flights leaving or entering the US, many fruits, nuts and plants are confiscated. I believe this may be true on flights with fruit from other states. Check with the airline.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-10-14 18:31:47 -0500 Report

…sigh…added to my to do list…once I find out which airline my sister books us with. She complains because when she was 6 I came along and complicated her life. Perhaps this trip is revenge rather than a gift.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-10-14 18:45:18 -0500 Report

LOL. I say the same thing about my sister. I had 3 years of bliss before mom brought her home screaming and crying. I don't think she has shut up since her first trip through the door.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-10-14 18:57:29 -0500 Report

At 3 she was blessed with sister #2. I got a break and only had 1 younger sister who came along when I was 6. She thinks she has the toughest life with 3 older sisters.
Sister #1 still has not forgiven me for drinking her guppy when I was just learning how to use a cup.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-10-14 20:36:56 -0500 Report

Oh yeah, the first and only time I have done sushi.
Sister #2 ruined her life when she entrusted her with a 17 year old cat while they were moving out of state. The day Sis #2 was supposed to take the cat to the airport to be sent to her, it ran away. Sister #4ruined her life because our Uncle wanted to give her an IBM Selectric (I think that's the name) Typewriter when it was the newest thing. Mom said "Oh, know the baby while only ruin it."
It is a miracle she survived all our child and young adulthoods. And will still tolerate us.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-10-14 22:23:32 -0500 Report

LOL. My sister bought our first electric Royal Typewriter when she went to college. I bought a word processor. We were high tech back then. Maybe the cat didn't want to move.

Nick1962 2013-10-14 18:12:14 -0500 Report

Nope, for some reason just ships are nutless. Even almond milk is confiscated unless you have a doctor's excuse with many lines. Last time we were on one they didn't even have peanut butter.
BTW - good to see you back again, really miss the humor!

Nick1962 2013-10-13 16:25:48 -0500 Report

Good luck with this and let us know the results. Hopefully you'll burn off with activity any "sins" committed at mealtimes!

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-10-14 16:05:45 -0500 Report

Thanks, Nick. A lot of the activity will be sitting in a tour bus as we travel through the area as sightseers. What walking we will be doing, I fear will be far less than the distance I travel on an average night at work. The Cake Lady is still very active, but at a much slower pace than in times past. She has chosen the more passive of the optional parts of the tour. Perhaps my sisters might want to join me in a walk or tow in the area.
Sister number 2 was so excited to see a fire pit pictured at the hotel. She started planning S'mores time every night…sigh…I may have to try a Protein bar toast…but I think it might turn out badly…would I be able to toast a piece of string cheese…would flaming strings of string cheese turn out like silly string mixed with lit birthday candles…will I be banned from the area…

Nick1962 2013-10-14 18:17:49 -0500 Report

A protein bar toast actually sounds kind of good. Never really tried to campfire roast cheese (and I'm from Wisconsin where we'd do such a thing after surprisingly few malt beverages). Try it - worst thing could happen is they assign you to the Hello Kitty fire pit, the one with the fan and red streamers.
Have fun and take lots of pictures!

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-10-14 18:28:35 -0500 Report

I never heard of a Hello Kitty fire pit. Hubby will be so jealous if I get to use it. He is the Hello Kitty Fanatic at our place. He will be so upset this is a girls only adventure.
My Dad was able to cook almost anything over a open fire. He could make bread on a stick, boil water in a Styrofoam cup over a candle, etc. But leave him alone in a house with an oven and microwave and he'd be at risk of starvation.