How easy it to stay Paleo on vacation?  Well, that all depends on what you set your trip out to look like.  My husband and I are celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary this year and wanted to treat ourselves to a grand vacation, which we did.  Before we left we sat down to discuss how our vacation would look so we didn’t have to worry, discuss, and fret or anything about food and drinks on the actual vacation.  I decided that for my eating and drinking pleasures I would have desserts and drinks without any guilt.  I didn’t need bread, pasta, rice, beans, or other grains but didn’t want to pass on yummy desserts that tickled my fancy or fun tropical drinks.  Alcohol can be a trigger for me but I find if I have sippers, red wine and not the real sugary, fruity drinks I do ok. I had no issues but I also found a gem a place which I’ll talk about in a minute that combatted any stiffness, soreness or swelling that I might have otherwise had from eating and drinking.

We found lots of meat, especially seafood, vegetables, and fruit which were filling our bellies nicely and preparing us for sharing desserts to end our meals. This kind of eating and drinking would probably make normal people swell because we tend to overdo it on vacation when we wouldn’t normal over eat at home.  However, at the spa I found a decongestant room which is about a 110 and over 100% humidity.  It was Bikram but without the postures.  I would go into the decongestant room every day for about 30-60 minutes and just let all the toxins out of my body.  My body wasn’t stiff, my fingers weren’t swollen and I had found my favorite place at the resort.  It was a steam room, only hotter and steamier than your typical steam room.

My husband also experienced the decongestant room but he referred to it as being inside someone’s armpit.  Not the best visual but I understood what he meant all the same.  2 days of him in there and he had a greater appreciation of what it means when I say I’m off to Bikram.  I loved this experience and the sweating out the toxins what was really saved me on this trip.  I could be really strict and do strict Paleo but part of vacation is truly letting go of everything and just relaxing and if I’m constantly concerned about what I’m eating and drinking how relaxing is that.  Since I made up my mind before I got there my choices were easy for every meal and I encountered some fabulous food and walked for hours and hours every day so when I got back I was ready for real life again.

I also kept up with my HIT training and weight training while I was there for 30 minutes each day with 2 hours of walking every day but the walking was not exercise it was truly enjoyable and I know my cortisol levels were staying low during my “strolls” beach walking is magnificent and yes we did a little yoga and stretching but really should come up with more ways to play and exercise on the beach.  Vacation is a chance to reconnect to yourself, your spouse, your family or whoever goes on vacation with you.  It is a reminder of how we get lost in everyday life and need to come back to calm, quiet, relaxation.  I can’t wait for our next trip and thank my husband for all his hard work as he thanks me for mine so we can take trips together.  Paleo is a great lifestyle on or off of vacation but relaxing and being worry free is even better.


4 thoughts on “PALEO ON VACATION?

  1. barbarasandro March 13, 2013 at 11:46 pm Reply

    Great post. I will re-read your blogs to find out why you decided on Paleo. My Rhuemotolgist recommends a vegan gluten free diet. All his discussions are about eating to reduce inflammation- with meat increasing inflammation. I’m curious if you did try vegan gluten free and if yes you did, are you getting better results with Paleo?

    Barbara Sandro 480-280 9773

    Sent from my iPad

    • mevsmctd March 14, 2013 at 1:43 pm Reply

      Barbara I’ll make a very long story as short as I can. I was actually vegetarian for many years when I found out I had MCTD I did some research and decided that I didn’t need meat nor did I really even like the taste of it so it was an easy transition for me. The problem was that I made up my mind to be as active as possible when I found out I had MCTD and I was working out 3 hours a day and working with trainers to get as strong as possible but MCTD literally eats the muscle that I train so hard to form so I was always feeling weak and tired but knew that these were MCTD symptoms and part of my new life. I was a runner and did kick boxing, step aerobics, weight training and of course Bikram yoga, but I would have frequent flares and although I considered myself “healthy” even with a disease I was looking for more but didn’t know what else I could I do. Last June I was heading out for one of my long walks which is about 8-10 miles on a Saturday morning in the summer and I told my husband I didn’t want to listen to music so he recommended I try a podcast. This concept was new to me but I started with some fitness ones and latched on to Cross fit. I found cross fit in my area and joined and then as I’m doing cross fit and listening to podcasts I stumbled upon Rob Wolff and bought his book The Paleo Solution. I read that book and Mark Sissons The Primal Blueprint and I knew I was on to something new. My brain was hooked on the concept but eating meat was terrifying for me. I started with bites of meat off my husband’s plate for several weeks until I could eat a normal portion and between cross fit, lots of walking, meat and vegetables my body was truly feeling stronger and my flares were infrequent. I went nearly 200 days without flare and honestly I have never felt stronger in my entire life. Paleo is a lifestylenot just a diet so my fitness has changed drastically, I no longer exercise for 3 hours a day but instead hit it hard for 30 minutes each morning with either HIT training, weight training, or cross fit and do Bikram 5 days a week and walk 7 days a week and my walks can be long or short and sometimes I walk at lunch time and again in the evening because the walking is good for my body, soul and spirit but doesn’t raise my cortisol levels to the point of stress. I make sure that my sleep comes first and I get 8 good hours of sleep which I didn’t give much thought to sleep before this. I also spend more time in quiet situations and keep the TV turned off as much as possible and focus more on music, podcasts, and reading and find moments for meditation although I would prefer to get in more meditation but everything in time. The Paleo lifestyle has truly helped me greatly but I still have adjustments to make. I haven’t done the AIP – Autoimmune Protocol yet which I need to and I haven’t totally dialed my diet because I still really enjoy sweet foods but I do try and use only honey and maple syrup as my sweeteners. Eggs, nuts, and seeds are to be elminated on the AIP which seems hard to me and dairy is elminated on the AIP. Right now my dairy intake is extremely low and consists of maybe a yogurt a week and a few slices of cheese every few weeks. I would say if you aren’t ready to tackle a vegan diet or a Paleo diet at least make it a gluten free diet. Your body will immediately thank you once you stop eating gluten. The trick is to really elminate all gluten but don’t eat “gluten free” food like breads, crackers, pretzels or any of those items because your body won’t benefit as much as if you stick with regular foods, meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. There are some great resources out there and if you want to explore any of the Paleo lifestyle and need help just let me know. Like I said I’m not completely dialed but I definitly see the benefits in this lifestyle.

  2. barbarasandro March 14, 2013 at 8:57 pm Reply

    Thank you so much for the detailed explanation. I was diagnosed with MCTD in March 2012. I’m working to get my head wrapped around this and wanting to know if the diet changes really made a difference. Given your response –I’m very optimistic. And thanks for the tip about not eating gluten free packaged food. I don’t do it that often-but have on occasions. I really appreciate you taking the time to provide me with all this information.

    Barbara Sandro

    • mevsmctd March 15, 2013 at 7:35 pm Reply

      Barbara It is not easy finding out you have an autoimmune disease and then trying to figure out how to manage it and keep a normal life. For 10 years I have been experimenting and still experimenting so if there are any questions I can answer for you I will do my best to tell you what my experiences have been. I would also recommend the following book Living Well with Autoimmune Disease by Mary Shomon, she gives a lot of information about autoimmune diseases, what they are and the best ways to deal with them in terms of diet, exercise, sleep, rest, calm, supplements and many other topics. She will discuss the AIP in length if that is an endeavor you may become interested in. I keep this book handy and refer to it often.

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