Dietary Restrictions- Travel tips

Mar 23rd, 2004, 07:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Dietary Restrictions- Travel tips

We will be traveling to England 5/04. I was recently diagnosed as diabetic and eat a very restricted diet. I was wondering if anyone had any travel tips. For example, airplane food,snacks they carry, restaurant food etc. Any tips would be appreciated and I'm sure helpful to someone.
SueBee is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 08:26 AM
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Hi SueBee-

I'm sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed with diabetes.
All major airlines provide diabetic meals. You should call your airline in advance to request the meals.
yk is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 08:41 AM
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Yes, you can request the airline's diabetic meals. I am fortunate not to have the disease, but the diabetic people I have known seem to have had differing dietary restrictions. I'd check with my doctor, if you haven't already, for dietary suggestions. I absolutely wouldn't rely on the airline supplying snacks for diabetics--bring your own. If the Atkins snack bars work for you, bring some of those on your trips. If you can eat some fruits and cheeses, you can buy some in a market when you get there to have for snacks.

Otherwise, you can rely on salads, broiled fishes and meats, etc. Bottled salad dressings tend to have a lot of sweetener in them, including the so-called "lite" ones, ( I watch carbs myself) so unless I am in a fine restaurant where I am sure (or at least I hope) that they make their salad dressing from scratch, I always ask for oil and vinegar on the side.
elaine is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 08:53 AM
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If you have recently been diagnosed as "diabetic" and have not yet been referred to a nutritionist then something is missing from your health care. Are you insulin-dependent, using an oral anti-hyperglycemic, or controlling with diet and exercise alone?
I am CERTAIN everyone here is trying to be helpful but you owe it to yourself to speak with a qualified nutritionist/dietitian (and I am NOT talking about your physician) so you willbe well-informed about how to manage your condition.
Mar 23rd, 2004, 09:10 AM
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<<you owe it to yourself to speak with a qualified nutritionist/dietitian>>

I agree with this cornerstone of diabetes medical care.

Your blood glucose management will likely be tied closely to the amount of physical activity that is typical (or recommended, if you follow it) also. There is a common experience that traveling in Europe means walking MUCH more, and spending far fewer hours in sedentary activity. Many people feel that they eat more (AT meals, at least) yet lose some weight.

There would likely be benefits to try to incorporate 2-3 miles of daily walking into your "lifestyle" - - over the next month in particular (I assume you mean May 4, not April 5, as Europeans would convey by "5/04") - - and of course, it might serve you well to do this for the rest of your life.

Your physician should provide advice as to the gradual nature of ramping up this physical activity (if indicated), as it relates to other aspects of your blood gluce management.

Dining habits and dietary intake should probably include a discussion of alcohol intake as well, especially if you have the commonly associated risk factors of elevated blood lipid levels.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 10:03 AM
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Thanks for all of the concern. I am seeing a dietician and have an appointment with her before we leave. I didn't want to get into the specefics of my diet, but I am well controlled with diet, daily exercise, and medication. The medication is only taken at meals so that I don't have to worry about "feeding the meds". I guess I am just concerned about differant tyoes of food, such as Indian, which I am unfamiliar with. I don't want to get so hungry while touring that I make a hasty and unwisr coice.(the chocolate bars sound wonderful). Also, afternoon teas are out of the question other than a "little rascal" at Bettys Tae Room in York. I feel that exercise should not be a problem with all of the walking.

When I eat out at home I usually eat either salmon, which should be available, and a grilled chicken salad, which I'm not sure will be. The recommendation on salad dressings was a good one as I can get a lite Italian here, but again, I'm not sure about here.

Believe it or not, with the weight loss and exercise, I think the trip will actually be enhanced, not hindered by the diagnosis.

SueBee is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 10:10 AM
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I always travel with snacks- i say that they're for the kids, but thy're rally for a mom who gets WAY to cranky without food on a regular basis.
Pack nuts, granola bars, high sugar treats, glucose gel, or whatever works for you. have a good supply on hand and you won't need to stress about food during the trip.
Order the meal for the plane but pack as if you won't be getting it- delays do happen, extra airplane food does not.
can't quite remember the last London menu without salmon or chicken on it- no worries there!
highledge is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 01:56 PM
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I've been diagnosed a Diabetic about 3 yrs. ago. I take medication to control it. I've been to europe about 4 times since and have had no difficulty. Once you meet with the dietician, you'll have a better idea of what to eat. I watch what I eat, though on vacation I am a little looser. Make sure you take extra medication or insulin with you. After gettin over the initial shock of the diagnoses, you begin to learn. Take your test kit also. Enjoy europe.
aeiger is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 03:29 PM
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Hi Sue,

You will probaby find that the available foods are more in keeping with your nutritional requirements than at home.

Indian cooking is vegetarian (mostly).

You will probably want to skip the "full English breakfast" of fried eggs, fried bacon, beans, Vienna sausage, fried toast, and fried tomato. All cold.
ira is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 04:25 PM
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My insulin dependent (37 years) wife has been pleased with the diabetic meals supplied by BA. Call your airline and make arrangements. She also gets to eat first.

Your dietician will give you all the advice you need. Don't worry.

jsmith is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 05:14 PM
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Remember to discuss with yur dietician the timing of your meals on your travel days when your schedule is anything but routine.

And as highledge suggests, it's a good idea to be prepared: Pack as if you might not be getting the airline meal anywhere near the time that you need it. Once you arrive, pick up some fresh fruit at a market. Carry snacks. Delays do happen--in the air, on the ground--but they won't interfere with your meal plan if you are prepared.
k_marie is online now  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 11:28 PM
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You might want to be a little cautious around "Indian" restaurants.

Actually, most of them are Bangladeshi or Punjabi (which in Britain, usually means from the western Punjab - these days in Pakistan). So very, very few are vegetarian (though they all offer a wide range of meat-free options), and most rely heavily on ghee in the near-ubiquitous gravies. Unless you order a tikka dish (*not* the ghee-stuffed tikka massala that's claimed to be Britain's most popular single meal), it's next to impossible to get gravy-free main courses, or to scrape the gravy off.

Traditionally, ghee is clarified butter, and a good, authentic restaurant will serve no other. Some places will use a vegetable-derived substitute - but whichever it is, gravies have a very high fat content.

They also often taste, at any rate to a British palate, very sweet. I doubt that's because they actually add sugar: but because they sweat a lot of onions and carrots - which produces just as much sugar anyway.

The result is a surprisingly high calorie count - and most of those calories derive from sugar and fat.

It can't be a coincidence that the incidence of diabetes among Britain's Asian community (the term in Britain is used to describe people originating in the Subcontinent, not - as in the US - East Asia) is higher than in its European population. And vegans will struggle, in most UK "Indian" restaurants, to find food that's entirely free of animal products, even though every one of them is fine for non-vegan vegetarians. There are, of course, a fair few vegan-friendly, mostly Hindu, Indian restaurants but they're swamped by the tens of thousands of meat-servers.

In practice, the solution isn't to interrogate the waiter about ingredients (you'll get absolutely nowhere doing that). It's to concentrate on stuff like "dry" main courses, or to eat very sparing quantities of the gravy-soaked meat and veg. Which, of course, is what the people of South Asia do back home.
flanneruk is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2004, 11:39 PM
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Your being diabetic is not a problem at all. The restaurants, stores, etc all offer vegetarian or health conscious items, allowing you a choice of meal options. On the airplane, you can call ahead of time and request a "special meal" with your reservation. They have a vegetarian option that would probably best meet your needs (or you could ask for the regular meal and not eat the small cake or cookie item given as the dessert -- I am thinking of United Airlines' food here).

I follow the low-carb diet and in Italy (carb heaven), the constant pasta dishes are just too much. Oftentimes, I opt for a vegetable soup as the antipasti, skip the primi (usually the pasta dish) and order steak, chicken, or fish as the "secondi". I am successfully able to maintain my carb count without sacrificing savory food. That said, I think you should be able to do the same with your diabetic restrictions.
Huitres is offline  

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