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Going on all inclusive vacation...need some tips!



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Hey everyone,

im about to leave for an all inclusive vacation to Cuba next week and I’m a little nervous about the food situation.

Im two months out and can tolerate all food just fine. No dumping yet (knock on wood!) and my pouch hasn’t rebelled against anything. It will be 7 days of Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets and I’m not sure how I’m gonna ensure that I stick to my food plan. Breakfast should be easy enough with eggs but I’m super nervous about the lunch and dinner. I know that I won’t intentionally eat poorly because my old cravings are pretty much gone (although I will be missing the pina coladas!) but how do I ensure that I am eating correctly?

Anyone have experience travelling so soon after gastric bypass? Especially to a place like Cuba where the food options usually involve fattier meats like pork/bacon/sausage? Any tips would be much appreciated 😊

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When did you plan this trip? Before or after you knew you'd be having surgery? Just curious.

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I think it's great that you're going on holiday! I've never been to Cuba but a number of my friends have gone and fell in love with it.

Like with anyone who has dietary restriction for any reason, be it Kosher eating, diabetic eating, vegan/vegetarian, celiac disease... you have to raise your voice and make sure you're accommodated. Give the tour group a call and see what they can arrange for you. The people organizing the trip as well as the lodging folks should be able to tell you what to expect as well as whether or not they can prepare special items for you. LET THEM TREAT YOU SPECIAL. You ARE special and you just did an amazing thing for yourself.

Even after you get some assurances that they'll be able to feed you, pack some powdered Protein for when you need to give yourself quick nutrients on your own terms.

I'm very new to bypass and have never taken an inclusive trip to Cuba, but I *do* know the hospitality industry very well. Treat this like an allergy that they need to work around. Make sure they're doing their part to make your trip safe and fantastic FOR YOU.

Sent from my SM-N950U using BariatricPal mobile app

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I honestly think you will be fine. I have been on a few all inclusive vacays pre-op & never ate as much as I thought I would lol.

and your body will tell you when you have had enough I am sure. At least you’re able to tolerate most foods which is great! Just listen to your body and have fun!!

I think the hardest part might be the alcohol though haha

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I have been on two cruises post-op and multiple other vacations and it always works out. Stick with Protein and veggies/fruit as much as possible, trim visible fat, avoid sauces where you can. Sometimes asking for a gluten free option helps because it can be more protein focused (not always). eggs and chicken are usually good choices. I've been all over the Caribbean and there is always tons of fresh fruit and nearly always a chicken option. Sometimes the pork can be pretty fatty so try that with caution. Take some of the individual protein power packets with you and a shaker bottle so you have that to fall back on. You'll have a great time!

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You should have plenty of great fish options, too! Have fun!

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I just came back from trip. Travelling is doable. I did fruit, yogurt, turkey bacon for breakfast. If you like eggs that's a great one. I noticed even in the airport shops there were Protein Shakes (more calories than I would normally have in 1 but for on the go it worked). At lunch and dinner I did salads with chicken, chili, steak and veggies. In the Caribbean you've got options like conch salad and other seafood dishes. I'm going on a cruise to the Caribbean in November. I'll be 5 months out then. I'll be sticking to this plan. I still rely on Protein shakes/water to get in all the protein I need. This weekend I threw a couple of waters and shakes into the suitcase to help me get through the weekend. I'm not a fan of the powders but on the 7 day cruise in November I'll probably pack some power and a shaker to keep the weight in the suitcase down.

Have fun. You'll be fine.

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I agree that you will be fine. There will always be a lean Protein option. Just fill up on that. I wouldn't be overly concerned about "eating correctly". You know a good choice over a bad, when you see it on the menu. Make the good choices and be proud of yourself for resisting the bad :)

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Avoid the temptation to drink alcohol and carbonated beverages, have fun!

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Wow small world, we are so close we can look outside and point at the same red sun and see the smoke from the Holy Fire.

Aside from that, I don't know a whole lot about Cuban cuisine, except that I've been to Felix's in Old Town Tustin (Chapman). I know they told me that some people have a hard time with meats, especially dry meats, but maybe you could get ropa vieja, skip the rice and mash up the black Beans? I'd probably try to limit the plantains.

One of the strategies I've heard is to ask them to immediately portion out half (quarter?) on your plate and bring the rest in a to-go container. If it is really a self-serve, then try to grab a tiny plate - my nutritianist recommends no larger than 7". I'm sure you have heard it, but the "proper" size Protein is the size of a deck of cards. Maybe bring a deck of cards as a reminder?

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All inclusive in Cuba does not mean all Cuban cuisine because tourists do not exclusively eat Cuban dishes, there will be plenty of roasted/grilled/baked Protein choices and vegetables and fruit, and many buffets are self-serve or they will ask how much to carve. I did a cruise with a buffet and had no issues. You might not want to mix shakes with the local Water though? What resort is it, an inernational one?

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Posted (edited)

I went on a European river cruise 8.5 weeks after gastric bypass and I did fine following my eating plan. At the buffet, I portioned our small bites of dense Protein, veggies, and fruit, and when meals were served, I did not eat everything on my plate and didn’t feel bad about leaving food on the plate to be cleared away.

It is up to you not to overeat even in the presence of an abundance of food. This is true post-op and long term. And this is also true for non-obese people.

Edited by MarinaGirl

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On 8/7/2018 at 3:26 AM, Missouri-Lee's Summit said:

When did you plan this trip? Before or after you knew you'd be having surgery? Just curious.

I only planned the trip a couple weeks ago. I knew that I wanted to go somewhere while the kids were off on summer vacation but didn't book it until recently.

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Thank you for all your awesome responses! I'm super excited for this trip and you guys gave me some great tips that I will follow. Luckily, I don't like alcohal so that won't be a problem but I sure do miss my slushie drinks.

I feel much better now that I will be able to follow my plan. Thanks for sharing your experiences :)

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@Pink nova. No judgment was attached to my question. I was just curious. Now that I know you have children, I can understand the motherly self-sacrifice involved. We often do things for our children even though it may involve some unknowns for ourselves. You're a kind and loving mother.

I had my bypass about 3 weeks after you and I think even I could handle the trip. I don't drink alcohol either. Yeah, it'll probably be the little things that you'll be gritting your teeth about. "Oh, I wish I could eat that!" (And, who knows, maybe you can try a little of it.)

I hope you have a wonderful and memorable trip with your kids. How old are they?

Because of my weight, I never felt comfortable traveling. With all this weight, I felt like part of the baggage. "Just store me in cargo hold with the rest of the suitcases, guys!" As the weight falls off, though, I'm allowing myself to dream a bit. I don't like sunny destinations, however. I'd prefer a trip to Iceland or the Faroe Islands.

Please let us know how your surgery impacted (or not) your trip. Buen viaje!

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