Weight Loss Support - Tips for eating on my vacation?




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yoyoma
04-08-2009, 02:46 PM
I am leaving for a 10-day tour of Egypt at the end of next week (wooohooo!!!). The package includes some meals, but most are on our own.

The travel clinic went over all the stuff to avoid (ice, fruits that aren't peeled, etc).

My goal is to focus on eating authentic/exotic food while minimizing the impact on my weight. I do expect to gain some weight, but I want it to be worth the experience.

I don't really know what possibilities to expect. My only idea has been that there must be some awesome coffee.

Does anyone have any other must-try suggestions, hopefully with a weight-conscious focus? Thanks!


NurseMichelle
04-08-2009, 02:51 PM
Sorry, I don't have any advice since I'm not familiar with that area or the culture....I just wanted to say WOW! What a fantastic vacation! Maybe you can try everything offered but try to keep portion control in check, and try to be in tune with what your body is telling you (intuitive eating?). Does this tour involve a LOT of walking?

Anyway, enjoy your trip! Take lots of pictures. What a once in a lifetime experience!

midwife
04-08-2009, 03:02 PM
I've never been to Egypt, but I am going to France in June (eep!!!). My plan is to enjoy the vacation and that includes trying foods. I figure I will be walking a lot and I'm planning to take resistance bands. But, yeah, I'm gonna have cheese and pastry and bread and wine and chocolate. Enjoy your vacation!


steph324
04-08-2009, 03:32 PM
I just got back from vacationing in Panama and had promised myself that I would not count calories or absolutely restrict myself from anything while I was there. I ate some of everything (even white rice and bread!), but I did not go crazy, and within 4 days of returning from vacation, I was back to my pretrip weight. At one point, we were in a mall (not my choice for vacation activities!) and everyone wanted to go to Cinnabun. They laughed at the look of horror on my face because there was no way I was putting that in my body. I was on free rein, but not out to sabotage my life!

sjdphc
04-08-2009, 03:34 PM
OMG! I am so jealous of you and midwife! :hug: I guess my best advice would be drink plenty of water and eat in moderation! Have lots of fun! BTW, can I have your travel agent's number??? J/K!!! ;)

sacha
04-08-2009, 03:35 PM
YOU ARE IN LUCK!!!

I got back from Egypt in December 2007.

You won't get fried eggs, ham, bacon, or anything like that. They don't serve it.

Breakfasts consist of boiled eggs, fava bean paste, and cucumbers with hummus or tahini.

Lunch is usually tomato fava bean soup, pita bread, tahini (there's trend here!)

Dinner is usually shawarma (google it), pita bread, tahini, cucumbers, juice box

Drinks are Fanta (you won't be able to find coke, lol), Stella beer (very rare and expensive since only tourists drink), and the coffee is incredible. "Shea" is tea. Again, alcohol is quite expensive (same cost as here, but anything else costs 5x less). Potato chips are popular ("Chipsy" is the brand name)

Here's the best part...

I lost 5lbs on my one month vacation!

You won't gain weight, I promise. Try and eat locally BUT make sure that your tour guide lets you know where to go. Don't be afraid of the different hygeine practices (ie. meat sitting out), heck, I drank the tap water in Cairo and it was good.

I was in Cairo, Dahab (Sinai), Mt Sinai, Luxor, Abu Simbel, etc... feel free to ask more Q's!!

sws19
04-08-2009, 03:40 PM
i think sacha's suggestions are great...though if you have a sensitive gi tract i definitely wouldn't recommend drinking the water or unpeeled fruits and such.

the coffee and tea all tend to come with a lot of sugar, but they're fantastic and worth trying. just don't make it a huuuge habit.
be careful about the shawarma. usually you can decide how much sauce they use and you may even be able to find chicken shawarma somewhere.
and yeah a lot of the salads are great, like fool/foul and stuff. i think the key is just use your eyes. if it's swimming in oil, stay away. tabouleh is great. hummus can be great. prob don't want to do too much falafel cause it's deep fried, but maybe try it once.
all in all you probably won't do too badly since there is a lot of availability of freshly made things. and the portions aren't ridiculous.
enjoy!

yoyoma
04-08-2009, 03:47 PM
Wow! Thanks everyone for the good advice and well wishes...

And special thanks to Sacha and sws for the the preview of foods I can expect. That sounds fantastic!!! I had visions of oil-drenched fried foods, but your meals sound healthy :) .

I still don't expect to lose weight myself (unless I get the stomach bug which I will do my best to avoid). But I am even more excited about my trip now that it I know the food choices won't be a constant struggle between bad and worse. Maybe I will find new foods to incorporate into a healthy lifestyle! :)

sacha
04-08-2009, 03:48 PM
There's pigeon shawarma available at the restaurant outside the pyramids :P Right next to the pizza hut (LOL) which has a great view of the pyramids!

sacha
04-08-2009, 03:53 PM
Wow! Thanks everyone for the good advice and well wishes...

And special thanks to Sacha and sws for the the preview of foods I can expect. That sounds fantastic!!! I had visions of oil-drenched fried foods, but your meals sound healthy :) .

I still don't expect to lose weight myself (unless I get the stomach bug which I will do my best to avoid). But I am even more excited about my trip now that it I know the food choices won't be a constant struggle between bad and worse. Maybe I will find new foods to incorporate into a healthy lifestyle! :)

Your welcome! Actually, I loved the food so much that I still travel to different foreign food grocery stores in an attempt to recreate some of the foods (I preferred the Nubian dishes), still can't quite get it right though :(

beerab
04-08-2009, 04:58 PM
OMG it's GUSS! I went to Iraq a few years ago and that's what Shawarma is called there. I won't lie it's a bit greasy but good.

Countries like Egypt and all other middle eastern countries have great food and they do overall eat healthy even though there are SOME dishes that aren't good for you- but it's pretty obvious what's not healthy like white rice drowned in oil- yeah you might want to go light on that.

I went to the middle east for two months in 2004 over the summer and I lost 10 lbs when I was there- course at the end I got sick but oh well, I enjoyed the first 7 weeks lol.

Point of advice only drink bottled water! Even brush your teeth with bottled water.

Going to Egypt is not a typical trip so I say try everything! Don't go nuts and eat till you can't move- but at least try everything- after all how often do people get to go to Egypt and other countries?

SweetScrumptious
04-08-2009, 07:11 PM
Lucky! I really want to go to Egypt - I need to find a good travel agency as I heard it's too dangerous to travel on your own.

Sooooo since I've never been to anywhere exotic - I really don't have much advice. I'm sure with the heat and the walking you will be doing - you will be just drenched and sweat! So I'm sure there will be lots of burning of calories involved.

Let us know how your trip goes! I would really benefit from them ;)

sacha
04-08-2009, 07:32 PM
Lucky! I really want to go to Egypt - I need to find a good travel agency as I heard it's too dangerous to travel on your own.

You can't travel alone because of the "tourist police", due to recent tourist attacks (foggy memory - I think 2004), there are several police check points and tourists MUST be escorted by the tourist police. This is the law now.

Yes and no. As a woman, I would never suggest you travel alone there, especially if you have never been to a 3rd world or arab country. Muslim men won't touch you but you will be screamed at a lot (hey pretty lady, etc).

OP I forgot to mention, make sure you have loose cotton pants (that go to your ankles or further) and always wear a LOOSE long sleeve top, too many female tourists wear shorts and tank tops, and it is pretty offensive to the locals and I know girls who were spit on. You will avoid harassing behaviour this way.

Operator265
04-08-2009, 07:33 PM
Best advise I can give you is.........TAKE ME WITH YOU!!! I'll be your very own, personal type Food Cop.:D

yoyoma
04-08-2009, 09:20 PM
Lol, operator, thanks for the offer!

Regarding the cultural gap, I have a muslim friend who is lending me some sort of long-sleeved overshirts (haven't gotten them yet and don't remember what they are called). I have packed long tropic-weight pants, no shorts (which I haven't worn in many years). I will try my best to dress and behave appropriately. I personally don't expect much trouble, since I'm middle-aged and my 6'4" husband is rather imposing. But I will be keeping my 12-yo daughter will be on a very short leash!

The tour provides unlimited bottled water. I'm not sure they appreciate how much my husband can drink (we call him Mr. Sweat, lol)!

I've wanted to go to Egypt for such a long time (literally decades!). I can't believe we are going next week!

sacha
04-09-2009, 12:11 AM
You (or your daughter) won't be sexually harassed if it's obvious that you are with your husband/family unit :) Now, hassled for money, that's a different story :D Great to have a muslim friend to lend you clothes! You will be glad you have them. You'll see!