Food is one of the most wonderful things in my life. I’ve always felt this way. Julia Child once said ‘People who love to eat are always the best people’, and I think there may be some truth to that! Food is an integral – and central – part of my and my family’s life.
So when we’re away, what and where we eat is of great significance. Before I travel anywhere, I have a list of cafes, restaurants, food trucks, delis etc. to visit. Our days are often planned around where we’ll be eating. (Just the other morning, for example, we started with a visit to a favourite haunt when visiting NYC and the spent the remainder of the morning and most of the afternoon wandering around SoHo, stopping in little boutiques and visiting guitar stores before heading back to our neighbourhood late in the day.)
What is different when we travel is that the balanced, home-cooked meals that are the norm at home are replaced with a far more ad hoc, mixed up meal schedule. This doesn’t mean that nutritious food is ignored completely. It’s just that I’m more open to starting the day with doughnuts. In bed.
And that’s just the beginning….
We’ve recharged our batteries with a snack on the run, downing hot dogs from street vendors. (I do keep thinking that I should prepare myself for some sort of horrendous food poisoning, but it’s not happened. Yet.)
We’ve whiled aways hours and hours on the rooftop of Eataly with friends sharing antipasto platters, the most amazing porcini fritters, and salumi plates while drinking beer brewed on that very rooftop.
Also at Eataly, we’ve munched pastries slathered with Nutella accompanied by steaming Italian espresso to kick off the day.
We’ve eaten pancakes in diners, hamburgers at burger joints, waffles for breakfast and bagels from…well…anywhere.
And soup – warming, sustaining and full of vegetables and restorative chicken broth – has satisfied my ‘mummy moments’ where I’ve thought we needed a hit of something a little healthy.
We’ve taken shelter from cold, wind, rain and snow in coffee shops, hugging bowls of coffee and hot chocolate to warm our frozen fingers.
We’ve eaten at all hours, walking to Shake Shack for dinner one night just before 11pm, or sneaking into a bar after seeing a Broadway show at nearly midnight for fries with our drinks.
Walking out of MoMA yesterday, we made a beeline to the bright red food truck across the road. Ordering lobster rolls for the three of us, I said to the vendor ‘I’m not even hungry – I just love lobster rolls!’
Anytime we’ve been near 23rd Street, we’ve detoured to Doughnut Plant.
We located coffee shops run by Melbourne people and sat in the window drinking lattes tasting like they were made by the barista at our local in Brunswick and munching on perfect ANZAC cookies.
Mimosas are the drink of choice at brunch. So there have been mimosas. With brunch.
We ate zipolli at an Italian restaurant on Mulberry Street after being sent there by Rudy’s from Rudy’s Guitars in SoHo after I told him how sorry I was to have missed my mum’s zipolli this Christmas.
And I have poured Half and Half over and in everything and anything that I could!
Changes in diet always pose challenges when it comes to insulin dosing. Just being somewhere different often means that different ingredients are used for dishes that I am pretty good at guesstimating insulin doses for when home. And it also often plays out that the food we’re eating is more carb heavy than usual.
However, despite the oft-carb-laden food, I’ve managed to work out insulin doses. I’ve worked out when to reduce basal doses if it looks like we are going to spend the day on the run, or increase them if the day is looking to be particularly cruise-y and spent indoors doing not much at all.
Quite often the extra carb intake is offset by the extra exercise. We walk a lot when we’re holidaying. New York is a walking city – even in the cold. The other evening, as the temperature sat near freezing, I walked over 40 blocks from where I’d spent the afternoon catching up with my beautiful DOC friend, Alecia, back to our apartment in Hell’s Kitchen. I didn’t do it because I thought I should walk off the food. I just did it because I like walking around here. Plus I was looking for a new pair of boots.
I would be lying if I told you that there have not been some mishaps. Like the night I over-bolused for my burger and had a horrid hypo that saw me wandering into our daughter’s room before Aaron led me back to bed, pouring orange juice down my throat, following it up with toast and jam.
But for the most part, I’ve simply eaten whatever and dealt with it accordingly.
Have I eaten healthfully the whole time? Hell no!
Have I enjoyed food and eating and sharing meals with friends and family? Yes. Absolutely.
Have I felt guilty for any of my food choices? Not. One. Bit.