As I mentioned in my last post, the decision to go on vacation while on this dietary plan was not one I took lightly – I discussed it in detail with my functional medicine nutritionist before deciding that my entire life probably shouldn’t be on hold while I work through this cystic acne issue…
The nutritionist recommended that I still stay far, far away from all of the foods I am not supposed to have (sugar, grains, alcohol, most fruit, pork, legumes, dairy) but the additional restrictions, like grass-fed meat and organic produce, could be relaxed for the duration of my trip. This trip to Las Vegas is an annual trip with my Father and his two best friends – I simply tag along – so I didn’t have any interest (nor did they) in spending the entire trip focused on my dietary needs.
So, here’s the rundown of making the best of a primarily fast-food and fast-casual dining on an elimination/detox diet:
Friday: Arrived in time for dinner. Starving! We stayed at the Orleans Hotel and Casino (off-strip) and I figured “Big Al’s Oyster Bar” would have a few options I could work with. I found a miso-marinated salmon dish that seemed benign enough, but after about 15 minutes of waiting, it was determined that the marinade had wine in it, and it was pre-marinated. No ability to get just plain salmon. Did I mention I was starving? I gave up the good fight and decided it was fine. I substituted all of the other sides for plain steamed broccoli. You’d think since I was giving up all of the sides, I’d get more than a few broccoli florets, but it is what it is. Played blackjack, ate a packet of roasted, salted cashews in an oil I’m not supposed to have, went to bed.
Saturday: Egg day! We tackled the infamous Las Vegas buffet for breakfast. Shockingly, the only thing I could eat in the whole place was eggs. I’m fairly used to sucking at buffets since vegan in Vegas was particularly challenging as well, but I was sort of surprised that there were no berries, beef, or vegetable options. I had an omelette with a side of scrambled eggs. After hitting the pool, we headed to the Rio to check in on our buddy Tommy’s progress in his World Series of Poker event. I brought my Dang toasted coconut chips, Epic chicken bar, and stopped at the “Proudly Serving Starbucks” cafe to try dissolving some Vital Proteins collagen peptides in some tea. The product is supposed to dissolve in hot or cold beverages, so I decided to go with an iced passion tea. Fail One: Hot or cold beverages do NOT include beverages with ice in them. Think gross, undissolved clumps of collagen. Fail Two: Attempting to take in as much of the collagen as possible, I drank the iced tea very quickly, only realizing after about 2/3 of the way through that it definitely tasted sweeter than it should. I watched the barista make it – no sugar added – but perhaps the tea concentrate was sweetened? I threw the rest away and was disappointed in myself for not noticing sooner. Other noteworthy meals: Lunch at the Rio was excellent! The Poker Kitchen offered me salmon (just salt & pepper), a tiny bit of rice, and bok choy. Perfect. Dinner at TGIFriday’s was not so successful. Did you know that they steam all of their vegetables in garlic butter? As in, the steamed spinach is 180 calories. Really? I ended up with a turkey burger on a lettuce wrap that I probably did not inquire enough about and a side salad that I had to pick the cheese out of. Classy! Hit up the casino gift shop (again) and ate a packet of roasted, salted cashews in an oil I’m not supposed to have before bed.
Sunday: Determined my breaking point regarding coffee. Must. Have. Coffee. After a makeshift breakfast of an Epic chicken bar, collagen peptides dissolved in hot green tea, and an apple, I was successful in convincing my padre to go to Whole Foods for coffee supplies. We ate lunch at the coolest Whole Foods ever: I had turkey bone broth, paleo chicken salad, brussels sprouts, and beets with a mammoth coffee (coffee + grass fed butter + coconut oil) to go. We also picked up some essentials: fresh produce, unsweetened coconut milk, pumpkin seeds, etc. to help make it through the rest of the week. Dinner was again at TGIFriday’s, this time with a steak and lobster special (hold the damn butter OMG), a side salad with lemon juice (no cheese), and a side of avocado. Pistachios from the local convenient store while strolling through the casino before bed.
Monday: Egg day! Buffet breakfast, this time with two over easy eggs, guac, and tomatoes with – you guessed it – scrambled eggs on the side. Collagen peptides, Epic bar, Dang toasted coconut chips, an apple, a pear, tons of baby carrots, and too many pumpkin seeds throughout the day. Chipotle beef burrito bowl for dinner. Artisana cashew butter (too much) before bed. Fair enough.
Tuesday: Makeshift breakfast including collagen peptide tea, an Epic chicken bar, and Dang toasted coconut chips. Fuddruckers taco salad (hold the sour cream, hold the cheese, hold the tortilla chips) for lunch (ew). TGIFriday’s for the steak and lobster special again for dinner, followed by a walk on the Las Vegas strip. Definitely found some pistachio nuts and cashews in an oil I’m not supposed to have…followed by an Artisana cashew butter packet when we got back to the hotel. Last night!
Wednesday: Steak and egg breakfast with a side of avocado at the casino cafe before boarding the plane. The ladies next to me on the plane must have thought I was insane – during the four hour flight I ate: an entire mason jar of baby carrots, Dang toasted coconut chips, pumpkin seeds, an Epic chicken bar and an apple – it was as if my bag was an endless supply of food. Home! Dinner at Whole Foods =)
Overall, I think I did a fairly good job of sticking to my detox / elimination diet while in Las Vegas! It was very important to me to not spend my Dad’s whole vacation in search of something for me to eat, so I tried to make the best choice I could based on where we were (Enter: Fuddruckers taco salad). The only negative impacts I noticed is that my chin is breaking out a bit (maybe from the conventional meat?) and my body desperately needed vegetables. I’m really hopeful that now that I’m home and eating my normal diet of organic vegetables, grass-fed meat, and wild caught seafood, my skin will continue on it’s path to improvement!
Do you notice any impact to your overall health when you relax your health standards on vacation?
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