13 November, 2009

The Brazen Head

Eating in Ireland

I keep running into this conversation where the person I am talking to knows this other person who is so vegan, so allergic, so *insert trendy food disease* , that the afflicted person cannot travel out of their comfort zone.
Despite my dietary restrictions, I am choosing not to be so constrained.
Because of my job that often requires me to work over the course of 12 hours, I have found several foods that are always with me - just in case. Those are the foods I took with me to Ireland for the week. Fresh Cameo Apples, fruit roll-upsfruit & nut bars and my dairy-free, soy free chocolate.
I chose to think of the food I was bringing not only as insurance but to create a empty space in my bag to bring home treasures and souvenirs.
Bear in mind that it's not easy. My goals to try and eat 1000 cal. every day and to work on identifying when I am hungry are very serious. Food made me sick for so long that I have lost the ability to tell when I am hungry.

I had such a day when we traveled to Galway on the west coast of Ireland. We had probably walked over 20 miles each of the previous two days in Dublin -looking around and being tourists. We got distracted finding a place to eat breakfast. When we did, the only protein they had was yogurt. We then met up with my daughter and friend and got more distracted, then we hopped a 2.5hr. bus to Galway. Getting there with about an hour or two left of daylight, we decided to explore the town. I let myself get tired and I did not watch my protein intake. I was stopping and looking for somewhere to eat but my sister wasn't hungry yet. I was too tired to insist on eating and then it went too far. I shut down, going back into survival mode. I was only able to focus on putting one foot in front of the other. No street signs in Galway meant we didn't quite have our bearings - where was the hotel? I finally got what my brother-in-law had said about my sister making little bee stings.

But I have been to survival camp before. Albeit, its been over 10 months. Am I really that close to being there again? Have I not made progress? All-in-all, a somewhat frightening concept.
Looking around and finally being able to vocalize that I needed food, now the irrational part took over and rejected this place at 25 euro as too expensive, this place - nothing I could eat, this place - yet another salad. I needed protein and preferably warm.

Finally eating (warm mediterranean salad (chicken)), we were just a few blocks from our room. I went straight to bed and could remember those survival times when I was so tired I would go straight to bed without eating anything. I did get some serious sleep. Luckily, the hotel included breakfast and they cooked to order so I had some bacon (like our Canadian Bacon) and scrambled eggs. I felt better immediately and we were able to continue on our way - taking the great tour with Desmond to the Cliffs of Moher.

Lessons learned: I have to pay attention to eating on a schedule. I am not well enough to get distracted.
It is possible to travel easily to another country where the fish & chips (breaded and potatoes) are everywhere. One can also travel and not go on and on about your particular health maladies.
Get out of your rut - test the waters. 

One evening (in Ireland) with my daughter's friends, we ate at the Brazen Head - the oldest pub in Dublin. Here's my meal - roast of the day. It looked to be the most edible for me. I had already tried the fish &chips and a half-glass of guinness earlier in the trip and was terribly bloated the next day. I stuck with whiskey as the distillery process takes out more lectins than the guinness process. All that guinness barley is -sad. Really. :(
Here were the vegetables - peas with all of their starchy lectins and carrots which are more moderate for me.
The pork was good. I left the gravy and potatoes.

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