I was inspired to write this post after going on a Royal Caribbean Cruise for a week where we ate like a king and queen by choosing some awesome healthy meals. We choose to follow a Paleo and low carb lifestyle for optimal health and we find it is easy to stick to while traveling with a little planning and imagination. Here are some tips that will help your waistlines as well as your waiters to know what you need on a cruise.
5 Tips for Low Carb Meals on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
1. Eat in the Dining Room
We had a amazing service at our dinner table and after the first night our waiter memorized all our dietary preferences and didn’t need to ask us again which was very awesome! You will have a lot more control over your food choices when you eat in the dining room because your waiters will get to know you and they will accommodate gluten free much more easily. The buffet is full of mystery and to me seemed lower quality food. It seemed like the leftovers from the dining room if you ask me and we much more enjoyed being waited on in the dining room even though the hours were more set.
2. Fat is Phat
When I did eat upstairs at the buffet I loved the omelet station where you picked out your own toppings. I brought my own butter from another part of the buffet the cook willingly obliged even letting me add smoked salmon to my omelet. I also used bottled olive oil on my salads that was provided by the salad bar in the dining room and the buffet. Sometimes I bring my own but I didn’t want to deal with bringing enough for a whole week. This is the best kind that I usually travel with. While the food on a cruise is not organic you can still try your best to avoid seed oils. Read more about which fats are healthy here.
3. Fill up on seafood
While traveling on a cruise ship since I know the beef is all from CAFO’s (how to choose the best beef here) I figure it is a good time to eat more seafood even though I know most of it is probably farmed (spoiler alert). But hey maybe it is not so that could be a bonus! It will be higher in omega 3 and full of selenium, zinc and even vitamin D that is in fish such as salmon. Even if is farmed it will still be better that choosing all the craptastic carbs that are spewing like a firehose. Did you go on a cruise to eat the cheapest food? I think I will get my moneys worth by eating the fanciest food they have, thank you very much! Even though it is more of a land mollusk we had buttery snails with a garlic and egg topping every night and it was divine! Snails are high in iron, magnesium and potassium.
4. Steak Out
While it is an upcharge just make sure and try the specialty steakhouse at least once. Where else can you eat in a steakhouse for less than $35 without tax that is all you can eat? We were lucky to have great steak in the dining room too but there was a difference in the steakhouse especially for foodies/chefs/cookbook authors like us. The Royal Caribbean cruise even had an organic chicken on their menu. Also my husband got a big bone in veal chop while I enjoyed lamb chops which are more likely to be grass fed than beef. The quality was top notch and the vegetable sides were awesome!
5. Cream up your coffee:
Searching for non-vegetable oil fats is a bit of a challenge on the ship. On our ship we found that the coffee shop in the middle would make lattes and Americano’s with steamed heavy cream which will keep your carbs down and your satisfaction up. They may have to go to another part of the ship to get it but they have it and will keep it there if people keep asking for it. Also they will make coffee drinks in the dining room with heavy cream as well. I had decaf after dinner with heavy cream too. It was a divine treat that helped me turn down the dessert tray. Dr. Atkins does say to go easy on the heavy cream in induction but hey, I was on vacation!
Go with Supportive People
In 2015 we were so excited to be guest speakers on the Low Carb Cruise which was a great assortment of health minded leaders from the ketogenic community. No not all the food was low carb but we were able to make our own choices (just like in life) but having other people there made it much easier to be conscientious of food choices. We spoke about how to incorporate the healthy aspects of the Mediterranean Diet( based on our book: Mediterranean Paleo Cooking) into your low carb lifestyle. We went into reasons why people would want to add seasonal foods and fatty fish while avoiding gluten, vegetable oil and artificial sweeteners. We also talked about cleaning out your bathroom cabinet and being mindful of what you put on your skin.
Many people in the audience came up to us all week and said how our presentation resounded with them. We had a great time hanging with The Caltons, Dietician Cassie, Emily Mcguire from the UK, and of course our MC Jimmy Moore. We had several dinners with functional medicine Dr. Justin and his wife Shelley and my good buddy Karen from Holistically Engineered, it was nice to sit with like minded people. I especially enjoyed a talk on teeth from Dr. Ann Childers, also Tom Naughton is working on a project for kids about what real healthy food is, also Dr. Fox on fertility and Jackie Eberstien RN had a great talk on adrenals that was really forward. The diet doctor kept everyone laughing as usual and Dr. Westman and his sidekick Lynn Daniel always keep the party going! One of my co-authors Dana Carpender was keeping it real, as usual (get our treats book here).
Stay up to date on future cruises here by joining the Facebook group and watch the videos of past cruise presentations here. Special thanks to the cruise committee Debbie Hubbs, Ailsa Marshall and Amy Dungan and any others I am leaving out.
Wear a Step Tracker:
Believe it or not I was even more active on the ship than I am at home. At home I averaged over 10,000 steps a day but on the cruise I was at 15,000 steps without any effort. I was tromping all over the ship and mostly avoided elevators becasue we hated waiting for them to arrive. We also danced on the deck and played table tennis and air hockey that all added to my totals. 3 times we went to the gym on the boat and we also got a lot of steps when we were in port. In Old San Juan Puerto Rico we walked around the whole city on foot which was very scenic and we felt like locals. This is the tracker I use and love.
Stress-less and Chillax:
While sometimes I am a food perfectionist it can be stressful cooking, cleaning and shopping all the time for myself and my husband. It was nice to leave it up the to professional staff on the ship for a while and just forget about where my food came from for one week of the year. I know that 99% of the time I am eating organic, grass fed and pastured food so whatever I ate that week will surely get detoxed. The main thing to remember is that stress kills too so just let go of the diet-tribe and relax while soaking up some much needed vitamin D. Sit back and enjoy the service and slower pace while basking in the moment.
It is guaranteed you can return to your breakneck control freak life next week (am I talking to myself? lol). I also was able to unplug and get off the internet for awhile. I didn’t have internet for the first several days and it was wonderful. I later got on to work on our talk but it was so slow that I only used to to text others on the ship to meet up. Save your money and don’t worry you can get back to your high speed next week!
Any travel tips I have left out? Please leave a comment.
Read my post about my last low carb cruise here.
Go on a trip with me! Check out all my healthy travel posts here.