Mini holiday in Adelaide

My family lives in Adelaide, and last week I hopped on a plane for a two-day mini holiday there. It was fun! Two night might not seem like much, but it’s amazing how much (mostly food-related) stuff you can cram in in the short period of time.

foodland adelaide

This was one of the highlights from the trip  – Foodland, a supermarket of your dreams! I’m such a food geek. But live piano music? Beautifully displayed organic produce? Seriously, they just make my day.

foodland adelaide

Anyway, short holidays are great, because it means I can still manage my diabetes pretty well. Here’s what worked for me:

(1) Packing my own food: On the way to and from Adelaide, I packed my own meals, so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat carb-rich (and expensive) food when on the move. Extra “fun” stuff to treat yourself always helps – like avocado, salty cheese, falafels, extra mayo on the salad…

(2) Having a supportive family. Once in Adelaide, my family was extra supportive of my very limited diet.  My mother had stocked her house with organic vegetables, tofu, and plant milk. A food lover herself, she probably has more spices and exotic plant-based ingredients than  I do. It was easy for me to cook and eat the kind of food I normally eat at home.

mulberries

And check out my mother’s gorgeous mulberry tree. I enjoyed these as a snack all through my stay there. A nice break from my usual snack of nuts, more nuts, and coffee.

My brother’s family was awesome as well. Even though they are omni people, they invited us for a fully vegetarian, low-carb dinner from this book and this. I felt so spoiled. The dishes were all delicious, particularly the mushroom pâté and quinoa salad!

vegan eats food

(2) Exercise-wise, I did manage fine. I walked everywhere I could – up and down airport terminals, taking the stairs instead of elevators, roaming the platforms while waiting for my train. I also went on solo walks at night. Because really, every step counts (as anyone with a pedometer knows).

(3) Shopping temptations? Adelaide is food heaven. I toured not one but two Foodland supermarkets, the Central Market, and a Sunday farmer’s market. Oh, and I also did a Haigh’s chocolate factory tour (how can I resist?)

Strangely though, I wasn’t even tempted to buy and eat lots of unhealthy stuff – as I normally might have been. Maybe it was my altered taste buds now naturally craving more savory, plant-based food. Maybe it was the fear of spiralling back to bad health again.

Maybe a bit of both… But it sure did feel wonderful to have your blood sugar level under control throughout my trip.

strawberry mulberry tart strawberry mulberry tartLR_1

See, I made a vegan mulberry and strawberry tart, and I didn’t even want to eat it myself. Very strange!

 

 

 

 

Holiday survival guide for diabetics

On the last weekend of Spring holidays, we drove on a whim to Canberra for a two-night mini holiday. I haven’t been on a holiday for a while, so I was super excited! But even for a little trip like this, your diabetic head spins around with a few little worries. Such as, will I be able to stay on a healthy diet for entire time? Will I be tempted to eat junky holiday food and treats that my kids might no doubt demand? What about exercise?

The first day was easy. My mother (who was visiting for the school holidays) and I woke up early and made a healthy lunch and dinner for that day – vegetable sticks, roasted capsicum and chickpea hummus, Japanese rice balls, cooked green lentils, cut fruit, and a big container of salad greens. I had also made some wholemeal bread and healthy treats. We packed everything in a cooler bag and off we went.
floriade 2016 canberra

Canberra was wonderful. We visited the beautiful annual Floriade flower festival.

national gallery australia

We visited the National Museum.

old trailer at national museum

This old wagon / camper trailer was my favourite thing at the National museum – I mean, wouldn’t you like to travel in one of these around Australia?

Then – we ran out of all the healthy food we brought. Oh no… Ignoring all the cafes / restaurants / street food vendors, we hit a local supermarket instead.

What an amazing selection of ready-to-eat healthy food I found there! It was an eye-opening experience re-discovering good old supermarkets. Just look at the huge selection of pre-cooked rice and grains alone.

supermarket rice selection

Instead of soaking rice overnight and cooking in a pressure cooker (which is what I do every day), these packets of rice and grains are ready to eat in less than 2 minutes (in a microwave or stovetop). And it’s not just white rice. Brown rice, quinoa, wild rice, chia seed, in all sorts of combinations. Wow. Honestly, I never knew.

I also “discovered” a myriad vegan tofu products – some looking healthier (less processed) than others. Then of course there is the fresh produce section. I narrowed my choices to these.

holiday supermarket food

Thanks to the local supermarket, my healthy dinner was ready in minutes.

holiday food

Of course, it helped a great deal that we stayed in a cabin accommodation, with a fully equipped kitchen.

canberra cabin

Things would have been a bit more difficult had we stayed in a motel or hotel.

Canberra street food

So even though there was a few moments like this when I had to resist a bit of holiday temptation… it was good overall foodwise.

Oh, and exercise? Well, that was sorted as well – accidentally.

canbera wagon ride

See that four-seater wagon bike? I thought riding that cute little vehicle around the lake was a leisurely experience. Wrong! It turned out to be such hard work… Pedalling this monster of a wagon for nearly two hours was the most excruciating torture – I mean exercise – ever!