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All the things I ate in Bali and Malaysia (Part 2): Good meals gone bad!

As I said in my previous post, I stuck as much as possible to SCD/paleo for the first week of my trip. But during the second week, things deteriorated a little!

Fortunately, my week of indiscriminate indulgence resulted in nothing more than a little gained weight and a lot of guilt – no dodgy BMs, no pain, no cramps, no discomfort, no bleeding. In fact, I had pretty perfect BMs but I’m trying not to equate the two!  As I said, I think the fact that I was suuuuuper relaxed and blissed out contributed to my belly loving me while I was on holiday.

After starting off with amazingly healthy fresh meals like this:

Healthy chicken salad and nasi goreng on the balcony of our bungalow in Bangalan, Bali

Healthy chicken salad and nasi goreng on the balcony of our bungalow in Bangalan, Bali

… my diet rapidly deteriorated as I decided to enjoy ALL THE THINGS I’d been missing out on for so long. Plus, how would I ever know how Domino’s Pizza tasted if I didn’t try it in Malaysia?? We don’t have it in South Africa! (the answer: super spicy but otherwise quite dry and tasteless).

Here are some of the naughtier things I shovelled into my face in Bali and Malaysia:

My first Starbucks - I WAS THIS EXCITED!

My first Starbucks – I WAS THIS EXCITED! MY NAME WAS ON THE CUP!

I chose the Americano with vanilla flavouring, which was a relatively okay-ISH compromise... so I had to throw in a cookie of course. K had the new caramel ribbon which tasted like calories and flares.

I chose the Americano with vanilla flavouring, which was a relatively okay-ISH choice… so of course I had to throw in a cookie. K had the new caramel ribbon – a sugar, fat and lactose bomb that tasted like calories and flares.

A selection of Chinese fare at Melaka, Malaysia, including rice balls, bean sprouts, pork and miso soup with dumplings. It's not that the ingredients themselves were bad, but that they were super oily and salty, and gave me the only discomfort I experienced during my trip.

A selection of Chinese food at Melaka, Malaysia, including rice balls, bean sprouts, sweet and sour pork covered in whole, tiny dried/fried anchovies (for real!), and miso soup with dumplings. This resulted in the only discomfort I experienced during my trip.

The 'Honeymoon' cocktail at the West Bali Nature Reserve...

The ‘Honeymoon’ cocktail at the West Bali Nature Reserve…

...Tasted like more and maxed credit cards. Drinks in the East don't come cheap!

…Tasted like more and maxed credit cards. Drinks in the East don’t come cheap!

PIZZA! After a million months of no pizza! And it was Domino's!

PIZZA! After a million months of no pizza! And it was Domino’s!

Seriously guys, look how small it is. The size of my hand. I don't know what that Diet Pepsi is doing there. I was just holding it for a friend.

Seriously guys, look how small it is. The size of my hand! I don’t know what that Diet Pepsi is doing there. I was just holding it for a friend.

Tasting durian ice cream. Ice cream. And durian. Please go and Google durian. Right after this photo - ONE lick - I left it on the pavement.

Tasting durian ice cream with the mom-in-law. Ice cream. And durian. Please go and Google durian. Right after this photo  I left it on the pavement.

Did you Google durian? Did you really? I’m not sure you did. Here, I did it for you. THE MOST VILE THING ON THE PLANET THAT SOME PEOPLE LOVE. Did you know it’s illegal to eat it in certain public places and on public transport because of the smell? There are signs up everywhere! K describes it as rotting, sweet garlic, which is a pretty accurate description of the taste.

Anyway, there were a lot more things that I didn’t photograph, like the Toblerone I ate that kinda signaled the beginning of the end; the cashew dairy milk chocolate; the Hard Rock breakfast gorge-fest, and numerous, numerous cocktails. I did avoid all cream and most dairy though – and when I asked one bartender not to add whipped cream to my pina colada, he simply added more booze!

It’s been almost two weeks since we got back home and my eating has completely returned to normal. I’m eating more cashews than I’d like to admit, but other than that, it’s fruit, veg, meat and eggs – no sugar, no dairy, no grain, and all totally healthy and natural.

The indulgence was fun – and delicious – but one week was enough 🙂

Back from Bali and all the things I ate! (Part 1: SCD/Paleo)

 

Yellow watermelon (delicious!) - Kuala Lampur

Malaysian yellow watermelon – super sweet and delicious


GUYS! I’m back from the East and my latest amazing set of culinary adventures, and not only did I survive, but I thrived!

Being on a super restrictive diet can be hard when you’re travelling, so I’ve decided to share with you all the things I ate, safely, while I was away.

Eastern eating for SCD/Paleo peeps

Travelling to the East (we were in Malaysia, where K’s mom lives, and Bali) can seem daunting if you’re on a limited diet, but it needn’t be. In fact, speaking only for myself, my gut fares sooo much better on that side of the world. I don’t know if it’s the weather, the lack of stress or just the fact that I absolutely love the East, but whatever it is, it works wonders for my system.

First of all, let me start by saying that if you’re travelling to the East, there are plenty of safe food options available. While you might have to look harder – and a bit more carefully (I had to bin a bag of cashews that I bought, not realising they were roasted in sugar and a bunch of other bad things – here in South Africa, we get tons of natural, quality products so I never really have to check), you won’t really struggle.

And the food is SO. GOOD. Think curries made from fresh ingredients, seafood, chicken, tons of fresh fruit and veggies, nuts and freshly-squeezed fruit juices.

Sticking to my diet… and then, not

We started in Kuala Lampur in Malaysia, and for the first half of my trip, I ate extremely carefully. I had no gluten or dairy, and I tried my utmost to avoid sugar. About half-way through our holiday, whilst in Bali, we found ourselves at a nature reserve that was actually a 15-minute ferry trip away from the mainland. So when I say we were in the middle of nowhere, I absolutely mean it! We arrived on the island to discover our guest house… and nothing else. So we had to eat what was served, and all resistance crumbled when they brought out a basket of fresh croissants at breakfast!

We returned to Malaysia and I carried on cheating. Guys, it was SO bad. Chocolate – not only the ‘good’ organic/dark kind, but the normal dairy kind too – and even a PIZZA! Okay, it was a teeny one, but STILL! I also don’t even want to think about the breakfast binge I had at the buffet at the Hard Rock Hotel in Bali. Em.BARRASSING! (let’s just say I went back three times – it was a disgusting gorge-fest).

As soon I got home to Cape Town, I got back to my healthy eating, and I’ve stuck with it ever since. It’s more paleo than SCD, just in terms of including spices in my diet and not being fastidious to the point of obsession. But I did gain a kilo or two while I was away, which I’m not ecstatic about. However, it was worth it for the week or two of indulgence!

Holiday BMs and bloating

Interestingly, my BMs were SO much better and more regular over there. I don’t know if it’s because I was eating more oil (Eastern food tends to contain quite a bit of it), or if it was the rice – I practically lived on rice – or whether it’s because I was simply eating more. But my BMs were a daily, twice or thrice-daily occurrence (no diarrhoea) and I had ZERO BLOATING. What an amazing holiday treat, especially because we spent most of our trip in bikinis!

Holiday belly: no bloat, just sunburn!

Holiday belly: no bloat, just sunburn!

I also realise that being on holiday and feeling totally blissed-out and stress free must work wonders for one’s gut. I felt no ill-effects of my naughty binges, except for a few cramps after some Chinese food. I was obviously extremely lucky and I think that eating badly for longer than a week would have some serious repercussions. But for the duration of my holiday, I was fine.

Flying gluten-free

I ordered the gluten-free meal on the plane (my reasoning being that, despite my lactose intolerance, it’s easier to see and avoid dairy than gluten), and it was actually a REVELATION to land, after 24 hours in transit, with NO BLOAT. That’s never happened to me after long flight. I’ve even found myself doubled-over in pain after gorging on airline food (yes, I like it!), so this was so wonderful for me.

And now.. the food!

That’s definitely enough blah from me, so with no further ado, here’s a selection of the paleo/SCD-legal food I ate when I was in Kuala Lampur and Bali: [for SCD/Paleo, avoid the grains/rice]

Breakfast

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Freshly squeezed mixed fruit smoothie (watermelon, pineapple, papaya) and Balinese coffee – Balangan, Bali

Yellow watermelon (delicious!) - Kuala Lampur

Yellow watermelon (delicious!) – Kuala Lampur

Fresh fruit and boiled eggs - Balangan, Bali

Fresh fruit and boiled eggs – hold the toast! Bangalan, Bali

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Freshly squeezed fruit juices – Kuta, Bali

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Fresh watermelon juice- West Bali National Park

Other meals

Red snapper curry - Kuta, Bali

Red snapper curry made with coconut milk – Kuta, Bali

Vegetable stir-fry - West Bali National Park

Vegetable stir-fry – West Bali National Park

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Chicken betutu – spicy chicken steamed in a banana leaf…

... delicious!

… delicious! Kuta, Bali

Fresh salad - avoid the curious salad dressing

Fresh salad – avoid the curious salad dressing

Chicken and lime salad - West Bali National Park

Chicken and lime salad – West Bali National Park

Chicken curry made with coconut milk - West Bali National Park

Chicken curry made with coconut milk – West Bali National Park

Nasi goreng - fried rice with vegetables and chicken - Bangalan, Bali

Nasi goreng – fried rice with vegetables and chicken – Bangalan, Bali

Chicken salad - Bangalan, Bali

Chicken salad – Bangalan, Bali

Fresh salad (at an Australian restaurant!) - Pedang Pedang, Bali

Fresh salad (at an Australian restaurant!) – Pedang Pedang, Bali

Baramundi (fish) - partly SCD/Paleo (not so sure about that sauce, and potatoes to be avoided) - Kuta, Bali

Baramundi (fish) – partly SCD/Paleo (not so sure about that sauce, and potatoes to be avoided). I ordered this because I’d never heard of baramundi before, and it was very tasty – Kuta, Bali.

Snacks

Coconut sorbet...

Coconut sorbet…

... YUMMO!

… YUMMO! Kuta, Bali

Cookies I spotted in a health store. I didn't have any of these but good to know there were 'safe' cheats available!

Organic cashew cookies I spotted at a health store in Kuta. I didn’t have any of these but good to know there were ‘safe’ cheats available!

Dairy-free dragon fruit sorbet - Kuta, Bali

Dairy-free dragon fruit sorbet – Kuta, Bali

Fresh fruit platter

Fresh fruit platter

Papaya and watermelon covered in RAW EGG! I couldn't finish this :-/

Papaya and watermelon covered in RAW EGG! I couldn’t finish this :-/

Probably the healthiest thing we had in Bali - lemongrass, ginger and honey tea, following an incredible massage in Bangalan, Bali

Probably the healthiest thing we had in Bali – lemongrass, ginger and honey tea, following an incredible massage in Bangalan, Bali

Chocolate

I discovered a selection of organic dark chocolate at a health shop in Kuta, Bali, which stocked the most amazing selection of organic, natural products. This chocolate is obviously not SCD, but it’ll definitely suit a paleo 🙂 The Wonder Chocolate is made in New Zealand and the Charly’s is Indonesian.

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While some of these foods are definitely a little borderline when it comes to SCD or paleo, plenty of them are completely legal – and you don’t have to look too far to find them.

But, of everything I ate, the best thing was undoubtedly the slice of fresh English cucumber served on the first leg of my journey, the flight from Cape Town to Doha en route to Malaysia. It was the first time I’d eaten cucumber in more than 100 days (I hadn’t introduced it on SCD) and it was INCREDIBLE! I’d forgotten just how delicious cucumber is.

So that concludes the ‘good’, healthy food choices I made. I’ll follow up in a few days with a few of the naughtier, funnier and stranger things I ate.

I hope your diet’s going well, and that these photos are encouraging you to get busy exploring!