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!

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

  1. I’m so glad you had such an awesome trip! It sounded so relaxing and delicious and fun. And I love that you were able to enjoy it sans bloat and major discomfort, even when you went “off-book” with your meals. Sometimes I dread traveling because of how I’m expecting to feel.

    Also, referencing your other post–I have not had durian but my dad says it is revolting. And, it’s the only thing I’ve seen Andrew Zimmern (if you’ve ever seen Bizarre Foods) refuse to eat. He’ll eat testicles, drink blood…but no durian!

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  2. Ha ha ha, yes, the durian was quite an experience. I still want to try the actual fruit on its own, just so that I’ve *done* it. I was very fortunate that I fared so well over there, but as I said, I think a week of indulgence is fine, but more than that may have been problematic. I can tell you though that I fully intend never to drink blood or eat testicles!

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  3. I’m going to Java and then Bali in September. Since most hotels/hostels/b&b are breakfast included I booked everything up front, informing them about my food issues (gluten, lactose, grains, nuts and seeds) and gave them an easy breakfast option, asking if they could take it into consideration. Some of the hotels already replied they would make sure to serve me a suitable breakfast. Even though this only covers 1 meal, I feel like it’s at least one less thing to worry about.

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    • That’s a really good idea, and a great tip for next time – thanks! I also found that breakfast was mostly okay. There are also lots of salads, veggie options, etc. Have a fabulous time – I’m jealous!

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