Day 69-71: A successful SCD weekend away

The weekend away was a (dietary) success! Turns out it wasn’t the nightmare I anticipated, and for the most part, eating was easy. I consumed almost all the food I took with, I didn’t starve, and I even managed to eat my own food at the wedding. I also discovered that I can navigate 2 days away from home with no means to heat my food, no cutlery and a black-tie event to attend. Go me!

Here’s where we spent the weekend:

Morgansvlei Country Estate, Tulbagh

Morgansvlei Country Estate, Tulbagh – absolutely gorgeous, isn’t it?

And here’s what I packed:

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Perfect amount of food for the weekend. Apart from a few boiled eggs, 3 bananas and an avo, I ate it all

Friday night supper

I earmarked the mince ‘bolognaise’ for Friday night, but when we arrived at our guesthouse, we discovered that it indeed had a fridge… but no microwave. K suggested I fill a metal box with boiling water (the box was next to our kettle, holding the teabags and sugar) and then place the tuppaware into it to heat it. That was a disaster, because the metal box leaked and we managed to completely waterlog our room!

Next I attempted filling the bathroom basin with boiling water, putting the tuppaware in, and weighting it down to keep it submerged under the hot water. It didn’t really work and I eventually gave up and ate cold mince.

Saturday breakfast

Thankfully, breakfast on Saturday was much easier: A few boiled eggs washed down with a mug of black coffee from the breakfast room.

My morning coffee on the pier outside the breakfast room.

Enjoying my morning coffee on the pier outside the breakfast room.

Having a Dawson's Creek moment...

Having a Dawson’s Creek moment…

... and just one more, because it's so damn pretty!

… and just one more, because it’s so damn pretty!

Saturday lunch

I kept my lunch quite protein-heavy to avoid bloat (I needed to not be blimpy at the wedding), so I had a few more eggs, a (cold) grilled chicken breast, and several spoons of macadamia nut butter. K’s lunch was a whole lot more exciting: we went to a quirky little outdoor place call the ‘Bush pub’ and she snacked on this droolicious looking chicken basket while the resident chickens clucked away at our feet! (#Awkward)

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Dinner at the wedding

I’d struggled to find the caterers for the wedding, so I filled a tuppaware with chicken and veg, stuck this note to it, and left it in the fridge at the venue:

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It worked! I chatted to the caterers once the wedding was underway, and when the rest of the table received their main course, I was served my own food. It was cold (WTF?!) but it was mine, it was safe, and I didn’t have to starve. I was also pretty happy that they’d known well enough to seat me right next to the wine 😉 It’s SUCH a treat staying at the actual wedding venue, because we didn’t have to worry about drinking and driving, and simply tottered back to our room after the event.

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I mostly avoided bananas yesterday as I didn’t want to risk ballooning in my tight little dress, but I gulped several down when we got back to our room afterwards!

K & I in our wedding rags

K & I in our wedding rags

Breakfast today

More boiled eggs, more coffee, and then home!

I must say, it was easier than I anticipated… but messier. After we drenched our room on Friday night in our failed attempt to heat the mince, everything was soggy and damp for the rest of the time we were there. Also, there was nowhere to clean my used tuppaware, and nothing to clean it with, so I had to make do with the bathroom sink and some handsoap. I wrapped all my semi-clean containers in brown bags and had to wash them when we got home today (eew).

Also, there was no cutlery besides teaspoons in our room, so I had to swindle a knife and fork from the group dinner on Friday night! (I gave them back of course).

My best food tip for a weekend away

All in all, diet-wise, this weekend was very do-able. I attribute this mostly to the fact that I took a lot of food that I could eat on its own, and without heating or preparing, such as boiled eggs, ripe avo, ripe bananas, nut butter. It definitely helped that we had a fridge in our room too. All you need to do, really, is plan ahead and plan for the worst (ie: no fridge, no microwave, etc) and you’ll be fine.

Today’s food

We got home and I had to spend about 4 hours in the kitchen prepping my food for this week, as well as a Thai chicken and coconut soup for K. I made all my usual veg, and also had a brainwave that I could roast my butternut instead of peeling, chopping, de-seeding and boiling, which is such a mission. I roasted it instead and it turned out beautifully! I’ll try it tomorrow.

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I also, for some reason, bought some baby gem squash earlier this week. I think it’s because our local supermarket was out of everything, and for some reason it seemed like a good idea. I realised today that you can really peel or de-seed it… and then I thought, what the hell? For more than 2 months I’ve avoided all skins and seeds; let’s see if my body can handle it. So I cooked them up and had a few of them with my dinner – skins, seeds and all! So far I feel okay. They’re very similar in taste and consistency to zucchini actually.

Adult gems and baby gems

Grown-up gems and baby gems

I also made a fresh batch of yoghurt and I PROMISE I will share the recipe ASAP. It’s been on my mind – I haven’t forgotten, I just haven’t had a chance!

I hope you all had a great weekend, and that your diets are going well. Amazing how such a basic thing can totally consume your life!

 

Day 6: The surprising way that people respond to UC

Happy Friday! Before I start with today’s catch up, here’s a little something you might enjoy:

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Refer to this when you feel a dietary wobble coming on 😉

Today was tricky, though not in terms of diet. I learnt that the one ingredient you need when navigating a food-based social situation is humour – and luckily it’s one of the few things you don’t have to phase in 😉

Due to an extremely busy week with long hours at the office and minimal awake-hours at home, I’ve still not had time to prepare 4-hour carrots, so once again it was a day of too many bananas and too many eggs.

I’m happy with my eggs and banana, though I know this must end and better planning MUST be made a priority. Today after work, I rounded up several bags of carrots, some ostrich mince and a few other bits and pieces that I’ll cook up this weekend. This time, I’ll make bigger batches and freeze more of it so that I always have food on hand.

So that work lunch we were meant to have at the Mexican place on Monday was postponed until today. It was every bit as awkward to navigate as I thought it’d be.

For one thing, the ONLY fluid I am drinking at the moment is water. I want to do SCD as meticulously as I can, hence keeping my liquids pure too. So when you’re not drinking booze on a Friday after work, people are confused. By the time the fourth person asked me (and the previous three had become either glazed over or grossed out when I explained UC), the conversation went something like this:

Colleague: “Why aren’t you drinking?”

Me: “It’s a long story. But I’m not an alcoholic or anything. Okay, it was heroin. But they tell you to just cut everything out to be safe.”

He laughed at that because I’m the least heroin-chic looking person I know.

Anyway, everyone wanted to know why I wasn’t eating and drinking. It doesn’t help that I blush profusely when I explain UC. I mean, it’s not exactly the easiest thing to talk about!

But I made it out with nothing but water having passed my lips, and although I was ravenous when I got home, I was super proud that I didn’t cave in. I love Mexican food so it wasn’t fun to decline. And although my banana ‘ice cream’ (refer to end of post) gave me a bit of bloat, it was nothing compared to what I’d have experienced after a gluten-loaded, dairy-rich Mexican feast (I’m also lactose intolerant).

What did amaze me was this, though:

I’ve been at the company about 3 months, and have never smoked at work. I’m an occasional smoker (terrible for my health, I know, but I’ll cover that in another post). Sometimes I go months without a cigarette, and other times I smoke for 3 days in a row. Anyway, when I lit up today, no one batted at eyelid. Smoking and gorging on unhealthy food doesn’t raise an eyebrow. But trying to look after your health – well, that’s another story, and people just don’t get it.

I’m thrilled to be as far as I am. I’m 6 days in and I’m excited to introduce apple puree tomorrow, and some new veg next week. I’ve lost about 2kg but that was to be expected. SCD is known to help people maintain their correct weight: If you’re overweight, you lose, and if you’re underweight, you gain. When I started this diet, I was about 2-3kg over what I like to be, so I’m not complaining. But I haven’t done this as a weight-loss solution!

NB! Portion control

Biggest lesson of the day: PORTION CONTROL. At work, I have only the food I’ve brought from home. At home, I have all the food. Eating 2 bananas in a row is not a problem; eating 5 is. This has and always will be my biggest food challenge.

I don’t mind eating a very limited diet (though this isn’t recommend, for a myriad reasons, not least of all a nutrient deficiency – but also the risk of becoming intolerant to foods you overeat). But I do mind not eating enough. I always joke that I don’t have a ‘full’ switch; I just keep eating. I really need to stop that shit.

Rash

I have a weird red rash that’s popped up all over my body – legs, belly, arms. Googling it obviously tells me a million different things, including the fact that it could be a symptom of die-off. That said, I’ve also started using a new body lotion, and it’s been hot, and and and… it could be one of a hundred things, and it’s not bothering me. Just interesting to note.

Banana ice cream

I learnt how to make this lovely treat a while back, and was thrilled to rediscover it when I started SCD. Check out my Day 3 post for the recipe.

Happy weekend!

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