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What I Ate On My Caribbean Cruise

Yep, you heard it right!  Caribbean cruise!

That's why you haven't heard from me the last couple weeks.  The
family and I escaped freezing cold upstate New York for...
...freezing cold Florida (Port Canaveral) and 15-degrees-below-
normal Bahamas.
But I'm not whining.  Not at all.  We found a "kids go free" deal back
in September for a 4-night Disney cruise and booked it.  What a
bargain it was!  We drove 24 hours down to Florida (and back)
and would do it again in a heartbeat.
Pictures here!
Now...what do most people talk about after they go on a cruise?
The food, of course!  It's all-inclusive, it's gourmet, it's unlimited,
and it's usually offered 24 hours a day, including room service.
So we were understandably a bit nervous about how we'd handle
all that fabulous food.  When I wrote the bonus to "Real People
Don't Diet" on how to eat to stay slim on vacation, I didn't include
cruise advice, since we hadn't done one.
Well, I needn't have worried.  Just like I say in "Real People Don't
Diet", if you decide not to diet and just change how you eat or
drink every day, in little ways, you build habits that totally overcome
Both of us walked off the ship the exact same weight we were when
we got on.  Our clothes fit the same.  We felt great the entire time,
enjoyed our meals and treats thoroughly, and--best of all--watched
our kids make fun but healthy food and drink choices without any
prompting from us at all!  Our habits have definitely worn off on them.
Let me get more specific.
Breakfast was easy--an abundance of fresh eggs, meats, fruits,
cereal and more.  We just skipped over the pastries (as we always
do) and feasted on omelettes made-to-order, bacon, eggs, ham,
fruit, and more.  The kids enjoyed Mickey-shaped waffles, too.
(A little tip:  always have a box of bran flakes with breakfast.  It keeps
things humming, if you know what I mean.)
For lunch and snacks, DCL has fast-food options near the pools
that include burgers/dogs, pizza, wraps/fruit/salads.  While we
enjoyed a burger with fries one day, more often than not we
headed for the galley that served fresh cantaloupe, watermelon
and pineapple.  We grabbed apples and snacked as we walked
on deck.  I had a salad one evening, since we had a late dinner
seating and needed to eat something during regular dinner hours. 
Even when we had pizza, we opted for the veggie pizza, which
was covered with fresh, crunchy peppers and onions and olives.
The kids enjoyed the fast food, for sure, but more often than not they
headed to the fruit counter, going back over and over again for the
watermelon.  And this was right next to the free ice cream!  They
literally ignored the ice cream to get fruit!
When it came to dinnertime, oh...if I could only describe the total
awesomeness.  We avoided the bread/rolls or just tried half.  Most
of DCL's appetizer, salad and entree selections were healthy, with
little fried or battered items in sight.  Everything was fresh, light,
flavorful and tasty.
What did I notice most about our meals?
Portion size.  Each appetizer, salad, entree and dessert was about
one-third the portion you'd get in the average U.S. restaurant.  We
found that we were pleasantly full after dessert, and hungry a couple
hours later (a good sign).  If you want more, you can certainly ask
for it, but no one at our table did--not even the kids.  I enjoyed chocolate
mousse, cheesecake, beef filet, mashed potatoes and other "non-diet"
items, but didn't gain a pound.
Slow-paced dining.  Each meal took around one-and-a-half to two hours
to complete.  We talked with our tablemates, relaxed and enjoyed
each course.  When you take the time to eat slowly, savoring your food,
you find you can be much more satisfied eating less!
One dilemma we faced was the fact we'd requested the late dinner
seating at 8:15 p.m., in order to have more time to enjoy the day's
activities.  We normally eat dinner early (4 or 5ish), so we were
ravenous when we got back to our stateroom to shower and dress.
We thought an extra meal would make it easier for us to gain weight,
but then I remembered that eating several small meals a day has been
shown to be much more preferable to eating just three big meals.  So,
as we continued to make light, healthy and lower-carb choices at
all our meals, we could easily eat at 5 (salad, chicken noodle soup,
cheese and crackers and fruit, veggie pizza), eat again at 8:15, and
then enjoy a late-night snack or surprise pirate buffet.  :-)
If you think vacations are time for binge eating, think again!  Pick up
a copy of "Real People Don't Diet" and check out the bonus on how
to go away, have fun, relax, and stay trim.
If you want to ask more detailed questions on cruise dining--yum--
just email me at cate AT
Don't forget to check out the photos!

Now it's back to the "real" world...and a real schedule.
Keep it real, and see you next time!


Cate Brizzell signature


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Copyright (c) 2008 and Cate Brizzell

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