I remember the spontaneous days in my twenties when I used to set aside a little money from every paycheck to take a trip to a new country each year. Ever since I had children though I don’t travel nearly as much as I used to, and my trips end up being big rowdy family reunions. I do find cruises are a nice way to travel when you’re with a large group of people with different interests and ambitions. Today cruises cater to the youthful and active, as well as to the more laidback and even sedentary crowd. My father’s idea of vacation is chillin on the balcony looking at the ocean with a good drink and a bag of pistachios. My mom loves shopping at all the ports and playing rounds of bingo. My hubby loves fine culinary experiences and musical theater. My kids love any good beach or pool. My brother and I love water sports and adventurous land tours. My sister just loves a spa treatment and a good steak. So, we learned that today’s cruises offer all of the above, and this year we decided to book a vacation on a new ship, the Norwegian Getaway. With its expansive bars, cheerful (often singing and dancing) staff, specialty dining, ropes course, bowling alley, high end theatrical performances and water slides I knew no one would be bored on this ship.
And here’s a funny thing: I learned that many people are fearful of going on ships because they don’t want to gain any weight or are afraid of getting seasick. Well, as someone that gets motion sickness from a playground swing, I can tell you I have never been seasick on a cruise. These ships are so massive that there would have to be a serious storm for you to feel any movement. Make sure you book a room in the center of the ship on the lower floor just in case to avoid any sway with windy days. As for fitting into your clothes on the plane ride home, here are some eating tips that will allow you to indulge without busting a gut:
1) For breakfast, I stick to simple eggs, either poached or sunny side up. I load up on raw fruit and a bowl of oatmeal with very little brown sugar and cinnamon. Notice, breakfast consists of whole unprocessed foods. Pastries and greasy meats are not going to give you energy, but weigh you down and bloat you from excess sodium and high glycemic carbs.
2) For lunch pile your plate high with veggies–either salad form, steamed, or any kind of vegetable you can get your hands on. After you finish all the veggies, then go for some lean protein, like chicken, white fish or shrimp. Forget the desserts at lunch, because they are not as good as the desserts at dinner.
3) I save most of my calories for dinner. Often I will order two or three appetizers in lieu of an entree so I can sample lots of different flavors. I will always order lobster if it’s on the menu, or scallops or shrimp. Seafood feels indulgent and is very filling–yet lower in calories and fat than red meat or even chicken.
4) For dinner I always get a dessert, from chocolate lava cake and tiramisu to profiteroles or souffles–I eat at least 50% of dessert with lots of tea cups filled with hot water.Yes I really ask the waiter for hot water. I learned to do this from my Asian girlfriends–who are all really tiny yet can surprisingly pack in those calories! Their theory is that the hot water helps digestion and melts the fat. So there you have it, an ancient Chinese secret that works for them 🙂
5) Now the activities to burn the calories are really important as well. I end up exercizing in some form on vacation at least 4 hours a day! What do I do other than swimming, snorkeling, or waverunning in the ocean? Watch the below video to find out 🙂 In the following video I also give highlights of our summer trip, where 12 members of my family got to see Costa Maya Mexico, Isla Roatan Honduras, as well as Belize. What are your thoughts on cruising? Do you have any favorite ships or cruise ports? I would love to know! I will be back with a recipe next week so check back soon! Best, B