“God to You”, hello and welcome to my “Celtic Keto” pre-boarding post! My excitement is building – I can barely focus on anything now except getting ready for my trip! I’ll be leaving in three days. I have much to do, and starting this new blog category is high on the list.
I get questions a lot about how I stay on track with my Keto diet in various life situations. I can’t think of a more challenging one than staying true to Keto in a foreign country. This does present certain challenges – like what are their grocery stores like, what about their food labeling (do they have the similar requirements to labeling like the US?), and what about restaurants – will they have nutrition information available? If I tell a server that I am “completely sugar free” am I going to look like that CRAZY tourist? No doubt!
Before I get to my specific plans to those questions – I’ll give you a little background into this trip! In the fall of 2015, I went to Colorado with my hubs for our 25th anniversary trip. We spent most of the trip at Rocky Mountain National Park. As you can imagine, this park is best seen on foot – with the many, many hiking trails available. I was 100 pounds overweight and miserable! I also felt horrible that my hubby had to venture off on his own on some of the trails. I had to stop and wait for him. That was no fun, plus I was worried that some bears would attack him or something and I would have to go hike the trail anyhow to go find him. Ha! That trip was the real eye opener for me. Here’s a selfie of us on that trip. I can’t get over how puffy and fat my face was – then compared to now. I’m living proof that Keto heals!
The pictures from that trip were exactly what I needed to wake my butt up to my deteriorating health. I talk more about this in my “First Things First” post and on my ABOUT page if you want to hop over to those. I told myself that I would never take another vacation and sit on the sidelines of life.
I have always dreamed of exploring Ireland – but in the past, the thought was overwhelming. I couldn’t justify spending that kind of money to take a trip where my weight would hold me back. So I never thought this trip would happen. It was on the very back burner of my bucket list.
About six months into Keto, I was so shocked and amazed by my weight loss that I started to have serious thoughts about fulfilling this lifelong dream to go to Ireland. I started talking about it more with my husband and my daughter (she’s a real adventurer and already a world traveler at the age of only 20! She’s been all over the US, to the Dominican Republic, and to Iceland!). My husband seemed agreeable and he didn’t think I was crazy – he understands that I want this to be my “reward” trip for changing my life. My daughter, of course, was on board from the very get go. She never thought it would happen, either, and she knows it’s always been my dream. I’m pretty sure she is just as excited about this as I am. I welcome the challenge she gave me “Mom, you have to keep up with me on our hikes!”. Bring it on, dear daughter! I have so much energy to spare at the end of each day. I can’t wait to hear from her how tired she is at the end of each day.
So that is how the trip came about. I booked it August 2017 and have been counting down the days ever since. My ancestry is Irish and my family has done some very detailed genealogy. I know the towns and parishes and cemeteries where to find my family and I’m super excited to make some connections there. I was also born on St. Patrick’s Day – and I look forward to visiting St. Patrick’s grave site and learning more about his life. By the way, my husband was also born on St. Patrick’s Day – how cool is that?
Now let’s talk Celtic Keto – where I will be eating lots “green eggs and ham”! Hah! (Thank you to my friends Lisa and Ginger for helping me come up with some catchy phrases for my adventure!).
First of all, I am so grateful that I’m visiting an English-speaking country. That will definitely make it a million times easier. Second, Ireland is full of farms! Just give me all the grass fed meat and cheeses! What more could a Keto girl want?
I have been advised by some fellow Keto fat burners to take advantage of the “full Irish breakfasts” that will be served at my lodgings. This will include eggs, any style, and meats. Of course I will be skipping the toast and jam. I’m hoping it will be easy to adapt to eating breakfast while I am there, since the meal is included. I’ve never been much of a breakfast eater, but this seems like a great way to begin and fuel my day.
When I arrive, I’m going to buy a small, inexpensive cooler for our backseat. This is my plan for having fuel available if needed before we hit a hiking trail. I also have some prepackaged items that I’m throwing in my check in suitcase. I purchased Nut Butter Fat Bombs from Drop An FBomb and 100% Grass Fed Beef Sticks from PaleoValley. I’m hoping they make it through customs declaration when I arrive in Ireland. I have tried both these products and they are both delicious. They will both fit easily into our day backpacks for fuel sources as needed (have I mentioned that my daughter is eating low-carb now? LCHF for the win!).
My grand idea is to eat breakfast at our lodging, have quick fuel sources on hand in the car and backpacks during the day, and find a quaint place for dinner. This should be easier on the budget – as we will be just adding a restaurant expense once a day.
I’ve been reading a lot of travel reviews on restaurants and pubs in Ireland. We should have absolutely no trouble finding meat, fish, cheese, and heavy cream at most restaurants. It looks like we will just need to avoid stews and some sauces. Since I have become Keto, I am way more outspoken and will never be afraid to inquire if there is sugar in menu items that I am uncertain about. Don’t be afraid to ask – since I have been doing this, I have never received a weird response from a server. In fact, they are usually very friendly about it and often times quite curious to ask “why no sugar or carbs?”. I’ve truly enjoyed some conversations with servers and may have even sparked an interest in a few to research Keto and LCHF.
The one question I have still is regarding their food labeling. I’m not really worried, as I’m pretty confident I will find fresh food in most markets. If you’re reading this and have some tips about Irish markets and grocery stores, I’d appreciate your tips!
One last trick I have up my sleeve is my ability to fast when needed. I’m a fat burner and can rely on my stored fat to get me through several hours when necessary. If we get stranded without an adequate fuel source, I know I’m not going to die. One thing I learned from Intermittent Fasting is that I CAN go more than 3 hours without eating without dying. Eating six small meals a day is hogwash and making us all fat – well, not me any longer, but you know what I mean!
Wish me luck on my travels! I hope you’ll follow along with my adventure – Celtic Keto! I’m pretty certain that Ireland will be the dream destination I’ve always imagined for myself and also for someone that eats a Keto diet. Give me all the grass feed meats and cheeses! YUM!