“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!
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Doreen Duggan says
Hi, just started reading your blog, I restarted keto/lowcarb as it has helped me last year but I gave it up, back on the wagon now though. I hope you have a wonderful time when you come over here to Ireland. We are lucky we have such a beautiful country and very well grass fed animals, due to our rain, something good comes from our temperate climate…There is a huge mix of restaurants, cafes here, with plenty fresh, clean food on offer, even in smaller towns. Most towns now have health food shops, which should help, along with fruit and veg grocers. Our nutrition labels are similiar to yours, so you really should not have any issues.
Travel safe, enjoy it all
Go n-éirí an bóthar leat
May the road rise up to meet you
Hello Doreen! I am so happy you are BACK ON THE WAGON! Remember your health is worth it and to choose you.
I am so in love with this country – and I’ve only been here two full days so far. I took pictures of dairy cows and sheep today. I was on the countryside in Bru Na Boinne. Absolutely breathtaking. So far the food has been excellent, with lots of choices to suit my keto lifestyle. I’ve eaten a few pats of butter just by themselves, too – to get the fat in! I’m positive I won’t have any trouble at all – and look forward to some beef and some fresh fish soon!
Thank you so much for leaving a comment. It’s nice to hear from people in Ireland!
Doreen Duggan says
glad you’re having a great time. Beautiful part of the country where you are, if your travelling, try to see the coast, we have wonderful beaches, a fab coastline… enjoy it all, and the great food…
Seeing as much of the coast as we can! We will be going to Inis More and Skellig Michael, as well – so lots of Atlantic coast anyhow 🙂
I am having absolutely no trouble eating Ketosis here!
I’m not sure how much longer you are there and what your itinerary is, but my cousin Hubert is the mayor of Sligo and I’m sure he’d be happy to give you a warm Irish welcome if you’re in the Northwest!
I’ll be in Ireland this summer and I know, at the very least, that I’ll always have a steady supply of Kerrygold butter while I’m there. I’m definitely worried about the temptation of comfort foods that I associate with past Ireland trips (my family is from there, and I studied abroad there in college, so I have many happy food-related memories).
Can’t wait to read more updates! And if you’re near Sligo, email me! Hubert is an awesome host of the most beautiful part of Ireland. 🙂 (I’m biased toward the Northwest!)
Ahhhh, I drove through Sligo today. That would’ve been a lovely idea, but my daughter would’ve been horrified that I would impose on a total stranger. LOL!
The northwest is beautiful. I can see why you have a fondness for it. You are SO LUCKY to have family here and to have studied here.
I am having no trouble sticking to Keto here! It’s like their way of eating is perfect for us!
I’m going to go do a short update on my Celtic Ketosis experiences!
Off to Ireland myself in a weeks time, and a bit nervous about keeping Keto. Curious about your comment on your snacks getting through customs. Is that something I should worry about?
Hi there! Get ready to have a wonderful trip – it’s so amazing there!
I packed FatBombs and PaleoValley beef sticks in my check in luggage on my flight there. No trouble at all. Then on the return flight I put a few of the fat bombs in my ziploc baggie in my carryon (because they are liquid-y). No trouble at all with security either flight. From some things I had read in miscellaneous blogs and forums, I wasn’t sure if they’d be confiscated.
You should have no trouble finding Keto friendly meals there! Enjoy!