Food Coach and Cruise Ship Life Stories
Ahoy there, fellow travelers! Today, I want to set sail to a unique place I have lived – aboard cruise ships. You might have heard me mention my unique experience of living in my golden cage in some of my previous posts. Recently, a client of mine embarked on a cruise ship adventure, sparking memories (and food solutions) of my time at sea.
Cruise ships offer a unique way to travel, with their all-inclusive packages and endless buffet meals. My journey began when my partner worked as an environmental officer on a Royal Caribbean vessel. For most of his contract, my daughter and I joined him aboard the ship in his rare and precious private officer quarters. Living on a cruise ship presented its own challenges – how to feed ourselves nourishing foods without piling on the pounds and feeling sluggish.
During our initial contract in 2017, we learned the hard way, gaining around 10 pounds each. The extra weight was a burden to our finger joints during our Spring rock-climbing adventure in Argentina. We soon realized that maintaining a healthy weight on board was essential to our climbing life.
Our journey toward maintaining our rock climbing weight started by adopting the Insanity workout, recommended by the ship’s entertainment crew, who seemed to be one of the few crew on board that were in great shape. But exercise was only part of the equation. We also had to navigate the tricky waters of cruise ship cuisine. Much of the food onboard was laden with unhealthy ingredients, particularly hydrogenated oils. These oils were used extensively, even on seemingly healthy options like steamed vegetables and plain rice.
Our journey to real food eating began with a fundamental realization – the majority of cruise ship fare was typical of mainstream American food, which is rarely health-promoting. There were two significant challenges when it came to food onboard. Firstly, the all-inclusive nature of cruises encouraged passengers to overindulge. Secondly, the lack of nutrients combined with a concentration of addictive chemicals left us unsaturated and craving more- supper tough combo.
Cruise ship food is designed to be tasty, cost-effective, and filling, which usually means it’s loaded with carbs, sugar, and hydrogenated oils. Consequently, we often felt icky and still snack-y. Figuring out alternative foods became a critical aspect of maintaining our health.
My daughter once recounted a food choice at school, “My brain was saying yes, but my body was saying no.”
To counter this, we developed our recipes. We sourced healthy ingredients during our port visits and created recipes would could make using a kettle and a mini-fridge like my amazon bone broth, which became a staple of our diet. Popcorn with nutritional yeast, olive oil, and salt provided the much-needed calories, while our salad toppings added nutrition to our meals.
Our fitness routine consisted of a 30-minute daily Insanity workout, which proved highly effective, my man got into the best shape he had been in since the army. These strategies allowed us to reclaim our health.
It’s essential to remember that not all calories are created equal. The cruise ship’s mainstream food options often prioritize profit over health. I encourage you to rethink food as sustenance and prioritize nourishing your bodies instead of merely filling them.
Ps… thank you for reading.