Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But, I will not strictly adhere to the Whole 30 while traveling somewhere new again, at least not somewhere with a whole food culture that I haven’t yet experienced.
When I chose to do the January Whole 30, I knew that I had a trip to NYC planned over days 16, 17, and 18 of the Whole 30. I was really nervous that I would fail the Whole 30 while there, and spent a lot of time preparing myself for it, both mentally and by stocking up on Whole 30 emergency snacks.
Two weeks prior to my NYC departure, I purchased two flavors of RX bars, only to find out that they give me such awful stomachaches that they’re not worth eating. Upon realizing this, I ordered Primal Pacs, but they did not arrive in time for my trip. So, my emergency stockpile of food for the trip included 5 Lara Bars, a sandwich bag full of macadamia nuts, and roasted pumpkin seeds.
Dinner prior to boarding my bus to NYC was promising. We ate at Johnny Rockets and they were happy to accommodate my order for a burger with no bun, cheese, mayo, or ketchup. I snacked on a few pumpkin seeds on the bus, and by the time we got to NYC, it was time to check into the hotel and get some sleep for the next day. I know, I lead a glamorous life.
In the scheme of things, Saturday was okay, too. I had an herb omelette and bacon at brunch, though the omelette was terribly bland. Dinner was a seafood platter with roasted asparagus and vegetables (they ended up giving me broccoli and carrots) subbed for the rice. I had to all but beg the waiter to not give me rice, but the cook must have relented because my meal include plenty of green veggies and it was delicious.
Saturday evening, we had tickets to Drunk Shakespeare (to maintain my glamorous life, I also only attend dignified events), where I declined a free shot upon admission to the show. I didn’t mind declining a drink in this instance, or during the whole trip, because I really didn’t feel like I was missing out on some great NYC experience by not drinking. I was also fine not drinking during the show, as cocktails were $15! If you’re wondering, a seltzer water was $4 (highway robbery!).
Cue Sunday. I tagged along with a friend to a well-renowned bagel shop. I almost broke and failed the Whole 30, and in retrospect, I actually wish I had just cheated because those bagels looked perfect. But, I stayed strong and asked for two hard-boiled eggs and a black coffee, to which the guy working the counter incredulously asked me, “That’s it?!”. Yes, sadly, that’s it.
For some context, this was my first proper trip to NYC. I’ve never had a true New York bagel, slice of pizza, cannoli, or slice of cheesecake before. Though I love to sight-see, traveling with my taste buds and stomach is equally important to me. I truly feel like I lost out on some of the experience of the trip. Going forward, when traveling an 80/20 rule would be far more sustainable for me.
I intend to make it up to myself, though. I’m already planning my next trip back, when I will fully take advantage of all of NYC’s excellent food offerings. And should I travel in the future, I’ll adhere to the tenets of the Whole 30 for most meals, but I will not forego trying a new local cuisine in the name of the Whole 30. Next time, I will eat the bagel and then pay for it with a day of bloatedness and a rumbly tummy, but it will be worth every. single. bite.
For which food will you always cheat?