What's different?

Am in 3rd week of holiday in Spain and inevitably there is a difference in my diet. We are eating out about every other day and I am not restricting myself as I do at home. One of the obvious differences is that everything has more salt. I have always hated salt, even as a child I avoided eating it and foods cooked in it which caused arguments, Funnily enough I ended up with hyotension with dier consequences when I developed AF. Here I am enjoying salt flakes on my food and guess what, my BP reading for the last week is around 120/70! I have never had such high readings and I am feeling so much better and more alert.

Other differences, I am eating a little dairy, a small portion of local cheese with no ill effects, last night I had a lovely steak, more salads and much less bread as no bread maker here and the local breads are not great so I don't want any. Had pasta once, but otherwise breakfast the same as home, I have made some veggie stews and veg soup.

I am also resting more than I have ever done in my life! I had to spend 2 days in bed when we arrived, I have swam at least once if not twice a day to keep supple but no walking as I can't deal with exercise in the warm 20-26C during the day and even the evenings are still warm. But I can exercise in our lovely cool water pool!

Whilst here I am researching this site and looked LCHF diet, which I tried years ago and couldn't hack at all, neither could my husband. I have looked at a few other suggestions posted on this site for particular considerations and come to the conclusion that there is no one size that fits all but there is consensus. I have avoided all processed foods here in Spain as I do at home, but have had a little bacon and Iberica Jamon, how could you not! And is a centuries old method of air drying meat considered processed?

Our portions are smaller here, much easier in the heat. I am not able to make juices and smoothies so made soups instead, chill and use in shot glasses before a meal. There is this great deli at the local shopping precinct, Guadalamina Centrale, which makes fab salads from fresh, local and organic produce, costs a fortune but worth it and means I don't have to cook. I want to take it home with me. They use raw cauliflower instead of rice for many of their salads or use bulgar wheat or couscous. The beetroot and apple is to die for and the roasted squash and couscous delicious!

So back to the consensus of losing weight and eating healthy:- eat smaller portions and try to eat when you are hungry, not by set meals. Much easier to do here as neither of us have commitments and our only restrictions are that I can't eat food within 90 mins of taking my Pyridostigmine, sticking to that has meant I no longer need the propathaline to counter the effect of the Pyrid. on bowel and bladder, yeah! One med down! We have smaller plates here, that means much easier to control portion size, time for a new dinner service I think!

We drink more water here and fresh fruit is much cheaper than at home, though not sure much is organic! So the old trick of drinking a glass 30 mins before a meal is easy.

Meat is same as home, once a week, as is fish, both homes are by the sea so ample supplies of really good quality fish and here in Spain one of our favourite fish restaurants is a short walk away and right beside the sea,

So those are the only differences, our fresh fruit and vegetable intake still comprises the major part of our diet. I feel fitter and more alert but I won't know if it has made any difference to my weight until return.

Healthy eating everyone....

4 Replies

  • Hmm, it's strange isn't it!

    Could it be the water your are consuming? Are chemicals added to the water there?

    I've always suffered with reflux which made my stomach really sore every night without fail. In the last few years I did 2 separate, 12 day tours of Europe and guess what no reflux at all both times.

    Enjoy the rest of your holiday and it's health benefits.

  • Hi Jeannie, I don't know. The water is different for sure, it's much softer than at home. Both hubbie and I notice that we have lost that sort of bloated feeling in our bodies, for instance I can get my rings on and off with no problems so it could be wage retention, could it be we are just enjoying ourselves?

  • I'm also from the AF forum and need to lose weight. I have changed my diet to a more protein base diet. I always felt that I did rather overload on carbs, such as bread and pasta and I must say over the last few days I have more energy now than I did when first diagnosed with AF, not helped either with the medication that goes with the condition. I'm off to France in a couple of weeks self catering in our timeshare, which helps with organising the diet. I intend to take a few high protein meals cooked beforehand and frozen, as we, like you will do a mixture of eating out/eating in. Enjoy your time in Spain and the scales will probably surprise you on your return!!


  • Sounds like a fab holiday, so glad you're having a great time. I found when I went to Portugal a similar thing, I ate a lot of fish and olive oil, though when I was tested last week it had put my INR up a bit (boooo). That may be due to having wine with every evening meal, just a glass, but obviously more than I'm used to. Sometimes it's hard to remember these things when you're enjoying yourself!

    I am sure smaller portions is the way to go. Mary Berry apparently swears by it. I am going to take that on board. I'm of a generation where my parents had gone through the war and I still feel bad if I don't clean my plate. Obviously I just need smaller plates!


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