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Eating Keto LIVE on Carnival Dream 11/16/19-11/21/19


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I thought it might be interesting for those that are eating Keto to follow my Keto experience as I live it these 5 days aboard Carnival Dream.  I've been eating Keto for almost 4 months and have lost about 30 lbs.  I count my calories and macros also.  My average calorie count has been 1200-1300 a day.  I purchased a blood ketone monitor to keep track of how well I'm staying in ketosis as I learn to eat this way.  I've been firmly in ketosis pretty much the entire 4 months, after the first 4 days.  
 

I intend of eating Keto while on this cruise and have brought my ketone monitor to see how well I'm doing.  What I'm *not* doing is counting calories, so I anticipate some weight gain, and will be interested to see just how much at cruise's end.  I'll share that with y'all too.  I'll post what I'm eating and any ketone levels I monitor. 

 

I also intermittent fast, so no breakfast.  First meal is at 12:00 with second meal at 6:00.  Nothing between 7:00PM and 12:00PM.  So, 17 hour fast.

 

Yesterday we boarded and for lunch I ate two Guy's burger patties with cheese which I topped with shredded lettuce, a few tomato slices, some sliced onion, pickles, bacon, and mayo.  Chopped it up and it was delicious!

 

Mid afternoon I purchased a sugar free French Vanilla Latte made with heavy whipping cream.  The BEST latte I've ever had.  So good I was interested to see my ketones that evening to see if it had in fact been sugar free.

 

We had early dining so at 6:00 I ordered, and ate, shrimp cocktail with minimal cocktail sauce, Caesar salad, flat iron steak, creamed spinach, and shared a mahi-mahi with my husband.  All sauces were minimally consumed.  Oh, and I drank about 10 ounces of champagne I had brought aboard.

 

About two hours after I finished eating for the day I checked my ketones.  I want to stay 1.5 mmol/L and above.  I was right at 1.5.  Success on day one!

 

 

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Today is day two of the cruise.  I did order another latte around 9AM, so broke my fast early.  We went to Sea Day Brunch around 11:00.  Steak and Eggs (filet mignon and two fried eggs) with a side of bacon.  That kept me plenty full until dinner.  


Checked my ketones this afternoon, 2.7.  Doing good.

 

For dinner I ordered stuffed mushrooms, Caesar salad, sea bass entree and grilled shrimp entree. Our waiter knows now to not bring any potatoes, rice, etc. on the dish and subs veggies instead. Oh, they also know to bring a couple cheese plates at the start of the meal, while ordering, instead of bread.  Yum!  We did order the sugar free dessert to each take a couple bites knowing it wasn’t keto.  Well, a couple bites turned into maybe 6 bites.  I also drank 10 ounces of champagne.  
 

I just checked my ketones.  1.0.  Yikes!  No sugar free dessert tomorrow. And maybe half the champagne.

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Good on you, SailorMarg, for sticking to your Keto lifestyle on your cruise!  And congratulations on your weight loss!  I've been Keto for over 7 years now, but I go off of it for cruises.  Boat drinks.  And Bahamian food.:classic_blush:🥰 🤤   Thanks for sharing this interesting cruise perspective with us, and happy keto cruising to you!:classic_biggrin:

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15 hours ago, SailorMarg said:

Today is day two of the cruise.  I did order another latte around 9AM, so broke my fast early.  We went to Sea Day Brunch around 11:00.  Steak and Eggs (filet mignon and two fried eggs) with a side of bacon.  That kept me plenty full until dinner.  


Checked my ketones this afternoon, 2.7.  Doing good.

 

For dinner I ordered stuffed mushrooms, Caesar salad, sea bass entree and grilled shrimp entree. Our waiter knows now to not bring any potatoes, rice, etc. on the dish and subs veggies instead. Oh, they also know to bring a couple cheese plates at the start of the meal, while ordering, instead of bread.  Yum!  We did order the sugar free dessert to each take a couple bites knowing it wasn’t keto.  Well, a couple bites turned into maybe 6 bites.  I also drank 10 ounces of champagne.  
 

I just checked my ketones.  1.0.  Yikes!  No sugar free dessert tomorrow. And maybe half the champagne.

 

While I suspect the dessert was the largest culprit (no sugar, but still other carbs), there might have been sneaky carbs in the mushrooms depending on how they were stuffed or the Caesar if you had croutons (but I'm guessing you didn't).

 

Great job on your loss and thanks for sharing your journey.

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46 minutes ago, momof3cruisers said:

There is probably a bit of sugar in the Caesar dressing too.

 

A bit, yes, but only a tiny bit.  Most Caesar dressings are 1 carb (or less) per 2 TBSP serving.  Chicken Caesar salad (light on the dressing, no croutons) is a staple of mine on my Keto diet.  It is practically carb-free, nutritious, and very satisfying.:classic_smile:

Edited by ShakyBeef
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2 hours ago, momof3cruisers said:

There is probably a bit of sugar in the Caesar dressing too. 
 

Great job sticking to your plan!

 

may I ask what monitor you have and about how much it cost?

I paid $115 for the Keto Mojo Premium Starter Kit which included 60 ketone strips and 60 glucose strips.  I've restocked the ketone strips and they aren’t cheap.  Pretty much $1 each.  I order 50 for $50.  https://shop.keto-mojo.com/products/ketone-glucose-meter-premium-starter-kit

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Day 3 and our first port day.  Cozumel.  We reserved spots at Nachi Cocum.  Just got back.  I ordered vodka with soda and brought MÍOS to flavor it.  I brought my favorite, Blueberry lemonade...delish!  While we were there this is what I ate; wings (unbreaded and unsauced) which were okay,  seafood soup which was 80% seafood and incredibly delicious, shrimp/octopus/squid ceviche which was tasty and very fresh, and lastly I ordered a grilled grouper which was flavored with garlic butter and was so fresh and so yummy.  Just had half a Guy's burger patty with cheese topped with my favorites (same as the first day).  Just checked my ketones. 2.2!!  A successful, filling, and very satisfying day in Cozumel so far.  Not to mention the weather was perfect, the water warm, and the company excellent. 😊.  We will still go to dinner at 6:00 and see how that goes.  This keto on a cruise thing is a piece of cake.  Figuratively, of course. 😉

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53 minutes ago, ShakyBeef said:

SailorMarg, will you be dining in the Steakhouse on this cruise?  If so, in addition to the obvious steak (ribeye, medium rare for me:classic_biggrin:), might I suggest the tuna tartare, if they still offer it?  Yummy! 

We usually do dine in the Steakhouse, at least once a cruise.  But, this cruise we are with a couple who does not want to do so.  So, it's MDR every night for the first time in awhile.  Tonight they did have a “Seared Tuna” appetizer which was nearly raw (yum!) and very tasty, although it was minuscule.  That's okay though because my calorie count is out of control compared to what I had been doing at home.  I'm not looking forward to facing the scale come Friday morning. 😬.  The good thing about Keto is I know I can lose it pretty “easily”.

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SailorMarg congrats! I've been on following the keto lifestyle since January, and I just hit 60 lbs weight loss (way ahead of schedule- my goal originally was 50 lbs by end of the year!).

 

I went on a cruise in June and was concerned that I'd blow up on all my readings. I have the same meter as you but didn't bring it along on the cruise. I decided (like Shaky Beef!) that cruising and keto are not for me. So instead of counting carbs and proteins (30 carbs, 12 oz of protein per day) I just really focused on portion control. I'd eat a Guy's Burger, but after a couple of bites of the bun, I ended up stripping it off and just eating the burger and the toppings... I was jonesing for spaghetti carbonara one day so I ordered the appetizer size- 2 bites and that was all I wanted. I found that most of the time I was able to bypass the carb option without feeling left out, but if I wanted it, I had it- normally a bite or two was it. EXCEPT for the gelato on the Lido each day for lunch!!!

 

I was pretty happy about my results- only gained a couple of lbs, ketones were .5 the day I got back and back into the 1.8 - 2.2 range within 2 days. All in all, a very successful cruise!

 

Can you tell me more about this intermittent fasting? How does it work for you @SailorMarg? I'm wondering if I'm inadvertently following that, because I rarely eat a regular breakfast (never miss my coffee with heavy whipping cream, though!). So typically my first meal of the day is between noon and 2 PM.

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End of Day 3.  We had dinner in the MDR at the 6:00 seating.  I ordered the seared tuna appetizer which was extremely small but very tasty.  Then a Caesar salad.  For an entree I ordered the lamb shank and requested extra grilled cauliflower.  I love the lamb shank with its curry flavor.  I did order the sugar free dessert but limited myself to two bites.  Again, I drank about 8 ounces of champagne.  Tested my ketones about 2 hours after finishing and it was 1.2.  Not great, but I'll take it.  Especially since I rebounded to 2.2 this afternoon after having been 1.0 last night.  This frequent ketone monitoring has really been interesting.  I usually only test a few times a week. 
 

Tomorrow will be challenging because we've hired a private tour in Progreso which includes lunch at a private hacienda.  I don't know that I will have a lot of keto options as I'm imagining tortillas, beans, and rice will play a big part of the meal.  I'm bringing my snacking pecans as a back up.

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This is awesome!  Thanks for sharing.  I typically start out strong on a cruise, but the desserts are just too much temptation for me to bypass.  My regular food I can usually stay strong, but I cave on the desserts.  Great job sticking to the plan!  Hopefully in Progreso you can just stick with the meat and a few veggies 🙂  You are an inspiration!

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12 hours ago, Shaded Lady said:

 

 

Can you tell me more about this intermittent fasting? How does it work for you @SailorMarg? I'm wondering if I'm inadvertently following that, because I rarely eat a regular breakfast (never miss my coffee with heavy whipping cream, though!). So typically my first meal of the day is between noon and 2 PM.

If you are drinking coffee with heavy whipping cream, you are technically NOT fasting.  There are 50+ calories in a tablespoon of cream.  For intermittent fasting to work, you need to have zero calories for 14-15 hours, daily, if losing weight.  2-3 times a week once desired weight is achieved.  Another alternative is no calories for 22-24 hours twice a week.  Neither of these fasting programs will bring on rapid weight loss (1-2 lbs a week), and you do need to exercise as well.  If you are going to use heavy whipping cream in your coffee, look at going longer before eating, 15-16 hours.  Or walk 20 minutes after drinking the coffee.

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12 minutes ago, crewsweeper said:

If you are drinking coffee with heavy whipping cream, you are technically NOT fasting.  There are 50+ calories in a tablespoon of cream.  For intermittent fasting to work, you need to have zero calories for 14-15 hours, daily, if losing weight.  2-3 times a week once desired weight is achieved.  Another alternative is no calories for 22-24 hours twice a week.  Neither of these fasting programs will bring on rapid weight loss (1-2 lbs a week), and you do need to exercise as well.  If you are going to use heavy whipping cream in your coffee, look at going longer before eating, 15-16 hours.  Or walk 20 minutes after drinking the coffee.

OK thanks for the update... my health coach doesn't want me to give up my coffee unless I eat a regular breakfast, so I'm guessing that it counts as a breakfast.

 

I don't count calories on my version of keto- in fact I sometimes need to increase my fat (& calorie) intake a bit to feel full. I just count carbs and proteins.

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My wife & I have both been on keto for over a year and both took a break from keto on our recent 7 day sailing (8 days including extra day in port).  Both only gained about 3-4 pounds not following keto but felt really sluggish with the high carb foods every day.  
 

Planning on following a modified diet next October for our next cruise; eat 1-2 keto meals and 1 cheat meal each day.  Just going to be more picky about eating unnecessary carbs (Guys burger buns, maybe no pizza since I’m not a fan) and hope for net zero gain with the amount of walking we do.

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Yesterday was Day 4 and we were in Progreso.  We had booked a private tour with Yucatan Cenote which I highly recommend if it is in your budget.  We toured the Uxmal Ruins, then had a swim in a private cenote where it was just us.  Lastly we had a meal that was prepared by a local family in their humble home.  I anticipated a carb heavy meal, and knew I would not refuse anything offered by the family.  So, for lunch I ate 2 small (4”?) corn tortillas which were made table side over the open fire, some puréed beans (maybe 1/4 cup), some white rice (maybe 1/2 cup), grilled pork slices (maybe 4 oz), and various condiments such as homemade salsas and onion relish.  I understood that my decision to embrace this experience would take me out of ketosis and I was okay with that.  I checked my ketone levels a few hours later and was happy to see it had only gone down to 1.3. 
 

Because we had eaten lunch so late (2:00) we didn’t want to go to the MDR for our early 6:00 seating and chose to make Steakhouse reservations instead for 8:00.  My choices there ranged from less than keto perfect to “are you kidding me” carb heavy and I relished every bite of my decision to let me ketones fall where they would.  I didn’t want to completely restrict my choices in the Steakhouse and I didn’t.  Did I order everything I would have during pre-keto days?  No.  I resisted the risotto, Mac and cheese, onion rings, etc.  What I ordered was the stuffed mushrooms which surprisingly came with a panko crust.  They were delicious and I had already decided this would be a non keto meal so I didn’t worry about the panko.  I then had the lobster bisque which also was so rich and so delicious.  I chose the Prime Cowboy Steak, rare, with garlic broccoli rabe and mushrooms as my sides.  It was a gorgeous and perfectly prepared piece of meat.  Yum!  I made the decision to order cheesecake for dessert.  I knew I was leaving ketosis for awhile and decided to make the best of it.  I ate half the piece, which was huge, and I savored every bite.  
 

So, y’all have witnessed my first conscious choice to break ketosis, and surprise!  it was on a cruise. 😆  I'm okay with that and fully anticipate going right back to full keto today and for the foreseeable future.  My ketones were 0.8 this morning and I’m interested to see how long it takes to recover from yesterday.

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Thanks for doing this live post! Very interesting about the process.  I tend to gravitate to protein choices as well with a bite or two of whatever side is with it.  Dessert is a couple bites as well.  Cocktails are usually a vodka and club soda with a squeeze of lemon and lime, but I do love those Alchemy Bar drinks😋Looking forward to the rest of your cruise!

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5 hours ago, SailorMarg said:

Yesterday was Day 4 and we were in Progreso.  We had booked a private tour with Yucatan Cenote which I highly recommend if it is in your budget.  We toured the Uxmal Ruins, then had a swim in a private cenote where it was just us.  Lastly we had a meal that was prepared by a local family in their humble home.  I anticipated a carb heavy meal, and knew I would not refuse anything offered by the family.  So, for lunch I ate 2 small (4”?) corn tortillas which were made table side over the open fire, some puréed beans (maybe 1/4 cup), some white rice (maybe 1/2 cup), grilled pork slices (maybe 4 oz), and various condiments such as homemade salsas and onion relish.  I understood that my decision to embrace this experience would take me out of ketosis and I was okay with that.  I checked my ketone levels a few hours later and was happy to see it had only gone down to 1.3. 
 

Because we had eaten lunch so late (2:00) we didn’t want to go to the MDR for our early 6:00 seating and chose to make Steakhouse reservations instead for 8:00.  My choices there ranged from less than keto perfect to “are you kidding me” carb heavy and I relished every bite of my decision to let me ketones fall where they would.  I didn’t want to completely restrict my choices in the Steakhouse and I didn’t.  Did I order everything I would have during pre-keto days?  No.  I resisted the risotto, Mac and cheese, onion rings, etc.  What I ordered was the stuffed mushrooms which surprisingly came with a panko crust.  They were delicious and I had already decided this would be a non keto meal so I didn’t worry about the panko.  I then had the lobster bisque which also was so rich and so delicious.  I chose the Prime Cowboy Steak, rare, with garlic broccoli rabe and mushrooms as my sides.  It was a gorgeous and perfectly prepared piece of meat.  Yum!  I made the decision to order cheesecake for dessert.  I knew I was leaving ketosis for awhile and decided to make the best of it.  I ate half the piece, which was huge, and I savored every bite.  
 

So, y’all have witnessed my first conscious choice to break ketosis, and surprise!  it was on a cruise. 😆  I'm okay with that and fully anticipate going right back to full keto today and for the foreseeable future.  My ketones were 0.8 this morning and I’m interested to see how long it takes to recover from yesterday.

 

I love so much of this post and your whole attitude, especially the bolded parts.  Your excursion sounds great and like you I would not refuse anything a host made (unless there were a strong medical reason).   I'm glad you enjoyed the steakhouse.  Being intentional about choices and accepting the consequences up front would help me remove any potential guilt and make it easy to get back to a more disciplined eating plan 🙂 That's part of my plan for my next cruises is to fully enjoy the moments, but be specific in what I choose to enjoy.

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