The start date of this 100-day challenge was no fluke. I didn’t randomly pick a Tuesday. In fact, I started the challenge at a really busy time and probably would have preferred a different start date.
The start date of Tuesday, August 26th was 100 days before my trip to Australia and New Zealand. The trip is a graduation present to myself after finishing almost 3 years of part-time school while working.
While the idea of timing the challenge was to feel my best before leaving, I did not expect to end up spending months experimenting with my diet. I genuinely pictured eating “real food” for 100 days and feeling amazing. I did not anticipate having ongoing problems that would add a layer of complexity to an already ambitious undertaking.
With one week before leaving, I can safely say I won’t be leaving the country feeling my best. But, I do feel better than before. I also feel equipped to manage my eating while away.
When the challenge ends, what’s next?
I knew all along that I would be “free” on my trip – namely, not restricted to only real food. That being said, I feel good about avoiding highly processed foods and “food-like” products. I’m more discerning now, and I think that will carry on.
As for sugar, I think I will make a concerted effort to keep my sugar intake down and opt for less refined options when possible. I am, however, looking forward to enjoying a donut soon. Specifically, the candy cane donut at Tim Horton’s as that is a seasonal favourite of mine.
Gluten? Based on some experiments, I think I can safely say gluten does not cause problems for me. Although the low-FODMAP diet is supposed to avoid gluten, I have had it a couple of times since finishing the elimination diet, and I haven’t had any negative reactions or discomfort. That being said, I’m not planning to start loading up on bread and pasta.
Eating while Travelling
I’ll be away for an entire month, which means a drastic reduction in cooking and preparing my own meals. However, during the majority of the trip, there will be access to kitchens or kitchenettes, which means it will be easy to make breakfast, snacks, and other meals depending on the day’s schedule.
Now, in the past, I’ve had a tendency to go overboard on snacks and treats while travelling. I don’t think I’m alone in this, and when it’s only a few days or a week, it’s not a big deal. When it’s a whole month, that kind of behaviour could be more problematic. So, I do need to pace myself and remember I don’t need to have every pastry, baked good, and candy that “they don’t have in Canada”. Yes – I have a penchant for scanning the candy aisle for any kind of snack they don’t sell in Canada.
I’m also going to focus on relaxing. Because, well, that’s the whole point of a vacation, right?