When The Baggies Come Out, We Are Headed Out.

As you know, I am on a liquid diet due to severe Chronic Lyme-related GI issues. Pre-liquid diet, travel was highly stressful because it was difficult to find food I could tolerate. As a result I lost weight EVERY time we went somewhere, and often did not feel well. So really, it was double stress. Stress about finding the right food, and stress about losing weight. All while doing something that’s supposed to be fun. 

In that light, the liquid diet is a blessing when we travel. It’s a relief to know I will feel well and won’t lose weight while on vacation. 

My liquid diet also makes travel more enjoyable for my family, who are capable digesters. They have much more freedom to eat when and where they want, since they don’t have to work around my digestive handicap anymore. And that makes me happy. 

Logistically, I have the whole thing down to a system. If we are going to be gone four days or less, I pre-scoop my protein powder into little baggies. One baggie for each meal. Then I group the baggies for each day into a bigger baggie, which leaves me with one bag per day. Simple. (see second photo). For extra protection, I put the daily baggies into a bigger baggie. So, I basically have three layers of baggies. And for extra, extra protection, I pack a scoop. So, if there is a total catastrophe, and my triple bag system gets breached somewhere, I can always just dump it all in a bowl and re-scoop. (I’ve never had to do that.)

Maybe that all sounds a little anal, but this is my nutrition for the duration of our trip, so I need to be sure it’s protected. I usually carry one day of meals with me, put the rest in my suitcase, and cross my fingers for good baggage handling.

For longer trips, I pre-ship the protein powder to our destination, and simply scoop directly out of the tub, as I would at home.

There are advantages to both systems. Pre-scooping is a pain and I actually hate doing it, but once at our destination everything is so simple. Since we tend to be out and about a lot when traveling, it’s very easy to just grab the appropriate baggies before we leave for the day. Shipping the tubs is easier up front, but then I’m often making up “to go” baggies while at our destination. Pay me now, or pay me later.

I’ve mentioned this before, but the protein powder I use is called Absorb Plus. It is considered an elemental protein powder, which means it is broken down as far as food can be broken down. Thus, no work for the digestive tract. I have tried numerous other protein powders, but this is the only one I have been able to tolerate. It has helped me gain about 20 pounds, and my GI symptoms have dramatically decreased since I started using it. I used to have stomach pain, nausea, heaviness and a feeling of fullness pretty much 24/7. No more. As it turns out, giving up chewing is a small price to pay for the results I have achieved. 

I should note that when I transitioned to the liquid diet, I made a decision to still eat real food for dinner. I thought it would be good for my well being to chew at least once per day, and I wanted to keep my digestive tract acquainted with real food.

So far, it has been a good system. History proved there is no possible way I can consume enough calories of food to gain, or even maintain weight, so the way I see it, I have the best of both worlds. I’m gaining weight, I’m feeling better, AND I still get to eat food once a day. 

I hope to transition back to a full food diet one day, but I don’t dwell on that. Instead, I rejoice when I grow out of my clothing, I smile when I don’t lose weight on vacation, and I am grateful my stomach doesn’t hurt all the time.

One day maybe all those things can be true without a liquid diet, but today is not that day, and that’s OK.

Time to go. I have a plane to catch.

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P.S. If you or somebody you know would benefit from an easily digestible protein powder, here is the scoop on my shake. No, I am not a paid spokesperson. In fact, Absorb Plus has HORRIBLE customer service, and serious inventory management issues. If I could find another product that works as well as theirs, I would switch, but I can’t, so I’m stuck with them. Good product. Bad management. Now, you know my recommendation is legit.

OK, here’s the deal:

  • Click here to find Absorb Plus. I use Unsweetened Vanilla because I do not tolerate sugar well. 
  • You need to add 1 tablespoon of oil to each shake in order to increase the calories. I use this MCT oil because it is easy to digest. 
  • 4 scoops Absorb Plus + 1 tablespoon oil + 1 cup water = a whopping 500 calorie, easily digestible shake. More than I could ever eat in a sitting if it were food.
  • Now, the annoying part. Absorb Plus used to taste just fine as it came, but then they tinkered with the formula, and the taste changed, and frankly, it got gross. This was a crisis for me until I found all natural flavoring powders that I add to each shake. I do about ¼ flavoring powder per shake. Click here for the flavoring powders. This adds extra hassle, but the upside is I get to have different flavors throughout the day. My favorites: french vanilla, banana smoothie, mocha, chocolate fudge brownie. Now that’s living, right?

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