Superstar Virgo Cruise: Why I Took a Keto Break

Confession: I took a [very] long break from my Keto diet. Last month, my family and I sailed to Japan and Taiwan from Manila via Superstar Virgo. I knew that the cruise would have amazing (read: FREE!) food, so I decided that I would take a break during the six-day trip.

May 19, 2018: Aboard the Superstar Virgo cruise

I actually broke my diet two days before the cruise. I told myself that my body needed time to adjust to all the food I’ll be eating on the ship. But really, here’s another confession: I MISS CARBS AND SUGAR LIKE CRAZY!!! And boy, did I eat!

Superstar Virgo, from the Star Cruises company, spoiled us with up to six meals per day. There were 12 restaurants/cafes on board, and we were free to eat our hearts out in three of them. One of the restaurants, The Lido, served buffet and this was where we had our breakfast every day. The other two restaurants were fancier and served Western and Chinese cuisine.

Gala night with the family at Superstar Virgo’s Pavillion restaurant
Fish & Chips. I missed those crunchy bread crumbs! And don’t get me started with the fries.

I’ll be honest and tell you that Superstar Virgo’s food wasn’t exceptionally special. But having been carb-and-sugar-deprived for more than three months, I welcomed anything starchy and sweet on my plate. I threw all caution to the wind–I heartily ate croissants for breakfast, had plates and plates of sweet fruits, and saved room for dessert!

When we docked in Okinawa, Japan, our tour guide took us to this tiny restaurant serving the best Ishigaki beef in town. Definitely, the best beef I’ve ever tasted in my life! And the rice—oh my. Rice in Japan is something else! I must have had two bowls of the fluffiest and most fragrant rice.

Ishigaki beef is sooooo tender and flavorful!
We also ate at the famous Modern Toilet restaurant in Taiwan. Food wasn’t that special, but we had loads of fun!
Chocolate. Ice. Cream.

I know binging out like this after my body has been programmed for months to reject carbs and sugar is not healthy. And I most certainly wouldn’t recommend this kind of Keto break to anyone. But my confession #3: I don’t regret it.

It’s a sweet reminder of my old palate, of how much I love making and eating good food. As I write this post, I remember Anthony Bourdain–from whom I learned that food, more than anything else, brings people together.

It doesn’t matter if there were loads of carbs in that bowl of Japanese rice, or how much sugar was in that tiny piece of Taiwanese pineapple cake. Once in a while, it’s also nice to not care about the numbers and focus on a country’s culture, the company you’re with, and the memories you’re making.

Aftermath + Learnings

After the cruise, I weighed myself and found out that I gained a whopping seven pounds in six days. I eased back into the Keto diet and after a week, I was happily back on my pre-cruise weight. Unfortunately, I got sick with a really bad flu and an even more terrible diarrhea–so I nourished my body with fruits, vegetables, and yes–carbs. Needless to say, I got kicked off from ketosis again.

Now, it’s like I’m starting back at square one. I’m realizing that getting back into Ketosis after a prolonged break is even harder than the first time I ever did the diet. But like I said, no regrets. This time around, I’m not as hard on myself. Yes, I do have a weight goal (still a long way to go!), but I’m also not as weight-conscious now. I understand that the Ketogenic diet should be more of a lifestyle, yes. But I’ve learned to bend a few rules (once in a while) in favor of richer experiences.

Have you ever gone on a Keto break? For how long? Please share your tips on getting back on track!!!

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