Tempted by Dietary Demons in Sin City

In Vegas, you can indulge in some of the seven deadly sins which might include lust, sloth, greed or gluttony.

Gamble into the wee hours of the morning, wander in a alcoholic haze, belly up to an over indulgent buffet or shop until your credit cards are maxed out. Las Vegas is a temptress. Be prepared to take a chance and gamble. The choice is yours. These are the choices I made.

las vegas

Pre Trip Apprehension

For me, I knew that when I traveled to Las Vegas that I would be tempted by my old dietary demons once again: sugar, sweets, junk food, overeating and not to mention irregular eating. It was with this realization that before departure I suffered a great deal of apprehension and stress about going on this trip. After committing to this trip, I decided that nothing would prevent me from attend my brother’s wedding or missing these experiences.

Everything in Las Vegas is big, bold and boisterous! It begins the moment you enter the McCarran Airport and are confronted the moment you step off the plane with greetings of the obligatory sounds coming from the slot machines, colorful decor, lights, huge billboards selling everything from five star shows to porn. A true sensory overload.

Finding Healthy Food in Las Vegas

Vegas is world renowned for it cheap buffets and most North Americans love to get as big of bang as they can for their buck. The plates are big as are the portion sizes. I cringed at the selections available. Vegetables in many cases were boiled beyond recognition, usually canned variety and watery. A staple in the buffet was cheese. Cheese sauce, sliced cheese, grated cheese and cheese sauces. For the first time, I saw things like grits and empanadas wrapped in corn stalks. Tacos, fried chicken, lasagna, ham, roast beef, Chinese food, Mexican food, several type of potatoes were the features. I’m not a desert eater but for the first time, I saw a buffet of deserts including carrot cake, donuts, cookies, turnovers, cream puffs, and other sweets. Unlimited soft drinks, food and desserts for the masses.

I even saw a deep fried Oreo for $1.00 on Freemont Street!

Found a Buffet With Vegetables and Fruit

fruit in las vegasI was giddy with delight when I was able to find a buffet that had fresh veggies and fruit. The buffet included steamed crab legs, shrimp, fresh fish and lean meats. I steered clear from sodas, sauces, salad dressings, condiments, deep fried foods and ate a small portion of dessert. I noticed that throughout the hotels, airports, and smaller stores that healthy eating options were available however limited. This included apples, bananas, boiled eggs, bottled water, soy milk, health foods and unsalted nuts. I realize that some of these option are processed but were a better alternative to the fast food that seemed to be everywhere in the form of pretzels, ice cream, mixed drinks, candy and I even saw a deep fried Oreo for $1.00 on Freemont Street!

Craving Healthy Food

I learned early in that my body now craved healthy food and I also experienced problems with my digestion when I ate too much or the unhealthy foods. I mentally rehearsed before I took this trip and as a promise to myself, I would experience and taste without going crazy or regretting it all later. When I ate well and listened to my body I had an enormous amount of energy compared to some of my traveling companions who indulged in the variety of foods. Eight months ago, you would have seen me at the hotel room resting but now I was up until the wee hours of the morning with energy to spare. I know that if I hadn’t eaten well or taken better care of myself like I have been, I wouldn’t have been able to participate in this holiday and attend my brother’s wedding.

Water

drink water in las vegasUnaccustomed to weather like this and temperatures like this ( I live in Canada and the week before we left we had a snowfall!) I was reminded by my body that I needed hydration and that water was a must. Throughout my travels in the city I made sure I had water with me and stayed away from sugary drinks. I would like to plead that I didn’t drink alcohol but I did have a glass of wine to toast the bride and groom . Yes, and then there was the 32 ounces of Margarita marketed by Coyote Ugly as the “Ugly Stick.” I was a tourist and I allowed myself this indulgence. Was I perfect with my eating and did I stay on plan 100% of the time? No.

My goal was to maintain my weight

 

My goal was to maintain my weight and I was not going to deny myself but I would not go crazy, food wise. I tapped into my personal comfort zone.

Lots of Walking

If you travel to Las Vegas, bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes. I had researched the streets, buildings, and places to see but what I did not realize was that to get anywhere on the strip or surrounding areas means lots of walking, hailing a cab or taking the local transit. Everything isn’t as close as it seems. I guarantee that you will burn off many of the calories you’ve consumed once you start walking. However, it doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that some of the input must be decreased by the output.

las vegas bellagio water fountain

My Favorite Places in Las Vegas

Some of my favorite places were Freemont Street, the Bellagio Water Fountains, Caesar’s Palace, Mandalay Bay, shopping at the Premium Outlet Mall, and the Las Vegas Strip. There are many places I would like to see which include tourist spots as well as those more off the beaten track. Where else can you travel to see France, Italy, and USA or travel to the top of the Effiel Tower to see a city of lights?

The city itself is truly amazing and comes alive at night as a glittering jewel guaranteed to bedazzle the most cynical of heart. The fluorescent sign age, gold gilded buildings, amazing architecture, the palm trees, desert landscape, dancing fountains, original restaurants, and the bluest of skies was simply mesmerizing to me. I could sit and people watch for days.

Everyone should visit Las Vegas once. If you haven’t, I highly recommend it! You’ll be glad you did! It was a holiday I will never forget with no regrets and ..see myself returning to Vegas again.

I’m quite happy now back at home and about to dig into my salad with fresh spring greens, tomatoes, cukes, hemp seeds, red onions sprinkled with my homemade salad dressing. Oh, how I missed thee! There is something satisfying and comforting about knowing what is on my plate and to know that I have made the choice when it comes to what I consume.

My challenge to you this week: Plan a holiday. Travel outside of your comfort zone!

6 Comments

  1. kudos to you Christina – well done. And I like the way you write and the words you choose – it has a great flow in your writing style.

  2. Nice blog! As a Las Vegas resident I love the Strip, although I only visit these days when out-of-town friends visit. For raw foodists, the buffets all have fresh produce, but for the price of the buffet you’re paying an awful lot for just salad while your pals are eating crab legs and the like! You definitely get your exercise walking the Strip to see the Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace and the other sights. Inside these hotel/casinos you can get all the walking exercise you need as well, as these places can be huge.

    Like you, I favor the Bellagio fountains and I like the laser light shows on Fremont, which is off the Strip. Next time you visit (if you do) try visiting Lake Las Vegas or staying at the Red Rock Casino so you can experience some of Vegas’ other wonders, including Mother Nature’s work. Glad you had fun!

  3. Thank you, Darlene.

    RawAllison:

    This was my first trip to Las Vegas so I had no idea what to expect other then what I had read or learnt from others. You are the first raw foodist (?) I have heard from so I’m quite curious to learn more!

    On a side note> The drivers in Las Vegas are crazy! I white knuckled it several times with the cabbies.

    C.

  4. Christina, a client and friend of mine from Las Vegas will soon be writing for the blog. He’s a raw foodist and his name is David. I’m just setting up his author account now.

  5. Thanks Rob, that’s great to hear. I look forward to hearing about the raw foodist lifestyle..

    Its just been confirmed, we (husband and I) are going to Vegas in Sept. He’s never been or even flown before but he saw how much fun we had from the pictures and said he’d love to go! :-)

    C.

  6. Sounds like a fun time Rob!

    It’s not as hard as people think (in my opinion) to eat healthy, even when there doesn’t seem to be a lot of good choices.

    It all come down to how dedicated you are to staying in shape – the rest of the story writes itself :)

    Jeremy Reeves

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