Taking MAD on Vacation!

And being able to go out to eat for grilled chicken and vegetables.

Keeping Keto in Disney World and Universal theme parks in Orlando is going to be a challenge. Drake has been on “The Diet” for three years, and so by now we have lots of experience and practice traveling “on the diet” and packing snacks for the day “on the diet” and even going out to eat “on the diet”. But this is our first vacation flying on a plane and then not going to a grocery store the first day after we arrive. Yikes.

Drake is pretty much doing MAD (Modified Atkins Diet, 1 : 1 ratio) at this point, which makes it a lot easier to go out to eat and order food off the menu. We no longer restrict his protein so he can order plain meat and fish off the menu like: grilled chicken, hamburger with cheese (no bun obviously) salmon, bacon and eggs and even turkey legs. The trick as always will be to get enough fat into him.

We will have a mini-fridge in our hotel room but it has no freezer, so taking our usual snacks for the day that need to be kept cool with ice packs will be impossible. And we won’t have a microwave either, so we won’t  be taking my keto chicken nuggets or keto pizza with us since we have no way to reheat them while there.

So what should we take in our carry-on cooler bag? No liquids of course, so heavy cream is out. We finally decided on pecan breakfast cookies  so Drake can start the day with a 4:1 breakfast, and string cheese and salami just because we had the extra room. We also packed nuts and lily’s chocolate, and SlimFast Meal Replacement Bars and SlimFast Fat Bombs. We put a larger container of banana shake  into two plastic ziplock bags and will freeze it the night before and take it in our checked luggage. At least we will have something 100% fat; fingers crossed it doesn’t leak.

Life is pretty easy with MAD. We spend a lot less time calculating Drake’s meals. I only use the gram scale when baking keto treats. And luckily for us Drake is happy to eat all the cheese or nuts he wants, and seems to really like his keto food.

When we started lowering his ratio, we used to keep track of just the carbs he would eat for the day. But now we just mentally estimate all the foods, even the carbs, and not even worry about portion sizes.

It’s also interesting how his tastes have changed. He could easily go into the pantry and eat off-diet crackers or cookies that we have on hand for his younger brother. But he doesn’t. He prefers his keto meals.  We got Chinese take-out the other day, and ordered him chicken teriyaki and asked if he wanted one bite of rice — he didn’t. He opened the fortune cookie to get his fortune and didn’t even ask to eat it. Hopefully this trend continues with all the food choices he will encounter while on vacation at Disney and Universal.

I also appreciate that this all makes life easier for the entire family, especially me! I’ve been growing my freelance graphic design business and I have a new appreciation for not having to spend so much time cooking, planning, calculating, and grocery shopping.

Ataxia-free, growing and full of energy!

Author: Debra Lane

Debra & Ken Lane maintain this blog to chronicle their son's journey of living with the rare neurometabolic disorder, Glucose Transporter Type 1 Deficiency Syndrome (Glut1 DS for short). And hope to raise awareness and understanding of the non-epileptic form of Glut1 DS. Drake’s Glut1 journey started at the age of 3 with episodes of Ataxia and Dyskinesia. Now at the age of 8 he is 2 years symptom-free — thanks to the right diagnosis and the ketogenic diet.

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