I’ve had a fun six weeks since my last update. Two sun soaked weeks in Barbados before returning two weeks Christmas when the Christmas parties and get togethers were in full swing. Was I a good girl ? Well apart from several bottles of wine and rum drunk over this period I tried to be good on the food front trying to avoid bread, pasta, sugars and potatoes.
Suffice to say it wasn’t easy. . .
Let’s start with the fight to Barbados. It was the first time I have travelled long haul with British Airways. I have previously flown with Virgin, Continental, Singapore and Quantas airlines, to name a few, and I was expecting comfort, good food and service with a smile from BA. Boy, was I wrong. The plane was dirty, small and cramped with little room to walk around, something I like to do on a long flight.
Although the staff regularly brought around water we were offered just two alcoholic drinks and by the time they got to me they had run out of one of the dishes for lunch so bangers and mash it had to be. I opened the tray of food which consisted of a roll and butter, sausages, mash potato and vegetables with cheesecake for dessert. So the only thing I could really eat were the vegetables and I could possibly get away with the sausages. This was a nine hour flight so I ate all the main meal leaving the roll and cheesecake. To be fair the bangers and mash were nicer than I expected. I felt quite virtuous having resisted the cheesecake and roll but not so five hours later when we were getting hungry and enquired whether there would be anything further to eat. Just a cuppa and a mini chocolate bar we were told. "Cutbacks". We were flabbergasted. I succumbed and chose a Soreen Malt loaf bar in the hope that I it was better than chocolate. To exacerbate how we felt about the service the empty cups of water and drink containers were not collected until the end of the flight so we had to sit in our rubbish. Certainly not what I expected from BA.
When we compared our flight with some friends who had flown over to Barbados on Virgin with copious amount of alcohol, two meals and snacks we felt even more disappointed. The flights had cost virtually the same but the only reason we chose BA was because the flight times were better. We had expected the same quality of service. The result of this sad service means I am going to avoid flying with BA in the future.
Ok, enough of a moan about the flight let’s get back to the food and drink.
We get off the plane and are met by our friend and a local tour guide who greets us with the devil’s brew of Rum Punch which he makes himself. He said it was the best on the island and I have to agree, it was delicious, and on the first day I enjoyed it in various establishments but when I took my blood sugar level the next day it had shot up into double figures and that is when I found out how much sugar syrup must go into making the drink. Regrettably I had to avoid it the rest of the holiday. I stuck to drinking wine and rum with diet coke. I limited the number of cocktails I drank, usually a must on holiday, for the same reason, I didn’t know what sugar they contained.
The big thing I found difficult about sticking to the diet was eating out. Being with three other ladies who were also health conscious made it easy to stick to salad, protein and vegetables when we stayed in and cook. When we went out there was always potatoes, bread and the dessert to resist. Luckily fish is a staple food in Barnados and I enjoyed eating Flying fish, Marlin, Sword fish and red snapper accompanied with lots of vegetables. If the dish automatically came with potatoes of any sort I would just ask for more vegetable. What I did find hard to resist, and in fact wanted to try, were the traditional Bajan dishes: fish cakes, macaroni pie, breadfruit, rum cake and the list goes on. I love to try new local dishes so I did. A bit like the Rum Punch, I only checked the carb content on breadfruit AFTER I ate it and again was horrified at how many carbs there were in 100g (27g carbs). Luckily I didn't like it and was happy not to eat it again, unlike the other dishes I tried.
I must have done something right because considering how much we partied I only put on 1lb which I took off pretty much the day I after I returned to Bristol when I went back to my new eating habits in earnest.
Would I go back to Barbados ? Definitely. It was one of the best holidays I have had. The weather was amazing, the food delicious but the thing that really made it special was that the people are super friendly.