Friday, November 25, 2016

Travelling with LPLD + PARIS

A city famous for it's amazing food, but it's all loaded with butter!  What do you do with LPLD, stay healthy, and still feel like you are on vacation?


Carousels next the the Eiffel Tower are always awesome
It's hard, but it's good to remember that travel and vacation are about more than food.  Walking along the Seine, lingering in the Louvre, admiring the Eiffel Tower - that is what Paris is all about, and none require putting your pancreas at risk!  Snacking on LPLD friendly snacks while being a tourist is essential, so you don't find yourself starving and desperate, with no safe foods in sight.  Apples, baggies of fresh popcorn, and some varieties of high-fiber granola bars (carefully picked out at the grocery store after reviewing nutrition facts in detail for those grams of fat!) were our key snacks while in Paris.  We always had them on hand and were quick to pull them out.


Proof we were there!
But at some point you find a restaurant you want to eat at, you're not starving, but something warm to eat and a place to sit for a while would really hit the spot!  Take, for example, Le Quasimodo Notre-Dame, a restaurant that my family ate at while going to the famous cathedral.  Yelp has some good photos of their food and menu.

So, what did we do for Monica and Teresa?  What could anyone with LPLD eat here, even if they couldn't speak French well in order to adequately describe what LPLD is??

First of all, we lucked out that the menu had English translations.  When you have LPLD, you really can't just pick a random food on the menu and hope for the best, as me and my husband sometimes do in other countries!

On this menu, many of the salads would be all right, asking for them to hold the dressing and the fromage (cheese) and choosing to dip in just a balsamic vinegar.  The ham or mushrooms omelettes could work, keeping in mind that ham is generally pretty lean, and each eggs has about 5 g of fat.  You could have the hamburger, sirloin steak, ham, or roast chicken and ask for French beans instead of French fries; avoid the bun on the burger to be extra careful depending on your recent fat intake.  Bolognese sauce usually has meat but not generally added fats, so the spaghetti might be a good choice.  Crepes with sugar and lemon are one of our favorite treats, and sugar and lemon is THE classic French way to enjoy them!  A pancake with jam or sugar would be great, too.  They even have black current and lemon sorbets for dessert, perfect!

In summary, Paris is a hard town with LPLD.  It's easy to get bogged down in all the delicious options that are available to everyone but you.  There's some interesting research these days showing that people are the 'best' at self control are really just good at avoiding situations where they know they will be tempted!  For Monica, we do our best to give her at least 3 options that she CAN have at restaurants, and not even discuss what else she couldn't have.  We hope she can practice this as an adult, too, scanning through a menu and not even letting anything register in her brain that is just not an option.  At bakeries, it was a lot of (fresh fluffy delicious) buns.  An adult might pair an authentic French cup of coffee!  In restaurants it was lemon sugar crepes, a bunless hamburger and white rice...  She even had a tiny bite of our (buttery) escargot, just to try it!

A question for you readers, though, since Monica is only 6: do you drink alcohol with LPLD?  How do you avoid over-indulging?  Have you given yourself pancreatitis just from drinking too much?  Do you find that you can only drink very minimally?

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