The Good Thing about Traveling with Diabetes


Jessica, the kids, and I just returned from a two week vacation with family in Philadelphia. Before the trip I worried a lot about what I would eat, especially because I’ve been on the Paleolithic Diet.  I worried about blood sugar fluctuations and about gaining weight – both of which have been issues for me on previous trips.   In fact, before being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes vacation always meant gaining weight. Any weekend trip ended with an extra 2 pounds of belly fat, and a week or two away from my usual diet could mean a 4-5 pound gain.  Since diabetes, however, this has changed for the most part.  Usually while traveling I stay around the same weight or lose a pound or two depending on the amount of walking involved.

While in Philadelphia I didn’t weigh myself at all, so when I came home I got on the scale and saw I lost a little over 2 pounds  (this in addition to the weight I’d lost in the weeks prior to the trip), I was both relieved and happy.


I decided long ago that going on vacation did not mean taking a vacation from BS control. I know many diabetics give themselves a break when they travel, but I make an effort to maintain tight control because I find that otherwise I just don’t feel good and as a result don’t enjoy my trip. This of course is much harder to do in places like France (baguettes and croissants) or Italy (pasta and risotto) than in Philadelphia (Tastykakes).

Despite my plans to adhere to my diet, I did plan to have one really good pizza while in the U.S.  And yet, I didn’t.  I continued to follow a loose form of the Paleo Diet, which means I added quinoa and green beans to the diet. By not eating bread, I found that often when not at someone’s house I just didn’t eat. No sandwiches, no bagels, and no pizza.  I found that I have self-control that I didn’t know I had.

To some this may sound like torture but actually it forced me to eat good meals which I enjoyed much more than grabbing a slice of pizza or a wrap at Starbucks. I also found myself cooking much more than I ever have on a trip before.

I’m always happy to find positive aspects of a not so positive condition. And I’m happy to be home  feeling good, not feeling guilty about my BS or my weight.

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