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Old 07-10-2011, 11:15   #1
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Normal Week of Eating

Plan to retire on boat (38-48 ft.)in 2 to 3 years. May stay in caribbean/tabago for few years. Hear a lot about how we will eat so differently and probably lose weight, most do, etc. etc., Have read sites on how to provision but really want people who are actually out there to tell me what do you eat.
By that I mean what would you have for breakfast, lunch and supper or snacks for a whole week. Do you even eat three meals a day or just small snacks. I can understand if we fish a lot eating more fish, but do you have to eat mostly canned vegetables or do the islands have fresh. Can you get fruit or do you have to bring dried fruits with you?
Curious.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:25   #2
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Re: Normal wk of eating

You will not be able to eat snacks unless you buy them ahead of time not just stop at the 7/11 and get a snack, that is how the weight loss works mostly. So buy healthy snacks because the motion of the boat on a person uses up lots of energy. Of all I've read there will be like farmers market on some islands. You can buy live anamials so meat will stay fresh like in years past or canned or frozen .
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:42   #3
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Re: Normal wk of eating

We gain weight during our six months of cruising each year and go on a diet after a month or so at home to get it off. We have not changed our eating habits, very few people do. Our weight gain I think is due to lack of exercise and appreciating food more. It seems when we're cruising the highlight of the day is dinner, and it might also be all the happy hours.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:44   #4
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Re: Normal wk of eating

Catching fish down here is not as easy as you may think. We'd sometimes snag a mahi-mahi between islands. You can buy fresh fish at the local markets on certain days of the week. Fresh fruits and vegetables are widely available in local markets and the grocery stores. Meat can be an issue, as the cuts in some groceries are not what you are used to. Fatty pork, beef with lots of bone, mutton (which can be local sheep or goat), turkey parts, etc. They seem to like to freeze meat then saw it up into chunks suitable for stewing. You can usually find frozen chicken most places.

The trick is to buy your meat frozen on the islands with good selections. Virgin Islands, St Martin/Maarten, Antigua, Martinique and St Lucia. The other trick is if you see something you think you might want, buy it. It won't be available the next time you look. Here on Nevis it usually takes visiting each of three groceries to get most of the things on our list. When we were cruising, it sometimes took going to three islands to fill the list.

I always lost about 15 lbs when I moved onto the boat. Mostly from the motion and activity, I think, because I ate as much or more than on shore. It's definitely a healthier existence.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:51   #5
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Re: Normal wk of eating

Our eating habits don't change when we live aboard 3-6 months a year. We have breakfast, a light snack at lunchtime, a sundowner, and dinner. We are able to carry all of our food except fresh fruits and vegetables which we pick up as they are available. Our typical midday snack is cheese or peanut butter and crackers.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:57   #6
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Re: Normal wk of eating

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We gain weight during our six months of cruising each ...............and it might also be all the happy hours.
My vote goes to the happy hours They are 24 a day aren't they??????
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:32   #7
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Re: Normal wk of eating

My experience is you eat less. Maybe due to the heat. Provisioning in cans etc gets used mostly for "emergencies".... those times when you missed the wednesday vegetable truck, caught no fish, not where there's a local restaurant, or couldnt buy fish or meat. Everywhere you go there seems to be a routine. You'll find out from others what it is.... a trip to a bigger city for supplies, a vegetable truck on the jetty on wednesdays etc. Often we ate out in the early afternoon and ate a smaller bite later on the boat.
Getting food by fishing or spearing was sparse in most of the Carribean, but good in the Bahamas or Mexico.
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Old 07-10-2011, 19:35   #8
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Re: Normal Week of Eating

We eat like a mix of everything: all the things we ate back home (as long as we can get them!) and then we eat local things that we like. We will eat twice a day - late breakfast and early dinner, but we make no rule of that.

The actual diet depends very much on where we are. We eat less fruit and veggies than we would like to in the West Indies (prices!) but this does not have to be so if you have a strong budget.

My fave way is when we can have 'home' staples (e.g. Italian pasta & wine, German sauerkraut, Polish bread) and then local ingredients to convert the staples into dishes: Spanish olive oil, French christophines, Polynesian coconuts. Etc..

In any case I love eating now twice as much as I did in my land life.

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Old 07-10-2011, 19:55   #9
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Re: Normal Week of Eating

i havent found normal eating habits yet in my life. i used to work 12 hour shifts in hospital...ate lunch at my first available moment--usually 1500. if night time, 0300.
sailing with my last crew, we ate when the fish was hooked and until the fish was eaten. or i would cook some to last until a few hours later.....we did 12 hour watches with a short break in middle where there were 2 of us. not catch a fish!!?? uhoh then i had to cook something-- but we ate once every 12 hours.

when i9 sailed opb in gulf of mexico for e yr, we ate at about 1600 and 0700ish..and a snack in between.

here in mazatlan, most of the weeek days i eat one meal costing me 50 pesos with a drink. weekends i snack or find food(pizza or something out) with the gals who come to kayak occasionally.
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:42   #10
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Re: Normal Week of Eating

While we cruised full-time in the Caribbean from May 2006 until transiting Panama Canal in April 2008, I gained 12 pounds and my husband's weight remained exactly the same. It is not usual to lose weight when cruising. Most of the people we met said they had gained weight since moving aboard. I found the produce selection generally poor and very sparse throughout the Eastern Caribbean, regardless of the price. Grenada and Guadeloupe were the 2 exceptions. Both of those islands are very fertile and produce was readily available with good selection and excellent quality. Could also find decent produce in St. Martin sometimes.

The OP asked what others typically eat aboard. Breakfast is usually yogurt or 2 eggs and 1 slice of bread for me; and toast and cold cereal for my husband. On alternate Sundays I usually make pancakes.

Lunch is always (always, always, always) a cold sandwich for my husband, along with some kind of chips, followed by a couple of cookies. I eat whatever is left over from the previous night's dinner or cheese & crackers with an apple or pear when available. My husband insists on eating the same damn sandwich every day of his life and that is not open to discussion. I do not like sandwiches so will eat just about anything except that.

We no longer do the sundowners, although we did while in the Caribbean because all our friends did. Finding ingredients to make the snacks that always accompanied sundowners was a real challenge in the Eastern Caribbean. Now we opt for an earlier dinner, which is usually grilled chicken or whatever meat is available that isn't too fatty (which means 98% of the time it will be chicken in the Caribbean), grilled veggies when fresh veggies are available, and usually rice. Never have deserts unless we have guests. We each eat 2 Hershey dark chocolate kisses during the evening. That is our sweet fix.

My husband drinks 2 beers each day or sometimes 2 rum & Cokes. I drink 1 Diet Coke or whatever diet drink is available. We each drink 2 to 3 liters water daily. Sometimes we share a half-bottle of red wine with dinner if we are grilling something other than beef. Then I will cook a tomato based pasta the next night for dinner and we will drink the remaining half-bottle of wine.

My husband loves sweets. So once a month or so I will bake brownies or cookies or whatever, depending what ingredients are available. The one thing I missed the most when cruising in the Caribbean were salads. We did not catch much fish in the Caribbean and the fish at the markets was usually expensive, so fish was a rare treat. After having lived on the Gulf Coast most of our lives, we really missed shrimp a lot.

And, being Texans, we missed Mexican food the most. Of course, I can make our own tortillas and know how to cook most of our favorite Mexican dishes; but finding the right ingredients was a challenge in the Eastern Caribbean.

Cannot imagine who is saying that people will probably lose weight when they start cruising. That hasn't been my experience or that of any of my cruising friends. BTW, your eating habits will not change just because you move onto a boat. Whatever you enjoyed before, you still will want to eat.

Judy
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:10   #11
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Re: Normal Week of Eating

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...
I found the produce selection generally poor and very sparse throughout the Eastern Caribbean, regardless of the price. Grenada and Guadeloupe were the 2 exceptions. Both of those islands are very fertile and produce was readily available with good selection and excellent quality. Could also find decent produce in St. Martin sometimes.
...
+1 on Grenada, Guadeloupe, and St. Matrin (both sides) provisioning. Beautfy of French islands is that you can get very tasty fancy foods not paying a premium for it. Guadeloupe.... sigh....
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:00   #12
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Re: Normal Week of Eating

"Cannot imagine who is saying that people will probably lose weight when they start cruising..."

I dont know about losing much, but maintaining a good weight should be easy cruising, unless you are bored and eat to quell it. The thing about cruising is we dont have all those bags of BBQ chips and other goodies that somehow seem to make it into my mouth. Once you return to the hard, look out... then you'll really plump up! Oh, and are you snorkeling daily? Everyone is different, but we are more "grazers"; eat something when hungry, dont worry about set meal schedules etc. If you arent exercising then all bets are off!
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Old 08-10-2011, 14:13   #13
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Re: Normal Week of Eating

Buhahaha - losing weight.

;-)))

Have never seen any cruisers losing weight. Quite contrary.

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Old 08-10-2011, 14:43   #14
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Re: Normal Week of Eating

I always lose about 15-20- pounds while cruising for 6 mos. I eat less and exercise more,(swimming, and diving), and no fast food for me to eat. I am addicted to "Mickey Ds" french fries, so I gain it back in the six months we are back in the states
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:56   #15
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Re: Normal Week of Eating

We find sailing to be constant exercise and therefore an advantage is slimming down and toning up. Even at the dock there is some motion that keeps you constantly tensing up for balance. Underway it's a real workout.
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