O, The Oprah Magazine Adventure of Your Life Cruise aboard HAL: ‘Let’s Eat’ and not gain weight

by Kathy Witt

Special to AllThingsCruise

Whenever two or more women get together over dinner, the subject of weight inevitably rears its ugly head. This was the case during dinner in the Canaletto restaurant on our first evening aboard Eurodam, traveling from Seattle to Juneau. I had just shared a frightful factoid gleaned from that day’s invitation to come to the Greenhouse Spa & Salon for a chance to win one of $500 worth of giveaways:

The average cruise passenger gains 1 to 2 lbs – a day!

Fortunately, this being Holland America’s O, The Oprah Magazine Adventure of Your Life Cruise, there was someone aboard who would be sharing with us the secret of healthy indulgence during a “Let’s Eat!” presentation.

Elettra Wiedemann, founder of the Impatient Foodie blog and author of the just-released cookbook, Impatient Foodie, with some of her favorite products.
Photo: Kathy Witt

That someone happened to be the daughter of Isabella Rossellini and the granddaughter of Ingrid Bergman, a former model with cinematic good looks and a Master’s degree in biomedicine from the London School of Economics, Elettra Wiedemann. Elettra is the author and founder of the Impatient Foodie blog and brand new cookbook of the same name.

Although Elettra says she never set out to be a foodie, this admittedly bread-obsessed Millennial feels she nonetheless tapped into a certain mood to become the voice of slow food ideals paired with the realities of fast paced, urban life. In point of fact, just three months after Elettra launched her blog in 2014, she was inking her book deal. Impatient Foodie, the book, came out last month.

“The idea is to put bon appétit style dinners on the table in Buzz Feed time,” she said.

The same philosophy, according to Elettra, can be applied to eating on a cruise, with the path to healthy indulgence while keeping weight in check made up of modest diet swaps.

For example, rather than downing a full plate of generously sauced pasta, go for a smaller portion size and sneak in veggies like spinach and lentils to step in as a healthy protein. These add color and richness without sacrificing flavor or satisfaction. Instead of piling a sandwich high with meat and cheese, slim it down with less of each and the addition of tomatoes and veggies.

Reduce portions sizes and add color to dishes with lots of veggies.
Photo: Kathy Witt

Elettra’s food for thought while onboard: Reduce portion sizes. Sneak in veggies wherever and whenever you can. Sub in healthy protein alternatives to meat on occasion.

But back to my discussion with my dinner companions in the Canaletto restaurant. I shared a tried and true hack of my own to keep those extra pounds off: Never get into an elevator aboard a cruise ship. No matter what deck you need to go to, take the steps. Always.

My hope? That this paired with Elletra’s advice will go a step further and result in actual weight loss.

“Let’s Eat” presentations are among Holland America’s O, The Oprah Magazine Adventure of Your Life Cruise programming on North America cruises, August 2017 through December 2018. Other O, The Oprah Magazine–inspired activities include “Just Breathe” meditations to begin each day; “O’s Reading Room” with books selected by Oprah, readings and discussions; and “Love That!” clothing collections.

Kathy Witt

Kathy has loved cruising ever since taking her first one while working as the creative writer for a travel agency in Cincinnati – her first “grown-up” job. She has been writing about cruises ever since. An award-winning lifestyle and travel writer who’s terrified of flying, she nonetheless clocks thousands of air miles every year because there are so many destinations to see and stories to tell.

Kathy has a degree in English Literature and completed coursework at graduate school but never finished because she got a contract to write 18 children’s storybooks for Malaysia’s ESL program. (She did finish those.)

She writes for numerous outlets, including magazines, newspapers and newswires, and has written several books, including Atlanta: A Photographic Portrait and The Secret of the Belles, which led to her getting invited as a guest author to the 70th anniversary re-premiere of the movie, “Gone With the Wind,” and meeting and hanging out with cast members Ann Rutherford, Cammie King Conlon, Mickey Kuhn and Patrick Curtis. She is currently at work on her next book, Secret Cincinnati.

A member of Midwest Travel Journalists Association, Kathy volunteers as the organization’s sites director and was previously MTJA’s newsletter editor.

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