The Strangest Order of the Week

“That’s the strangest request I’ve heard all week” the barkeep said with a chuckle. Bartenders usually don’t surprise easily. Imagine how jaded you would be serving drinks at one of the busiest international airports in the America – you’ve seen and heard everything. Apparently, few people belly up to the bar in Miami International with a request such as mine:

“l’ll take a bottle of sparkling water with a few slices of lemon, and three dill pickle spears.”

I suppose on the outside, that request might seem a little strange. Let’s put things into perspective. I had only been on a Keto diet for a few weeks, and this was my first time taking it on the road. Here I was, stuck in an airport terminal with some serious lower leg cramps and a bad case of heartburn. Not the condition you want to be in when you’re looking at 3 hours of flying.

I was in town to attend a conference with limited breaks, edging me towards dehydration. Lunches that week had been a non-starter: hotel buffets full of carbs and entrées I could not identify as Keto friendly. Breakfast had consisted of eggs and bacon, and dinner was either a steak or a bun-less bacon cheese burger. I kept the fat intake up, but my electrolytes were completely out of balance. The heavy doses of greasy meats and dehydration was taking its toll on me.

A bumpy early morning hotel shuttle set the tone for the morning as my stomach began to roll. Next was a brisk 2.5 mile walk to the far end of the terminal (it’s always the last gate in the terminal). Arriving at the gate, I really started to feel bad. With a Keto diet, your body will talk to you. If you listen to it, electrolytes are often the answer.

The leg cramps were telling me I was dehydrated. Water is a simple solution, but mineral water is better. Keep in mind that when you are dehydrated, it’s not just about the water. Your body needs to replace the minerals and electrolytes as well.

The lemon doesn’t just add flavor to the mineral water, it also provides vitamin C, lowers the pH in your blood, and is a decent source of potassium.

The vinegar infused pickles went to work with the lemon juice to raise the acid level of my gut, knocking down the heartburn.

Thanks to a little quick thinking (and a well-placed advertisement for a club sandwich with a dill pickle spear in the photo), I felt normal in a matter of minutes. I have since learned to balance my intake better, and that balance has carried over to my travels.

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