We spent 10 days scuba diving in the Turks and Caicos Islands. In spite of meeting a 150-pound Hog Fish, we did fairly well sticking to a healthy eating regime. A bit of pre-trip research also helped us keep meals within our travel budget.
Our strategy included packing a good supply of our favorite nutrition bars, Bear Naked granola, and individual packets of electrolytes to be poured into plain water. We upgraded from a standard room to a suite/kitchenette and planned to shop for groceries to cover at least breakfast and snacks. We researched restaurants in advance and upon arrival asked a lot of questions. Our cab driver, Clifford, and Dale at Oasis Divers were especially helpful.
During the flight from Providenciales to Grand Turk we noticed a large cargo ship crossing below. Another passenger, a man who worked from the Governor's office, told us it was the groceries shipment. He recommended doing any grocery shopping on Monday or Tuesday depending on the timing of the cargo. Fortunately, it was a Tuesday, so as soon as we checked in at the Osprey Beach Hotel and Oasis Divers, we walked to the market.
It was about a 20-minute walk each way to Cee's market; more like a warehouse store in design, but not so in quantity. We found a good selection of produce and purchased apples and green bananas (which ripened in our room by the end of the week). For breakfast, I purchased plain yogurt to go with the granola we'd brought from home. My dive buddy needs more protein early in the day and purchased some pre-made beef patties and whole wheat English muffins. We also bought a few mozzarella cheese sticks. They are convenient, offer a little protein with fewer calories than other cheeses, and go great with a piece of fruit for a quick snack. We also bought a few bottles of water. Bottled water was available at the Osprey in one-gallon bottles for $3.00. We saved our water bottles and refilled them each day at a water refill station a short walk away for 50 cents a gallon.
There are about four easy-to-get-to restaurants on Grand Turk. The best value at the Osprey's Birdcage Bar & Restaurant was the Sunday and Wednesday barbecue nights. Ample portions were served of meat, chicken or fish (sometimes lobster) along with beans, cabbage slaw and rice. The barbecue sauces, rice, beans and dressing on the slaw pack a lot of calories so be careful. Eat the meat first and avoid the skin of the chicken. Protein metabolizes slower than carbohydrates and gives the starchy and sugary food a place to land. Perhaps eat only one-half of the other items on the plate.
One of the healthiest dishes on the island and VERY delicious is the grilled chicken salad at the Sandbar Restaurant. The salad is made with romaine lettuce, which is a big nutritional plus over iceberg lettuce. Be conservative with the salad dressing. Also, very good at the Sandbar is the grouper plate. It comes with a baked potato and side salad.
Since we ate in our room each morning we never made it across the street to Michael's Atrium, which we understand is open for breakfast. One evening, we walked about 20-minutes to Captain Zheng's Chinese Restaurant. It was EXCELLENT with ample portions. I took one-half of my dinner to go and had it for lunch the next day.
On Grand Turk, almost every lunch entree is $8.00 to $14.00 or more. Dinner entrees range from $18.00 to $25.00 or more. It cost nearly the same combining a small side salad with something ala carte as sides cost about $7.00 or more.
About the electrolyte powder. We hydrate every morning with calcium, magnesium and potassium, b vitamins, vitamin c and more. This powder is mixed with our first water of the day and we drink the entire 8 to 12 ounces between breakfast and our first dive. We continue to drink at least 8 to 12 ounces of water between dives (three dives each day), in addition to water with lunch and dinner.
For more information about nutrition and scuba diving visit www.scubafit.com.