What makes traveling intimidating while attempting to stick to a nutrition plan is the unknown. What will be available to you when you arrive at your destination? How do I prepare for success for ‘x’ amount of days? Will it be a hassle to stay committed?
As I’m writing this post on the plane – flying home from Houston to Northern California – I’m reflecting on the past nine days. I’m excited and proud to announce that I’ve made it completely Paleo through my travels with no exceptions. I was a bit nervous to attempt this. I stayed with a friend who has a young child, and their household reflects the diet of a typical American family. She is a terrific mother and does a wonderful job raising her son and taking care of her family. Attempting a Paleo diet can be difficult and a little more expensive than the traditional American diet, and is a personal choice that I am choosing to make; she supported my food decisions 100% while I was there.
On my first night, I had enough food that I had brought with me to tide me over until the next day. That next morning after I arrived, we made a trip to the grocery store and here is a list of the items I purchased:
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 5 apples
- 6 oranges
- 1 bunch of bananas
- pork chops
- 2 cans of tuna
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- organic mixed greens
- organic baby carrots
- 3 packages of frozen veggies: green beans, broccoli and cauliflower
She and her family are avid hunters, so she ensured me that they had plenty of deer meat in their freezers, so I didn’t buy as much meat as I would have. They also had a ton of bacon and eggs already. This food lasted me from Saturday through Thursday: 6 days! And it was just under $60. We did make one more tiny trip to the store for the last 3 days while I was there, but I didn’t buy very much.
We also went out to a Mexican Restaurant while I was there for her friend’s birthday. They did not have a gluten-free menu, which I was disappointed to find out. Nothing on their menu was ok for me to eat, so I ordered a grilled chicken breast a la carte with some grilled veggies, and just told the server that they couldn’t be cooked in anything but olive oil (just to be safe).
Sticking to a paleo diet while traveling turned out to be fairly effortless. I bought similar groceries to what I would have purchased had I been home, and being paleo kept me from spending tons of money eating out at restaurants every night while I was away. My go-to meal was sweet potato, salad with avocado, and pork chops. Yum!
When it comes down to it, as long as you aren’t afraid to speak up and voice your desire to eat paleo while traveling, staying with friends or relatives for a week should be painless. Most people, even if they don’t understand your dietary decisions, will be supportive of you for choosing to live a healthy lifestyle. And who knows, maybe you will spark a desire in them to eat healthier.
What are your thoughts on traveling while eating paleo, or even just a whole-foods diet? Any tips? I would love to hear!