How to Survive a Wedding on the Paleo Lifestyle

A few weeks ago I flew out to Texas for my friend’s wedding. I was in the wedding party, so the few days leading up to the big day were busy and intense. We had the rehearsal dinner, helped set up the venue, and then the wedding itself. It was a wonderful experience, and my friend Sarah made the most beautiful bride.

I used a similar strategy for my flight as last time, which I talked about in this post. I brought fruit, nuts, and veggies for my plane ride. This time was much easier, as a “seasoned paleo traveler” 😉  Many people are under the impression that you can’t fly with food, which is not true. You just can’t bring large volumes of liquid or “gelatinous material” through security…any amount of solid food is perfectly acceptable!

I had flown out for Sarah’s Bridal Shower in January. For that trip I was able to grocery shop to get exactly what I needed (Read about my trip to Texas and the Bridal Shower here). I knew that this time we were going to be incredibly busy and I wouldn’t have time to make it to a grocery store, so I had to bring enough food to last me a few days. Here’s what I did to prepare for the big day…

weddingmonogram

How to Survive a Wedding – Paleo

  • Before I left my house, I cooked 2 chicken breasts, a bunch of broccoli and cauliflower, and made some paleo banana muffins. I put the chicken and veggies in food containers, wrapped up about a dozen muffins, and put them in a lunch box with a few ice packs. I also threw in a couple apples and baby carrots for snacking. I put the lunch box in a checked bag for the flight, and carried on other snacks.
  • Once I got to my destination, I immediately put the lunch box in a refrigerator to make sure my food kept well. I flew out the day before the wedding, so the food only needed to be refrigerated over night.
  • The day of the wedding, I happily ate tons of banana muffins, carrots and apples while we were getting ready, while the other bridesmaids ordered sandwiches.
  • For the wedding dinner, the bride had hired an Italian restaurant to cater. This meant tons of pasta and garlic bread, none of which I could eat. So when guests were getting food (buffet style), I snuck back to the Bridal Suite with my empty dinner plate, and emptied out my chicken and veggies onto the plate. I walked it back through the kitchen, explaining to the caterers that I couldn’t have any gluten so I had to bring my own food. They were very understanding and didn’t give me any trouble. I returned to my table and ate along with everyone else. Super easy!
Some of the bridesmaids. I'm in the middle :)

Some of the bridesmaids. I’m in the middle 🙂

I loved some of the looks I got for having different food from everyone else, and it sparked some good conversation. Any chance I get, I like to explain the philosophy and science behind the paleo diet, and the importance of eating real food. People seemed to enjoy hearing about it, and hopefully I inspired someone to give it a try!

weddingcake

The Bride and Groom <3

The Bride and Groom ❤

 

An important lesson I’ve learned these past few months of following the paleo lifestyle is to be confident in your personal choices, and to not be afraid or embarrassed to display them around other people. Most people will just be curious, which is fine! They will get a chance to learn from you what the paleo diet is, and hopefully you will be an inspiration to them. So don’t be shy or embarrassed by bringing your own food–own it!

 

As time goes on, I am becoming increasingly confident in my abilities to stick with the paleo plan when in unfamiliar situations. I find that, now, I have no problem watching everyone else eat their bread and fried food, knowing that in an hour or two I’ll be able to go home or to a grocery store to pick up something healthy for myself to enjoy. Having this confidence is allowing me to be happier than every…I love it!

If you have any questions or requests for posts, please let me know by posting in the comments. I would love your feedback! Thanks!

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How to Survive a Special Event on Paleo – Bridal Shower

In January I attended my best friend’s bridal shower. There were about 40 guests there and tons of junk food. I knew going into this event that there would be plenty of tempting food that was off-limits to me, so I devised a plan to survive the day (this plan would work for almost any special event, too!).

The Paleo Survival Plan: Bridal Shower Edition:

1. I ate a huge lunch before the party started that way I wouldn’t even be slightly hungry enough to want the chips and dip.
2. I offered to bring a veggie tray. Even though I can’t have ranch dip on the paleo diet, I brought some to make any ways that way the other guests could enjoy it.

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Tons of Veggies!

3. I coordinated with another bridesmaid who was bring a fruit platter (yay, now there’s two things I can eat!).

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4. I actually brought extra food for myself to eat in case I got hungry throughout the day (I just kept it in the back of the fridge until I needed it). I figured that since everyone else would be eating, it wouldn’t be too rude to bring a plate of food that I could enjoy while everyone else enjoyed theirs.

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The Gorgeous Bride and Me 🙂

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Friends and Bridesmaids (I’m in the middle)

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The Bridal Party

Sometimes it can be intimidating to go to parties or special events, knowing that your diet won’t allow for most of the food on the menu. I hope these tips help!! If you have any other ideas or tips you’d like to share, I would love to hear! Feel free to share  🙂

How to Exercise While Traveling

I recently went on a 9 day trip out of state and stayed at a friend’s house. With all my new year’s resolutions in full swing, I decided to stay dedicated to my workout plan. Here are a few tips on how to work out while staying at someone else’s house:

1. Go on a run – even if it’s just up and down the street a million times, it gets your heart pumping! Or if you’re a little more adventurous than me, you can pick a destination to run to as an “out and back”, or do a loop around the neighborhood. I am personally not adventurous enough to venture out into the unknown, so I just ran up and down the street tons of times (I got lots of funny looks from neighbors, too. Haha!)

2. Do body-weight exercises like burpees, lunges, and pushups. You can do this in your room, in the kitchen, or outside. It’s very versatile. You can even make up sets to keep yourself interested and motivated in the workout. This one’s my favorite, and really only takes about 15-20 minutes to complete:

Complete 5 rounds of:

  • 5 burpees
  • 20 lunges
  • 5 pushups
  • 10 squats

3. Find youtube exercise videos. If you’re in a house or hotel room with wifi, awesome! Just play them on your laptop. If you don’t have wifi, you can always go to a local place with wifi like Starbucks and pre-load the video, then you won’t need wifi to play it! My favorite Youtube channels for workouts are Tone it Up and Blogilates.

4. Bring a yoga or pilates dvd. This is a great option if the people you are traveling with or visiting sleep in later than you, or go to bed earlier than you. You can turn the volume down and perform these exercises quietly.

5. My final and favorite tip: Google search gyms nearby. Many corporate chain gyms offer up to a week of free membership to “try it out”. Just call a gym nearby and ask about their promotions. Invite the person you are staying with to go to the gym with you. This is a great (free!) way to spend quality time with the person you’re visiting, a great way to stay on top of your goals, and you get to motivate your loved one to be fit and healthy too! It’s a win-win all around.

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Game Day Paleo Eats!

I’m not a huge football fan, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy Game Day. For me, the Super Bowl is typically an awesome day filled with friends, beer, and delicious food. Being paleo does mean that I had to forgo the beer (I substituted with Angry Orchard Cider), but there was still plenty of delicious Game Day food options as long as I was willing to do the research and grocery shopping. I ended up finding a great recipe on hashtagpaleo.com for buffalo wings, which I adapted to fit our party’s needs.

Basically all I did differently from the original recipe linked above was use chicken breasts instead of wings, and cooked the meat a little differently. They ended up being a huge hit…the men devoured them so quickly that I didn’t even get a chance to take pictures! 😉

Buffalo Wings

Click for printable PDF version

 

This recipe would be very easy to prepare early in the morning or the night before the game, too. All you would have to do is cut the chicken and pre-season it, make the sauce, and have your coconut flour ready to go. Once everything is prepped and ready to go these “wings” cook up fairly quickly, and by the time one batch is done, the previous batch is already gone!

Traveling Paleo – January Texas Trip

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:

texas groceries

  • 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!

sweetpotatotexas

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!

My Flight to Texas, Paleo Style

Beep..beep…beep…

With one eye open, I reach across the bed to shut off my alarm. It’s 5am and the city sleeps soundlessly outside my hotel window. I climb out of bed and immediately turn on the coffee pot; caffeine is a must-have this morning. I quickly shower and get ready for the day, then gather my things and toss them into my suitcase.

We make our way down to the hotel lobby to check out as the valet brings the car around. There is hardly any traffic at this hour on a Friday in San Francisco. We cross the Bay Bridge and pull up to the Oakland Airport in no time.

Checking my bag is a nightmare, the line is dozens of people long and it puts me behind schedule. As soon as I make it through security, I walk as quickly as possible towards my gate. I glance at my phone and it’s 7:10am, my flight is scheduled to take off at 7:25! I break out into a full-on sprint until I reach the gate, board the plane immediately, and settle into my seat.

The thought of eating paleo while spending a day stuck in airports and on airplanes can be intimidating. Food options here are limited and generally extremely expensive. For these reasons, I decided to plan ahead a bit and I packed enough food to keep me satisfied and fueled throughout my day.

Here’s what I packed:

Almonds – Roasted and unsalted

Baby Carrots

Sugar Snap Peas

Apple

Orange

Pork Jerky (gluten free)

An orange, carrots, almonds, and pork jerky was plenty of food for my flight!

Not only is eating healthily and getting the nourishment you need extremely important while traveling , staying hydrated is equally, if not more, essential. To avoid the outrageous prices for water at the airport, I always bring an empty reusable water bottle that I fill up at a drinking fountain or at a Starbucks kiosk after I get through security.

Turns out, with a little bit of planning ahead, traveling while eating fully paleo was a piece of cake…or wait…no, cake isn’t paleo. Never mind. It was easy, to say the least. And by the time I reached my destination, I felt energized and ready to begin my trip!

Hellooooooo Texas!

New Year’s in San Francisco

In 2014 I am destined to face many challenges concerning my paleo journey. What better way to kick off the new year than a trip to San Francisco. From Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf, there are tons of exciting things to see and do. 

wharfguitar

My boyfriend and I began our trip with a short one-hour drive into the city, passing over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge along the way. The city was crowded with New Year’s Day visitors and tourists, and the streets were bustling with activity. On our first night there finding food was a bit of an adventure. We wandered the streets surrounding our hotel in Union Square asking to see menus at countless restaurants along the way. We finally settled on a steakhouse where I ordered a dish with a white fish and veggies.

Our second day in the city by the bay was much easier to find restaurants with paleo-friendly options. We started our day with a trolly car ride to Fisherman’s Warf where we ordered a crab to share. We just squeezed some fresh lemon over the crab and enjoyed!

Fresh crab from the bay

Fresh crab from the bay

We wandered around and found ourselves at Pier 39. We chose to eat at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. We got some shrimp to share as an appetizer, then I ordered the Pear and Berry Salad without cheese or dressing. It comes with chicken on it, and it was very tasty!

Can you see the resemblance?

Can you see the resemblance?

Salad from Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Pear and Berry Salad from Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

That night for dinner we went to the Rainforest Cafe on Jefferson St. Whenever I have the opportunity, I love visiting this restaurant. It’s so fun inside. This company completely commits to it’s theme from the floor to the ceilings- there are plants and animals (fake, of course) all over the walls, and some of the animals are animatronic- they move and make lifelike noises. If you’ve never been to one, I highly recommend going! By the time we made it to the Rainforest Cafe, I was pretty exhausted. I don’t remember exactly what I ordered…sorry! I do know that it was a salad with chicken and no dressing though…very exciting, I know.

We caught a cab back to our hotel in Union Square and called it a night. We had to be up early the next morning (5am…yikes!) for my wonderful boyfriend to take me to the airport for my next adventure.

This short trip to San Francisco for the first few days of January was my first encounter with being away from my house and attempting to eat paleo. For anyone just starting out on a paleo diet, I highly recommend requesting the gluten-free menu (most restaurants have one now) and ordering from there. This will at least guarantee your food won’t have gluten, then just order a dish with no grains – with just veggies and meat (fruit and nuts are ok, too). The most valuable lesson I learned from this trip is that usually salads from a gluten free menu are a safe option, so when in doubt I will order a salad from now on. Following the rules of a paleo diet was difficult while traveling, but it was well worth the effort.