How do you deal with traveling while on Paleo?
That was one of the most frequent questions I got while on the road, and after traveling for over a month straight, I guess I am now qualified to answer! I try to prepare a few snacks ahead of time to take with me and help mitigate the chance of ending up in an airport with a delayed flight and my stomach growling with only a McDonald’s in site. When I’m in need of a meal though and I'm left with little options, my go-to order when traveling is a bunless burger. That can get tiresome, however, so here are some other tips for ordering out as well as a journal of some of my meals while I was on the road for my Meals Made Simple Book Tour. I typically search on Yelp to find a place that offers grass-fed, or at least local, beef and love when I see them offer a lettuce wrap alternative. It is a fantastic and cost efficient fall-back order when you’re faced with a restaurant that doesn’t cater to grain-free, or even gluten-free. I usually ask to have avocado and bacon on top and have it served with a side of vegetables or sometimes sweet potato fries as long as they’re not battered, which believe it or not, most places are. Even Disneyland is doing lettuce-wrapped burgers now! Stay tuned for a post on how to eat your way through Disneyland on a gluten-free and even Paleo diet. It is doable! I usually start off the meal telling the server or the kitchen that I am gluten and dairy-free and then modify items from there. A lot of restaurants are now starting to offer gluten-free menus, and if not, make sure your server is informed and can help guide you. So many restaurants I have been to have even sent the chef out to answer any questions I had. If you have celiac and are sensitive to cross-contaminiation, I suggest finding a restaurant that verifies a completely gluten-free kitchen. I am fortunate enough to be ok when I come in contact with gluten, I just cannot consume it. My take on eating out is do the best you can. If you are forced to eat a little canola oil or non-organic produce, it will likely be ok for you every once in a while. I try to focus on avoiding the obvious grains, sugar, and conventional dairy which I know I will react to and try not to stress about a few things being less than perfect. I do notice though, when I'm gone for longer periods of time that my body sees the effects of the non organic or grass-fed meats and conventional produce, and very likely gluten contamination from eating out so much. So when I'm home, I do a clean reset, and even revert to an Autoimmune Type Protocol if I notice my health slipping at all. Find out more about that protocol here, here and here. I also load up on homemade bone broth and all of my supplements when I get back to try to mitigate any damage I may have done while on the road.
Some of the top items you may find grains in at a restaurant are:
- Soy Sauce
- Thick Sauces
- Salad Dressings
- Mayonnaise and Mayo Based Salads or Sauces
- Breads, Pastas, Beer, Tortillas etc.
See my former post Dining Out on a Paleo Diet to see how to find things at Italian, Mexican, American, and Thai restaurants
Here's some of the meals I ate along my tour! Most of them had slight modifications from the written version on the menu, but if you know what you ask for, you'll be in better shape!