How to eat well when you’re traveling and dining out on the Paleo diet
Prepare a few snacks ahead of time to take with you and help mitigate the chance of ending up in an airport with a delayed flight and your stomach growling with only a McDonald’s or Cinnabon in site. Some stand by travel snacks for me are:
- Home made trail mix without dried fruit
- Hard boiled eggs if I’m not gone too long*
- Lara Bars – my fav is the 2-ingredient PB/date or the Cashew/date bars
- Fresh fruit and if it helps, pre peel it and put in plastic bags. Or small glass jars of fresh/frozen blueberries for example.
- Nut butters in the individual wrappers – almond, cashew, peanut
- Sardines, kippers, grass fed jerky. I’ve also traveled with some clean summer sausage before. Did you know you can travel with the frozen ice bags? You can….until they melt and are a liquid. Kinda crazy but true.
- and maybe some toasted seaweed for something different and a little salty.
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. If I feel like my server isn’t knowledgeable enough, I’ll ask for the chef to come out – or the manager – and that way I make sure my food and my health is safe. You have to learn how to stand up for yourself but also do it in a nice way. If they are a good restaurant, they are busy. But if they are a good restaurant, they also realize how serious it can be to (essentially) poison someone.
The big trouble with Asian is that most have soy sauce which has gluten. Soy and gluten. Hmmm… You could try to get some plain steamed veggies and carry your own coconut aminos with you. Always specify no MSG as well, as some places still somehow think that using it is acceptable but will generally abide by your request. Chinese restaurants are tough, but I find Thai and Vietnamese restaurants are easier to navigate around my food sensitivities. I go for the curries that have coconut milk as a base as they are generally naturally gluten-free. Still ask about hidden soy sauce!
I find this to be trouble. Of course you’d think about fajita’s but you never really know what is in that seasoning mix. And corn. Do we need to discuss GMO corn one.more.time?!!! Avocado, some greens, and a meat but watch for MSG here too. And unless specified, don’t expect it to be sustainable meats.
Just order what protein looks best on the menu to you and ask them to omit the potatoes, rice, bread etc. that accompanies it and instead have them give you more vegetables – preferably steamed or sauteed in a little butter. I often get a bunless burger or a meat/greens salad since vegetarian just isn’t enough substance for me. I usually ask to have avocado and have it served with a side of vegetables or sometimes sweet potato fries as long as they’re not battered or cooked in the same oil as other breaded products (which most places are!).Also ask the server if their salt rubs or seasonings contain MSG. I know most of you think MSG is just in Asian food but it is often used on steaks to “enhance the flavor”!
Many of the big chains are getting better and actually offer a lot of options for grain-free too that are just protein and vegetables. If you cannot tolerate dairy, make sure to let them know as a lot of Italian restaurants throw Parmesan at any and everything. Also ensure that they are not using wheat flours to thicken their sauces. Salads are always an option – without the croutons and cheese of course! Perhaps an extra side of avocado (or two) to make sure you get enough fat to keep you full until your next meal.
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