It can be quite difficult to travel and still eat well. My lifestyle diet is AIP/Paleo. In other words Autoimmune Protocol and Paleolithic. I am in between these two; some would say I’m modified AIP and others would say modified Paleo. With the preface out of the way, I’m figuring out how to travel while still maintaining eating real food.
Since many restaurants use hydrogenated oils, MSG, unsustainable meat, etc; it's difficult to find somewhere to eat. Also, gluten seems to be in almost everything…EVERYTHING. Some restaurants have menus that list allergens. Some have knowledgeable employees. More often than not, they will mark items gluten free although they are high risk of cross contamination.
I start thinking about meal planning 1-2 weeks prior to a road trip; figuring out what snacks I need to pre-purchase and meal prep. My husband and I were attending a family reunion in Memphis, TN. Usually, I look for hotels or Airbnb's that have a kitchen or kitchenette. The hotel in Memphis was pre-planned by the reunion coordinator (I think he'd like this official title). It did have a sink, small refrigerator and microwave. I'm not an advocate for microwaves but I do what I need to do!
One of the restaurants was pre-planned as well. Of course, I emailed with the restaurant with questions about their menus. Most restaurants are very accommodating and will do what they can to address one's particular allergen. This is when I decide if I'll be able to dine there or what I need to bring in myself. I always apprise the restaurant if I plan to bring my own food and condiments. I've not been kicked out of a place yet!! As a result of doing this, I knew I needed to purchased KC Natural BBQ sauce. They are both AIP and Paleo friendly. We were headed to a BBQ joint with the family one night. They had a gluten free menu at least. I knew I could eat the pulled pork and greens. I did eat a bit prior to going; I wasn't planning to eat much there but still wanted to fit in.
It's important to know that once someone goes AIP/Paleo; it can reek havoc on your social life and gatherings. As humans, we tend to come together around food and drink. When we can no longer eat the SAD (standard american diet) way of life, we become isolated; often feeling quite lonely. That's a post for another day.
Since we chose to drive to Memphis, (roughly 600 miles round trip), it was best we brought our own food. I cooked up a chuck roast and whole chicken (separately, of course) with carrots, celery, and sweet potatoes in my pressure cooker. I also made up a salad full of greens, egg, and veggies. Next, I made a rice pilaf with cauliflower rice and used some of the chicken for this. Variety is nice to have. I packed several meals in individual glass containers. (This took trial and error from past travel trips.) Having meals in individual glass containers makes for effortless heating up and clean up. You just grab on out of the cooler when you stop at a rest area or travel store (Loves, Pilot, etc). They all have microwaves and plastic silverware if needed. I usually take my own silverware though.
I was able to stop at Trader Joes and Whole Foods to pick up some other essentials along the way. Did you know that Trader Joes has coconut oil packets?
This is a game changer for me, gone are the days of carrying a tub the wonder oil. I grabbed some Siete Tortilla Chips
and bone broth protein from Whole Foods as well. Ya'll have no idea how I have missed Tortilla chips. These are made from cassava root and are almost like the real thing. Try them!!! You'll be hooked.
Since I had prepared enough food for the husband and I for an entire 3 days. There was only one restaurant I was excited to go to in Memphis, Bedrock Eats & Sweets Cafe. They believe in serving nothing processed, modified or refined. Everything is Paleo!!! The food is organic, grass-fed, and free- range. I couldn't wait to go!! How nice to NOT have to cook/heat up food for myself. The menu has many options and everything is cooked while you wait. I was overwhelmed with my options; I mean, I wanted to try everything. My wallet wouldn't allow it though, nor my husband. I settled on the banana french toast and sweet potato salad. Interesting combo, I know; but like I said, I wanted it all. I highly recommend checking this place out, even if your not into the Paleo way of life.
Needless to say, our trip went very well and we even had a bit of food left over when we arrived home. I know I still have improvements to make with traveling (and writing) but, I'll get there...eventually there and everywhere. Stay tuned for my next blog. Who know what it will be about?!