One of my loves is traveling. I will spend all my time, money, and energy traveling if I get the chance to. (This 40-hour workweek thing is severely getting in the way.) I attribute my wanderlust to my parents first sticking me on a plane, alone, when I was 6 to go visit family. I've been hooked ever since. By time I was 17, I had ventured through a lot of the U.S, most of Western Europe, and some of the South Pacific. My family's theory was that the world was the best teacher, and they weren't wrong: traveling gave me the motivation, empathy, and open mindedness that truly makes me successful in not only my job, but in my interpersonal relationships as well. WTG fam, you're the best.
Regardless, following a Paleo diet is really challenging when traveling. First, there are always temptations. Second, local food at your destination is always just so good, and of course you want to try the local grub. Third, after you return home after a week or a long weekend of planes, trains, taxis, subways, or buses (maybe all), the last thing you want to do is cook. You want to chill the heck out on the couch with some takeout while watching reruns of Madmen. (Side note: why Don, why??? Megan is perfect, you're an idiot.) Or is this just me that is like that? Come on guys, I can’t be the only one.
I've realized that when eating out while traveling, it's not too hard to find restaurants that can cater to a Paleo lifestyle. After all, almost all restaurants serve vegetables and meat, which are two of the big building blocks of Paleo. However, finding organic, sustainably raised items, and grass fed meat continues to be a big challenge. (Unless you're traveling to Portland ;) ) To this point, I say do your best, and be diligent about being strict when you return home.
By far, airports are the worst for healthy food options, so I've also got into the habit of traveling with snacks. I always carry a bag of nuts, a piece of whole fruit, some dark chocolate (so I won't be tempted by all those new airport froyo places popping up), and either some protein bars or a small container of my Tuesday Oatmeal. (All you need to add is hot water! Starbucks is always so generous with supplying me with a free small cup of hot water to make this while on the go.) Depending on how long I'll be gone for, I might also take some protein powder or ground flax seed to blend into shakes, and I always take some coconut charcoal capsules when I realize that I've accidentally had too many grains, or had too much liquor:
I will note that when going through security, TSA sure does love looking through my bag of Paleo goodies, and they seem kind of let down when they've realized I'm just taking chia seeds on a plane. Also noteworthy to TSA? My hair. 80% of the time I get a head pat down (head massage?) after going through the metal detectors. I realize I have a lot of hair, but could I really hide weapons of mass destruction in my messy bed-headed bun? Apparently, airports around the U.S think so.
When I return from traveling, I also make sure that I have some premade Paleo meals ready, or meals that I can just pop into the oven. I've mentioned this recently, but I've been really into tricking myself into eating vegetables, especially when I've returned home from a trip and have been eating out a lot; it's my way of doing a little detox. In order to try up my veggie intake without feeling like I'm eating leaves for days on end, I try to mimic the texture of whatever non-vegetable dish I'm craving. Which is why I am so in love with this creation:
3 Ingredient Carrot Fries
- 1/2 bag of carrots (I used tricolor carrots, but regular carrots are just the same.)
- 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. coarse sea salt
- Paleo friendly mustard, aioli, mayonnaise, or ketchup for serving.
- Preheat oven to 375
- Wash carrots and pat dry with either a clean towel or paper towels.
- Cut off the tops of the carrots, and then slice carrots into long strips, about 1/4 inch thick.
- Place on baking sheet, and drizzle olive oil over carrots. Use hands to coat all sides of the carrot slices with the oil.
- Ensure that carrot slices are place evenly on baking sheet.
- Sprinkle sea salt over carrots.
- Place in oven on middle rack and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. With tongs, flip carrots over, and continue to bake for another 25 minutes.
- Carrots should be crispy and start to curl at ends. At the end, watch closely, as they could start to burn.*
I always eat these babies with a garlic mustard aioli from Trader Joe's. I've never been a big ketchup fan, so I love my carrot fries with this. I've made it on my own before, but for time saving, I'll usually go with this one from Trader Joe's. No sugar, dairy, and tastes delicious!
*Since carrots are a root vegetable, they will start to taste bitter when they burn. This couple be something that you like, but many people don't.