You stock up on grass-fed meat and fresh produce. Your pantry is full of healthy snacks, and your fridge is full of fruit.
Yes, you have this Paleo thing down.
Being on the road without access to your trusty fridge can make it difficult to stick to your diet.
However, all that food and planning can easily go out of the window when you go on holiday. Being on the road without immediate access to your home and your trusty fridge can make it difficult to stick to your diet. But it’s not impossible. Here are 7 tips that will help you stick to your Paleo diet even when you’re on a trip.
1. Do Your Research
It can be hard to pass up the local cuisine when on holiday, especially if it’s something you can’t get back home. The best way to experience all the food your holiday has to offer while still remaining Paleo-friendly is to do research ahead of time. Here are some tips based on different types of restaurants.
- Mexican. If you like Mexican fare, you’re in luck. Most of the food offered can be considered Paleo. Avoid tortillas, chips, and the beans. If you do eat corn and opt to try the tortillas and chips, just make sure to ask about the ingredients. Some do contain wheat. Opt for mains like fajitas and eat the meat and vegetables.
- Sushi. While rice isn’t strict Paleo, a little isn’t terrible for your diet. However, the soy sauce that often accompanies Japanese food could be. Avoid sushi that has any “teriyaki” sauce, and don’t dip your sushi in the soy sauce, as it often contains both soy and gluten. If you really want to stick to your diet, choose sashimi which is the fish without the rice.
- Steak house. You can’t go wrong with a good quality steak house. Ask about the sides and whether they use any breading or flour for anything, but for the most part, steak houses are pretty safe.
- American food. Avoid the bread, fries, and chips and you should be able to find something to eat here. Be wary of the sauces as they may contain sugar and wheat.
- Italian. This is a little harder. There’s breading and cheese on just about everything that isn’t already on pasta. If you have to eat at an Italian restaurant, opt for meatballs, chicken, or sausage, but ask your server about the ingredients.
Now, let’s talk fast food. Fast food joints are super convenient when you’re on the road. Unfortunately, they’re typically not very Paleo-friendly. If you have to visit a fast food restaurant, use these tips:
- Choose a salad. While this will be nowhere near as filling as a salad you make it home, it’s fairly reliable in a pinch. Remove any ingredients that aren’t Paleo and pay attention to the ingredients in the dressing.
- Get a burger without the bun. Another option is to ask for a burger with extra vegetables and simply discard the bun. Some restaurants are jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon and even offer lettuce wrapped burgers. Pay attention to special sauces and other condiments.
2. Pack Food
Another option is to bring as much Paleo food with you as possible. There are many shelf-stable travel options such as:
- Homemade jerky
- Tuna with an easy-open lid or zip pouch
- Trail mix
- Coconut butter
- Nut butter
- Hardboiled eggs
- Fruit and nut bars
If you are driving, pack a cooler with any homemade snacks, tomatoes, carrots, berries, and crudités such as celery sticks and pepper slices.
3. Hit the Supermarket as Soon as You Get There
As soon as you know your destination, do a search for the nearest grocery or health foods store. Plan to do some shopping as soon as you get there. Look for any non-perishable foods and snacks that you haven’t packed. If you have access to a mini-fridge in your accommodation, you can pick up fruit and vegetables. Which brings us on to…
4. Request a Mini-fridge
If your hotel does not provide them, request one. Don’t be afraid to mention you have food allergies and need to purchase some food. Put in a request ahead of time, or even better, book a hotel that has a kitchenette where you can keep things cold and even cook your own meals.
5. Bring a Slow Cooker
If you have the ability (and space!) to bring a slow cooker, do it! There’s nothing easier than popping some meat and veggies into the slow cooker, doing some sightseeing, and coming back to a cooked Paleo meal.
6. Pick Your Indulgences
Now, a holiday is a holiday. So I do believe there should be room for cheats, indulgences if you will. But it can be so easy to go overboard so it’s important to plan ahead. Figure out what foods you will allow yourself, and decide how much you will eat. Make allowances for that piece of dessert or sandwich you can’t get anywhere else in the world, but still set limits on how often you indulge.
7. Cut Yourself Some Slack
With all that said, give yourself a break. If you go off plan, don’t stress over it. You’re on holiday, after all. Just do your best, and hit your diet hard when you get back home.
No matter how well you eat at home, sticking to a Paleo diet, or even something that resembles a Paleo diet, while on holiday can be difficult. With all the good food to try and things you just can’t get where you live, it’s very hard to eat what you should be eating. Plan ahead by doing your research on the eateries in the area, pack as much Paleo-friendly snacks as possible, and just do your best. But don’t be too hard on yourself. After all, a holiday should be enjoyed!
Have you managed to stick to a Paleo diet while on holiday? What are your top tips? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!