Traveling while eating according to the autoimmune protocol (AIP) can be daunting. Futhermore, it can be downright overwhelming.
The Secret to My Traveling Success
One key I found when traveling while on the autoimmune protocol is to book a place to stay that has a kitchen. Having a kitchen, and being able to prepare your own food is a game changer.
I know, I know. I felt you cringe. I get it. Who wants to cook and prepare food while on vacation? Nobody.
Here’s the thing. You have a decision to make. The same decision I made before going on my recent vacation. What is more important – eating out on vacation/not preparing food or feeling well while spending time with family?
For me, it was a no brainer. Above all, I want to make sure I feel well so I can enjoy a much-needed break from regular life with my husband and children.
At this point in my healing journey, for me to feel well, nutrition is key. As I write this, I am early in the reintroduction phase of the autoimmune protocol, and I am very sensitive to cross contamination and eating off protocol. Even while at home, we have a local organic restaurant with options I can request to be modified for me to eat, yet I will still occasionally have a reaction from time to time. As a result, for now, my vacations include preparing most of my own food.
Our Recent Trip
We recently visited Park City, Utah for a week and had an amazing time! We drove up from Southern California, and rented a condo with a kitchen. I knew we would have a Whole Foods close by, but I did not want to go grocery shopping after an eleven hour drive. Therefore, I hit up my favorite local organic store the day before we left and brought many items with me. As a result, I did not have to go grocery shopping until two days after we arrived, and even then only purchased meat and produce.
Since I was already preparing food for myself, I prepared food for my family as well. My husband has no diet restrictions, my daughter is gluten free, and my son is closer to paleo.
Food I Packed to Bring with Us
Here is a picture of the list of foods I brought with us for our family (we brought a large cooler for the cold items):
Food I Purchased a Couple Days After Arriving
At Whole Foods, we purchased:
- Grass fed and finished rib-eye steaks (we had a grill to use as well)
- Grass fed and finished ground beef
- Organic non seasoned rotisserie chicken (already cooked)
- Organic carrots
- Organic cucumbers
- Organic asparagus
- Organic brussel sprouts
- Organic zuchinni
- Organic summer squash
- Organic strawberries
- Organic pears (three different varieties)
- Organic peaches
- Organic sweet potatoes
- Organic onion
- Organic herbal tea
Eating Out In Park City
We were in Park City for 8 days, and we only ate out for a few meals. These are the three places we went:
- Fairweather Natural Foods in Park City – Cute little market and cafe! I ordered a custom organic green juice with kale, apple, and lemon. Bonus: they sell many health foods in their market! The only drawback is their limited hours, and the fact that they clean their juicing machine over an hour prior to close.
- Vessel Kitchen in Park City – Great place with quality ingredients and an awesome mission! I ordered their rotisserie chicken and a couple of their paleo sides.
- Spin Café in Heber City – Love this place! They focus on serving real, quality food. I ordered their grass fed bison burger lettuce wrapped, plain with only onions, and organic greens for my side. This place has loads of gluten free options! My family enjoyed their amazing gelato for dessert!
I am happy to say that I had no reactions when eating out on our trip. I felt really well most of the trip, with the exception of the last day when we over scheduled ourselves and I simply did too much.
Traveling while on the autoimmune protocol can seem overwhelming. It takes some extra planning, and hard work, but it is 100% worth it!
Bonus Travel Tips
I try to keep up part, or all, of my morning routine while on vacation, to help me feel the best I can.
I remind myself that it is okay if our vacation is not perfect. The important thing is I have the courage to travel with my autoimmune disease, and my eating restrictions.