A fellow CrossFitter from my box asked me how I keep paleo when I travel, whether I’m going on vacation or traveling for work. As my work travels both this year and last year take place during the Lurong Living Paleo Challenge (yes, I’m doing it again) and my vacation took place during my box’s 30-Day Paleo Challenge, I have to have a food plan.
Let’s go in chronological order:
Fall 2013 – Work travels to Jacksonville, Florida; Dallas, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; and Fontana, California. Not exactly food meccas unless you’re looking for fast food (Waffle House, What-A-Burger, Raising Cane’s, In-N-Out Burger, respectively).
Since Delta only offers non-paleo snacks – pretzels, peanuts, and cookies – I brought my own. I made my own trail mixes in Ziploc baggies consisting of raw cashews, raw almonds, and raisins. I brought slices of a homemade paleo banana bread or paleo blueberry or raspberry muffins (pictured below). I also dropped a handful of Larabars in my bag.
I tried to find hotels that serve a continental breakfast or have a restaurant open for breakfast. I ordered scrambled eggs or a vegetable omelet. I brought avocados from home that I sliced on top of the eggs.
Since lunch is always take-out from a local fast food place, I knew I was SOL there. I made my own “breaded” chicken that went into the refrigerator as soon as I arrived. I bought thin sliced chicken breast, coated it in egg, then “breaded” it with a mixture of almond flour, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. These were then baked for about 10 minutes on each side at 350.
Dinner was easy. As I am usually the only female on these trips and men like meat, we often wound up at a BBQ joint or steakhouse. I would get a plain grilled piece of fish or steak and a side of vegetables (steamed broccoli, grilled asparagus, plain baked sweet potato).
My work trips are usually fly in early Thursday morning, fly out Friday evening or Saturday morning. I don’t usually have the time to visit the hotel fitness center or local CrossFit box. As the 2013 trip to Ohio had me coming home Sunday morning, I had the time Saturday afternoon and WOD-ed at CrossFit Grandview. The space was enormous and they must have had at least 50 people show up for the class to do a Hero WOD. They were very welcoming and I left with a t-shirt. My only issues were the large ratio of athletes to coach (about 50:1 with a camera) and the lack of warm-up time to build to working weight. With so many other boxes in the area, I’ll go to another one to add to my CrossFit t-shirt collection.
Summer 2014 – Vacation to Aruba
My food for the flight was the same – trail mix and blueberry muffins.
Boyfriend D and I were fortunate to share a suite with a kitchen with his sister and her family. We picked up eggs, avocados, and sweet potatoes and made breakfast in our hotel room. We roasted the sweet potatoes in the oven and scrambled the eggs with the avocados. When we bought the sweet potatoes, we had no idea the only sharp knife in the room was a steak knife:
By making our own breakfast in the hotel room, we also saved quite a bit of money and were able to indulge on nicer dinners with an extra glass of wine.
Being on a Caribbean island, the fish was fresh and the fruits and vegetables were tropical. Lunch was at a restaurant either on our hotel property (Marriott Ocean Club) or the hotel next door (Ritz). I typically ordered grilled fish with a side of vegetables.
Dinner was just about always off hotel grounds and, like lunch, I would stick to meat or fish with vegetables.
When the paleo challenge ended while we were away, I broke it with a delicious piece of halibut that came with champagne risotto and chocolate mousse for dessert. Needless to say, the romance of the night ended pretty quickly after that.
Fall 2014 – Work travels to Dallas, Texas, and Columbus, Ohio (North Carolina and Florida were before the challenge started, California will be after it ends)
I ate breakfast at home before my flight to DFW (spinach and mushroom frittata with roasted sweet potatoes). I picked up a banana from the Delta Sky Club and added it to the bags of Wonderful Pistachios in my tote for the flight.
I am very fortunate to work near a deli that serves a strictly paleo menu in addition to their regular deli foods. Their paleo meals all come with a protein and two vegetable sides and they carry paleo brownies. I bought two meals (chicken meatballs with mashed sweet potato and roasted cauliflower and chicken chili with mashed cauliflower and sautéed kale) and two brownies that served as my lunch both days in Texas while the rest of my crew ate What-A-Burger.
Dinner that night was at Outback, where I had grilled mahi and a side of steamed broccoli. Dinner was waiting for me when I get home. Boyfriend D said picked up steak and asparagus at Morton’s.
Tell me, Fitters, how do you keep paleo when you travel? What do you bring on your flight when you know you won’t be able to eat any of the snacks the flight attendants give out?