We are now three weeks in to our 2019 Whole30. Amanda and I have been traveling a lot for work this month. It is definitely tough, so for our weeks 2 and 3 update we wanted to share some of our tips for staying Whole30 compliant while traveling.
- Pack Snacks. This is a big one. Pack more than you think you need. Airport food sucks even when you aren’t restricting what you eat. Trying to find something without sugar, fried, or wrapped in bread is even worse. When you are on a roadtrip, gas station and rest area fare is about the same. We both stocked up on Larabars, That’s It bars, Thunderbird bars, plantain chips, sweet potato chips, and carrots.
- Mexican places are your friend. I ate Mexican food three times last week. It is so easy to get beef, chicken, or pork with whatever vegetables that have on-hand, some lettuce, guacamole, and salsa that you eat with your pre-packed plantain chips.
- Most restaurants have a meat + veggie option. Sometimes you have to ask very nicely for substitutions, but your server can usually make it work. Make sure to tip because it was probably a hassle.
- Book a hotel with continental breakfast. I stay at Hyatt Places a lot (there always seems to be one where I need to go), and they have a hot continental breakfast included with the stay. I ate roughly four eggs and a bunch of potatoes for breakfast every morning before I left, which held me over until about noon. I avoided the bacon because it probably had sugar in it, but I ate the sausage when they had it, which I’m pretty sure didn’t have sugar in it.
- If you aren’t 100% compliant, that is okay. Look, aim for compliance. Try your best. Don’t cheat just because you craved mac and cheese. But if the Mexican restaurant happens to throw cheese overtop what you ordered, scrape off what you can and eat your meal. That little bit of cheese won’t tank your progress, but skipping a meal and eating pizza three hours later because your willpower is gone will. What if you find out after your meal arrives that there is milk in the mashed potatoes? Whatever. Eat them without guilt. It will be okay.
- Make conscious choices. There are times when staying compliant isn’t worth it. But you have to set those boundaries for yourself and know what they are. I have one main conscious boundary: I’ll break compliance for high quality, unique, local cuisine. I only broke once for a small thing. My coworker Dave and I went to a seafood restaurant in Charleston. One of their specialties is roasted local oysters with breadcrumbs and pimento cheese on top. I had a few. They were delicious. One other situation that sadly didn’t occur but I would have chosen to break for if it did is if someone got us reservations at Husk. Amanda is at a conference in the mountains this week and they have a dinner planned at an incredible Alpine-style restaurant. That is totally worth breaking for. This goal of this Whole30 is to break our over reliance on sugar and carbs, not to turn us into British monks.
- Good bartenders will make you alcohol-and-sugar-free drinks. Being the only one in a social situation not drinking sucks, and you are very likely to be in a situation like that if you are traveling. If it is at a good bar, ask the bartender if they can make you something without alcohol or sugar. At the oyster place I mentioned above, the bartender made me a drink with cucumber water, muddled basil, lemon juice, ginger, and lemon peel. It was delicious. Some places even have something like Seedlip available for people who don’t want alcohol.
- Drink plenty of water. First, you are more likely to get dehydrated when traveling because of the break in your normal routines and schedule, plus all of the dry air on airplanes. Second, drinking water can help stave off hunger for a bit.
- When all else fails: Salads with extra protein. I ate so many salads last week because they were the only compliant option some days. When possible, I opted for field greens, spinach, or kale as the base and always doubled up on the protein, usually grilled chicken. I got whatever veggies I could thrown on top. Olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper as the dressing. Burger places are usually pretty cool with putting two burger patties on a salad for you. I did that twice last week.
What are some of your favorite Whole30 travel tips? Throw them in the comments!