Coming to you from my second trip in a week and a half, today’s post is about sticking to your guns while you’re out of your comfort zone. Always, but especially while on the Whole 30 (today is day 28), I do a lot of cooking. The kitchen is my safe space, our house has been purged of all delicious non-compliant food items, and I can bake, broil, and grill to my heart’s content.
This is not the case out in the McWilderness of our modern world. Fast food abounds, old friends want to catch up over dinner and drinks, and airports cater to convenience at the expense of nutrition.
To prep for my trip to L.A. last week, I packed some carrot sticks (although my preferred carrot-on-the-go is the crinkle-cut carrot coin | Publix sells store brand bags and Cal-Organic produces an organic version), celery sticks, raw organic nut butter packets from Artisana (cashew, almond, and walnut sold at my local Whole Foods) that I slipped into my TSA-approved liquids ziplock bag, an apple, and an emergency That’s It apple-cherry snack (nothing else in this snack bar, just fruit!). Luckily, my friend picked me up during my layover in Austin and brought me to a local barbecue restaurant, where I proceeded to order and consume a full pound of meat, largely a result of having skipped breakfast that morning. Which brings me to my next point…
Eat some damn breakfast. I tell myself this every day, but it is never more important than when I am traveling. Luckily, my hotel in Glendale, The Embassy Suites, had an AMAZING breakfast situation: omelettes made to order, bacon, fruit, and scrambled eggs!
We also went for brunch with friends at the super adorable Brite Spot Diner in Echo Hill which made my little paleo heart skip a beat. So many options! I landed on the brussels and bacon hash minus the potatoes (roasted brussels sprouts and bacon topped with fried eggs) and I ate everything!
Lunches and dinners were harder. Countless waitstaff were questioned to the point of agitation. On my last night there, we made plans to meet friends from San Diego half way between their home and L.A., settling on Irvine. I stumbled upon The Counter, thanks to some intensive googling, and don’t have a picture to post of my supper there because I inhaled it. They have bison, beef, and turkey burgers! Grilled chicken! Served on beds of spinach or organic greens! Topped with salsas and veggies! Everyone had something they could enjoy and, for the only time during the course of my trip, I didn’t have to question their menu or explain my diet. It was glorious. I highly recommend checking it out if they have one in your area.
There were a few times I made some calls that involved a willing suspension of disbelief, not interrogating a server about their cooking oils, or, in the case of the shamefully limited options in the Southwest terminal of the New Orleans airport, inhaling two quarter-pound hotdogs sans-buns and toppings. Sometimes, when I can’t find a clean, paleo option, I’ll choose to fast, but that only works when you have a reasonable amount of food-security for your next meal. I am a human attempting to eat a primal way in a modern world, and it’s not always going to be perfect, but I am satisfied that I did my very best to adhere to the plan.
If you have any solid leads for traveling while paleo, share them here! My husband and I have FIVE out-of-state weddings in the next 13 months and would love some tips.