Friday, August 8, 2014

Another Trip: More Traveling with AIP

I was out of town all day yesterday, and once again I had to figure out how to manage my eating while on the road and doing strict AIP. I am not sure why this has been such a hard thing for me to figure out. It seems simple; lots of people doing Paleo or other diets simply prepare a regular meal or two and bring them in the cooler and stop along the way to eat what they bring. It's not rocket science that a plain salad, some veggies and fruit, and some cold steak or chicken would do just fine on most trips. The only real problem I've had with bringing food that way is having it get too warm, even in a small cooler. In the summertime with temps 100 degrees or more, it gets awfully hot in the car, and my cooler has not kept my food cool for more than a couple of hours. I may need to try a bigger cooler with more ice.

But the *real* issue I am overcoming is this sense that when I go on a road trip, even for just a day, I "should" be able to eat things I don't normally get to eat. I'm not sure when this habit occurred... well, thinking back I can figure it out. When the kids were all little and we were always broke, I HAD to pack all our food when we traveled. We always brought water bottles, fruit, bags of cookies and chips, and sandwiches when we went out of town, and that was fun! But when they got older and my circumstances improved, I was able to afford things I never could before. I could stop for a latte on the way out of town, pull into a fast food chain for a breakfast biscuit instead of eating at home before I left, and enjoy new restaurants for lunch and dinner. I'd always go online and look up restaurants in whatever cities we'd be traveling through so we could eat something new. Yeah, food was becoming my entertainment, and a way for me to remind myself that I was not in poverty anymore. I guess in some ways it made me feel better about myself to be able to eat at nice places. It turned into a habit... an expectation that eating new things at new places is part of the experience of taking a road trip.

I'm getting away from this mindset now, and in a way AIP is a huge blessing because it has forced me to stop eating at restaurants. In the first two weeks or so, I did go out to eat twice, and the experiences were abysmal. And I came out of there thinking, "I am not paying someone to give me a plain chicken breast or a plain hamburger laid on top of a bed of plain lettuce!!"

So yesterday I got up, had my tea with coconut milk and a bowl of plain, steamed butternut squash with cinnamon. I brewed some green tea and iced it for my water bottle, and brought an apple, a carrot, and a serving of plantain chips. I ate those foods for lunch, but of course without protein I was hungry by 3. I decided to go to a grocery store and pick up something to eat. Lucky for me, there was a Trader Joe's nearby. I figured, surely I can find something healthy and with no additives at a Trader Joe's! But you know what? It wasn't so easy. They had lots of things I can't eat, like nuts and processed stuff. I looked at all their salads and ready-to-eat foods, but they all had things like croutons, grated cheese, tomatoes, and spices I cannot have... and unlike general low-carbing, on an elimination diet I can't just pick off the stuff I can't eat. I looked at all the "natural, no preservatives" labelled lunch meats but they all had sugar, dextrose, carageenan, or paprika in them. The only cooked meat I could find that was 100% AIP-compliant was prosciutto. So I bought a small pack of that and some pre-cut melon spears, and I sat in the car and ate my prosciutto-wrapped melon. That held me til I got home. I had some leftover AIP coconut curry with chicken and then biked for 25 minutes.

Feeling good, enjoying these changes, and researching the best way to reintroduce foods when I am ready.


Gwen said...

Lynn, have you considered seeking a health care professional to help you on your relationship (emotional) to foods? It really sounds like it could be beneficial. I say that sincerely, and as a person that has benefited from mental health help in the past.

Lyn said...


yes, I'm seeing a counselor about that and I think she's a very good fit. The one I saw last year was... well, not as helpful. Better match this time :)

Lori said...

I, too, feel like I should get treats while on a trip. I'm not sure why, maybe just because I am on vacation from work I should be on vacation from everything.

Sean Anderson said...

Oh yes-- the "road trip food rules" were always a big deal in my family. I can remember several where eating as much and as often as possible seemed to be the goal. We made food the focus. So glad to not to do that anymore--but I do know what you mean, it isn't easy. I commend your commitment to self. You're making YOU important and it shows in everything you do. I don't look at my insistence on taking extraordinary care as obsessive or abnormal--I'm simply doing what I must do to take the best care possible... Because, for me--as a food addict in recovery, I can't "just do whatever this one time," one time turns into 100 one times before I realize what's happened.
I no longer envy people who can be casual about their choices...I take pride in my preparations and I eat very well. I think it's a perspective thing---isn't everything?
I admire your diligence in committing to that plan and doing what it requires to maintain its integrity. You're making a wonderful investment in you. You're important and you're treating yourself accordingly. Great post!!

Kendra said...

I love hearing about the foods you're eating on AIP and how you are making it work for you. You are doing great!

LHA said...

Lyn, I have a terrible time eating well while traveling. It is one of my biggest challenges. I am still looking for ways to get better control over this. I would say you did very well, and at least you seem to understand the origin of your feelings about food in relation to travel. For me, I think it is "vacation mentality" where I seem to think that the laws of nature are suspended while I am on vacation, and I find myself thinking "You deserve a little are on vacation". Poisoning myself with food that is bad for me isn't really such a treat, so I am going to have to keep reminding myself of that.

Dawn Darling said...

It's a mind set so many of us have on the road. My best friend always jokes that every time I tell her I booked our yearly vacations, she starts eating vacation style in my honor.

But seriously, I travel for my job and it has got to become 2nd nature or I'd never be able to travel for work.

I take a portable collapsible cooler with zip lock bags of ice (yes, ice can go through security). I find out whether I will have access to a microwave, and if not, then I know what I can or cannot pack.

Hang in there....we are all rooting for you.