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Travelling Domestically on a Restricted Diet

TSL Travel Planning
(Image by TSL)

I’m currently on the Autoimmune Protocol, a nutrient-rich elimination diet that removes foods that irritate the gut, cause gut imbalance and activate the immune system. You can read more about the protocol and why I’m doing this here.

The reintroduction stage of my autoimmune protocol adventure has finally arrived. That means I have started reintroducing foods that have previously been excluded. This is managed in a very systematic way – one food at a time, starting with things that are least likely to cause a problem (or that I miss the most!). I’m keeping a food journal and recording any unusual symptoms or changes in mood. Honestly? – it’s actually proving to be more work that strict AIP!

My doctor told me I had to stop throwing intimate dinners for four unless there are three other people. (Orson Welles)

I’m currently travelling interstate (I’m typing this from my hotel room).

More precisely, I’m having six lovely days in Melbourne catching up with study-buddies, touching base with old friends and – hopefully – establishing a few new connections. LM is not with me. I’m flying solo.

And, just like with my tendency to over-pack, I prepared w a y too much food to take with me. BUT! – I want to minimise the risk of contamination… (Turns out I was contaminated anyway, but at least I gave it a good hard go, yes?)

Travelling on a restricted diet is not so easy. Not by a rather huge margin. And, because it takes so much bloody work, LM thought I should share a few of the foods (and beverages) I carried with me.

First, if at all possible, book accommodation with a kitchen

Really. It will make life so much easier. A decent fridge, a sink to wash up, and basic cookware allows you the freedom to shop for fresh ingredients upon arrival and to store them easily.

I find having provisions on hand means I’m less likely to give into pressure to ‘fall off the wagon’ and, it’s definitely cheaper.

Then, prepare a few foods to take with you

In my case, since I have recently reintroduced coffee, I needed my dairy-free creamer.

I also figured that breakfast is a particularly difficult ask at a restaurant when eggs, grains and dairy are off the menu, so I prepared for that.

And of course, snacks are always welcome!

TSL Travel Haul
(Most of) My Interstate Travel Haul
L – R: Jaffa Balls, Mackerel in olive oil, Filtered Water (in red flask), Dark Chocolate, Organic Coconut Oil, Seeded crackers, Dairy-Free Creamer (in silver flask), AIP Reintroduction-compliant Breakfast Crunch.
(Image by TSL)

In case you have any interest, here are links to the recipes for some of the items above:

  • My choc-orange ‘Jaffa Balls’ are my current favourite snack ball. I reckon they’re a winner (and they went down a treat with the Melbourne crew)
  • The Dairy-Free Creamer is, I reckon’, my best invention ever. Especially if you want the milkiness of a flat white or a latte, but can’t do dairy or soy (and find straight almond milk too watery)
  • The very talented Alexx Stuart created this particular Breakfast Crunch recipe. It’s a nut & seed number with some cacao and cinnamon thrown in for added flavour. Frankly, it rocks! – Especially when eaten with coconut yoghurt and fresh berries
  • The seeded crackers are a wee number I’m still perfecting. Trust me – you’ll be the first to know when I’m happy with them.
TSL Travel Bag
Chilly Bin (NZ for cooler bag!) and my TSL House Fermented Vegetables
(Image by TSL)

 Next, when you arrive at your destination – head to the nearest organic or whole foods store

Seriously. Do not pass go. Have a shopping list prepared and make it a priority to get ‘compliant’ food into your temporary kitchen. I promise you won’t regret it.

Finally, should accidental contamination happen, try not to let it ruin your trip…

Dining out at restaurants (which I have not done in 9 months) means you will have less control over what goes into the pot or pan with your clean food – even with every precaution you can possibly take. If you do have a flare, try to pick yourself up and get back on the horse. Stressing about it will only make things worse.

And, as soon as you get home, you will be back in charge again.

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Comments (13)

This brings back memories. Traveling while on strict AIP was incredibly hard, but all you can do is prepare. I appreciate the reminders – and the links!

I’ve been allowing myself nuts and coffee, SoA. Had my first flare in months, which was very disappointing. But, telling myself it all takes time and chalking it up to experience.

I won’t be having apple cider donuts any time soon!

Nothing like being prepared – those jaffa balls look delicious

Those jaffa balls are my current favourite, K. Easy, too.

Dietary restrictions do complicate things but they don’t make them impossible.

True Lulu – just requires a wee bit more forward planning! 🙂

That food looks delicious.

Great post! I look forward to hearing all about your travels!

I feel a dinner coming on…

I’m sorry to hear you experienced a flare. Your food hamper look delicious though!

Petra – I think I tracked down the culprit. Suspect it was an inadvertent soy contamination. Back home now, and back in control (of my diet, anyway!)

I love posts about traveling with food restrictions. I get nervous before I have to travel and basically just have to plan my vacations around a while foods.

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