AT THE END OF THIS POST I WILL OUTLINE INSTRUCTIONS ON ENTERING THE DRAWING FOR THE ITEMS IN THE PHOTO BELOW, ALL OF WHICH ARE WHOLE30 COMPLIANT AND I WILL SHIP DIRECTLY TO YOUR FRONT DOOR
Several years ago when I began my paleo, Whole30 journey, I was a stay at home mom living on a tropical island half way around the world. It was so simple at that time to cook all my meals from scratch, take a cooler bag with me everywhere I went to stay on track, plus it helped having extra healthy food for my toddlers and my husband who needs to be constantly fed snacks just like a toddler because he has the metabolism of a hummingbird. So that's just what I did. I would make extra of every dinner and then take some with me if we left the house the next day.
And then I came back to this side of the world and got a job. A job that requires me to travel out of state monthly, often in my car for hours at a time and in hotels for a week at a time. It's been an adjustment learning to stick to the plan when attempting to do a Whole30 and travel. And I'm not going to lie, I failed several times last year, but as I heard someone so eloquently say recently, I kept failing FORWARD. I've done it quite a bit while traveling now and I can pretty much walk into any airport, grocery store or gas station and find compliant food with a little careful looking and sometimes a lot of label reading and mutters of "WHAT THE HECK?! WHY DID THEY HAVE TO ADD SUGAR TO THAT?!" Because, Dude, that stuff is in ERRYTHANG. It's like my dog's hair, but worse.
So I'm going to outline for you my tips and what I have learned along the way for rocking this reset while on the road! And then I'm going to take you on a little impromptu grocery shopping trip to see what we can find spur of the moment.
- HAVE A PLAN: this is not only your key to completing a successful Whole30, but it is ESSENTIAL to not falling "headfirst into a box of donuts" because you came unprepared.
- In the last year I began booking my own hotels, because apparently I'm high-maintenance. But seriously, I like rooms that have a fridge, microwave and HOPEFULLY (if I can find one in the town I'm working in) a kitchenette with a stove top. I also make sure the hotel has a gym with free weights, because aint nobody got time for a broken treadmill from 1975 and peeling wallpaper (I'm talking to YOU Candlewood Suites outside Atlanta).
- IF I'M DRIVING: I take a large rolling cooler in my car filled with compliant food that I have cooked ahead of time. (this is ideal but doesn't always work.)
- IF I'M FLYING: I pack some compliant things in my carry on (Meat sticks, nuts, apple, cut up veggies and guac) to tide me over until we land and I can get dinner or get to a grocery store.
- AS SOON AS I LAND: I head to my hotel and find a grocery store on the way. My favorite is Aldi's because it's cheap and they have a ton of compliant food there. Sometimes if I'm in a big city, I'll do Whole Foods to see what's new and what the cool kids are into these days. (hint: last time I checked it was six dollar bottles of water and hipster soaps that smell AMAZING) After I leave there I have to take a second mortgage on the house to pay for what I spent. KIDDING...kind of.
- IF THE ROOM HAS A KITCHENETTE: I buy chicken breasts, spring mix, vegan pesto, zucchinis, grape tomatoes and avocado(and I usually sit on my rear end all day when working so I typically lay off the carbs). I make a yummy one skillet meal that I eat all week.
- SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND: No really, I'm very attached to this cooler. It's served me very well. In my suitcase I pack the items in the photo below. A foldable cooler bag, a sharp lil knife and a cutting board. I pack my lunch and take it with me. Sometimes I have to work through lunch, and sometimes I can sneak a few bites here and there.
THE MEAL TEMPLATE!
DUN DUN DUN!
Don't ever let anybody talk smack about paleo or Whole30, look at the photo below. This is a plant BASED diet! The meal template was created very specifically with certain macro nutrient ratios in mind to keep you full and healthy. It's very important to stick to the template whenever possible. No, you don't count calories or measure your food, but you learn to get a feel for what your plate should be comprised of. Snacking isn't recommended, with the exception of working out and breastfeeding, but sometimes you just need a snack for the love! So...when that happens, try to remember this:
COMPRISE YOUR SNACK OF AT LEAST TWO OF THE THREE MAIN FOOD GROUPS IN THE TEMPLATE. IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE A MINI-MEAL.
I promise, once you do it a few times, it's not that hard!
Now, let's go grocery shopping! I picked a random grocery store about 30 minutes from my house and walked in with my camera to see what I could find for you guys! Here's what I came up with (and I didn't even get through the whole store!)
First I went to the produce section and found:
TESSAME'S SALAD DRESSING AND MARINADE (read the labels, not all of them are Whole30 compliant)
FRUIT SQUIRTS (I used these while marathon training and paleo...AWESOME!)
PRE CUT VEGGIES...ANY VEGGIES!
RAW, LOCAL PECANS
Next, I moved to the deli/prepared foods area. This one is always tricky because you have to read EVERY LABEL...but I found some goodies!
APPLEGATE HOT DOGS
AIDELS CHICKEN AND APPLE SAUSAGE
Then I went to the "health food" aisle ( if this is health food what is the rest of the food.....HMMMM)
KOMBUCHA (In my favorite flavor from this brand) NOTE: READ THE INGREDIENTS IN ALL YOUR KOMBUCHA, IT SHOULD NOT SAY SUGAR.
WILD PLANET TUNA (One of the other main tuna brands had ONE compliant tuna pack, the rest had soy and sugar)
LARABARS (Be VERY careful with stuff like this because for many people, this is like waving a red flag in front of your sugar dragon) and remember they are to be reserved for emergencies and paired with other food groups if at all possible.
PRESSED BAR by Kind
And lastly, a few more health food aisle picks:
WILD PLANET CHICKEN BREAST
JUSTINS ALMOND BUTTER (make sure it's not the one with sugar)
ANCHOVIES....UMMMM, gross, but I'm sure someone out there LOVES them
OLIVE PACKS...I prefer green, but they weren't compliant, so kalamata it is!
LA CROIX! Sweet nectar of the whole30 gods, I could drink every flavor! This stuff has saved me from many a Mommy Wants Wine meltdown during Kill all The Things.
So you see, YOU CAN DO THIS! take a deep breath, eat a mini meal (because you aren't supposed to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach) and get started! Basically, just imagine yourself as your own testy toddler that you need to keep food on hand for at all times...just so ya know...you don't throw a temper tantrum at your afternoon meeting because everyone else is having bagels and lattes and YOU WANT ONE BUT WAAAAAAH YOU CAN'T. Nobody needs to see that, AND it's totally avoidable with the proper planning!
I'm leaving for a two week trip soon and will update my instagram or blog daily with what I find!
NOW ABOUT THAT GIVEAWAY!
HOW TO ENTER: "LIKE"OR COMMENT ON FB OR COMMENT HERE FOR ONE ENTRY. EVERY PERSON THAT "SHARES" THE LINK ON THEIR PAGE WILL GET AN ADDITIONAL ENTRY.
WINNER: I WILL CLOSE THE ENTRIES SUNDAY EVENING AT 9 AND SELECT ONE WINNER VIA RANDOM.ORG . I WILL ANNOUNCE THE WINNER MONDAY MORNING ON MY BLOG AND FACEBOOK!