By Nell Stephenson
Author of Paleoista
What are the options for us Paleoistas when we're on board an airplane? That's an easy one-next to nothing. Small packs of hydrogenated pretzels and diet soda hardly constitute a healthy snack. Even while traveling in business or first class, the healthy pickings are pretty slim. Yes, the food in premium seats tends to be closer to, well, food, but it's still unlikely to be Paleo Diet-friendly unless you've called ahead (which certain airlines allow) arranged for no soy, no dairy, and no gluten in your in-flight meals. Even then, you can't be completely sure that the food will actually be there.
So, what can we do? The answer is definitely not to opt to go without eating for several hours on end. If you're only making a quick trip from L.A. to San Francisco, it's a non-issue, but if you're in it for the long haul, that's a different story.
To quote the tried-and-true Boy Scouts, we simply have to be prepared. Granted, if you're en route to vacation or a business trip from home, it's much easier than when you're returning from vacation to the airport, but even then, a little bit of thinking ahead and being prepared comes in handy.
When you're outbound from home:
Prep food the day before so you can take it with you.
-Just as though you were planning your next day's meals to bring to work, steam your veggies, grill your chicken, wash your fruit and pack everything in small, safe plastic containers to take on the plane, neatly packed into your thermal tote with an ice pack.
-Aim for roughly one Paleo-balanced meal for every three to four hours you will be traveling. TSA doesn't seem to have an issue with traveling with food; it's only the liquids that are prohibited and luckily we can still get water on the plane.
If you're going from vacation or a business trip to the airport:
Don't worry about not being able to cook or prep anything; you can still stay Paleo.
-Stop by a local market and stock up on fruits, veggies, and raw nuts. Bring them back to your hotel and simply wash them and you're set to go.
-Ask the hotel restaurant for a to-go meal or bring some of your leftovers as a travel-friendly option, especially if you've had a refrigerator in your room to safely store your food.
You can also find relatively healthy choices at some airport restaurants:
-Take advantage of options such as a simple, green salad with some clean protein, like grilled chicken, olive oil on the side and some fresh fruit.
-While the chicken is not likely to be free-range and the salad is probably not organic, they're still better options than a double cheeseburger with fries, and a great example of using the "Paleo in a Pinch" idea. Making the best choice with limited means can bridge the difference between staying Paleo and straying far off course.
Does this sound too complicated and time consuming? It's not, if you've decided to make the choice to keep eating healthfully a priority all the time, and not to allow a lapse simply because you're going out of town.
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