Today, I thought I’d address one of the more frequently-asked questions about the AIP, especially as summer rolls around:
What can I do when traveling on the AIP?
Whether it’s a business trip, family vacation, or moving house, traveling can be stressful enough without worrying about what you’re going to eat. Honestly, every time I go somewhere, I feel like I need another vacation just to recover from the stress of planning the vacation! And these past few months, I’ve been house-hunting out of town every weekend. Now I’m getting ready to move and most of my cooking appliances are packed up into boxes I may not get around to opening for a few more days. What are you supposed to do when you really can’t cook?
I have a couple of tips to help take some of the load off:
- Research the area so you know what kind of grocery stores you’ll have and whether or not there might be AIP-friendly restaurants nearby. Usually, the nicer the restaurant, the more willing and able they’ll be to accommodate a variety of food sensitivities. If there isn’t much in the area, plan to bring all of your food–you can ship non-perishables to your destination if you aren’t able to bring them in your luggage.
- Dried and canned foods are your friends. Canned seafood, jerky, plantain chips, sweet potato chips, kale chips, sealed sauerkraut–anything you can find. Just check the ingredients to make sure they’re AIP-friendly.
- For longer trips, try to find lodging that has a more complete kitchen, like a small stovetop or toaster oven so you can make a warm meal every now and then. And even a mini-fridge would mean you could save leftovers and wouldn’t have to shop as often! If you can’t find a hotel that has these things, maybe you can find something on AirBnB.
- See if you can take some of your favorite cooking tools and utensils with you (this is easiest if you’re traveling by car). I like to bring my blender so I can make green smoothies and my InstantPot because I can do pretty much anything in it. Or maybe you can bring your own hot plate and a single pot or skillet.
- Bring some travel-size utensils. I keep some in my toiletries case so I don’t even have to remember to pack them. There are also plates that can pop up into bowls that are popular with campers.
- Speaking of which, if you’re backpacking, camping, or taking a long road trip and don’t want to have to stop to prepare a salad in the grocery store parking lot for lunch, check out Backcountry Paleo. Susan has lots of great recipes and resources for roughin’ it!
- If you can’t cook at all or just don’t want to, frozen meals are the way to go. You can bring your own pre-made leftovers or check out the AIP options from Paleo on the Go. But be sure to check if you’re allowed to bring food over the border if you’re traveling internationally. And if you’re traveling by car, invest in a good cooler to keep your food frozen. Also make sure you’ll have a microwave, toaster oven, or stovetop to reheat your food with when you get where you’re going.
- If you’re traveling for business and your company usually covers your meals if you eat at restaurants, talk to your manager about getting your frozen meals or groceries reimbursed. There may be some paperwork involved, but it’s often cheaper than the restaurant bills!
I’ve also put together an e-book full of simple no-cook meals you can make no matter how well-stocked your kitchen is.
28 Days of No-Cook AIP is a meal plan with shopping lists that utilizes a wide variety of easy-to-find ingredients without requiring a lot of time or space in the kitchen. It includes 21 simple-yet-delicious no-cook recipes, like Tropical Seafood Salad, Nori Wraps, and Chicken Waldorf Salad. Unlike my other meal plans, it isn’t meant to be followed from start to finish, but rather just for the duration of your trip (or move). Maybe you breeze through week 1 while you’re at your in-laws’ place for the summer and use week 2 on your next business trip. Weeks 3 and 4 will be there waiting to keep things fresh for your next foray out of your kitchen. When you don’t know if you’ll be able to cook where you’re staying or if you’re going to be on the road without a kitchen at all, you’ll have plenty of healthy, AIP-friendly recipes to choose from.
Traveling on the AIP might still require more planning than having no dietary restrictions at all, but it isn’t impossible–and the more often you do it, the easier it’ll get.