Traveling with an Autoimmune Disease can cause some challenges especially when trying to lead a clean lifestyle to heal myself. I am just getting back from visiting my newborn baby nephew and this meant that I had to fly, eat out at restaurants, and sleep in a hotel. I must say that I did pretty good for an AIP (autoimmune protocol) newbie. I have to remind myself that I am not perfect and with that in mind, here is how my travels went.
On the first leg of the trip I had a layover in Seattle. I have always loved this airport and since I had some time, 2 1/2 hours to be exact, I was excited to challenge myself at the restaurant I love there. It was breakfast time so of course I had bacon, who doesn’t love bacon?! The plate came with eggs and what looked to be a delicious, gigantic piece of blueberry coffee crumb cake. I proudly did not touch the crumb cake and was happy to not subject my body to the heavy amounts of sugar and gluten! That same evening I was invited to go to dinner with my brothers in-laws. I was pleased to see that we were served a buffet style dinner so I was able to pick exactly what I could eat. This being said, it was also a feat for me to pass up the plump dinner rolls, the giant tub of barbecue sauce, and the perfectly browned baked beans. I helped myself to the green salad, a baked potato (it was a russet and yes that is NOT on my approved foods list but like I said, NOT perfect) and shredded pork sans the sauce.
Day two consisted of no breakfast due to sleeping in, oops another no no! Lunch time arrived and this time I was with my family at a buffet. Talk about temptations and we were even sat near the dessert section! I served myself a green salad and pear slices to start out. My second plate consisted of chicken that was battered so I peeled the skin and let it be. I also had some cod but it almost is not worth mentioning. I can guarantee these were not cooked in coconut or olive oils but I am giving myself an A for effort because it was a buffet people and these are the only items I chose to eat! That evenings dinner I am not so proud of when speaking in the gluten free aspect of things. I had a turkey sandwich with bacon but a little mini victory was asking to substitute the fries for the steamed squash.
Day three, last day of the trip. I woke up early and headed down to the continental breakfast at the hotel. The only two things that I could eat were oranges and bananas and that is what I chose. I did not chose the waffles, the biscuits and gravy, the toast, the cold and hot cereals, the yogurt, or the gooey cinnamon rolls. I took my decaf tea and orange back to my room, sat on my bed while peeling my orange and basked in the pride of the moment. Lunch that day consisted of going to a wonderfully authentic Mexican restaurant. I ordered the pork carnitas and they were divine. Again, not the best but could have been oh so much worse and I did not partake on the churros that were served at the end of dinner.
I have noted ways that I can help myself be more successful in following my AIP life the next time I travel:
– Be prepared. I need to pack foods with me, in case of emergency, such as fruits that are easy to travel with.
– Research, if possible, the restaurants ahead of time and see what I will be able to order and that way when I arrive I won’t even have to look at the tempting menu!
– Make sure that my water bottle is attached to my hip! I don’t mean literally, I have never looked good with a fanny pack, but I need to make sure I always have my water at my disposal.
– If staying where a refrigerator is available to me, I will be shopping for the duration of my stay for foods that I can easily eat and I know are going to keep me on track to heal my gut.
To sum up my first experience of traveling while leading a new lifestyle, it was challenging but rewarding. It helps to have support of loved ones and it helps to know that my health is what I am trying to save. I was far from perfect but I have to give myself credit where credit is due. I know that I am only on the beginning of my journey and it will only get better from here.