Food For The Road: The AIP Vacationing Series

Seriously, you guys are going to LOVE that I took a vacation.  We left very early last Sunday morning (June 23rd) for Montreal, Quebec and arrived home very late on Friday night (June 28th).  I am feeling re-energized by those six days away and have come home with loads of practical tips on how to have an awesome vacation while staying healthy and sticking to AIP.  My goal is to blog every day this week on what I learned about AIP vacationing; what worked, what didn't, lots of new meal ideas, how to set a pace that works for your health, discovering new places, etc.  I'm calling this "The AIP Vacationing Series" and we are starting today with how to prepare food for the road.  Lots of you have been writing me asking for advice on how to do this, so I hope you'll find these tips really helpful.So first, a little about choosing a vacation destination that will work for a family with serious dietary restrictions.  My husband and I started talking this out months ago . . . it had been a really long time since we had taken a break as a family.  We love to travel (obviously, if you haven't looked already, check out the Africa portion of this blog), but we were feeling very boxed in (and a little afraid) by my food requirements.  We didn't want a fun family trip to turn miserable with Mommy sick from risky food options.

We decided that the best way to overcome that hurdle was to stay somewhere that would give us access to our own kitchen.  Admittedly, having to cook for yourself on vacation may not seem very relaxing for some folks, but for us it was a great option.  Stress would be greatly reduced for all of us not having to worry about cross-contamination or restaurants with no options and luckily, I love to cook.  We also wanted to travel internationally, but needed it to be affordable.  We've been all over the world, but we've never visited our neighbors to the North, so we started researching vacation rentals in Canada (which is a day's drive for us).  We found that they were surprisingly chic, functional, and inexpensive.  We also discovered them to be much less than rentals in the U.S. and downright bargains compared to hotel stays anywhere.

We booked a gorgeous 13th floor apartment in the heart of downtown Montreal and then I turned my attention to food planning.

View of the apt
My vacation kitchen

I planned lots of snacks for our long road trip (10 hours).  Everything was Paleo-legal for the family, but I also made sure that enough of the food was strictly AIP for myself.  We loaded up one small shoulder bag sized cooler, one large cooler, and one reusable grocery sack with our goodies.  This was practical and worked, because we were traveling by car, but any of my food ideas could be pared down to accommodate air travel.

AIP-specific treats
Paleo-legal goodies added

AIP road food included:  fresh greens from our local farmer, bananas, canned pears and peaches (only juice added), canned salmon, canned tuna, coconut date balls (recipe below; these were an awesome little treat for me), honey baked chicken legs (recipe below), carrot and celery sticks, and prosciutto (only salt added).

Paleo road food included:  all of the above plus, dried mangoes, cashews, sliced bell peppers, and banana brownie cupcakes (these went a really long way in helping my husband and daughter not feel deprived).

I prepared all the food the night before we left.  We ate breakfast very early before hitting the road and found the cold chicken a very easy and delicious lunch.  We brought a can opener, but ended up having so much food prepared, that we didn't even open the salmon or tuna.  We also brought plastic plates and utensils, but treated everything as simple finger food anyway.  My husband had a thermos of coffee, I had a thermos of bone broth, and our daughter was happy with a bottle of sparkling water.  It turned out that we were a little over prepared, but it made me feel secure not being limited with too little food.  All the foods were also perfectly fine cold and as finger food.  None of us felt hungry on the trip and we weren't tempted to buy lots of extra treats at every gas station along the way.  Compared to car trips we've taken in the past, we saved alot of money bringing our own food.  It also had this extra added bonus of giving us a strong sense of self-reliance.  Look at it this way, pioneers traveled across the entire length of the U.S. relying only on the food they themselves had prepared for the journey.  If they could do that, then surely traveling for one day without needing convenience food options should not be a serious test for me.

Stay tuned for Monday's blog about arriving in Montreal, how much you can learn about another culture in their supermarkets, and throwing together dinner at the end of a long driving day.  Plus, learn later in the week about the delicious foods I prepared for our long travel day back to the U.S.  Take a peak below at the Coconut Date Rolls and Honey-Baked Chicken recipes I came up with for road food.

Coconut Date Rolls
12 soft dates, seeded
1 cup finely shredded coconut (I actually pulsed mine in a coffee bean grinder to make it even finer)
1 tsp. cinnamon

In the food processor mix the dates, a 1/2 cup of the coconut, and the cinnamon until it makes a sticky "dough."  Roll the dough into approx. bite-sized balls and roll again in the other 1/2 cup of the coconut.  Place in container and keep cold when not enjoying!

Honey-Baked Chicken
6-8 chicken legs
sea salt to taste
2 tbps. honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Rinse and pat dry chicken legs.  Season with sea salt and place in baking dish.  Drizzle honey back and forth over chicken.  Bake chicken for 30-40 minutes or until skin is very crispy and brown.  Place in container and keep cold when not enjoying!

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3 thoughts on “Food For The Road: The AIP Vacationing Series

  1. I keep a roundup of links on my blog that address Traveling on a Healing Diet. I've just added your post and look forward to reading the rest of your series. I just got back from a vacation myself and stayed on the AIP the whole time. I feel so much more confident with every trip I take (especially since I feel better and better the longer I'm on the AIP).

    Reply
  2. Dawn

    What a great idea!!! It takes a lot of the pressure off of having to find paleo friendly restaurants. PLUS you get to choose when and how much you eat. You can always pick up tae out for the non paleo friends/family members traveling with you- or take your food out with you!! love it!! Thanks

    Reply
  3. Jen

    I needed these tips...traveling can be difficult and I love that you reminded me to also pack things everyone will like....

    Reply

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