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.
|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!
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!