A Whole30 Coach’s Travel Tips
Let me guess, you’re feeling so great on your Whole30 but the thought of traveling makes you anxious. You don’t want to blow it now! Don’t worry, a little planning and prep beforehand sets you up for a successful trip during your Whole30. Whether business or pleasure travel, this is not the time to wing it.
BEFORE LEAVING HOME
- If possible, book a room with a mini-fridge and a microwave, or even better an equipped kitchenette. Consider a vacation rental with a full kitchen, especially if you’re traveling with family or a group – this way you can keep following the routine you’ve already got in place.
- Locate a grocery store near your destination and plan for some restaurants with compliant options. Quick options are the Chipotle Whole30 Salad Bowl (the only compliant meat at this time is carnitas), a burger wrapped in lettuce or on top of greens (Five Guys burgers are compliant), grilled chicken, and veggies. In a pinch, order a salad (be sure to ask for no cheese, croutons, …) and ask for oil, vinegar and lemon to make your own dressing, For more dining out tips, see https://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-dining.pdf
- You’ll probably want to share with your travel companions that you’re doing a Whole30 if they don’t already know. Keep it brief. Let them know you may have some special food requests but you don’t expect them to change what they eat. Hopefully, they’ll be supportive.
- Depending on your mode of transportation, it may be best to stock a cooler, but if you have limited space you may just want to pack a few items to get you to your destination then shop when you get there. Either way, take more than you think you’ll need. You never know what delays you may encounter. Also, take a variety of foods. You don’t know what you’ll be hungry for, and you certainly don’t want to get so tired of something you never want to eat it again.
- Whole30 foods that travel well include:
- canned tuna, hard-boiled eggs, deli meat, meat sticks/jerky (Chomps, Epic), protein bars
- salsa, carrots, cucumbers, celery, jicama, grape/cherry tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, fruit
- olives, nuts, nut butters, coconut, commercially prepared salad dressing, dips and mayo
- And whatever you do, don’t forget the food you packed. I’ve heard too many stories of people who carefully planned ahead, then panicked when they got to their destination and realized most or all of their food was still at home. Put non-refrigerated food in your luggage the night before, and for anything refrigerated: set a reminder on your phone, put a post-it on your mirror or steering wheel, or whatever it takes.
- Take a water bottle (empty if you’re flying). If you won’t have a stocked kitchen, you can pack a knife in your checked luggage if you’re flying. Other items to pack are plate(s), bowl(s), paper towels, a kitchen towel, plastic bags, silverware, salt, and pepper.
- Create a plan for challenging situations you may encounter when traveling. For example, if I’m offered a drink at happy hour, I will order seltzer with lime and focus on socializing. Or, if I’m going to be out sightseeing all day, I’ll take plenty of compliant food with me so I won’t be tempted to grab something off plan.
- I like to prep some frozen meals or have ingredients available for some quick, easy meals for when I return. There’s nothing like coming home to a clean house with the next couple meals planned and ready to go.
EN ROUTE & AT YOUR DESTINATION
I’m rather proud to say that I impressed a TSA agent by the amount of food I fit into my backpack as he removed everything. I must admit it was a textbook display of all things Whole30 spread out for everyone to see. He made a comment that it was all too healthy for him. Of course, that called for a Whole30 overview while I was stuffing everything back in my bag.
- If necessary, visit a grocery store to stock up on veggies and fruits, pre-cut will make it easier especially if you don’t have a kitchen. This is a good chance to try some local produce that you don’t have access to at home. Think minimal prep here. Also, grab some easy prep protein options like deli meats, pre-cooked sausage, rotisserie chicken, and canned tuna. If you didn’t bring healthy fats with you, pick up some olives, coconuts, salad dressing, nuts, avocados or nut butter.
- If you’re offered non-compliant food or drinks, a simple “No, thank you” or “I’m good, thanks” is all you need to say. No explanation needed.
- Stick with your established routines. Or, the change of environment may help you start a new one. For example, you could try out a new morning routine of journaling followed by a walk.
- Remember the purpose of your trip. Whether you’re spending time with clients, colleagues or loved ones; taking a course; relaxing and/or experiencing new adventures, enjoy the experience.
Relax. You’ve got this – have a great trip!
Another resource for Whole30 Travel tips. https://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-travel.pdf