The thought of traveling while on the GAPS Diet can seem incredibly daunting. What food will be available? How will you make sure you’re eating everything you need for your healing? How will you avoid foods that make you ill?
Take a Deep Breath
Don’t worry — traveling really is possible and enjoyable. As with most things on the GAPS diet, it does take some advanced planning and preparation. My three tips for traveling on the GAPS diet will help you have a successful adventure away from your home!
1. Plan Ahead
Planning ahead is a must for traveling while following GAPS. There are a few factors you’ll want to take into consideration as you make your arrangements.
Staying somewhere that has a small kitchen available is extremely helpful. Whether it’s with family or friends or just a kitchenette in a hotel room, it will make a big difference to have a fridge and stove available for meal prep.
Whether you are going to a conference or visiting family, you’ll want to find out what meals (if any) are going to be provided. Then you’ll be able to plan what you’ll need to either bring along with you or purchase when you arrive at your destination.
For example, a few weekends ago I attended a retreat with several other women from my church. I emailed the gal in charge of the meals to find out what was going to be served. Fortunately, she was really great and was preparing at least a portion of each meal to work with my GAPS diet limitations. Once I knew what was being served, I knew what to bring to round out each meal.
Local Stores and Restaurants
Particularly if you are flying to your destination, you’ll want to do a little research ahead of time as to what local grocery stores and restaurants are in the area. Then, you’ll know what items are essential to pack yourself and what you can wait to pick up once you arrive.
Eating out is often a big factor when traveling. You’ll want to review these tips for eating out before you set out on your trip. Also, if you know anyone in the area, they can be a great starting point for finding restaurants that will work for you.
2. Pack Thoughtfully
If you’re traveling by car, you’ll have more leeway for the amount of food you can bring with you. I’ve found an electric cooler to be a big help for road trips. I can plug it into the car while on the road and then plug it into a wall outlet once I arrive.
Even if you’re traveling on an airplane, you can check a small cooler. I’ve done it before without a problem and it allows me to take a few cold and/or frozen items along that I won’t be able to find easily once I reach my destination.
Depending on where you are traveling, or even on the duration of your trip, it’s just better to bring along some of those hard-to-find items. I will typically pack items such as my fermented cod liver oil, my favorite veggies for breakfast, or some homemade chicken or beef stock.
You’ll want to have some satisfying, yet portable snacks along with you. It can be challenging to find GAPS-friendly snack options on the go. Some great ones to bring along are homemade energy bars, hard boiled eggs, crispy nuts, hard cheese, or dried fruit.
While you may be out of your usual routine, you’ll still want to be sure you’re taking your probiotics, cod liver oil, fish oil, and any other digestive aids you need.
As I mentioned above, I pack the liquid ones in my cooler either in checked luggage or in my car.
For the rest of the supplements, if I’m going for several days or longer, I’ll just bring the bottles along with me. If I’m just staying somewhere for a night or two, I’ll pack small baggies with what I need for each meal. For example, for this coming weekend, I’ll pack the supplements I need into small snack-sized baggies for each meal.
3. Enjoy Your Trip
It’s important to not let the stress of traveling take away the joy of your trip. It will be more challenging to travel rather than eat at home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy your trip!
Do Your Best
While on the road, you’ll want to do your best to follow the GAPS diet just as closely as you do at home. You’ll feel better and you won’t have any setbacks on your healing journey. That being said, it won’t undo all of the good you have done, if you have a slip up or are running out of options. Just do your very best to stick as close to the protocol as possible.
On the same note, don’t stress about the mistakes you make while traveling! I think stress can be very harmful to the healing process, and it won’t change anything that’s happened.
I can tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, and so I want to do everything as well as possible. I’ve come to realize that when traveling I may not consume as much stock as I do at home or eat as many fermented foods as normal. That’s okay! My trip is just for a short time and I know I can get back to my stricter GAPS routine once I return home. Worrying about it won’t help!
Enjoy the Journey
Just as the GAPS diet is a journey that doesn’t happen overnight, learning to travel while following a special diet isn’t something that you perfect the first time. Just be sure to enjoy your journey along the way!
What are your GAPS traveling tips? We’d love to hear!
This post is shared with GAPS Friendly Fridays.