I recently travelled cross country via airplane from PA to CA. It was my first time traveling by airplane while on AIP (Autoimmune Protocol)
I HAD to go! My husband was, after all, surprising me with a trip for our 20th anniversary. I can't lie and say I wasn't a bit nervous about airport food. So I packed cooked bacon and baked sweet potatoes! When we got to our layover airport (Dallas), literally the ONLY AIP friendly food was at a small Mexican food joint. They offered Romaine salad with a million toppings (corn, cheese, beans, tomatoes - you know, ALL things I had not re-introduced yet!) So I bought the salad without all the toppings, much to their dismay! $7 and probably the most expensive lettuce I've ever bought! I loaded it with bacon, sweet potato, and a side of Trader Joe's applesauce.
Sometimes it's survival but I was nice and full. And nourished.
I found a great restaurant in Laguna Beach that offered all different Tapas or options as a meal. I got sirloin tips (I skipped the sauce), asparagus, & sweet potato fries.
Lunch at Trader Joe's:
Lunch "to-go" is a tough one at Trader Joe's if you are trying to eat AIP friendly. The best I could do was plantain chips with guacamole and this salad. I skipped the dressing but even the chicken had some crazy additives. I had heartburn all afternoon and I NEVER have heartburn!
Our studio had a teeny kitchen with a cooktop, microwave, and basic necessities.
We had a great little store, Ralph's, around the corner that carried grass fed, free-range, and wild meats and fish. We bought a tiny bottle of olive oil, sea salt, and herb mix.
We got some prepped raw veggies, wild mahi mahi, and a couple sweet potatoes (I had to microwave them).
It was delicious!
Let's talk BACON!
Just about every restaurant or hotel that serves breakfast has bacon and fresh fruit on their menu.
AIP friendly. I literally ate bacon the entire week I was gone.
There was a small cafe across the street from our place that served salads. We got ours "to go" with chicken and veggies. I added some sweet potato, avocado, and red onion. Filling and satisfying.
One night I made chicken thighs cooked with apple and onions.
Easy and delicious.
Meals on an airplane:
Airport food is a tough one, so for my trip home, I packed our own giant salads.
As long as you carry it in a plastic bag, customs doesn't mind at all!
I added a banana and a container of applesauce to the bag.
Right before we got to customs, I added olive oil so it wouldn't get too soggy. Turns out, there was a cafe near our Gate that had nice homemade dressing. They gave it to me for free!
The morning we left I HAD to eat leftovers, so a bit more fruit than usual, bacon, sweet potato, spinach and my usual Americano coffee.
Coffee is the only non-AIP thing I have regularly.
Lunch on the go:
Burgers are usually a good choice. I ordered an Angus burger, no bun, and they wrapped it in lettuce for me. I had about 3 of the fries because they weren't that good but they did give me a double burger!
I'm a sushi lover. Truly. So abstaining from my favorites was hard for me at first.
I'm happy to be able to eat a small bit of rice here and there. It's a nice resistant starch.
This lunch was at an amazing little sushi place overlooking the water in Laguna Beach. It also served as our Wedding Lunch with our good friends.
The purpose of our trip to California (my first time!) was to celebrate our 20th anniversary. He surprised me with renewing our vows on the beach and arranged for our friends to meet us! They moved out 13 years ago, he's a pastor, they live 1 1/2 hours away, so I had NO idea they would come. It was all so romantic and a huge surprise, complete with a proposal on the boardwalk.
So back to the food....
Sashimi is a good safe bet. I also had a dinner sized salad and a few pieces of California roll.
I skipped the soy sauce.
Along with these meals, I also packed snacks like an Epic Bar, Trader Joe's Coconut + fruit bars (apple, mango, strawberry), dried mangoes, applesauce packs, and dried coconut flakes, a small container of coconut oil. I bought a bunch of bananas, apples, and plantain chips at the store.
My best and completely AIP meal was at the Soho House in West Hollywood, a member's only club for the Hollywood crowd. No camera phones allowed so I couldn't snap a shot! But I had chicken paillard, baby chard, carrots, and purple sweet potatoes on the side. It was wonderful!
I never went hungry on this trip so it is completely possible to eat well, to eat AIP, and be nourished!
At the end of May, I started seeing a new doctor, a functional neurologist, to help me with some therapy for my leftover symptoms from having Bacterial Meningitis in 2008. He ordered some blood tests and put me on a completely grain-free diet (also dairy free, sugar free, nut free, nightshade free)
I started to see some changes in my body pretty quickly. Initially, I lost 15 pounds but more noticeably, I stopped having my regular headaches. My brain fog went away and I started having more energy. It turned out that I'm highly reactive to gluten and was showing inflammation in my gut.
Overall, I have seen a lot of improvement in my aches and pains and some of my skin issues. I have eczema and psoriasis and have less flares than previously. It's been 6 months now.
Of course it has changed the way I cook and bake. No more flour cookies and cinnamon buns or cakes. But, I mostly don't miss them anymore. I can make some banging brownies out of plantains!
And delicious Coconut Banana Smoothies... I don't really need to snack much because my meals are very satisfying, full of good fats, grassfed or pastured meats, good starches, and lots of veggies. I'm nourishing my body well for the first time in my life.
And the really weird thing? My cellulite is gone.
I just turned 41, have four sons, and weigh the same as I did before kids (after 16 years!)
One of the blogs that I found most helpful is www.thepaleomom.com She is a doctor, scientist, and backs up her information with tons of real research. It's helping thousands of people being diagnosed with thyroid issues, skin issues, MS, and all kinds of autoimmune diagnoses.
I'm really excited to have found healing like this. It's helping me take care of ME so that I can take better care of my family!