Posting on location: What to eat while you travel?

Hello from Banff, Canada!

View from my window-amazing

View from my window-amazing

This week I am posting on location while I attend a scientific research conference in Banff, which is located about 1.5 hours away from Calgary in Alberta, Canada. As you can see, this place is just magical. Known for it’s majestic mountains and top ski slopes, Banff is a popular vacation resort.

Just walking around the hotel affords beautiful views

Just walking around the hotel affords beautiful views

Since, I am no snow bunny and prefer the warm, tropical vacation spot, I have been using my free time to explore the hotel, grounds and take advantage of the stellar fitness facilities at my hotel. This week I will be continuing my training and hope to get up to a 5 mile run on the treadmill before I leave (longest distance so far). The highlight though, truly has to be the outdoor, heated, salt water pool. There was a snow storm the morning after I arrived, and I was able to swim in warm waters while the snow flakes kissed my face. I feel like that moment was pretty close to paradise on earth.

Can you see the outdoor pool? Some crazy scientists were rolling in the snow and then jumping in...idiots.

Can you see the outdoor pool? Some crazy scientists were rolling in the snow and then jumping in…idiots.

The hardest part of this whole trip has been finding things to eat. (I recognize this is truly a first world problem…but, I’m guessing all of you have experienced this at one point or another, so it’s worth mentioning). There are multiple restaurants on site, but since I would prefer not to eat every meal out, I has hoped to be resourceful and buy some items that I could store in the room. Unfortunately, almost everything I am surrounded by is processed and/or loaded with sugar and carbs, carbs, carbs. My one saving grace is the little cafe located in the hotel, which has fresh fruit, yogurt and hard boiled eggs ($1.50/egg…holy F$#&!)

As part of a research conference, you typically pay a registration fee, which includes some meals. I was surprised yesterday when I arrived at breakfast and saw a choice of toast, oatmeal, cereal, pastries or flavored yogurt. I mean, literally no eggs, sausage or other form of protein! AND, the only thing that may have been fresh was grapefruit and orange slices…but, they looked Β too uniform in size, so likely were canned. I went with a little thing of blueberry yogurt and tried a bit of the oatmeal, since I was preparing to run later on that day…but I have to say, it felt like a rock in my stomach.

I know I sound whiney here, especially since I am able to visit this wonderful place, but it does serve as a kind of wakeup call for what a priority my diet has become to me. AND, if you think about it, I am definitely more akin to an early hunter/gather now since I have to put more effort into searching for fresh food sources.

As a tip for all you travelers, think ahead and pack some portable items with you. If I hadn’t been traveling internationally (and therefore subjected to customs…i’m sorry ms. spardy, but why do you need 20 lara bars?), I think I would have stocked my suitcase with lara bars, trail mix, almond butter, etc. Taking this one step avoids the moment when you are starving and looking at rows and rows of “low-fat chocolate muffins” wrapped in cellophane.

More to come later this week…especially after my Spa Day!!! (YAY!)

Do you find this food problem has happened to you?

How did you solve it?

Do you have any tricks or tips when it comes to travel prep and food?



10 thoughts on “Posting on location: What to eat while you travel?

  1. You should be able to travel with Larabars and other non-liquid sealed food items, even internationally. I took about 20 Larabars with me and my wife to Puerto Vallarta last summer, knowing that this would be a potential issue, and didn’t have the slightest trouble. I think the TSA only cares about liquids, not foods. Of course, that could change in an instant…
    Another tip: I always, when possible, attempt to arrange for a kitchenette, at the least (full kitchen when possible), so that I can manage some of my own food myself. I find that whatever the up-charge is, the end-cost-difference is completely justified by both my quality food intake, and the reduced cost of eating home-cooked food!

    • Yes, you are correct, I likely could have traveled with them. However, my layover was short and with the added constraint of customs, I was nervous that adding things to claim would cause me to miss the next flight, so I bagged it. I think your idea of kitchenette is a great one. I do have a mini fridge, so I’ve taken to storing some meets and hard boiled eggs there for snacks. I also found a local store so I could stock up on some fruit and nuts. Thanks for your tips!!

  2. First of all how Banff looks beautiful! As for the scientists rolling in the snow and jumping in the water there are parts of Europe (not sure exactly where) were teachers/parents take their students/children out into the snow in their swimsuits and pour cold water on them (quick and fast) I guess pretty much like cold thermogenesis.

    As for eating and travelling…yep it’s hard and definitely takes some prep! Recently while I was still in the U.S. we travelled to California to stay with some friends and well I was the only one there that was paleo. It was hard because obviously my friend didn’t have the same foods I would at home and I survived mainly on eggs and salad but ended up falling off the wagon and eating whatever was offered etc. She did know of my ‘diet’ but of course there’s also the situation of taking over someone’s house and kitchen to cook food for yourself etc.

    Recently on our flight from the U.S. to England, I didn’t have much of an issue with this as it was night flight, they did serve dinner and then breakfast but I had a couple of Kits Organic bars, not the most ideal but better than what they were serving!

    To be honest living this way has been pretty easy, except for these moments where I haven’t been very well prepared, this year and next year we’re hoping to have our families from Australia come visit us here in England and to travel and that’s when it’s going to be hard!

    • Hi Naz, I’ve been doing some thinking and plan to put out some recipes for portable snacks and meals. I think this is the thing us Paleo people have the most trouble with. It’s hard though because of the whole perishable thing, which makes us focus more on nuts and fruits, which I sometimes over indulge in. More on this later…glad to hear your family is planning to visit, that will be so nice!

      • Yep… I know a lot of people take those paleo pack type snacks with them (nuts, dried fruits etc) but I don’t do well with those and limit my nut intake greatly. Plus those things I feel are just for tiding you over until you can eat a proper meal rather than taking the place of a meal (if that makes sense). It’s also hard to explain paleo to my parents, I mean a staple food from my background (Persian) is rice and I grew up on it, but now eat it maybe once a month or so… I just explained to them that I’ve stopped eating gluten because it upsets my stomach, which actually is true (had bad digestion issues for years and still dialing it in) but don’t get into too much other detail! As for my in-laws well I can just imagine my mother in law having a heart attack when I tell her I don’t eat those foods anymore lol

        Also the fact that both my family and husband’s family come from cultures were food is a big thing so I’m sure they’ll be trying to make me eat this and that but I guess you just have to persevere and yes them visiting of course would trump all of that :) Luckily I think with some prep travelling Europe and being paleo is doable.

      • I find the easiest thing to do is research and practice the best paleo meal possible and then without saying anything, make it for the skeptical party. As long as it’s not paleo pizza (have never figured out how to get those crusts to taste anything like the regular) then I think people usually are so surprised how good it is, without going into the meal comparing all the dishes to their non-paleo versions. Have you ever tried making the cauliflower rice? I haven’t…but I want to. I don’t think it will hold sauces the same, but could work in terms of adding nice flavor and texture.

  3. I am starting to also feel this apprehension about travelling and not having the foods I need and unfortunately cheating is super frowned upon for me but I’m not that hardcore vegan that I would choose not to eat anything versus something with dairy if push came to shove.

    When I went to DC I made sure to have larabars and trail mix and also stocked up with some protein powder since not being able to prepare every meal and ensure I’m getting the proper ratio of protein is a big concern for me (did you try any of the other Vega items while you were out there? Curious to hear your thoughts…).

    I wonder if you had called ahead to the place you were staying to inquire about the menu if they would have agreed to provide more of a variety? That seems like a pain in the butt thing to do but I guess ultimately the status quo will remain the status quo until the masses request a change.

    • We need to brainstorm here, because your restrictions are harder to meet abroad versus mine…i can always default to salad with meat, but your protein intake will be harder to meet. Lets bring Sally into this discussion…how Vegan friendly is Italy?

      • I definitely need to do my homework before I get over there. Otherwise I’ll be eating pots of black beans and lentils all day long.

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