Thursday, November 20, 2014

Traveling Essentials (Paleo & AIP)


I spent a good chunk of October & the beginning of November away from home. For the October portion, I was in Atlanta working on a cookbook photoshoot with some pretty amazing people, like photographer Greg Dupree, food stylist Tami Hardeman Boutte, prop stylist Ginny Branch, and photo assistant JR Ward. While I’m not yet allowed to give many details about the book, I can tell you it was all about baking, and that my role as baker/assistant food stylist involved me physically making & baking all the items to be photographed. The days were long, but so rewarding. This book is going to be absolutely beautiful!

Instagram images from the shoot. 

To be honest, before starting all my treatments & making the switch to AIP, I never would have had the strength nor stamina to participate in a project such as this one.... Though I did also learn that even while following AIP, I still have limits.... One of the most humbling experiences was having to call in a replacement for me one day when I hit a proverbial wall... Having that breakdown was my body reminding me that I needed to be more vigilant about my water intake (I hadn’t had enough the day before), and that even if my prep schedule was busy, I still needed to take time to eat whether I was hungry or not. It’s funny how working around food all day will curb your appetite--this use to happen to me all the time when I was working as a pastry chef instructor.

I wanted to share some of my traveling essentials, in hopes that perhaps my experiences may help fellow AIP people. Traveling while following AIP isn’t always easy, especially since I had recently been accidentally glutened and was still very leery of restaurants. Also, I traveled to Atlanta via airplane and all my food items either had to be TSA compliant to go in my carry-on, or they needed to be put into my checked suitcases.

Here are some of the staple, not-as-perishable staple items I brought along in either my carry-on or checked luggage. I have had successful reintroductions of a few things, so there are a few non-AIP items, which I will note.  Also, many of these links are affiliate links, so if you purchase any of the items through the links I provide, I receive a small commission. Thanks for supporting Sweet Treats.


Just to be safe, I did put the packets I brought along in my checked luggage. I love these because they make for an easy, nutrient dense protein option. They are completely shelf-stable until opened & don’t require a can opener. I dressed them with olive oil & a little vinegar or lemon juice + salt & pepper. 


Proscuitto (AIP--check ingredients) 
Proscuitto is one of my main go-to snacks these days. I was a big fan of cured meats in my pre AIP days (especially after going gluten-free), but since I’ve discovered that nightshades & nightshade-derived spices don’t agree with me (paprika, I’m looking at you!), I stick mostly with proscuitto. To transport several packs of proscuitto for this trip, I previously froze the packages solid, then put them into a thermal container with a couple of frozen solid ice packs (if they’ve melted at all, chances are TSA won’t let them through security).

Chicken Breakfast Sausages (AIP--check ingredients; not pictured)
Chicken Breakfast Sausages are my favorite breakfast protein. I still have a hard time eating savory things for breakfast, but I have trained myself to eat these. I brought multiple packages of sausages in my cary-on, also by freezing them solid prior to the trip & packing them in a thermal container with frozen solid ice packs. Then, throughout the food shoot, I would defrost a package of sausages overnight in the fridge & cook them in the morning (saving any leftovers for future days). Especially on such a rigorous work schedule, getting adequate protein first thing in the morning was key for me.


Plantain Chips (AIP)
I’m not a person who does well on an extremely low carb diet. These plantain chips help with my carb intake and are a great snack option, either on their own or dipped in something (like simple guacamole). They taste a bit like potato sticks (those tiny french-fry things) & I just love them! We buy them buy the case these days, if that gives you an idea how high of a volume I consume. Ironically, these eating these chips while flying helps keep me from getting as motion sick? I’m not sure the science behind that fact, but it works for me :)


Apples (AIP)
Apples are one of my easiest snacks. They don’t require any utensils nor refrigeration nor special equipment to make them portable. And they’re easy to eat on the go. In addition to snacking on them, I also could turn them into a quick stovetop applesauce “dessert” option for me. To make the applesauce, just core, slice, & cook the apples with a little water until soft, then sweeten with a little honey to taste.


Clementines (AIP)
Last year, I had to adhere to a low acid diet & thus couldn’t eat citrus. This year, after experiencing so much improvement following treatments at my doctors office & by following AIP, I am able to eat citrus again! And I’m eating enough clementines to make up for not eating any last year. Clementines were not originally among my packed food, but I blame Ginny Branch for bringing a bag of them to the set & getting me re-hooked on them.


Dried Plums (AIP--check ingredients) 
Dried plums, er prunes, serve a couple different purposes in my diet. As a dried fruit, they have a bit more concentrated sweetness & can really help when I’m experiencing a dessert craving (or everyone else is having dessert at the end of a meal & I don’t want to feel as left out). They also help keep my digestion going (sorry if that’s TMI). And I find them delicious! Just make sure to find ones that don’t contain added sugar, nor any vegetable oils. (p.s. they are a little more expensive on amazon than I usually find in stores…)


Smoked Sea Salt, or other finishing salt (AIP)
One of the biggest bummer things about AIP is the number of spices that are off limits. I have to be vigilant in reading labels on foods & also in grilling restaurant servers about the spices used in dishes. Most often, I have to find things that are as plain as possible, just to be safe. Nightshade spices (i.e. paprika, red pepper, etc....) and I really are not friends. So, to take certain foods from a little boring to more exciting, I’ve started carrying my own salt with me in a little container. My current favorite is smoked salt, which is delicious sprinkled on most everything, but especially meats. 


Tea: Earl Grey, Raspberry Leaf Tea , Throat Coat (AIP--check ingredients)
While I have been able to successfully reintroduce coffee, that reintroduction does not mean that I can drink copious amounts of coffee. Coffee does come from a bean/seed & so there are times (especially during stress) that my body still does not tolerate it well. So, for most of the shoot, I drank tea instead of coffee--Earl Grey with coconut milk was my daily go-to.  I also have had very good success with raspberry leaf tea making my monthly “shark week” (as I affectionately refer to it, ha!) much more manageable. Drinking a couple cups of it a day during that time really lessens my horrendous cramps. Sorry if that’s more TMI ;) Lastly, I brought along Throat Coat tea, just in case any sickness or colds arose. But I am pleased to say that I didn’t need to use it! Note: if you suffer from an autoimmune condition, do be careful around the Throat Coat + Echinacea variation, as echinacea can cause flares of autoimmunity! I use the variation without the echinacea.



Fruit & Nut Bars: Berry Almond Kit's Organic Bars & select Larabars (Paleo, not AIP)
I’ve also successfully reintroduced certain nuts, like almonds, walnuts, pecans & hazelnuts, which opened up the world of fruit and nut bars. However, my attempted reintroduction of cashews did NOT go well (hello increased widespread body pain), so the varieties of fruit & nut bars that I can safely consume is slightly limited. Like the coffee, I do try to monitor the amount of nuts, even “safe” ones, that I consume in a day. If given the option, I prefer the Kit’s Organic berry almond bars (I’ve only seen them at Whole Foods & on Amazon), just because they’re a little less sweet & feel a bit more substantial. As far as Larabars go, my favorite flavors are Pecan Pie, Apple Pie & Carrot Cake. Any of these also make a pretty good dessert, if you’re feeling left out of the dessert loop.


Justin's Almond Butter Squeeze Packets (Paleo, not AIP) 
Since I can tolerate some almonds, these almond butter packets work well as an on-the-go snack item (though, I do limit myself to one packet a day, especially if I've also had a fruit & nut bar that day too). I even carried a few packets in my quart sized bag as I went through security at the airport. Sometimes I eat the almond butter by itself, but often my preference is to have it with an apple. Buying the larger containers of Justin’s Almond Butter is more cost effective than the packets are, but I like the convenience factor of the packets (and my checked luggage was dangerously close to being overweight).


A Good Glass Water bottle (mine came from here
A water bottle isn’t exactly a food item, but I think having one is just as important as having good food. I’m preferring glass to plastic more and more these days, but I also worried about breaking a glass water bottle. So far, so good with this one! The silicone cover helps make it extra resilient (and pretty). A lot of my supplements these days need to be mixed in water & consumed over time throughout the day--this bottle is perfect for that! And staying hydrated is very important. My body can tell me very quickly if I have not consumed adequate amounts of water.

These are a few of my favorite traveling essentials. If you’re interested, Grazed & Enthused (another AIP blog) has also just posted a list of 10 AIP travel snacks.

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