One of my biggest challenges when going Paleo was the fact that I have to travel for work. Some days I’m in my office, but that is a rarity. Most of the time I’m driving from one location to another all day long. This could potentially make staying Paleo a little problematic. But when you’re in the dire straits I was in health-wise you find ways to make it work. (I will never be able to say that phrase again without thinking of Tim Gunn.) So today’s topic is:
PALEO TO GO
Requirements: personal cooler. This is different from an insulated lunch bag since you can put ice in it. I personally prefer this since it keeps my water really cold. Mine has a carrying strap and a pocket in the front where I keep sea salt, pepper, napkins, utensils, fish oil, and a sharp knife for cutting apples and pears (and self-defense when I’m in dark parking lots).
Now, what to put in it? Well, anytime I cook dinner I always make extra for leftovers. This is not to say my lunch is always dinner from the night before because that could get pretty boring (unless it’s meatza!). Sometimes I will pack just the meat from the previous night’s dinner with some leafy greens and a mister with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar. I also keep a bowl of tuna salad in the fridge for those days when we cleaned out the leftovers the night before. Besides the lunch entrée, I always take at least two bottles of water, 2 oz of trail mix or a Larabar for a snack if I get the munchies in the late afternoon, and a piece of fruit. One thing to keep in mind, particularly if you’re wanting to lose weight, is that just because you take it with you doesn’t mean you have to eat it. I’ve gone many days having eaten just the entrée and ended up taking home the fruit and the snack only to pack them again the next day. Just remember to take them out of the cooler when you get home, especially if the fruit needs to be refrigerated! It is important, however, to take them with you even if you think you won’t eat them. You never know what’s going to happen during the course of the day and it’s best to be prepared.
One way I am lucky is that no matter where I go there is a microwave available for heating my food. Some of you may not have that option. In this case, of course, you will need to take foods that will not need to be heated. This will somewhat limit what you can have for lunch, but like every other meal you can do online searches for Paleo recipes that will fit your specific lunch needs.
This tip also works when you’re out shopping or running errands on your days off. Keeping Paleo-friendly foods with you at all times eliminates the pressure of deciding what to eat when you’re out on the road, or even out visiting family and friends. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to stray and you won’t. Not only that, but at the end of the day you’ll be really proud of yourself. 🙂
**Related Tip** If you have to shop at multiple places to find all of your Paleo foods you might consider keeping a large cooler with ice or ice packs in the trunk of your car. This will enable you to keep anything cold that needs to be refrigerated in between your stops. You can get all your shopping done at one time without having to worry about running home in between stops to put the cold stuff away, worrying about bacteria, or shopping your different stores on different days. Talk about feeling accomplished!
Happy Paleo Traveling!