Project Hermosa

Traveling the Primal Way

It is summer time which, for most of us, means some kind of travel. It doesn't matter if you are going camping, heading to an amusement park, visiting family or even taking a tour of the zoo, you will hear those inevitable words "I'm HUNGRYYYYYYY!"

Long car trips, busy airports, unfamiliar restaurants, Aunt B's house... you will be faced with feeding yourself and your family. How do you make the right choices? I have never seen a gluten free section in the gas station or paleo vending machine at a rest stop. The airport is full of amazing smells wafting from the grossly oversized cinnamon roll stand (btw, have you ever hit turbulence with one of those things weighing down your stomach? Not so tasty anymore is it?)

Let's start with getting there. For me, this is the easy part. Before you even leave the house, pack sack lunches! I travel A LOT with my little bities so I have honed the skill of car trip snacking. Each child gets his or her own lunch box. The boxes are chalked full of cut up veggies, sliced fruit (fresh and dried), jerky, nuts, deli slices and a treat (cookies, go go squeeze, maybe even some chocolate chips). This might even be a good time to allow yourself to spend the money on gluten free bread.... hey, it's vacation! I make sure that each child has spill proof cup and I take a container to refill as needed.

Once you are there, now is your chance to check out the local grocery store. Ok, so if you aren't a certified food nerd like I am, this might not seem like such a fun adventure. Believe it or not, grocery stores are the paleo parents best friend and as you travel, you find all sorts of unique ones. I recommend looking for local or regional stores rather than national chains.

If you are staying in a hotel, this is a breeze! Suites or rooms with kitchenettes are fantastic and pay for themselves with the ability to cook "at home" (I'm not talking fancy expensive things, I mean Staybridge and various other inn and suite establishments. Most hotel rooms, now, come with a mini-fridge and microwave, standard. If not, it is well worth the small few (I've never paid more than $10 for the week) to rent one. Just like at home, having a stocked fridge will help fight the urge to hit up the vending machine or drop by the local pizzeria.

The hard part is if you are staying with family (no offence mom, I LOVE YOU). Meals can be tricky but here are few tips I can recommend from experience:

  1. Hit the grocery store or SPEAK UP! Offer to go pick up something forgotten from the store and grab some extra food while you are there. OR simply say "I am going to buy some snacks and things so we don't eat you out of house and home." My mom always asks for a grocery list before we get there. I know that she will purchase items that I would not normally allow the kids to have as well but if I tell her specifics on what staple items to buy, she will.
  2. Offer to make supper. This is truly the easiest meal to control plus you are giving loving mom or sweet Aunt Betty a break! It never fails that mom wants to help me, which is perfectly fine but I am in charge of the meal. I have yet to make anything that even my non-paleo family members would eat and enjoy!
  3. Be aware! Grandma is going to try to give the kids treats. She is Grandma, she is suppose to spoil the kids. Just pay attention to what she is giving them so that you can balance it out with some healthier items. It will also help you understand why little Johnny is bouncing off the living room ceiling and Susy is having a major meltdown over untied shoes.
  4. RELAX! I have to remind myself of this regularly. Just because they had a week of not-so-steller choices doesn't mean that they have fallen off the wagon and are destined for obesity. Like I have said before, once home they will only have your options and I bet they will eat them! Plus, you might be surprised to hear Johnny ask Grandma for an apple or Susy say she is full after 2 bits of cupcake. Kids are pretty smart!

No matter where your vacation leads you, a little pre-planning will go a long way so pack-up and take off. I'll see you when you get back!


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