Due to distance from family and our love for travel, my husband and I have taken dozens of trips in the past 12 years, while I've been 100% SCD! I feel kind of like a pro now, although I still have my moments. ;) But it took time to gather these skills and ideas that make travel on the SCD easier and more enjoyable.
1. Have a plan. It is very easy to get overwhelmed and even to be tempted to stray from the diet when I don't know what will be happening, where I'll be able to find food I can eat, and the people around me aren't aware of my dietary needs. So I need to have a rough plan for my days.
Where will I be at each meal and what will be available? What nearby restaurants serve food I can eat? What foods travel well and I can make ahead of time to have for "emergencies?" What SCD-legal foods can I buy and bring along? How can I explain my food needs to the people I will be staying with? If I can answer those questions I am well on my way to an enjoyable trip.
2. Decide which SCD foods to make ahead and bring along. Minimal refrigeration is ideal so they can be thrown in a purse or backpack. Some can be refrigerated in a cooler.
My current make-ahead travel foods are: SCD Yogurt, Peanut Butter Cookies, and Dates stuffed with walnuts or pecans. Other ideas I've used in the past: homemade applesauce with cinnamon, favorite SCD crackers, cheese lace crackers, and Caramel Candy. A staple food is yogurt with honey and chopped roasted unsalted pecans from Trader Joe's.
3. Bring along pre-made foods that are SCD-legal and that you tolerate well. For a newbie on the diet, you'll want to stick to making food from scratch when in doubt. Use your own discretion. I've been on the SCD for almost 16 years now (hard to believe!), and can easily tell when I have a reaction to a food, so this is what I pack: Bare Apple Chips, Parmesan Cheese Whisps, Stretch Island Fruit Leather (grape, cinnamon apple, raspberry, or apricot), honey, cheddar cheese, peanut butter (peanuts & salt only), unsweetened dried mango from Trader Joe's, and unsalted roasted sunflower seeds (also from Trader Joe's). I found the apple chips, parmesan crisps, and fruit leather at Costco this year. I also buy my honey and cheese there.
4. Have a list of restaurants in mind where you can find something quick to eat if needed. For me, I keep track of where I can get a 100% pure beef patty with vegetables. These are Wendy's, Smashburger, and Five Guy's. Wendy's is pretty easy to find along the road on a road trip. I order two plain beef patties with just tomatoes and lettuce and then add salt and pepper. (Be sure to specify no sauce or cheese.) At Smashburger I can order a Make Your Own burger with no bun; a big patty with no spices, lettuce, tomatoes, and grilled onions. At Five Guy's I can specify that it's for an "allergy" and they cook the burger on a cleaned-off grill. I get two patties with lettuce, tomatoes, grilled onions, and bell pepper.
Other foods to look for at restaurants are eggs and fruit. These are pretty easy to find, especially at breakfast. Just avoid scrambled eggs, as they may have milk added. I usually get mine over medium. Also ask if the eggs are cooked in oil (okay) instead of cooking spray (not okay).
5. Have the right gear. On road trips, I take a large cooler for ice and perishables, a smaller bag-cooler for dry goods, and it's a good idea to have an insulated lunch bag. Bring your yogurt maker if you will run out of yogurt on the trip. (Also, it's nice to come back to yogurt in the refrigerator so make some to come back to before you leave.)
6. Have a contingency plan. Always have something that you don't have to refrigerate with you. A great one is unsalted peanuts or other nuts. . . just a handful will tide you over for about half an hour. Fruit leather or dried fruit also make great snacks for last-minute needs but they won't tide you over as long as a handful of nuts!
With these tips in your back pocket, you should be able to successfully survive (and enjoy!) a trip while sticking to the SCD.
P.S. What tips do you have for travel? For flying or riding a train - or another form of transportation? Please share!
Hi! I'm Erin, from over at NoMoreCrohns.com. I know firsthand the healing power of food, and I love to share delicious recipes with you! While everything I make is free of gluten, grains, lactose, and refined sugar, none is short on flavor! It is flavor first for good health here. Enjoy.
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