Eating Keto While Traveling!
Eating keto while traveling can be easy in well-developed areas but more difficult in less-developed regions. Most cities, states, and countries incorporate some type of bread, potato, pasta, rice, bean or grain into the main course that you will have to eliminate. If you are dining at a restaurant, you can simply ask them to hold the carbs! However, if you are ordering food from a street food vendor, holding the rice or beans (etcetera) may not always be an option.
Therefore, the keto option may not be readily available in some areas. When traveling in some Asian regions, many foods may be served with rice and/or noodles. Years ago, in Italy, while strolling through a tourist area, I encountered one wonderful smelling pizza, pasta and gelato shop after another. At the time, there were no keto pizza options. And at times, the pasta was the meal, so you could not “hold the pasta”…
In the West Indies, some of the street vendors sold delicious curry-inspired foods along with a huge bed of rice and beans or a large wedge of macaroni with only a small portion of meat. If you held the carbs, you were not left with much to eat. Then, on occasion, the “vegetable” served with the food would be a really sweet fruit of some sort like fried plantain. With that said, you can see that eating keto while traveling can be a challenge in certain areas. Nevertheless, it is still doable in even some of the least keto-friendly regions.
When in Rome, I was just eating low carb while traveling. Therefore, I implemented the low carb diet strategy mentioned in that post. However, when living in the West Indies for a year, I was eating a strict keto diet, so it took a bit more heroic effort. This was my first experience with living on an island and on a keto diet, so I experienced a bit of culture shock. When the grocery store ran out of their seeming limited supply of low carb diet drinks it could be weeks before they got a new shipment?! Having just moved from a major city at the time, this was such a bizarre event to me. Now, I know what to expect.
Since I was on a tiny island with limited options, I had to be flexible with my diet to do a good job of eating keto while traveling. I ate a lot of nuts, canned tuna, and boiled eggs since my schedule was super busy at the time. When time permitted, I cooked meat and vegetables like bacon and cabbage or sometimes just seasoned ground beef.
After making a visit home one week, I returned to the island with a suitcase full of sugar-free energy drink mix packets and instant coffee packets, because as mentioned in another post about traveling, all coffee is not the same. So, if you are eating keto while traveling, take your own sugar-free drink mix packets. Otherwise, be prepared to drink bottled water the entire time. Here are my basic tips for eating keto while traveling:
- Do your research on the food in the area.
- Pack low carb, high fat snacks to get full.
- Bring powdered MCT oil to fuel up.
- Eat well before your departure.
- Order à la carte at airport diners and restaurants.
- Bring extra cash for potential added food expenses.
- Learn how to say what you need or do not want in the local language.
- View the restaurant menu ahead of time when possible.
- Be prepared to skip a meal until you can eat a keto meal.
- Stay near a market to get keto essentials (eggs, cheese, meat and low carb vegetables).
You can learn even more details about eating keto while traveling in the 2019 Fall Edition of SIMPLE. Be sure to share your suggestions for eating keto while traveling below.