Rarely do I travel with my hubby on business trips, but I really wanted to see the San Francisco area and so I tagged along with him on his most recent trip. My biggest fear was not the groping of the TSA agent at the airport (I declined the
radiation scanner body scanner) or the long flight (which had two layovers). Nope, my biggest fear was, “WHAT AM I GOING TO EAT for four days?!” Fortunately, the San Francisco area is a fairly decent, real food accessible destination.
But it got me wondering, “How do people eat well while traveling?” First of all, if you travel infrequently it is not going to kill you to go off your real food diet for a few days. Just be cautious of the over indulgent sweets using refined white flours and sugars. I caution you on this because if your body is no longer used to the S.A.D. you may ruin your trip by getting sick. I find I tolerate sweet desserts less now that my body has benefited from not having them very often. And honestly, I don’t crave them as I used to so the temporary pleasure is muted by the fact that the sweets might ruin my trip by making me sick..
For those of you who travel more often or have extended trips you may want to exercise a little more caution when making food choices. I understand that this is more difficult in some regions of the country (or world). But I came up with a few ideas to share with you as well as some mistakes to avoid.
For the airplane, pack some healthy snacks or finger foods like granola and avoid the peanuts and pretzels that are loaded with all kinds of not-so-great additives and more fake food junk.
Contact a Local WAP Chapter Leader
Contact the local WAP chapter leader (if there is one) for the area you are visiting for a list of real food friendly restaurants. I am very grateful for Vicky Page of the San Francisco chapter for her helpful list of restaurants in the area.
If Near the Sea, Eat Seafood
If no WAP resource exists, and you are close to the sea (not necessarily inland) eat at a seafood restaurant. Fresh caught fish is almost always a good meal but as usual be cautious about preparation methods. Later, I am posting a mini-review about the Franciscan, a restaurant I ate at in the Fisherman’s Wharf area of San Francisco and how I chose my food from the menu.
Eat Local or Organically
If none of the above exist, find a restaurant that boasts of providing local or organic food. Don’t be shy about asking the locals about where to find such a restaurant. I am sure most would be happy to share their local secrets. The hotel where you are staying is also a great place to ask around and you are likely not the first person to ask if you are visiting in a larger area. Here is a restaurant review for two great restaurant choices I made while in San Francisco.
Eat Meat and Veggies
If you are still struggling to find a good option, stick to a diet of meat and veggies. This morning, I had a breakfast from the hotel menu. Ick. The choices were mostly continental breakfast type fare. But I chose the standard eggs and bacon. The egg yokes were anemic yellow and the bacon was loaded with nitrates and not smoked as I am now so accustomed, but it was a better choice than a muffin or a bagel. Capisce? And AVOID. AVOID, AVOID any ground “meat” products. You may think you ordered a hamburger but often what is in them is fillers and byproducts of non-meat sources. It’s usually mystery meat. I made an exception at a restaurant in the Napa Valley area because they promoted themselves as local, organic, and grass-fed and it was a good choice. However, when I had a lack of options at the airport and I chose the “hamburger” from what I thought was an upscale food vendor, I found the meat was anything but real beef. SERIOUSLY GROSS! I have no idea what I was thinking! When in doubt — go for the steak!
Be Cautious of Preparation Methods
Most importantly, avoid foods cooked or fried in vegetable oils or soy products. If I am uncertain about a restaurant I try to choose the safest option, and that usually means choosing something prepared with butter.
I hope you found this info helpful if you travel often. I am now much wiser and will be better prepared for the next trip. This real food lifestyle is journey, but each new challenge opens my eyes to a better way of doing things.
What real food tricks work for you while traveling?
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