Low Carb Traveller
I'm back... 🤓
I thought I would put some travelling tips together that I found useful on my holiday and share a little of the food adventures with you.
Can you enjoy local pastries, desserts and meals? YES!
Does it take a little planning? YES!
These tips will hopefully help you enjoy your next trip and give you the freedom to enjoy ALL the local cuisines and treats while still being able to feel your best.
Staying on track in transit.
- Start your day right. Before you head to the airport. Have a healthy, nutrient-rich meal. A filling low carb breakfast will power you through the morning, and make it easier to resist the tempting airport pastries. If you are leaving early, take something with you.
We have a lot of 'grab-and-go' low carb recipes that travel well. You can view these recipes here.
Depending on what time you are leaving, before getting on the plane make sure you have a meal that is full of veggies, good fats and protein. That way, you are nice and full (from the protein and fibre) before starting your journey. Also, make sure that you are well hydrated.
We arrived at the airport at lunchtime. Below is a picture of the meal I grabbed at the airport before we left. If you can't buy a meal like this, make it yourself before you leave, or leave enough time to eat something that gives you what you need.
- Take some plane supplies, because the chances of getting low carb veggie loaded meals throughout the whole journey will be slim. (Double check with the airline/customs about what you can take if you are not sure) This makes it so much easier to say no to poor choices on offer.
What foods travel well?
- Raw mixed nuts
- Vegetable sticks or pre-packed ready to eat veggies/salads from your supermarket
- Punnets of berries
- Cheese and low carb seed crackers
- Homemade low carb bread, muffins or cookies (I didn't do any baking prior, I ran out of time)
- A low carb ‘treat’ that you can enjoy when they come by with tea and coffee, like a high protein, low carb bar (optional)
- A water bottle that can be filled during the flight
Pictured were my low carb ‘snacks’ I took on my flight overseas.
Mini cucumbers (there were 2 packs of these), raw mixed nuts and a mini protein bar.
I was very happy that I brought those along, as the very first meal was “creamy chicken” - which really was 4 squares of chicken and a few different variations of carbs (!!)
Carbs with a side of 4 beans and 4 squares of chicken (I ate the chicken prior to the picture). Mashed potato, potato salad, bread roll, raspberry and vanilla sponge cake. For such a small meal it would have easily been close to 60+g carbs. No thanks. I ate the squares of chicken and some of my cucumbers and nuts.
- Eat at meal times in transit – where possible of course. As this was dinner, I knew that for the next 8-10 hrs if the food was offered, it was not a meal time for me, so I didn't eat. 2 additional meals came around over the next 12 hrs (supper and a snack). I ordered black tea or water.
Once you have arrived.
No doubt you will be doing a lot of sightseeing, walking and exploring. You will clock up a lot of steps. One of the joys of travelling is enjoying the local sights, people and the food. By having a few daily to-dos/habits, you will be able to enjoy some treats along the way.
- Get your daily vegetables in. One of the first things that become a challenge when travelling is the availability of fresh food. It also depends on how long you are staying in each place. Aim for daily salads and where possible vegetable and protein-based meals for the majority of your meals.
I ordered a large salad every day when it was available. In most locations, I was lucky with this. By doing this, it gave me the following:
- A decent amount of vegetables each day.
- The flexibility to enjoy a daily treat/local food choice that I wanted.
- Check out the local market for low carb options. Grab some low carb options you can take back to your room for 'just in case' moments. Depending on where you go, your choices may be limited. In Europe, for 3/4 of my trip, there were no large supermarkets, just small stores to get a few basics. So I opted for nuts, cheese and pre-made salads whenever I saw one.
- Sticking to meal times during your trip. It is so easy to be tempted by food stands, cafes and restaurants, however just because you are on holiday and may be walking around, doesn't mean it is meal time. Enjoy your meals and treats mindfully, but match them up to your regular eating pattern (3 meals a day, or meals and snacks)
During my trip, I followed my 2 meals and 1 snack plan. Some days it was one large salad with protein/ large meal + treat + nuts/ cheese for dinner. It varied. I skipped breakfast always, opting for water and black coffee and pushed out my salad/main meal. We explored the city for a few hours, clocked up some steps which were followed by a local "treat". When it came to dinner I based it on how hungry I was, sometimes I just had some nuts and cheese, other times a small meal.
- Stay hydrated each day (water or sparkling water). Purchase bottles in bulk from your local supermarket or just as you go each day. Bulk or large 1.5L bottles end up being way cheaper, and always check in each destination if tap water is safe to drink. Sparkling water was so cheap, I walked around pretty much everywhere with a 1L bottle of sparkling water. 😍
- Keep those steps up. Save money by walking everywhere. This also gives you a bit more wiggle room to enjoy some local indulgences.
- Enjoy your favourite local indulgences. I'll be honest, I was nervous at first about this. I went in with a plan which made me feel more relaxed about indulging, but I wasn't prepared for wanting to try so many cakes and pastries as I did (as I am not normally one for sweet things often).
"A Croissant a day..." I'm sure that's what they say, right?
I enjoyed some sort of cake, pastry, gelato, alcohol or bread every day! Any time I had a cake or dessert I called it "research" and there was plenty of "research" done. 😂 I enjoyed everything I wanted to and it gave me some ideas to make (or try to make) low carb versions of some of the desserts I did try. This is why it was super important for me to eat well around these moments.
3 cakes that I loved and would like to attempt a low carb version of
And, I am totally going to introduce Spritz o'clock
Did I train like I planned to?
I didn't do any sort of 'gym' style exercise. I went into the trip thinking that it was important to keep that up and took resistance bands with me but did not use them at all, and that was ok. What I did do, was LOTS of walking, dancing and step climbing.
So how did I go?
I came back and all my clothes still fit, so that is a good sign. My weight went up slightly, but after a week of my regular eating, decent sleep and walking home each day it's back to where it was pre-trip. 👍👍
Happy travels! x