Tips to Stay on the Keto Diet While Traveling
The one thing I don't like about traveling is how easy it is to get off-track with healthy eating. I usually start out strong at the start of a vacation and then my resolve dies out. Now that we are unschooling the kids, we are doing more traveling, and maintaining Ketosis while we're on the road has become a priority for me. That way it's not so hard to get back on track once we're home. Here are my top tips on how to eat Keto while traveling.
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Best Tips to Eating Keto While Traveling
1. Bring Your Own Keto Travel Snacks
We all know that the best food to eat is food you've prepared yourself. If you can avoid packaged foods, do it. If that's just not going to happen, there are a lot of options these days that make life easier while traveling.
Fresh or Homemade Keto Snacks
- sardines (I wouldn't recommend eating these in close proximity to others)
- canned salmon (^^^)
- nut butter pouches (i.e. Justins)
- jerky (read the labels!)
- seeds and nuts
- fat bombs
- seaweed (read labels!)
- unsweetened toasted coconut
Packaged Keto-Friendly Snacks
Whether you're eating Paleo, Whole30, or Keto (or whatever whole food choices you are making), it's easier than ever to eat healthy while traveling. More and more people are starting their own businesses because they couldn't find what they wanted on the market ("necessity is the mother of invention").
- Quest Protein Bars
- Rx Bars
- seasoned toasted coconut
- canned fish (not in public!)
- snack sized seaweed and nuts/seeds
2. Pack Pure Collagen Protein
Mixing straight up collagen into your morning drink along with a full-fat creamer is practically a meal in itself that'll hold you until lunch. Especially if you pair it with a hard boiled egg or some macadamia nuts.
There are a lot of companies producing powdered collagen these days and many have travel packets. If they don't, you can make your own travel sized portions to have while you travel.
image: Perfect Keto
I've only tried the Perfect Keto Chocolate Collagen protein powder and it is SO GOOD. Perfect Keto also offers a powdered MCT oil which is a great option for people who can't tolerate regular MCT oil (raises hand). I have my first tub of the powdered MCT oil and will give it a go!
3. Use a Cooler if You're Road Tripping
This will take a little extra planning, but a cooler can really help you stay on the Keto Diet track while you travel. Throw some pre-portioned Keto meals in with some full-fat cheese, and other homemade goodies and you'll be set:
- meat and avocado rolls
- meat and cheese rolls
- fat bombs
- hard boiled eggs
- carnitas and veggies
4. Grocery Shop at Your Destination
This is a great option if your hotel has a kitchenette or if you're staying in an AirBNB. I love eating out as much as the next person, but let's face it: cooking a few healthy meals for you and your family while you're on vacation is cost effective and will keep you in Ketosis!
If you're renting a car at your destination, stop at a big box retailer or a gas station and grab a Styrofoam cooler. They're cheap and perfect to stock more Keto-friendly fresh food and low carb travel snacks while you're out and about.
5. Make Your Own Food
Avoiding any packaged food is a good standard to have, but let's face it. That's not realistic when you're traveling. But if you have the opportunity, and you're staying in a hotel with a kitchenette or, even better, an AirBNB, you really can make eating the Keto Diet while traveling work for you.
While we were in Maui, we had one of those tiny mini-fridges and we bought salami, avocados, and pre-hard boiled eggs to stash in there from the town grocery store. It was super handy to use that stash as breakfast for a few mornings and lunch on other days.
6. Take Advantage of Nature's Perfect Travel Foods
All you need is a knife and a spoon for this perfect food. Bring some salt and pepper and you've got a full-on meal :)
Macadamia Nuts and Seeds
These high-fat, low-carb wonders can be divided into snack bags for easy fuel on the road.
Individual sized olive snack packs have been popping up at the local grocery store and even Target! Hight fat, nutty, and salty--what more could you ask for in a food?
7. Restaurant Menus While on Ketosis Are Easier Than Ever
Your low carb restaurant guide is pretty simple. Bottom line: find the fatty meat or fish and the veggies on the menu. Ask for a side of olive oil or butter and slather that on for good measure.
Eating Keto and low carb at a restaurant can be done! What do you usually order if you eat out socially while you're at home? Use that to get the creative juices going.
If all else fails, find the spinach salad, add a protein, and ask for olive oil and lemon as the dressing since most pre-made dressings contain sugar.
Diners are a great choice since breakfast foods are easy on Keto. Also, burgers can easily be converted by going bun-less. Sometimes restaurants will wrap it in lettuce, but I'm not above using a fork and knife!
Fast food options such as Chipotle and Cava offer fresh veggies, meats, and fats that are perfect for the Keto Diet.
Sub sandwich shops will accommodate a bread-less option (either wrapped in lettuce or converted to a salad) and many have avocado or guacamole to amp up the fat.
8. Relax and Go With the Flow
Traveling is one of the hardest parts of maintaining (any) healthy eating routine. Do the best you can--that's a heck of a lot better than just punting and completely going off the rails.
Getting back on the Keto Diet track post-vacation may or may not be worth the ease/fun of punting while you were on vacation (depends who you ask!). That said, it's easier said than done.
Keep this mantra in mind: eat the best possible food available and go from there. You can't control every situation you're put in around eating while on vacation (especially if you're visiting family!). Be Keto-ish and move on.
9. Bring Supplements to Ease Digestive Discomfort
If/when you eat something that upsets your stomach, or you think it will upset your stomach because it's been a while since you've eaten it, pop some supplements to ease your discomfort.
I mentioned these digestive enzymes from Enzymedica in my Keto Diet Must Haves for Beginners post and I used them while we were in Maui. I know some people take them regularly and I'm considering doing that just to keep my system stable.
Activated charcoal is also popular with people struggling with digestive woes (and other health issues) and reviewers say they're great to take if you've eaten something you know doesn't agree with you.
They sound downright magical--like a 'fixer' for your bad food choices. Apparently the charcoal soaks up any toxins in your system and then you pass the charcoal.
I just added this 100-count bottle from Nature's Way to my cart, so I'll be reporting back on how they go over!
10. Reentry: Getting Back to Ketosis After Vacation
You were a solid statue of Keto power the day you left for your vacation only to return a crumpled version of yourself. Traveling while on the Keto Diet can definitely have its challenges. Just remember, tomorrow is a new day, a clean slate and also:
Give Yourself Grace
Do not indulge in a guilty conscience if you're vacation food choices were less than ideal. What's done is done. Beating yourself up over it will do you no favors! You had a great vacation, now it's time to regroup.
Coming back from Maui after indulging (and being lazy) made it so hard to get mentally back on the Keto Diet train. Add in exhaustion from a red eye flight, re-entry into family life, and jet lag, it has taken me a minute to regain my sense LOL.
And let's face it, when you're tired, eating healthy is one of the hardest things to maintain.
It took about a week and even then it was two steps forward and one step back.
Listen to Keto Diet Podcasts
This is what helped me the most. Having the facts and information behind the WHY I eat Keto helps me get motivated again. It wasn't because I wanted to look good in a bikini. It's because I feel better and it's a better long-term strategy to my health.
A couple of my favorite Keto Diet podcasts:
- The Keto Answers Podcast
The latest podcast from the Perfect Keto brand blew me away. Grains and sugar, man. They are the death of us! I love when there is hard scientific (unbiased/sponsored) data to support the Keto Lifestyle.
- The Keto Diet Podcast with Leann Vogel
Scroll through and take your pick as any/all of these episodes from Healthful Pursuit's Leann Vogel will educate and inspire you to take your health seriously.
Flip Through Your Favorite Keto Diet Cookbooks
Seeing photos of amazing Keto Diet meals is always helpful in inspiring me to get my booty back in the kitchen. Check out this post for the Best Keto Diet Cookbook ideas!
Read Awesome and Inspiring Keto Blog Posts and remember why you started eating Keto: so you can be a FAT BURNER and have energy and brain power and vitality!