Still Thinking the Term “Paleo Foodie” is an Oxymoron?

Think again!

Paleo does not have to be approached from the point of view that it’s all about what we have to avoid and end up feeling deprived.  The idea is not that one has to prep all their food at home and bring containers to restaurants to eat plain, broiled chicken and raw Swiss Chard with olive oil, while their friends enjoy all the bounty any particular restaurant has to offer.  Yes, we have to ask more questions, rather than just ‘eating whatever looks interesting on the menu’, but enjoying a meal that is well presented and delicious does not have to be the opposite of enjoying a Paleo meal.

I’ve written about keeping Paleo while traveling before, and recently, I received an email from a a blogger who hosts a site dedicated to keeping healthy whilst traveling.  

Cole Millen, who site, Cole’s Mill, focuses on “Unique thoughts and perspectives about health and travel”, reached out and inquired about the possibility of a collaboration of a post on Paleo eating on vacation.

Why not?

Here’s what we came up with:

Eating healthy and following the Paleo diet may be the newest craze to sweep the health conscious population, but it’s really the oldest way of eating known to mankind. In a nutshell, you eat what our prehistoric ancestors ate: meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, eggs, and nuts/seeds. In this modern world of over-processed food, sticking to the Paleo way of eating can be a challenge and even more so while on vacation, but is extremely beneficial in keeping your energy high and your body functioning well while traveling.

Eating Paleo Style While Traveling:

The best way to stay Paleo while traveling is to take personal responsibility for your meals and snacks. Airline food is notoriously bad, and the chances you will get a plate of free-range chicken and fresh vegetables is slim to none. Many airlines do offer more options these days and the diabetic or vegetarian menu options could be your best bet.

Whether you’re flying, taking a train, or traveling by car, bringing your own food works great for Paleo diet adherents. Beef or chicken jerky, fresh vegetables, some fruit, and some nuts or seeds will last you through most journeys.

How to Find a Paleo-Friendly, Healthy Hotel:

Do your research before you start your vacation. Some hotels, and even some parts of the country, are more health conscious and more apt to have straightforward, fresh meals. Instead of focusing on the quality of the linen and if the hotel has a mini bar, check out the restaurant options in the hotel and the surrounding area. I have found reading reviews from other travelers with similar interests to be the most helpful. I most recently found a great site that listed reviews for Miami Hotels and found one that had a menu with Paleo specific options.  Looking for these options is very important. Vegetarian restaurants work as well, but steakhouses with organic, free-range beef might be better. Do any pride themselves on offering locally grown produce? That fits wonderfully with the Paleo lifestyle.

Easy Paleo Choices at the Restaurant:

Once you get to your hotel and have settled in, tucked your cut vegetable bag in the mini-fridge, and washed up, it’s time to explore the local restaurants. If you are traveling alone or with friends, you won’t have a problem frequenting one you may find that offers quality meat and fresh vegetables. If you are on business, or if you are forced to go to a restaurant you would not normally pick, you might have problems. The worst for the Paleo diet eating style are probably casual Chinese and Italian restaurants. A very easy place to dine is a Raw Bar.  Eating raw has a lot of benefits including a richer source of vitamins and minerals.

In all cases, stick to the basics you know and love when you eat Paleo, no matter where you are in the world. Ask for meat and fish without sauce. If there are no plain vegetable options, a salad bar or simple side salad without dressing will work for you.

With careful planning and a firm knowledge of the Paleo way of eating, you can enjoy great food on vacation without compromising the benefits to your health.