7 Ways to Keep it Paleo While Travelling on the road healthy diet flying plane flights airport-min

7 Ways to Keep it Paleo While Travelling

Whether it’s a holiday, a business trip, or just visiting friends and family, sometimes it can be difficult staying on track with your Paleo lifestyle when you’re travelling. We've all been in a situation at one time or another where we've been faced with food, sleep, or exercise difficulties when away from home – the important thing, however, is how you deal with them. Thankfully, with some proper planning, it’s easier than you may think to stay true to how you want to live when travelling.

1.    Get an Esky/ cool box

If you’re going on a road trip, or even if you just travel for long hours in your work days, investing in a good quality Esky (cool box) is a no brainer. Fill it with ice, and it becomes a great place to store pre prepared salads, meats, hard boiled eggs, fruits and veggies when on the go. Plan your meals in advance so you’re not caught hungry, and stash them all in your cooler to stay fresh.

2.    Bring travel safe snacks

If you don’t have access to a cool box or refrigerator, bring food that travels well. Packets of nuts, seeds, jerky, cans of tuna and whole fresh fruits are good options. Even home made fruit and nut bars are good if you’re hungry. If in doubt, bring extra – you can always share or simply take them home again. Make sure to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated.

7 Ways to Keep it Paleo While Travelling on the road healthy diet flying plane flights airport-min

3.    Cooking Facilities

Whenever I travel now, I always aim to stay somewhere with cooking facilities – even if the standard isn't brilliant, a small fridge, a hob and a couple of pans can be life savers when you’re on holiday. Aim to stay with friends, relatives, or go self catering. Even some hotels have mini kitchens in the rooms these days, so try and book a room where you have the facilities to cook for yourself. Don’t forget to bring along your coconut oil!

4.    Stock up on food whenever possible

When you’re in a new place, you never know when you might run out of options to get your hands on some good quality, fresh food. That’s why, when the chance comes along, its important you take advantage and stock up on as much as you can carry. If you come across a small butchers or farmers market, and you have the time available, fill your boots!

5.    Research the area

If you are planning on eating out a lot when you’re away, it would be a good idea to do some research on the area before you leave. Check out the local restaurants and see if they have any choices on the menu that are suitable. If needs be, call them in advance and let them know your requirements – the chances are, they’ll be more than happy to help.

6.    Intermittent Fasting

If it’s just a short trip, why not take it as an opportunity to experiment with intermittent fasting? You could do a 12, 24, or even 48 hour fast. This is an especially good technique when you’re on a long haul flight and don’t want to face the prospect of reheated aeroplane food.

7.    Spontaneous Exercise

You’ll struggle to follow your usual training plan when you’re away, but that’s ok. When the opportunity presents itself, engage in some spontaneous exercise. Throw a few sprints into your day, go for long walks, swim in the sea – any little bit of activity you can squeeze in while you’re away will make you feel much better.

I’d love to know how you keep Paleo when travelling! Do you have any tips or tricks that I may have missed?

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Keeping It Paleo Whilst Travelling – Indonesia

I had intentions of being 100%, strict Paleo on my recent trip to Indonesia. However, it’s all very well deciding that in advance, but when I actually arrived in Indonesia, things didn't go quite to plan…

As I was travelling to lots of different, rural places in Bali, Lombok and the Gili Islands, food options could be quite limited. Most of the places I stayed offered breakfast options of things like pancakes (with banana or pineapple and topped with honey), fresh fruit (mango, papaya, pineapple and other tropical fruits) and toast and a boiled egg.

My initial approach was to order breakfast from the lunch menu – paying extra to get fish and vegetables, or eggs with a side of chicken and veg. This took quite some explaining and was met with some very baffled expressions. Unfortunately, after a few days I was struck down with the dreaded “Bali Belly” (if you don’t know, I'm sure you can guess!). It then occurred to me I was going against my first rule of travelling:

Eat what the locals eat!


I've travelled all around Asia following this rule and have never been ill. I've always noticed that the tourists who don’t try local food, but order Western dishes are usually the ones to fall ill. I guess because Western food that is rarely ordered, so it doesn't have such a quick turnaround. So, I prioritised “eating local food” above “eating Paleo”. In practice, this mainly meant including rice, as this is such a staple in Indonesia (and Asia generally). I also started to eat a lot of fruit – where as usually I only have one or two pieces a week.

Fortunately the food in Indonesia has a few important differences from a lot of Western food. Everywhere I went, the food was local. I had fish a few times, sitting by the lake or overlooking the sea that the fish came from. The rice came from the rice paddies next door. The eggs, from the hens that were roaming around next to where I ate. I was also very impressed to find that most food is cooked in coconut oil; but not shop bough coconut oil – home made coconut oil!

Paleo Diet Indonesia Bali Lombok Java how to eating where healthy suggestions ideas-min

My Favourite Indonesian Paleo-ish Dishes

A great Indonesian dish that I had often was Satay. This is meat skewers, cooked over coals and flavoured with local herbs and spices and served in peanut sauce. So whilst the peanut (legume) sauce is not Paleo, the principles of the dish clearly are.

Soy is also quite strongly featured, as tofu or tempe – and whilst it is traditionally prepared (certainly not processed), it was easy for me to steer clear of it.

Despite the rice, I had Nasi Goreng (fried rice), several times, leaving the prawn crackers uneaten. Another popular local dish I enjoyed was Gado-gado, which literally means a mix. It contains lots of local vegetables and a peanut sauce with some delicate herbs and spices. I found quite a few dishes, such as Opor ayam, that were along the lines of a chicken curry – in coconut milk – a great Paleo option.

Whenever fish was offered, I found that a great option, as the whole fish was served, and they were locally caught instead of farmed and imported. Pepes Ikan is a great fish dish cooked in a banana leaf.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to try different fruit, that isn’t so readily available at home. Rambutans are a little like Lycees and were grown almost everywhere. I also tried jack fruit, snake fruit and fresh papaya.

So, my strategy of eating like a local worked well from a short-term health perspective in that I avoided food poisoning. But I found the change of diet hard going. On my Paleo diet, I can go for a long time before I get hungry, as my blood sugar levels remain stable. When I started to introduce so many (relatively) carbohydrates, I found that I would become extremely hungry and shaky – and have to eat every few hours – a clear indication of a drop in blood sugar levels. As much as I enjoyed trying so many local foods, it was good to return to my normal World, where I'm fortunate enough to be able to eat what I want to eat based on Paleo, rather than what is available.

What is your approach to nutrition when you’re travelling? Do you keep it Paleo? Have you been to Indonesia? Please share in the comments below!

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Are We Too Developed?

I've just returned from an amazing trip to Indonesia (I went to Bali, the Gili Islands and Lombok), which turned out to be a great Paleo adventure. As a “developing Country” I was surprised how many differences I noticed compared to how things are done here, in the “developed” World. The surprising thing was how many of these differences actually seemed far better in Indonesia. Perhaps being “developed” in not such a good thing after all?


Pregnancy, babies and children in Indonesia

I spent all of my time in small villages, completely off the tourist track. In all of my time, I did not see a single pram/ pushchair/ stroller (whatever you like to call it!). Babies too young to walk were tied to their mothers side by a piece of material and their weight supported by the mothers arm. Whilst pavements aren't suitable for pushchairs (thanks to lots of open drainage holes), this does seem to be a far more sensible way of transporting a baby around, don’t you think?

In the “developed” world you always see mothers distractedly pushing along a pram. Often the pram is completely covered by a rain protector and you can’t even see the infant. The mother is busy chatting on her phone or rushing to her destination. I can’t help but wonder how much better it is for the Indonesian babies, who are constantly in physical contact with their family.

Whilst I don’t doubt a pram is very convenient and get for carrying shopping bags, is it best for the baby? I also regularly see rather old toddlers being pushed around, when surely they should be encouraged to walk.

The other striking difference I noticed was that the Indonesian children were given far more freedom then their counterparts in the developed World. They seemed to have a lot more free reign to explore, without being permanently attached to the apron strings.


I was impressed to see one young mother weaning her baby, by chewing up food herself, before feeding it to her baby. I didn't see a steriliser, jar of baby food, blender or piece of cutlery involved!

I had the opportunity to visit a maternity clinic, which has been set up as a charitable foundation and is supported by volunteers. Compared to a harshly light, sterile busy Western maternity ward, this clinic was far more homely and open planned. In the typical Indonesian style, the delivery rooms were all open at the top of the walls, allowing air (and noise!) to circulate freely. I was interested to hear that women in Indonesia are typically very quiet in delivery, rarely have drugs (epidurals and the like aren't available in the particular clinic I visited) and “100% of women breastfeed”.


The other big contract was around teeth and face shape. Almost all of the locals I met had wide faces and the most beautiful teeth I've seen outside of Hollywood. Their teeth were naturally straight, with no crowding – and they were also very white. With a Weston A Price perspective, it seems clear how the right diet helps to form a proper shaped palate – and good teeth.


Food in Indonesia

For my whole trip I ate local (I’ll tell you more about the food in Indonesia in a future post). Everything the locals eat can typically be found within a few minutes walk of their home. Most families have a plot of land on which they grow rice for their family and perhaps a few other things. There were chickens everywhere and local markets in most villages for everything else. There are (or course) some Western snacks, but these didn't seem to purchased by the locals at all – and certainly weren't in the types of quantities we see in the Western world.


Happiness and Family

Another key observation was that everyone seemed happy, with very little stress! People would work hard to get food (i.e. on the rice paddies), but then they would also spend a lot of time sitting in the shade with their family, chatting. How many people get to do that in the developed world?

Indonesian Women

Oh – and you know some people say women shouldn't lift heavy weights? Try telling the Indonesian women that!


What do you think about how they do things in Indonesia? Do you think we’re too developed?

Are We Too Developed paleo diet Indonesia-min

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Making Flight Food Paleo

I’ve just booked my flights back to the UK for a long awaited Christmas visiting my family.  Australia couldn’t be much further from the UK, which means almost 24 hours of flying each way.  One of the things I hate the most about flying is the very limited Paleo food options.  Often airports limit what you can take through security and onto the plane – which makes it very hard to guarantee good Paleo options. Why can't they make Flight Food Paleo?

I usually fly with Qantas, which offers the following meal options:

  • Diabetic: High in complex carbohydrate and dietary fibre; low in fat; no added sugar; low salt.
  • Fruit Platter: Consists of fresh, tinned and dried fruits.
  • Gluten Intolerance: Do not contain wheat, rye, oats, barley or malt or any milk or milk products.
  • Hindu: Do not contain beef, beef derivatives, veal or pork. Meals may contain fish or lamb.
  • Kosher Meal: Prepared to comply with Jewish dietary laws.
  • Moslem (Halal): Do not contain pork, or pork by-products. All meats come from ritually slaughtered animals.
  • Vegetarian (Asian Indian Style): Contain egg and diary products and are suitable for Hindu vegetarians.
  • Vegetarian (Lacto Ovo): Do not contain meat, fish or seafood but may contain dairy products such as milk, butter, cheese and eggs or foods containing these.
  • Vegetarian (Oriental): Contain vegetables, fruit, rice noodles and can contain nuts.
  • Vegetarian (Strict Indian): Do not contain any eggs, dairy or bulbous vegetables and are suitable for Hindu vegetarians.
  • Vegan: Contain fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and pulses and do not contain any animal products such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs milk or honey.

On my last two international flights (to PrimalCon and the AHS), I’ve tried different approaches, in the hope that I could stumble upon the best Paleo friendly meal option.

In my option, Diabetic people should follow a Paleo approach, to stabilise their blood sugar levels, so when I went to PrimalCon in April, I ordered a Diabetic meal.  I don’t understand why this is a low-fat, but hoped it would come with some good meat and some alternatives to the processed, sugar filled snacks that often go alongside plane meals.  Some of the actual meals weren’t too bad, for instance a breakfast of eggs, tomatoes mushrooms and spinach and a main meal of chicken, broccoli, carrots and white rice.  Some of the food however, left a lot to be desired.  Rice crackers served with a soy based spread (whilst everyone else on the plane got proper butter) and a breakfast of cereal and soy milk (remember, this is aimed at diabetics).


In August when I went to the Ancestral Health Symposium, I thought I’d try my luck with a gluten free meal.  My Paleo diet is completely gluten free, so somewhat optimistically I’d hoped for a good equivalent here.  I actually found the gluten free option considerably worse than the Diabetic option.  As I noticed at the gluten free expo, gluten free seems to be a huge industry of franken-foods.  Gluten is omitted – but replaced with lots of processed ingredients I don’t want to consume.  They still serve biscuits, deserts and other junk food, it’s just had the gluten removed.  Not Paleo.


On the way back, I therefore changed my meal preference and went with the standard option, which was actually much better.  Yes, there was a lot I wouldn’t eat, but most of the food was closer to “whole” food.  Butter was butter and I was lucky to have an option of a “meat and veg” style meal, instead of a pasta based meal.

So for this trip, I think I’m also going to try my luck with the standard option.  It appears I can bring small amounts of packaged food onto the flight, so I plan to try my luck and bring some jerky, raw nuts and avocados.  These foods, along with any reasonable looking meat and vegetables I can salvage from the plane food should be plenty to keep me going.  There’s also the very Paleo option of a coinciding intermittent fasting, should my food get confiscated at security!

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a Paleo meal option of organic, grass fed meat and not a processed product in sight?  Perhaps one day…

I’d love to hear your plane food hacks.  How do you keep it Paleo during a long flight?

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