As most of you know, I have been SLACKING w/ paleoscape lately...but I'M BACK (w/ a vengeance), as I officially have my Ph.D.
now! Who would have thought!?
Anyways, I have struggled the past few months with maintaining the paleo diet through writing my thesis and staying sane. Sitting at a desk for long, tedious bouts of time is draining. I work better at night, of course when all other distractions are sleeping, so my night sleep generally began around 3am on writing days. This is NOT GOOD. Physicians are now saying that 'hours of sleep a night' will soon become a vital sign, much like that of blood pressure or heart rate. Go figure...have you ever had a horrible night sleep (or barely any sleep at all) and the next day craved nothing but crap food? Sugary food? Yep...that's because lack of sleep has left your cortisol
out of whack. This makes sticking with paleo more difficult. Even worse, cortisol can make it very hard to lose weight or stay in shape, regardless of how clean you're eating. I will highlight cortisol later in another blog of its own, because those of you who know me personally, know that I love to talk about it!
Moral of the story, I am getting back on the paleo bandwagon full force AND making adequate sleep a NECESSITY (b/c it is). I will also be keeping up with the blog frequently. Graduate school has come to an end, I have obtained the Ph.D., and traveling the country has ceased for a bit. Thanks to all of you who have continued to e-mail me or send me messages related to paleo during my paleoscape blog hiatus...these things are always welcome and appreciated.
The subject of this blog is mantaining paleo-like eating while on the fly. For example, I was in airports for 12hrs on Tuesday traveling from San Diego back to Philadephila. So what did i do to avoid being infected by the standard american diet (SAD)? It is worth noting that NONE of the things I ate were OPTIMAL, but they kept me going throughout the day, and allowed me to avoid wheat, gluten, bread, corn, soy, etc. that form the basis of processed foods.
Breakfast: Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Croissant
What is shown here is what I did NOT eat for breakfast. The terminal I sat in for the morning had no 'sit-down' restaurants from which I could order eggs and bacon, the typical foundation of my breakfast. My choices were to intermittent fast (IF), or order something that I could modify to fit my diet. I hadn't slept great, and had been under a lot of stress from constant traveling, so I decided the timing was not optimal to IF. I ordered the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, of which I only ate the bacon, egg, and some of the cheese. I avoided what cheese I could, but not having an autoimmune disease myself, I knew a little dairy wouldn't harm me too much. You know you're paleo when...you eat sandwiches with a fork!
Snack 1: Tomato Juice
It's frustrating sitting on the plane for hours when you follow a paleo-like diet because the only drinks they offer that you can drink are water, and WATER! I suppose tea and black coffee also work...but this time I went for the 100% tomato juice. For me, tomato juice seems to give me that kick of vitality I need for long travel trips. If you can stomach the stuff, I'd say go for it (afterall, its free)!
Lunch: Chicken Tortilla Soup
Airport food is NOT CHEAP! My strategy: find a place where I can order lunch and dinner together for 'cheap.' I had a 5.5hr flight ahead of me, so in anticipation of getting hungry (and in an effort to avoid eating all the food im my parents house when I arrived late at night, as was the case in my past), I bought a dinner meal with my lunch and brought it on the plane with me. I will get to dinner in a bit...as for lunch, I ordered a bowl of chicken tortilla soup, which I have to admit is one of my favorites. The soup rang in at about $3 and was an impressive portion that included big chunks of chicken and avocado. I avoided the tortilla strips and some of the gooey cheese, and overall felt good about my lunch option. For soup, it was very satiating...satisfying.
Snack 2: 85% Dark Chocolate and Starbucks (my obsession).
Almost every day I have dark chocolate and starbucks, and in fact, I often indulge in the two together...the combo is to die for! I thoroughly enjoyed this snack just prior to my 5.5 hour flight. Why? Because although most people have the luxury of sleeping on airplanes, I canNOT. Instead, I capitalize on this time as 'research' or 'work' time. Coffee and chocolate definitely help fuel that!
Importantly, the chocolate I ate had no gluten, soy, or emulsifiers. It is dark enough to provide beneficial antioxidants, and even tastes delicious. I recommend trying this bar if you can find it at your local health food store. I purchased mine on sale for $2.99 at the local co-op in Iowa City before leaving for my trip across country...good find!
No Gluten, No Soy...DELICIOUS.
Dinner (in flight): Grilled Chicken Salad
As I mentioned earlier, I bought my lunch and dinner at the same place...a convenient mexican restaurant i stumbled upon in the airport. The soup was amazing, and so was this salad. The salad had an impressive amount of chicken, avocado, green lettuce, tomatoes, fresh feta cheese, and a little bit of an oily vinegarette. For those of you with autoimmune or who are trying to lean out, I would advise you to stay dairy-free, and therefore avoid the feta cheese in this salad. Also, I am not certain of the quality of the vinegarette, or even chicken for that matter, but this option was better than other options offered at airports: fast food, pizza, bagels, candy, soft pretzels, etc. It is worth noting that including a oil on salad facilitates extraction of the vitamins and minerals from the vegetables/lettuce- a good thing! Also, a tip that I live by is that if my only options are not high quality meat, stick with inherently lean meats- in this case, chicken. Overall, for $13 I had a very satisfying lunch and dinner.
Snack 3: Custom-made Raw Trail Mix
The best way to eat cheap on the go is to bring your own food...duh. Before leaving for my cross country trip I ordered a custom-made 5lb bag of trail mix...yes 5 pounds! For those of you interested: www.nutsonline.com
, have a field day. My mix included raw nuts (macadamia, hazelnuts, cashews, almonds), dried fruit (cherries, star fruit, chocolate covered goji berries, and coconut flakes). This was a great go-to snack to have on the road, in the plane, post workout, or when I needed something to get me through a few more hours to the next meal (which is important when traveling b/c we can only afford to buy so many good meals).
I hope my 'on-the-go" menu has provided you with some options to consider next time you're on the road/ in the air. The basis of good health is eating real food. Eating real food is ALWAYS a possibility...don't sell yourself short no matter where you are...this is YOUR life we are talking about.
I'M BACK! ;)