Traveling on Whole30 wasn’t something I ever envisioned having to do, but smack in the middle of my current Whole30 (number 6!) I found myself hitting the road for work. This was totally new territory for me. All my previous Whole30 rounds were completed in the comfort of a very controlled home environment. At first I was worried, but after some research and pre-trip planning I think I got a handle on traveling on Whole30.
Traveling on Whole30 Challenge #1 – No Kitchen
I stayed at a place with no kitchen. There was only a mini fridge and microwave. The options with this arrangement weren’t spectacular, but they were definitely better than nothing. The ability to store and heat food allowed more flexibility with what I could buy and eat.
Traveling on Whole30 Challenge #2 – Limited Restaurants
My favorite Whole30-friendly restaurant is Chipotle and luckily there was one within walking distance. Other options included Salad and Go and a burger joint. These are probably not ideal places, but based on their menus I could come up with some customized meals that will work.
Traveling on Whole30 Challenge #3 – Limited Shopping Potential
I was traveling in an area off the beaten path. Without wheels Wal-Mart was my only outlet for shopping. At first I was really down about this, but after some research on what to buy there during Whole30 I realized that I wasn’t as limited as I first thought.
Traveling on Whole30 Challenge #4 – Office Food
I have the extreme luxury of not working in an office. While there are tons of benefits to this: no commute, no dress code, etc., one of the major benefits is not having to deal with office food. No bagels, no donuts, no vending machines, no candy bowls, no catered lunches or brought in pizzas, the list could go on and on. I had to fend off all offerings related to office food to stay on plan.
Traveling on Whole30 Challenge #5 – Is it Worth it?
Was all the effort worth it? I asked myself that while worrying about how I would handle this trip. Part of me feels it seems silly to put this much thought and effort into eating. Part of me gets really angry about why you to have to fight so hard to not eat crap. Another part of me says yes, it is worth it because you really have to take care of yourself.
So what did I end up eating? A quick trip to the store yielded cherry tomatoes, bananas, tuna packets, Aidells chicken sausages, green olives and smashed avocados. This supplemented what I brought with me: Larabars, pumpkin seeds and raisins.
I further supplemented my meals with some offerings from the hotel food selection. The meals they served were not even close to compliant, but I was able to snag bits and pieces. I found mixed spring greens, baked potatoes, mustard and other condiments for dinner and scrambled eggs and fruit for breakfast. Unfortunately I was on the fence about the scrambled eggs so I only ate a very small portion one morning. The server indicated they did not contain any dairy, but I have a feeling there were some mystery ingredients hiding in there.
In the end it actually wasn’t as hard to stay compliant while traveling on Whole30 as I thought it might be. One of the benefits of travel can be experiencing new and different cuisine and this Whole30 pretty much sucked the joy right out of that. Aside from that issue it wasn’t too bad. Would I travel on Whole30 again? Yes, if I had to I definitely could do it, but I probably wouldn’t if there was a way to avoid it.
About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week, both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.
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Disclaimer: This post chronicles my personal experience while working through the Whole30. This is not a recommendation or suggestion for you to do the same, nor is it an endorsement of the Whole30 program. Before you begin this or any diet or exercise program you should discuss it with your doctor or qualified health care provider to determine whether it is safe for you. This post is based on my personal situation and is for information purposes only. Anything contained herein should not be treated as guidance or advice.