We recently went on a 5 day vacation, and I had pretty good success with foods while gone from my home kitchen. Thankfully, I knew we would be staying in a condo with a full kitchen, so I knew that I could cook, once there. I’ve been able to really dial-in this past year as to how to travel with Crohn’s, and how to eat while gone in a way that does not seriously compromise all the hard work I’ve done.
First, when I travel TO somewhere, I usually have fresh fruit (a banana or an apple, which I can tolerate raw), granola bars, bakes goods that I can snack on, madjool dates, and nuts. With this combination, I can usually do just fine in the car, away from prepared food, for up to a day. If I can, I’ll bring some chicken just to give an added protein boost. And, wherever I am going, I know to prepare a BIG meal once I get there, knowing that I will be hungry! The fruits and nuts are great for me, but they just don’t replace a hot meal. 🙂
I’ve learned that when I travel, breakfast is the most important meal. I can generally get eggs cooked my way at any restaurant with lots of veggies and a side of fruit. If I’m in a location where I can cook, I do the same thing. Doing this for breakfast sets me up very well for the rest of the day. If I’m able to do a big breakfast, I can usually go light on lunch, since lunch-time is when we are generally out and about, and lunch at a restaurant can be sketchy for me. I’ll carry fresh fruit and granola bars if we are out exploring, which will generally sustain me until dinner.
Dinner is the other big meal I try to eat while on vacation. At a restaurant, I can order cooked veggies and usually some sort of meat with no sauce and minimal seasonings. Since I can eat fresh fruit, I’ll typically get a side of that as well. If I am home, or in a location where I can cook, I can make a normal meal for myself consisting of meat, fresh or cooked fruit, and veggies. This gets me through the rest of the day.
The one thing I miss while on vacation is my yogurt, and there is simply no way to replace that. If I’m traveling to family, I’ll often take a small amount with me. But if not, I just usually can’t take it. The yogurt serves two very important functions for me while on vacation: One, it continues to put the good flora back in my gut (basically, gets the good bacteria in there so the bad guys don’t take over again). Two, it serves as a snack/treat before bed. Often when on vacation, I eat to sustain, but not for taste and fulfillment. It’s just a matter of getting fuel in my body while gone, and not about it being really good or filling. The yogurt and frozen blueberries that I eat while at home is a treat each night that I savor. If I don’t have it while on vacation, I might be more tempted to cheat, which is really not good for me.
On this vacation, I was able to eat to sustain me, but once I got home I was really hungry. I made eggs and Almond Crisp once I got home, just to give me something that tasted REALLY good to me, and felt like it would be filling. I did cheat some on this trip….which I need to keep trying to curb. It doesn’t hurt me in the immediate, but will add up if I continue to do it. Basically, I had some bread at The Old Spaghetti Factory, and some breaded chicken. I think I did pretty good the rest of the time. Now that I’m home, I trying to reset, again. I don’t like how my body is acting these days. I can tell when the inflammation is up, and when things just are not as good as they could be. I believe that is directly related to my diet, and so….off to fixing my diet again I go!!!