Monday, June 24, 2013

Just Plane Paleo

On Saturday I flew down to North Carolina for my family reunion. As I prepared for a day of travel, I began to worry about how I would make it all the way from my early morning flight until dinner while sticking to a Paleo diet and contending with not being able to take food from my house with me on the airplane.

I had done extensive preplanning for what I'd be eating at the actual reunion and my dad had picked up all my usual cooking stuff so I knew I'd have everything I needed at my disposal once I actually got there. However, I did not spend any time thinking about my days of travel, so I just had to fly by the seat of my pants and make it work.

Initially, things worked pretty well! To my surprise, I found that they sold hard boiled eggs and some nice berries at LaGuardia. 

My only issue was that they used some sort of resin to coat the eggs to help preserve them for longer so peeling off the shells was a brutal process that resulted in them looking like they had been through the battle of Serenity Valley.

Eggs are still eggs even if they've been through hell and back, so I was golden up for the time being. 

Things took a turn for the worse in the Charlotte airport. I wanted something more substantial since I knew I'd have to make it from lunch till dinner which was an eternity away, waiting in the mountains lost in the middle of nowhere. I desired meat of some kind, but I didn't have a long enough layover for a sit-down meal so I scrapped that protein dream and frantically searched the stores on the concourses for something- anything- Paleo and filling- that I could eat. 

Not one sold raw cashews. Everything was roasted in peanut oil. All of the dried fruit had extra sugar added or yogurt covered "somethings" in the mixture. It just goes to show you. Always read the ingredients. You might think that you're eating on plan but there could be all kinds of preservatives or things you want to avoid if you're not careful to check beforehand.

I couldn't find one smoothie place that would make me a smoothie with JUST FRUIT. They all insisted on including yogurt, frozen yogurt, or some kind of juice from concentrate. All of the salads included croutons, cheese, or dressings I couldn't have- or all of the above. I couldn't seem to catch a break.

The whole experience really impressed upon me the idea that it is nearly impossible to get raw real food in these kinds of situations unless you have the time and money to sit down at a restaurant and order carefully or the ability to pack everything beforehand. Personally, I always balk at trying to get food through security because I worry they'll take it from me. The only option I felt I had was to grab some more fruit and hold out till dinner, which was rough. 

Obviously I made it or I wouldn't be telling you all my tale of Paleo woe, but sadly, I'm just going to have to conclude that cavewomen just weren't meant to fly. This is the first time that I've ever been TRULY frustrated by the Paleo lifestyle and I certainly don't fly every day so it's not a huge deal, but it was definitely a struggle. If you're Paleo or Primal and you travel a lot, I'd love to get some advice for the future and I'm sure other readers would too! Please leave any suggestions in the comments!


  1. You totally CAN bring food on a plane, even in a carry-on. The rule is just about liquids. They will not take food away, even if it's just in baggies. I take a stock of my own food - baby carrots, granola bars, trail mixes - to Dragon*Con every year, and I've never been questioned. Go for it! Bring some nummy food for yourself on the trip back.

    1. Thanks so much for the tip! I'm glad I know that now cause I have tons of veggies and fruit to work through by the end of the week and it's DEFINITELY not going to happen! My dad did too well with the groceries I requested hehe! I keep making extra of stuff and trying to feed it to family members at the reunion.