Keto while travelling
Living and working abroad can include a lot of travelling back home. In my case, doing a PhD also includes conferences, summer schools and other academic trips. One of the trickiest parts about travelling, whether it be home for the holidays, or just somewhere for a couple of days, is managing your diet on these trips. In this post I’ll share some of my tips to make travelling on keto easier, but also some of the things that are the most problematic for me while away from my routine meal schedule.
- Airports and airplane food
I think that most airports allow you to take your own food on board now. This is great news, because I still haven’t found airplane food that I liked, or that fits into my diet. My go-to snacks are the keto pretzel bites (the recipe is on the site), or these amazing savoury muffins. Living in Edinburgh, Edinburgh airport is my most-frequented one, and it has a bunch of lovely keto options to eat. There are a couple of bars that offer a full Scottish breakfast, which is a great keto meal, just avoid the scones and hash browns. Another option, and one of my favourite places to eat out during a workday is Bar Burrito, where you can get an amazing naked superfood burrito (I get it without the beans, and just double up on the veggies). You can also check this list of places before and after security on the airport and plan your meals in advance.
- Staying in paid accommodation
While Airbnb or a hostel with a kitchen you can use would be the best option, in terms of having control over what you cook and eat, it’s not always feasible. I try to find hotels that offer breakfast, as the breakfast bars are usually full of good stuff you can eat on keto – from eggs, ham, cheese, to berries you can have for dessert. They also often include those little packets of butter so you can have these to maintain your fat intake during your travels. If you are in accommodation where you can cook for yourself then you have it a bit easier as you can just pop to the shop, get some eggs and bacon and enjoy your regular breakfast. Another good option is to check if there are any nice breakfast places around your accommodation that you can go to, or just do some research on most popular places to eat in the place you are staying. Looking up menus beforehand can be useful in planning your meals, and it’s something I do whenever we go out for dinner. I like to have at least this part of my life under control.
- Staying with family/friends
For me, travelling home means visiting family. While the husband and I have our own place, we also have endless lunches and dinners with my parents or the in-laws, which can sometimes be a bit tricky. While I try to stay keto during these trips, I also don’t want to seem fussy about my food when going to someone’s place for a meal. My parents got used to my new diet and usually prepare something keto-friendly, or I cook for them when I’m home. My mother-in-law is still concerned with my not eating bread, so it can be slightly more complicated to explain what I eat and what I don’t. The thing that helps me right now is the intolerance test I did, which included foods that I was already avoiding so I shared that with the family in hopes that they’ll see this as more ‘legit’ than my fatty keto lifestyle. I’m also learning to say that I’m not eating certain foods, although this brings some eye-rolling and disappointed looks, but hey, it’s my body. Having said that, staying with family or in your own flat gives you some more freedom to plan your meals and cook for yourself. I love cooking, and I enjoy making keto meals for the sceptical members of my family and just seeking the looks on their faces when they try them and find they’re delicious. Slow but steady!
- Cheat meals
When travelling to a new place you probably want to experience all it has to offer, which very often includes some good food. I really love travelling and eating, so I do allow myself a ‘cheat meal’ here and there. I don’t like the term cheat meal, because you’re not cheating on anyone or anything. If you want that bagel or cake, have it! You’re your own boss. I try to keep to my macros, at least the calorie intake, when travelling, but if I want to eat something new that’s not keto, I’m going to do it. Having said that, being on keto for a while, I lost the cravings for carbs and sugar I had before (although I did dream I ate a jumbo pizza yesterday, but that was a side-effect of my first intermittent fasting attempt), so trying new things will mostly include stealing some food from the husband’s plate instead of ordering the whole thing for myself. The point is, treat yo’self.
So there you have it, my travel tips. If you have any others to share, please do, I love learning new things! The key points to take away from this post are: do your research, make your own snacks, plan your stay, and, most importantly, enjoy yourself!
Thanks for reading!