Traveling with food restrictions can be tricky and overwhelming no matter where you go. You’re outside your normal routine and comfort zone with food, and might not have access to what you normally eat and that allows you to feel your best. This can be challenging! Personally, I’m dairy and gluten free due to my autoimmune disease, and these are nonnegotiables for me.
We recently took a trip to Wyoming (which was absolutely amazing), and I hope this little review of what we did for food helps ease anxiety and stress, provides you with applicable resources and inspiration, and leaves you with a bit more confidence with your future travels no matter where you’re going. Enjoy this Wyoming food recap and general travel tips for food!
Travel day inspiration and reminders for flying:
Remember that you can pack any foods that aren’t liquid – so pretty much anything goes! For a full rundown on what foods you can bring into the airport and inspiration, check out my blog post on this topic.
For our travel day heading there, we needed both breakfast and lunch (and snacks, duh).
I basically did a totally random assortment of what we had left in the fridge before leaving – veggies, carbs, and protein. Pictured here was lunch: veggies, delicata squash and steak. I think breakfast was rice, chicken and veggies!
We packed snacks of blueberries, sliced apple, sliced carrots and cucumber, bars, and trail mix. We definitely didn’t need all those snacks, but we were bringing them for the entirety of our trip anywhere, and figured we might as well pack them accessible if we wanted some.
There are SO many great food places in town; there’s such a great food scene! The place we stayed had a small kitchen, so we did make a small grocery run at Whole Foods when we got there. We picked up some more snack foods for our entire trip, and some breakfast items: eggs and bread for my husband, potato chips, GF crackers, dried mango, cucumbers, a box of greens, Siete tortillas for me to make wraps, oatmeal packets, bananas, apples, blueberries, sausages and deli turkey for protein, and Rebbl protein drink. All this was in addition to the trail mix, bars, travel packs of collagen powder, electrolytes, and powdered greens that we brought with us.
For breakfasts: Even though our place had a kitchen, we did eat out once because we couldn’t pass it up – Cultivate Cafe, a completely organic, GF place (also corn, soy and sugar free), which also had chickpea options to replace eggs! My heaven! The other few days, we added to leftovers, and I also had oatmeal.
For lunches: We were pretty much out hiking every day except one. I brought leftovers if available, or made my go-to easy wraps (Siete tortillas, meat, greens, cucumber slices) with some fruit, carrots, and nuts or a bar. My husband made a sandwich!
For dinners: Ate out every night! As mentioned, lots of great options for GF and DF eating, and never had an issue with places being accommodating or adjusting dishes if needed. It was all so great. Sometimes we would order a bit extra to make sure we had leftovers for the next day.
We stayed in West Yellowstone for a few days, just outside of the park. It’s a small little town with not a ton of food options to begin with, but we were able to do pretty good with dinners (in terms of finding healthier options and gluten and dairy free). Even here, menus were good about stating what was GF, vegan, vegetarian, etc., and the two places we went were very accomodating for both gluten and dairy free.
We made sure we were stocked with foods to make our own lunches for each day while in the park: I had leftovers one day, and made my wraps the other 2 days. And for breakfast, I had fruit and oatmeal packets (with collagen packs to add for protein) that I made at the place we were staying, and the Rebbl protein drink I had gotten earlier in the week at Whole Foods. It’s definitely tricky doing breakfast when you don’t eat eggs, so I always plan on making my own oatmeal; it always seems to be easiest!
Some overall tips and insights for traveling with food restrictions and staying healthy:
- Travel with a reusable utensil set, so you always have what you need at all times!
- Be intentional with what containers you bring. We always bring Stasher Bags for cut up fruit/veggies, or to bring small amounts of snacks with us for the day (crackers, chips, trail mix, etc.). If packing meals for the airport, use a container you’ll want to utilize the whole trip, or that you can recycle right away. For us on this trip, I knew we’d be hiking so I wanted something lightweight – I used 2 old salsa jars, which were perfect to stuff leftovers in. This worked better than a larger tupperware for example. One of the jars I used daily as my drink jar to shake up electrolyte powders and powdered greens.
- Bring travel sized collagen packets for extra protein when needed (easy to add to oatmeal or in coffee or tea), electrolyte packets, and potentially powdered greens packs for all the nutrients you might be needing (and to take the pressure off getting your daily veggies in).
- Do a bit of research on what restaurants or grocery stores are available where you’ll be staying, so you do go in totally blind. Start making a list of potential places to eat after checking out their menus, so you have an idea of what’s available to you and you’re not wasting time doing all the searching while you’re there. Then you can also have a good idea of any things you might want to get at the grocery store, or bring with you. Set yourself up for success!
Remember that you’re on vacation, and this is only temporary. If you’re not eating as healthy as you normally do, that’s perfectly ok! ENJOY the new foods and experiences that are available to you – you can get back to your routine and healthy habits when you’re home.
It’s also possible to find a balance between totally letting loose, and being too rigid. There’s actually a LOT to dive into within this topic… (something for another time). But you can still set yourself up to feel good AND indulge and enjoy. At the heart of it is finding the harmony between making choices that allow you to feel good physically, and also joyful and nourished on a mental and emotional level. It’s all highly personal, and dependent on each moment and what you’re feeling and wanting.
Even if you’re not going to Wyoming, it can still be fun and inspiring to see what others do for food on their travels! As mentioned, I hope all this allows you to feel more at ease and confident with food and traveling, especially if you have food restrictions.
Happy to answer ANY questions below! About the food in particular, or if this is bringing up any emotions for you. Food can be highly emotional, and it’s so important to address the mental and emotional aspects of your relationship with food along with the physical.