Going Places With SCD: A Travel Guide

Since starting the Specific Carbohydrate Diet oven ten years ago I have done quite a bit a traveling. I have vacationed in New York City, driven through the Southwest twice, gone hiking, survived a six day business trip, and gone on several weekend getaways.Sometimes getting something to eat can be a challenge, but for the most part traveling and following the diet has not been a problem.

My favorite place to find friendly food is New York City. Nearly every deli has a salad bar, which makes it pretty easy to get something at any time, no matter where you are. My favorite deli, The Majestic, did not have an actual salad bar, but they made salads to order. Granted I may have had some meat that was not completely legal, but I think I did pretty good overall. If you don’t want to take a chance on meat, there are plenty of other things that can fill out a salad. Nuts, cheese, hard boiled eggs, dried fruit, grapes, and berries are all great salad toppers. Every deli had red wine vinegar and olive oil, so I didn’t have to eat a dry salad. I did have to eat a dry plate of greens at Birdland (ugh), but I had no choice because they required a dinner minimum. Otherwise I had no trouble finding something to eat.

One problem I did encounter was trying to modify my order in a restaurant. I asked for no sauce on a chicken dish I was ordering and the waiter said it wasn’t possible because it would be an insult to the chef! I told him it was for medical reasons and he still seemed reluctant. We were about to leave when he finally agreed to place the order. This was just the restaurant in our hotel. Actually the fancy seafood restaurant we went to a different time had no problem giving me a plain grilled fish kebob. Now I usually just ask for the sauce on the side. Even though I have no intention of eating it, everyone seems happier to include it on the plate (just in case I want to try it I guess). 

My favorite way to travel is by car. That way I can load up on a lot more food and beverages. I usually bring a lot of Lara Bars, tuna, nuts, dried fruit, and bottled ice tea. I also will make almond flour cookies or muffins, but you have to be careful with those because they go bad after a few days if not refrigerated.When we were hiking at Canyondlands and Arhces National parks in Utah, I made my own turkey jerky and trail mix. It’s a good idea to brink some snacks when you are on a road trip because there is not always something to eat along the way.

I’ve written a lot about tuna lately because it is an essential for travel. If you have to stop at a fast food place you can always get a green salad and add your own tuna to it. I always make sure I bring at least one packet for every day.

If you are on a road trip having a car at your destination makes life a lot easier. You can more easily get to a more SCD friendly place if you have your own transportation. When I get somewhere I try to locate the best places to find food. I look for grocery stores that have salad bars. The little grocery store in Moab, UT had one, and on the last weekender we took there was a Whole Foods fairly close by. I guess I pretty much live on salads when I travel because I don’t like to eat too much food that is prepared by someone else.

If there is no salad bar then I buy a bag of salad mix, some cheese, and anything else I think might be good for a salad. I make my own dinner in my hotel room. Getting a hotel room with a refrigerator is essential. If you can get one with a stove top you can actually cook some chicken or hamburgers if you want. For snacks I either have what I brought or I buy some fresh fruit. For breakfast I usually have some fruit and a Lara Bar or a homemade muffin if I have any.

On the road getting food can be a challenge and it’s where I usually find myself complaining the most. It’s a pain when you are walking around a gas station convenience store not finding anything while everyone else is grabbing chips and candy bars. Sometimes I end up with just a bottle of water. However, I have found some decent snacks – raw almonds and cheese make a suitable snack, and usually there is unsweetened ice tea if I don’t want water. Subway can make a good stop too. I like to order the veggie salad and then use my own tuna. It comes out good and they usually have oil and vinegar so I don’t have to have a dry salad.

The biggest thing when traveling is getting used to going to the grocery store for dinner. Going to restaurants is not longer a part of the vacation experience for me. In fact I try to avoid restaurants as much as possible. When I’m feeling down about my lack of food variety I try to focus on being able to go on trips and have fun.

What to pack for a airplane trip:

Tuna dry packs – enough for entire trip (these can’t be carried on I don’t think)
Lara Bars – enough for every day – they make a good breakfast

What to pack for road trips:

Tuna dry packs
Lara Bars
Nuts
Dried Fruit
Homemade cookies or muffins
Yogurt maker if staying in a place with a kitchen and you think you might want to take the time
Beverages
Paper plates and plastic utensils
Oil and Vinegar
Sea Salt (small shaker)

Sherry Lipp

Sherry Lipp

Sherry is a writer/blogger specializing in entertainment and food writing. She has been following a gluten, grain, and sugar-free diet for over 15 years and is the author of Don't Skip Dessert: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free & Sugar-Free Sweet Treats. She also enjoys writing about movies and television. You can find her entertainment articles at cinemalowdown.com.
Sherry Lipp

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2 thoughts on “Going Places With SCD: A Travel Guide

  1. Hi everyone…I just got back from camping in housekeeping tents in Yosemite.
    Swimming in the river and bike rides through the trees and I feel like a new
    woman for a few days before getting back to the rat race…I have s few
    suggestions of food to take to the road for those planning a trip…I was
    cooking like crazy and storing for this trip for about a week. Made the staple
    Chicken soup and froze in meal size containers Made the chicken bread and put it
    in the soup when I heated it up. It was like dumpling. Very satisfying. Used
    this in a thermos for the 8 to 9 hour road trip. Had individual homemade goat
    yogurts I had each day for trip and a can of tuna and avocado for the ride up.
    I made batch of banana breads cut in individual portions for trip and batch of
    carrot muffins and batch of zucchini muffins as well as already cooked zucchini
    pancakes. I made up turkey patties with basil and a bit of raw cheese in mine I
    can tolerate a bit of cheese. I cooked them so in the morning I could heat hem
    up with with eggs for breakfast on the camp stove. I made my fam the regular
    pancakes etc. I marinate a salmon fillet for 4 in lemon and olive oil salt and
    let it defrost slowly in igloo till day we bbqd it and that was about it. When
    we hiked or bike rids I would take my muffins bread along with me till I was
    back at camp to make the meat patties or eggs. So just thought I would pass
    this along in case it could be useful to other travelers. As the thought of
    camping of SCD was a bit daunting at first. But this trip was well worth the
    prep.

  2. Thank you for publishing this! I will be traveling extensively soon and I was nervous that travel would make following the SCD impossible. Now I have a plan.

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