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Traveling on GAPS Intro, or any stage of the GAPS Diet, is certainly not easy. Because of this, it is strongly recommended that you do not plan to start GAPS Intro if you will be traveling in the near future. However, GAPS is a long ordeal! GAPS Intro can last months and most people have to be on Full GAPS for years. You can’t just lock yourself in your house where the food is safe for that whole time.
I traveled for the first time since beginning GAPS this past weekend. It was a simple trip: we drove 5 hours north to stay in a cabin with my family. It was a good starter trip, and I am glad we didn’t do anything more extravagant than that. As I talked about in my 2 month update, it was stressful! How can traveling not be when you are on a restricted diet, away from your fridge and your appliances, and surrounded by people not on the same diet?
But it is doable, and the farther you are into your healing journey, the easier it will be. For GAPS newbies like me, here are some tips to have a relaxing weekend away without losing your mind:
Traveling on GAPS Intro
1. Drive if at all possible. I can’t imagine flying while at this stage in GAPS. It of course would be possible; pack legal snacks for the plane ride and do plenty of shopping there. But doing that planning, grocery shopping in an unfamiliar place, and then having to cook all that food is just too much when you are suppose to be on vacation. Leave some time to relax! Take the car and load up a cooler with GAPS-legal foods and lots of broth. Use a thermos (like this one) to bring hot soup or broth in the car in order to avoid restaurant food.
2. Stay somewhere with a kitchen. It would be possible to do GAPS in a hotel room, but I wouldn’t want to. With a full kitchen, you can store as much as you need in the fridge, heat up your soups on the stove, and even cook up fresh meat and vegetables. In a hotel room, you would have to find a way to keep everything cool, and then bring along a pressure cooker or something for heating your food. Cabins, hotels with kitchenettes, or BnB’s (check with the owners first, of course, to see if you can use their kitchen) will allow you to keep your favorites at a safe temperature, as well as to eat them hot!
3. Batch cook before hand. Plan out what you will be eating for the trip and purchase everything you will need at home (provided it won’t spoil). Batch cook and freeze soups, broth, and other meals to take on your trip. At least a week before leaving, start fermenting some sauerkraut or vegetables to bring. The more prep you do before leaving, the less you have to do while there, and the more relaxing your vacation will be.
4. Talk to the people you are going with. If you are traveling with a group of people who are not on the same diet as you are, talk to them. Let them know what your situation is. Hopefully, they will be sympathetic. My family decided that they wanted me to plan the dinners. Everyone did their own thing for lunch and breakfast, but for dinner everyone ate a version of my GAPS-legal meal. It meant a lot to me, and it made the trip much easier to have a couple meals where I didn’t feel like the weirdo who was eating something different. Even if your fellow travelers are less sympathetic, they should at least be made aware that you have food restrictions.
5. Bring some support. He wasn’t perfect, but having my husband along on our trip really helped. He drank broth with me, got up early and made clean breakfasts with me, and was the only person not eating french fries and pie shakes on the way home. While a spouse or friend on the same or similar path as you is the best form of support, I understand that it isn’t a possibility for many people. Bring a book, a Bible, the phone number of an accountability partner, or even an online community (my Instagram followers helped keep me sane and recover emotionally from my trip). Something, anything, that will give you strength and help you stick to your diet.
6. Chill out. Reading a book. Listen to music. Go for a walk. Meditate. Travel can be stressful even when not trying to stick to a restrictive healing diet. You may find yourself higher strung than you should be. Remember that stress can be just as damaging to the gut and your health as bad food! Here are some good tips to quickly relieve stress, and make sure you pack some of your tried and true stress relievers.
7. Be okay with setbacks. Even with all the planning in the world, things won’t go perfectly. Whether it’s throwing a tantrum because you found cookies in your husband’s bag, encountering awful constipation, eating something you probably shouldn’t, or anything else, it’s okay. Pack some essential oils or other easy and compact remedies to help with symptoms. Get back on the wagon as soon as you can. Drink a lot of healing broth when you get home. Let yourself sleep as much as you need to for recovery.
Did I take all of my own advice while traveling on GAPS Intro? No, I didn’t. Which is why I have it to share! I won’t lie, I was a basket case by the end of my weekend. I loved my trip. Being up north always makes me feel very peaceful and I slept very well. Yet it took me two days to physically and mentally recover. I know I could have used some of these tips before leaving to help me prepare for how the weekend will go. You can’t control everything, especially not the people you are traveling with. But you can control how prepared you are and how you handle what travel throws at you.
What tips would you add for traveling on GAPS Intro, or any other healing diet?
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