Three flights and three countries later, I've arrived in Germany! I'm exhausted after a long day of travel going on 3 hours of sleep, and am a bit jet lagged, so here's my outfit of the day before I go in to teach yoga tonight at 8:00pm.
I started the GAPS diet October 1, 2013 in an attempt to heal my gut after longterm antibiotic use for Lyme Disease, and I was having such great results after just a few short months that I wanted to stay on the diet as best I could during my travel to Dubai and India. It definitely wasn't easy, as I feel the most difficult part of the GAPS diet is cooking often and preparing ahead of time. Obviously when you're traveling, cooking and prepping is not easy to do, but I made it work and did the best I could.
In my checked baggage, I put a spill-proof thermos with apple cider vinegar for detox baths on the trip. I figured once I got to Dubai I could transfer the ACV to another container, and use the thermos for carrying broth and soups while out and about. I also bought this awesome lunch box. Shown here is just the top part- there's a detachable bottom container that comes with it, too (it was in the dishwasher when I took this pic). I put this in my carry-on, and packed pancakes and hard boiled eggs in one, and a ton of sauerkraut in the other. I ate the pancakes and hard boiled eggs on the plane. The importance of probiotic foods is stressed in the diet, so I busted out the sauerkraut on my trip during meals where I couldn't find a good probiotic food.
In Dubai, I stayed at a friend's apartment, so we cooked at her place most of the time. It's an extremely international city and I was able to find everything I needed. It was really hot in Dubai and there were moments where I felt like I wasn't eating enough so I started preparing and eating bigger meals. Pictured here is a typical meal during my stay (sorry for the ugly presentation) - salmon, mashed avocado with sea salt, beet, butternut squash with a raw egg yolk and sauerkraut. We made an amazing fish soup, some delicious blueberry lemon bars, and pancakes with blueberry sauce among other things. The few times I ate away from the apartment, I had really good luck. The first meal I had while out and about was at the Dubai Mall (crazy experience, more on that soon!). There were many options to choose from but I was at that awful point where you're so hungry you feel you're liable to murder someone if you don't eat RIGHT. NOW.
There was a place called kCal Healthy Fast Food and I was pretty impressed with my meal considering I was at a food court in a mall. The meal came with rice but I asked for extra veggies instead. The chicken had a slight breading to it, but I just scraped that off.
The second meal I had while out and about was at the grocery store. Moment of silence for the plight of the hungry food shopper.
Thanks. Ok, so I was at the Organic Foods and Cafe on Sheikh Zayed Road and I ordered salmon with grilled veggies in a homemade tomato sauce. It was unbelievable. This too came with rice, but they just gave me more veggies.
India was a bit of a different experience as a traveler on GAPS. I stayed at the Lemon Tree Amarante in Candolim Beach. The staff was incredible. Honestly, if you ever get a chance to go to Goa, stay here. While at the resort, I would order an omelet for breakfast (this masala one was so good!) and have sausage or bacon and fresh yogurt. For snacks, I'd order chicken, scrambled eggs in lots of ghee, grilled veggies, and most of the other things I am used to eating at home. I also was excited to try lassi for the first time. Lassi is an Indian drink made of whipped yogurt. You can have it salty, sweet, or plain and I chose plain. I'd have it in the middle of the day as a snack and at breakfast as the probiotic food. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a GAPS friendly broth here, but I figured that would be the case and I just did the best I could to eat other things on the diet.
I also brought my own tea from home (I have a homeopathic tea that's good for balancing stomach acid), and I used the kettle in the hotel room to make the tea, and added the manuka honey packet I brought.
Away from the hotel, I'd just order what Goa does best - fresh fish. It's a bit of work to pick out the small bones, but it's so worth it. This fish was the best I've ever had. The veggies were cooked in plenty of butter (the importance of animal fat is stressed on the diet), and I'd just add some sauerkraut to complete the meal.
I was lucky enough to fly Lufthansa business class on the way home, and their menu was fantastic. The first course for breakfast was fresh fruit, grilled chicken and tea. Bread was offered but it's not on the diet.
For the second course I chose shrimp in lemon and dill, and asparagus, which was delicious.
And for my main course I chose poached salmon with veggies. Of course it was pre-made, so I couldn't ask them to hold the rice and give me more veggies, so I ate around the rice, and you can see on the left I added my own sauerkraut.
At the Dubai airport, I had poached eggs, sausage, and plain yogurt. I know conventional yogurt isn't on the diet because of the emulsifiers and other crap they add to yogurt, but I figured some probiotic food was better than no probiotic food.
Tips for Traveling on the GAPS Diet
Overall, I am really pleased with how well I was able to stay on the diet. My stomach is healed enough where I won't get horribly sick if I eat something not on the list, but it's still not 100%. I am definitely happy to be home because after nearly three weeks of travel and not doing the diet 100% (no broths for a week while in India, etc) I began noticing symptoms coming back that I haven't seen in about a month and a half - arthritic issues, exhaustion, minor bloating. I'm looking forward to getting back on track, but overall it was a really good experience. If you're traveling, I would say to bring prepackaged snacks like the coconut butter, almond butter and manuka honey. Remember that since you're not eating any grains you need to eat a lot of high carb foods so pile on the squashes and beets, and make sure you're getting enough animal fat. Also, bringing a thermos or a lunchbox with some probiotic food or even snacks like hard boiled eggs and pancakes to take with you will make things so much easier. But above all, try not to get too concerned if you aren't able to stay on the diet 100%- just do the best you can.