>>This blog post contains affiliate links. Click here to learn more what it means.
Going on vacations should be fun right? For the longest time, I didn't think so. I used to have so much anxiety at the thought of going into a flare while away from home and not having my "stuff" to calm my angry gut. Several years ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Ulcerative Colitis, it belongs to the Inflammatory Bowel Disease family and it was debilitating. Fast forward to today, I was lucky to find remission through diet and lifestyle changes instead of taking the conventional pharmaceutical route. If you are also following a unique diet in the name of health, in other words, not the Standard American Diet, I am going to show you how you can enjoy your vacation with proper planning. In my case, I am currently following a keto focused, Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. What does that mean in plain English? Basically, my diet is free of grains, dairy, soy, nuts, nightshades and I only eat starchy vegetables sparingly. What about fruit? Seasonal berries are on the menu, so summer is exciting times!
Never take the simple things in life for granted
Last November, we went on a family trip that was special, Why? It was the first trip since I was officially in remission where I could enjoy life with their family like a healthy "normal" person. Even with my autoimmune condition in remission, it still takes extra preparation to make the time away from home go smoothly.
PlanningWhen I was researching online, I plugged in different combinations of keywords that best describe my specific eating style, it's rare to find suggestions matching the exact protocol you are following, unless you are Keto AIP, then you are at the right place.
To start I found Danielle Walker, another IBDer who follows a Paleo lifestyle, has great resources under her "Eating at Disneyland series"
Then I turned to my AIP community and read up on The Bacon Mum's great post Shout out: The Magic of Disney where she offers lots of smart tips about her travel experience. So I took more notes.
Finally, the keto part, I turned to my keto sista, Leanne Vogel from Healthful Pursuit and went through her keto travel tips. Even though the keto thing is kind of new to me, I realized the most important thing I needed to focus on is having enough good fats on hand. These are my three fat staples while on this trip: Avocados, Extra Virgin Olive oil and Creamed Coconut. The beauty of being Fat Adapted ( teaching your body to use fat as preferred fuel instead of glucose through a ketogenic eating style ) is my blood sugar remains more stable, which translates to NO MORE HANGER! I can go a lot longer without being hungry so the hypoglycemic Hulk no longer busts through my seams in her old ravenous way. Trust me, I think my family might appreciate this new change more than I do.
How about the Everyday Disneyland Theme Park tips?
Find this book Unofficial Guide to Disneyland Anaheim 2017 either at the library or you can order it online through the affiliate link above. Read up on the magic of Fast Pass especially if you have small children.
PackingThe following is a list of gadgets and hard to find items I am sure glad I packed.
- Tea bags, I made them through the coffee machine. These are my favourite at the moment
- Handheld Electric Frother to blend Fatty collagen block into my tea
- Collagen, I pack a few of them in tiny ziplock baggies or old medication vials and slip them into my purse for a quick protein fix
- Bring extra ziplock bags of varies sizes to portion snacks
- Canned Smoked Oysters, from Trader Joe
- Canned Smoked Sardines, also from Trader Joe
- Small bottle of EVOO or buy one at your destination
- Creamed Coconut packet ( great as fat bomb on the go )
- Small bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar or buy one at your destination
- Essential oils - lavender, thieves, peppermint
- Thieves fruit and veggie soak or spray to clean off fruit without water
Exploring your local resourcesFind your closest healthy grocery, Trader Joes is probably the best but Wholefoods is, of course, a bit pricier choice. Believe it or not, I managed to get what we needed at the closest, grocery only, Walmart.
- Buy enough water for everyone in the family, bottled waters are extra pricey inside the theme park.
- Prewashed Salad mixes
- Lemon or limes - squeezing the juice from them make great salad dressing if you don't have your ACV
- Whole fruit if you brought swiss army knife or peeler, otherwise get a few packages of already cut fruit
Eating outMy first meal there was at Earl of Sandwich just outside of the theme park. I got the Earl's Cobb Salad and asked for olive oil on the side, they didn't have vinegar for me but I solved the problem by grabbing a few cut up lemon wedges they had for people to squeeze into their pop. Whatever works works! We followed Bacon Mum's advice and made a reservation for dinner inside the theme park. The chef did take the time to come out to verify my food restrictions but it was a pretty overpriced piece of fish and a side of arugula. The one place I found my most satisfying meal was... wait for it... Cheesecake Factory. I never thought I would be able to eat compliant meals at there just from the sick of their name. Besides their desserts, they are known for their huge salads. Back in the days when I went for their Cheesecakes, I would have never been able to finish their ginormous salads. Now, it's the perfect size for me. I do wonder if they had health in mind when they planned out the sizing of their salads?
Now that you are prepared, are you feeling more excited than nervous about leaving your kitchen? You should be, so let the FUN begin! Remember to take lots of pictures, LAUGH with your family and ENJOY every moment of your trip because
YOU deserve it!