Is it possible to travel and maintain the carnivore diet? We recently travelled to Hawaii for 3 weeks and still managed to stay carnivore (zc) while away. Here’s how we did it.
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, dietitian or a doctor. This is anecdotal. All experiences are my own. Read my disclaimer here. Do your own research into this way of eating and consult a doctor you trust.
For those who have followed my journey so far, know that I stopped eating all plants roughly 20 months ago. It’s been one of the best decisions I have made as an adult. Not only did I lose weight, gain my mental health back, gained my self-esteem, increased my energy levels, increased my mental alertness, healed my life long battle with chronic lichen planus, healed my acne, healed my varicose veins and numerous other health benefits, I finally feel alive!
So what is the Carnivore (Zero Carb) Diet?
To simplify, it’s a diet that consists of only consuming animal products. Zero carb (ZC) if you will. I only consume animal products and have been for just over a year and a half. So what do I eat exactly?
Breakfast every day consists of 6 eggs and half a package of bacon with a side of black espresso coffee. (Most true ZC stay away from coffee as it’s a plant but it’s my only vice which has not deterred my healing). I never eat lunch. I’m full from breakfast. Dinner varies day to day. Sometimes it’s a ribeye, sometimes it’s pork tenderloin, shrimp, chicken wings, pulled pork, brisket, ground beef, sausage, scallops, fish (trout usually and never farmed), pork belly, bacon, eggs (again) and bone broth. Variety is the spice of life after all.
The one thing I stay away from, for personal reasons, is lean white meat. Once you start eating the fatty red pieces of beef you realize how bland chicken and turkey really are. So I stay away.
Travel and staying Carnivore
This past October we travelled overseas to the Big Island of Hawaii. (You can read about that here on our photography blog.) This wouldn’t be our first trip while eating carnivore so we had a pretty good idea of what we needed to be prepared.
Many wonder how you can travel and eat only animal products. First rule of thumb is to eat a massive meal before you leave home. Fill your belly to complete satiety. This will allow you to not have to think about eating until your final destination. Pack a water bottle. Obviously you can’t cross security with a full water bottle but most airports have water stations.
As we were travelling with kids, we allowed them to pack snacks. Our kids are 80% carnivore as well but we do allow certain foods during travel. Things like cheese whisps, nuts, beef jerky and dried fruits. We abstain but we allow our kids a little more leniency.
Due to our flight schedule we had a 17 hour layover in beautiful San Francisco which we didn’t mind as we have family here. And to top of it, they own a restaurant. Even though they cater mainly to veggie lovers, they do serve some amazing Ahi Tuna and steak. We ate most of it before I could take a photo hence the empty plates.
When we landed in Oahu en route to the Big Island we stopped by Burger King at the airport. The great thing about fast food places like Burger King or Wendy’s is they will usually sell you patties a la carte. They can range from a buck to two bucks depending on where you go. Just make sure you ask for no seasoning, tell them it’s a severe allergy and they’ll understand.
Once you arrive at your destination make yourself familiar with the local grocery stores. You can’t lose with Costco or Safeway. Lucky for us, there’s a Costco nearly everywhere we go. Stock up on all the essentials, eggs, cheese, steak, butter and fish. The fish in Hawaii is abundant so we took advantage while we were there. Ahi Tuna was a steal at 2lbs for $10!
BBQ’s are a saving grace
Whenever we travel, we make sure we book accommodations that have a BBQ on site. There is nothing worse than not being able to sear your steak. We still haven’t quite figured out how to travel with our cast iron skillet yet, but we make do with what we have access to.
For obvious reasons there are certain things you simply can’t travel with and because of that we have to figure out how to prepare our meals. This is where the BBQ comes in handy. You can grill anything and take a dip in the pool as you wait.
Day trips and beach days
Another wonderful thing about staying at a condo is they usually supply you with a cooler. We took full advantage of this bonus amenity. Freeze your water bottles and use them as ice in your cooler and enjoy a cold drink while sitting on the beach. We also pack sausages, cheese, bacon, sometimes even leftover ribeye. In addition, we always shop around for our favourite snack… pork rinds. Somehow we always find the tastiest ones abroad and never back in Canada.
Eating Out while Carnivore
In the three weeks abroad, we ate out 4 times. Two breakfast buffets, one seafood buffet and one sushi. You can’t go wrong with breakfast buffets. Eggs and bacon galore. Easy. Seafood buffet is another easy outing. Sushi is a little tricker as you can only eat the sashimi and if you’re going to indulge ask for the gluten free soy sauce.
Lessons learned from traveling while Carnivore
Once you start eating only animal products you get to see food in a whole new light. No longer do fancy dinners out seem appealing. No longer do you desire to pay $40 for a steak the size of your palm. You really get to appreciate food in its most rawest form. The way it’s meant to be eaten. No need for sauces, fancy cut tomatoes, overpriced and over cooked meats.
It’s not for everyone but for those who live this life know the benefits. They also know how easy it becomes after you’ve adapted yourself to staying away from everything that made you sick in the first place. Don’t let this WOE stop you from seeing the world. We refuse to let our diet ever deter us from doing what we love most. Sometimes it’s a challenge but we approach it knowing it’s not easy. Not everyone can quit foods that they have consumed for a lifetime. We wouldn’t change it for anything. Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.
meraki [may-rah-kee] (adjective) word used to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing, whatever it may be