Traveling can be challenging when you have PCOS and you eat dairy, gluten free. I'm all for treating myself, but when traveling I need to stick to eating real food so I can feel great and especially to not have to worry about my ulcerative colitis flaring up. My three kids are also gluten and dairy free so traveling requires a lot of preparation..
A lot of what I pack depends on where we travel and for how long. We usually pack a large cooler filled with extra water, snack foods, and lunch (if we'll be on the road through lunch.) I also like to find the nearest grocery store once we get to our destination and if staying in a hotel, a refrigerator would be a must. Most our family and friends that we would stay with know our food sensitivities and understand. I try my best to be prepared so it doesn't cause a burden for who we are staying with, but having a support system is important.
My main food goals on vacation are to eat real food as much as possible and to include fat and protein at meals and snacks to keep my blood sugar stable. I also like to treat myself to the occasional treat or glass of wine.
So what does a woman with PCOS and food allergies pack for a trip?? The following is a list of what I packed to a beach trip. We did have a condo with a full kitchen which was pretty awesome for cooking. Most dinners we had fresh seafood but for breakfast and lunches we ate in the condo or at the pool:)
- Boiled eggs: We eat a lot of eggs. Boiled eggs are so convenient and such an easy source of fat and protein. (If you are staying in a hotel you can boil the eggs the day before the trip and put them back in the egg carton for easy transportation.
- Avocados: These make great snacks for a hot, summer day and provide great healthy fats.
- Smoothies: I enjoyed a smoothie every morning for breakfast while sitting on our balcony. I vary the ingredients but it usually has almond milk, avocado, almond butter, spinach, Vital Proteins collagen and cacao powder.
- Sweet potatoes: I baked these on the first day so they would be a quick addition to lunch or dinner with a dollop of grass fed butter or coconut oil.
- Coconut oil and grass fed butter: I added this to our food daily.
- Almond Milk & Coconut Milk
- Fruit & Veggies: grapes, apples, pears and carrots were portable options to pack for the pool or beach.
- Almond Butter: I brought a few individual Justin's almond butter packs for an easy lunch!
- Paleo bread: we LOVE Against all Grain's Sandwich bread.
- Applegate turkey: good protein snack or a quick sandwich topper.
- Larabars & RXBARs: these are just such a convenient snack especially while on the road.
- Nut & Seed Mix: some days I added a few raisins or Enjoy Life chocolate chips.
- Gluten free Lemon Poppyseed Muffins: The lemon poppyseed muffins are my personal favorite and the kids love them.
- Dark Chocolate!: I brought one bar with me in case I had cravings. I bought this brand for the first time and I really think it's my favorite:) I especially love that it's gluten, dairy, and soy free.
- Popsicles: made with full fat coconut milk and fresh strawberries and made in bpa free molds.
- Supplements: can't forget these! I take 15 pills/powdered supplements a day for PCOS and insulin resistance.
I think that's everything! I definitely like to have more food packed just in case because you don't want to be in a situation where you are hungry but out of your healthy foods. That's when cravings can take over.
I feel like I did a good job with enjoying fresh foods (especially seafood) but also enjoying a bowl of ice cream (made with coconut milk) and a glass of wine. Traveling with PCOS is possible but just requires a lot of preparation and forward planning so you can relax. You need to make sure those you are meeting or traveling with know of your food allergies and can be supportive and helpful. My husband is definitely a huge help and researched restaurants before hand. With all the stress that comes along with PCOS, a relaxing vacation may be just what you need!