Flying can be hard when you’re on a restricted diet. Here are a few recipes and tips for what to eat when flying… paleo and GAPS style!
Not a frequent flyer.
As a mom of five little kiddos, flying isn’t something I get to do that often. My husband and I would have to spend our entire yearly income (practically) to be able to afford flying our whole family somewhere, not to mention the stress of herding 2 year olds and trying to keep boys from running and jumping their way through airports. Usually when my family needs to make a trip we drive.
This past week, however, I was offered a rare chance: flying alone to see my best friend and her family. Seeing as it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, I took it.
What am I going to eat?
After the tickets were ordered, reality began to set in. Being on the GAPS diet, there was pretty much a 0% chance the airline would offer something I could eat. Without getting sick, that is.
I thought about eating before I left and then once I landed, but that left me with 8+ hours of no food. Not a very healthy thing when your body is in the process of healing. Since the GAPS diet is so restrictive, there was not really even a chance I would be able to find a suitable restaurant during a layover!
So I brainstormed with some friends, searched the TSA website, and set to work making my own paleo and GAPS-friendly travel snacks. Since I figured there are few of you out there who might someday be faced with the issue of what in the world to eat when flying, I thought I’d share my recently learned tips!
Foodie Flight Tips
If you’re traveling via the air and planning on eating, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Most commercial flights aren’t safe for gluten-free, paleo people. Don’t think you’ll be able to eat their peanuts, or even drink their coffee!
- If you’re taking an overnight or longer flight and need more than snacks and finger foods, make sure you contact the airline ahead of time and let them know you’ll need a special meal.
- Remember that going through airport security might take longer if you’re carrying food. Especially if your food isn’t easily recognizable as such through the security cameras. Not that I know that from experience…
- Remember, no liquid through the security checkpoints! You can, however, bring empty bottles and fill up on water once you get through security. Airports have really yummy water….
- If you’re taking any non-solid foods (like almond or peanut butter or mayo) you can’t take more than 4 ounces of it! Keep it in a leak-proof container – clear if possible – and ask the airline steward for a spoon once you’re on board.
What to eat when flying.
Now on to the goodies! I’m including foods that you can make ahead of time, that way you can control the quantity and the ingredient list. This is always the best option. However, if you don’t have the time to make your own food, I’m also including some store-bought options as well. Most of the store-bought options can be found at stores like Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Earth Fare. If you don’t have access to any of those grocery stores, you can buy the items on Amazon.
Please note, I usually just fly domestic and have not tried these foods on an international flight.
Also note, everything is completely paleo, and most foods are GAPS-legal unless noted otherwise. 😉
Energy Bars & Granola Bars
Energy bars and granola bars make great travel-friendly snacks. They’re easy to store, easy to eat, and packed full of nutrition! Here are a few delicious homemade options, as well as some store-bought ones if you don’t have the time to bake.
Store-bought or online options:
Organic Larabars – These are one of my favorite options. Just make sure to check the ingredients, since not all Larabars are paleo or GAPS-friendly. In general, the “organic with superfoods” ones are good. The Coconut, Kale & Cacao and the Turmeric, Ginger & Beet ones are my favorites!
Primal Kitchen Protein Bars – Made with grass-fed collagen for the protein, these paleo bars come in three flavors: Coconut Cashew, Dark Chocolate, and Hazelnut Protein Bars. None of them are GAPS-friendly, but they’re all delicious if you just need paleo!
RXBars – these come in a variety of flavors, like Blueberry, Coconut Chocolate, Mint Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Maple Sea Salt, Apple Cinnamon, Coffee Chocolate. I haven’t tried them all, but the ones I have tried (Coconut Chocolate and Peanut Butter) are completely GAPS-friendly.
Thunderbird Real Food Bars – these bars can be found locally in some Texas stores, but you can get them on Amazon as well. Just make sure to pay attention to the ingredient list. They’re all grain-free, but not necessarily paleo and GAPS-friendly (sometimes containing buckwheat, quinoa, or sweet potato). The Pecans, Goji & Pistachio, as well as the Hazelnut Coffee Mocha Bars are both certified paleo and are suitable for the GAPS Diet.
Crackers & Chips
If you’re on the lookout for store-bought, GAPS-friendly chips to take along on your trip, I got nothin’ for ya. Sorry. I’ve searched health food stores high and low for GAPS-legal chips, but haven’t found any. Paleo is a different thing, though. There are plenty of paleo chip options available in health food stores if you search well! Or you could just enjoy these homemade varieties…
Paleo store-bought or online options (none of these are GAPS-legal):
If you’re packing baked goods for your trip, make sure they are of the firmer variety, so they won’t crumble all over or get too smashed in your carry-on. You don’t want to be digging out mushy cookies or crumbled muffins in the middle of your flight!
Note: some of these recipes may contain ingredients like baking powder and dairy-free chocolate chips, which can be suitable for a paleo diet, but are not GAPS-friendly. Just be aware…
“Everything But the Kitchen Sink” Paleo Breakfast Cookies from Raising Generation Nourished (not suitable for GAPS)
Nuts, Trail Mixes & Granolas
Granolas and trail mixes are also a great travel-friendly snack. Just make sure that if you’re buying store-bought granolas, nuts, and trail mixes that you check the ingredients for grains, added sweeteners, or oils that aren’t paleo or GAPS-friendly. With trail mix, I’ve found it’s best to purchase the individual ingredients and then combine them myself. And if you’re on the GAPS diet, it’s safer to make your own granola at home.
Veggies & Fruits
Sometimes simple is best. Fresh organic carrots sticks, celery sticks, cucumber spears, and chopped peppers, as well as fruits like apples and bananas are great snacks to bring along on a plane. Here are some homemade options that make for great travel snacks, as well.
Store-bought or online options:
Veggie-Go’s Fruit & Veggie Strips – While these are all paleo, to the best of my knowledge, pay attention to the ingredients here, if you’re on the GAPS Diet. Some of these contain veggies that aren’t GAPS-friendly, like sweet potatoes. My favorites GAPS-legal varieties are the TropiKale and the Carrot Ginger strips.
Dried fruits such as raisins, banana chips, figs, and dates. Just make sure to check the ingredients to make sure no sweeteners, stabilizers, or other additives have been sneaked in.
If you’re going on a shorter trip, these no-bake treats will work well. I would make sure they’re stored on top of your carry-on, so they don’t get smushed. If you’re planning on taking a longer flight, these can still work, just maybe eat them first before digging into your other snacks.
Store-bought or online options:
Heavenly Organics Mint Chocolate Honey Patties – these are uuuuuhhhhmazing and totally worth the money for a little GAPS-friendly treat!
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