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Just starting Primal and I travel a lot...

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  • Just starting Primal and I travel a lot...


    I'm brand new to this forum. My brother gave me the 21 day Total Body Transformation book by Mark a few weeks ago. Since then I've read his book, the Primal Blueprint, and I also have his 30 minute recipe book.

    My issue - my job - is the primary thing that has brought me to the point where I am today. I am 49, 6' tall, weigh 245 pounds, and my lifestyle is sedentary.

    I am an airline pilot and I fly 12-18 days a month, sitting for long periods of time, often flying while others sleep, and my food choices range from airlines to airports to hotels.

    When I'm home between trips, I tend to be busy getting ready for my next trip, running errands, etc. Basically, getting caught up on all that I've missed while traveling. I also tend to eat pretty well when I'm at home. I would say I'm 90% Primal at home.

    Any help on developing a plan of action for eating on the road, dealing with weird hours, food I can bring with me that doesn't need refrigeration and will not spoil over 4 days or so, will be greatly appreciated. To me, this is my biggest stumbling block. If I was home every night, this would be so much easier, but with 31 years of flying so far, I don't think this is going to change anytime soon.

    I look forward to progress!


    The obligatory questions answered below...

    Your location:

    Southern California

    Age (If you want):


    How Primal are you:


    Do you consume dairy:

    Yes, but mostly Primal stuff like fermented cheeses, grass fed butter, etc.

    Do you drink coffee or tea:

    No. Caffeine and I don't get along. I do drink Rooibos, though. I've also been experimenting with ways to make a Primal Hot Chocolate from Starbucks, though! They now have sugar free dark chocolate mocha mix, which I have them mix with half and half for the milk, and just a pump of sugar free peppermint. Try it, you'll like it!

    Motivator for switching to Primal:

    I'm approaching 50, I'm going through a divorce after 21 years, and I have a 14 year old daughter living part time with me. I want her to be healthy from the start of life, and I want to be able to live life like I imagine it in my mind! I used to hike, rock climb, run, snow ski, etc. I want to be active with my daughter and get her off to a good start in her life. I was very active in my youth and 20's, but life seemed to creep around me and slowly engulf my enthusiasm like the vines in the Amazonian jungle. I want to regain my active lifestyle and live life with a vengeance!

    Favorite exercise:

    I love to hike. I also like mountain biking. And snow skiing... I guess I like all things in the mountains!

    Favorite Primal food:

    I make a mean curry chicken in a crockpot with a can of coconut milk, a couple of tablespoons of curry powder, and some chopped onions. Oh, and don't forget the chicken!

    Best part about being Primal:

    The way I feel when I'm eating Primal. i have energy, enthusiasm, and I feel a more positive outlook on life.

    Worst part about being Primal:

    The limited food choices when I travel. There are only so many things I can eat at Chicago O'hare... It gets depressing after a while. I'm hungry when only a few choices are available and I end up eating something that's filled with grain, etc.

  • #2
    Gluten Free menus are your friend. If they don't have a menu, I'm pretty sure they'll accommodate and make you a salad without croutons or something! Generally this is true for any chain restaurant you can find in an airport, like Unos, though you should avoid the bakery/breakfast places unless they have eggs (like Panera or Au Bon Pain). As a pilot, do you get fed during flights and does your airline offer gluten free meals?

    Nuts are great for travel, but try not to exist off of them. I'm sure you can always find fruit in the airports too. I'll be interested to see what others suggest! I am sure Mark has some information about eating primal on the road.
    Depression Lies


    • #3
      Interesting post.
      I'm in basically the same situation but I don't fly the plane. I've only been at this for 6 weeks but I think I've been pretty successful so far.
      There are a few tricks to get around the airport food: if there is a Subway, they can transform any sandwich into a salad for a small fee. Skip dressings and probably the cheese. Apples, bananas, a small bag of almonds or pistachios at a snack shop.
      Just yesterday I was at a trade fair in Mexico and ordered a couple of Carnitas tacos, ate the meat, avacado and pickled vegetables and ditched the tortillas. Another night I walked to the supermarket and got 100 grams of turkey breast from the deli, some string cheese, a small package of olives, mineral water and a pear.

      If you eat at restaurants, several chains offer healthier fare, just kill the rice and double down on the veggies.

      Good luck!

      It's not easy but it can be done


      • #4
        Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
        As a pilot, do you get fed during flights and does your airline offer gluten free meals?
        It's funny you should mention that. I used to order gluten free meals which always ended up being a chicken breast, a big clump of broccoli, a side of rice, and apple sauce for dessert. My airline decided it was too expensive to give us options (after 25 years of doing so...) and now it seems like every meal is pasta. Pasta for breakfast, pasta for lunch, pasta for dinner.... Blech... Now I don't know what I'm going to get until it shows up at the door in flight. it's hard to plan ahead with that! Thanks for the tips! I'm hoping to see a lot of input, as well.


        • #5
          Welcome, av8eire!

          Your job is certainly a challenge. Sardines are a good traveling food if you can pair them with fresh vegetables from somewhere.

          I was just at O'Hare and was pleased to find a place called Burrito Beach that sells grass-fed beef brisket and real guacamole. There is also a place called Prairie Tap Room that sells ribeye steak sandwiches. Toss the bread and it's not bad at all. Of course, being airport food, it's all way too expensive.


          • #6
            In the back of The Primal Blueprint, Mark Sisson lists out his food that he eats while he is on the road. Lots of good ideas and his menu selections there. Very doable. Cheers.
            "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


            • #7
              Has anyone ordered gluten free meals on a plane recently? I am worried about getting a massive portion of rice so I would like to hear what others are doing. I also spend a fair amount of time traveling overseas and the plane/train/hotel food is killing me.


              • #8
                I ordered gluten-free on an Air Canada flight last time and ended up with a lot of rice flour baked goods, a bit of cheese, and some fruit. No guarantees on the gluten-free meals being primal, just celiac friendly. It seems like the airlines skip out on meat more and more these days because grain-based stuff like pasta is so much cheaper, and I've noticed a trend for gluten-free meals to also be vegetarian (likely to make them easier to serve to both populations).

                I travel a fair bit and pack things like tuna, jerky, dried fruit, nuts, Larabars, dry gluten-free sausages, and other foods like that. I then get restaurants to adapt my other meals--there's more understanding of celiac these days, so you can often get them to adjust to accommodate the gluten-free thing and get just veggies as a side. It's likely going to be blah unless they have a gluten-free menu since most places will err on the side of caution and use little to no seasoning on the food. Also, eggs are your friend, but watch for omelettes since some places put pancake batter in the egg mixture to make them fluffy (no, I'm not making this up). If you're unsure, order eggs in a way that must clearly be cooked from a whole egg, not boxed liquid eggs, so ask for over easy or something like that instead of scrambled. Look out for sauces since they're rarely made from scratch and even something like hollandaise that would be gluten-free if you made it at home is likely to have a grain-based thickener if it's a commercial version.

                I don't know if you fly internationally, but even dried meats can be trickier when crossing international borders depending on where you're going and what the country of origin is on the meat product. And of course, if you're going international, you should make sure it's all in clearly-labelled manufacturer's packages (this is not the time to be taking along unlabelled homemade jerky) so that some overenthusiastic customs agent doesn't take away all your food.
                “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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