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  • paleo airport foods?

    I travel a LOT... it is my job.. i was off work all summer and returned last week. I started eating paleo about 2 months ago so this was my first trip back... i brought along a few things to snack on.. jerkey.. nuts.. etc.. but found myself at the mercy of the airport vendors several times... once i bought a breakfast wrap with veggies and eggs and then just dumped it out into a bowl and threw away the tortilla the other time i settled on a mcDs southwest salad without the tortilla chips... and noticed after it arrived it had beans and corn etc and the dressing had 11g of carbs..

    can all you paleo travelers out there share your great choices for airport food... maybe use the airport code and then post your foodie find?

    SNA (orange county): little sandwich shop there has a GREAT lo-carb salad with eggs avocado seeds


    thanks so much....

    jojo
    "our business in life is not to
    get ahead of others,
    but to get ahead of ourselves...
    to break our own records,
    to outstrip our yesterday
    by our today"

  • #2
    A lot of it depends on the layover time. If it's at least an hour and the airport is large enough they usually have a sitdown restaurant. More expensive but worth it since I can order a burger with salad (instead of fries) or fish or something.
    When it has to be quick I will hit a fast food place, get the closest thing to a chicken breast sandwich (usually 4 of them) and toss the bread. That's all I got, cuz that's all I do.
    People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

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    • #3
      I travel quite frequently myself, and I share your pain. I have it worse as I'm also diabetic, so things I think are innocent often contain "secret" sugars which will shoot my blood sugar up.

      Usually it is fairly easy to find a place in an airport that will have some sort of meat salad - just be real careful if you use salad dressing. Sit down restaurants are great (especially because they are on the company's nickel), and I can almost always find something there. Salad plus meat again.

      If I'm in a rush, though, I usually just fast. :/

      --Me

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      • #4
        I'm just about to embark on a 21 hr trip tomorrow - scotland to hawaii :-)

        I've got 99% 50gm lindt chocoltae bar, 2 x 60gm bags of macadamias packed along with a couple of pepperamis (I think this is like a slim jim USA thing - not perfect but better than nothing). Plan to have 3 fried eggs & 2x bacon before leaving and then grab a steak/chicken salad/veg combo at first stop (newark). IF thrown in after this due to length of flight (just under 11hrs) and then grab food when I arrive. Any other suggestions welcome.

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        • #5
          As a celiac, I've had to deal with this one for years. I agree, if there's a sit-down place, that's your best bet because you can get them to modify things. You can normally at least get them to cook a piece of steak/chicken/fish with no seasonings with a side of steamed vegetables. Boring, but hey, it's food. Many places are more aware, so you can ask the server what your options are.

          If you eat fruit, you can sometimes grab a cup of cut-up fruit (just be careful there's not sugar added to it), and some places also have containers of cut-up veggies. If you eat dairy, you can even sometimes find fruit and cheese trays to go--skip the crackers. Oddly, at my airport, the Starbucks is the best bet to find the fruit/veggie cup things.

          Salads can work, but you have to watch dressings, add-ons (weird stuff like seasoned/sugared nuts, canned orange slices, sweetened dried cranberries), and even the seasonings on chicken and the ingredients in the deli meat, so they can be a gamble--places that make the salad in front of you to order are better because you can at least have some control, but cross-contamination is a problem in places like Subway that cut the bread right on that board next to the veggies.

          The newsstand/convenience shop will usually have snacks. They often stock unseasoned nuts, which work in a pinch, and they may also have packaged hardboiled eggs. You can also often find dark chocolate there (score!).

          And of course, there's my fallback option whenever I'm travelling: breakfast places. Airports often have a place that serves breakfast all day, and you can get by if you can get yourself some eggs and whatever meat you like as a side. The breakfast thing is my trick whether I'm travelling by air or I'm on a road trip since it's the easiest thing to get as uncontaminated as possible if you're clear that it must not contain grain products (look out for pancake batter in the omelettes--I'd like to smack the genius that came up with that one). I've had travel days where I've eaten breakfast food two or even three meals out of the day. It's not my ideal, but it works.

          And, of course, pack snacks you can trust so that you at least have something if you're really needing to eat and can't find a good option. You often can't take meat products across borders so jerky doesn't work well, but you can take packaged, labelled foods fairly easily (this is one case where something like a Larabar is useful). Airport security or customs officers may question food in a baggie, but something with a clear ingredients list and a nutrition label is usually considered acceptable.
          “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

          Owly's Journal

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          • #6
            Oh, as for airplane food, asking for the celiac meal will generally get you a box full of gluten-free baked stuff and rice pasta. Sigh.
            “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

            Owly's Journal

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            • #7
              Buy a burger or a hot-dog and throw away the bun? Some airports with "proper" restaurants also have steaks.
              Norak's Primal Journal:
              2010-07-23: ~255lbs, ~40.0"
              2011-11-03: ~230lbs, ~35.5"
              2011-12-07: ~220lbs, ~34.0"

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              • #8
                I second the comments about going to a sit down restaurant. They will always have some kind of salad or burger/chicken sandwich that you can make work for you. If you just have to grab something, go to any "deli" style place and grab a sandwich, maybe two, and toss the bread. Some places that I have found that work for me: STL (St Louis): CA Pizza Kitchen (you can get salads made to order), Chili's, Quiznos, Starbucks (get the protein breakfast tray). ORD (Chicago): Berghoff Cafe (great breakfast options too), Chilis (you can pretty much find one at any airport), Salad Works (this place is all salads, all made to order), La Tapenade Med Cafe (olives, tapas, salads, delish!), and in a pinch hit Gold Coast Hot Dogs (just remove the bun). SEA (Seattle): all sitdown restuarants with several salad or burger options: Seattle Taproom, Mountain Bar, Africa Lounge.
                If you can, pack a small soft sided cooler with things like fruit, cut up veggies, hard boiled eggs, guacamole, salad, cut off meats, bacon....whatever you are in the mood for. It makes it a lot easier. And if you are staying in hotels with kitchen facilities, hit the grocery store and cook for yourself, or refill your cooler for the flight home. It is possible and you can do it! Grok on!

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                • #9
                  I found this out on car trips, but you can just order eggs and bacon at McDonalds. That and their coffee (that I think is pretty good) gets you breakfast.

                  Past that - I search out the Mexican place and order fajitas. Mix all the extras on the plate with the meat and you are good to go. Rice and beans at your discretion. I've been pleasantly surprised to see guacamole on the plate more times then not.

                  I try and avoid any oriental places - way too much sugar in the sauces and probably MSG.

                  Steak and veggies is always an option...

                  Luckily, I don't travel that often. I have found that nuts/cheese sticks (if you eat dairy), jerky, etc gets a little old after a few hours. I really need a 'real meal' every now and then.
                  Never, never, never quit! -- Winston Churchill

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pollydinasaur View Post
                    I'm just about to embark on a 21 hr trip tomorrow - scotland to hawaii :-)

                    I've got 99% 50gm lindt chocoltae bar, 2 x 60gm bags of macadamias packed along with a couple of pepperamis (I think this is like a slim jim USA thing - not perfect but better than nothing). Plan to have 3 fried eggs & 2x bacon before leaving and then grab a steak/chicken salad/veg combo at first stop (newark). IF thrown in after this due to length of flight (just under 11hrs) and then grab food when I arrive. Any other suggestions welcome.
                    You just described my typical airplane snack kit! I really can't think of anything else that travels as well as 90+% chocolate and macadamias!

                    I also agree that this is only an issue for long flights. Short flights should never be an issue for the OP if he is eating hearty meals beforehand, such as plenty of eggs and bacon, as you indicated.

                    As another poster indicated, mc'ds can provide eggs and bacon for breakfast. Any BBQ joint in the airport open for breakfast will work, as well as other sitdowns for lunch and dinner.

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                    • #11
                      Concur on the sitdown restaurants and then it really depends on the airport. I love to connect in Denver because it has a steakhouse that serves a great buffalo ribeye. Had a nice paleo meal at Macaroni Grill in Orlando last week. Charlotte has a good BBQ. Avoid Chicago Midway. In a pinch needing to grab something to take on the plane, I look for Oberto low processed jerky and some unsalted raw nuts.
                      Grass Fed Beef Restaurants

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                      • #12
                        In Detroit (DTW - Delta hub) there are lots of places you can get meal-sized salads(I'd still ask for dressing on the side, not on top) - typically with grilled chicken or the like on top. One of the better places was in the Guinness Pub - which had a salad with smoked salmon, egg, and horseradish among other things - but there are plenty of other places with good salad choices. Also, several other places(mostly in A terminal, not C/B) where you can get a steak with some veggies - though no promises about what the steak is cooked in. Last time through Detroit I had an early flight home connecting through Detroit so missed breakfast, so I took a grab & go chicken Caesar salad at one of the coffee shops - skipped the dressing - just greens, chicken and cheese - made a decent enough breakfast.

                        On the other hand, Tokyo-Narita... not such a good place for Paleo(Japan is pretty horrible for Paleo in general unless you're eating sashimi or cooking for yourself). Best I've done there is the Delta lounge, removing the bread from the little sandwiches they had. I got a lot of strange looks for doing that, and eating the meat/cheese along with some fruits/veggies. You can probably find something decent at one of the places outside, BEFORE you clear security, I'd guess.

                        I like to pack a little jerky/other food of my own to tide me over. But when I'm on a long, intercontinental flight I just relax a bit and chalk that up to my 20% - I still absolutely, 100% skip the bread, though.
                        Last edited by jsa23; 09-22-2011, 05:55 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Owly View Post
                          The breakfast thing is my trick whether I'm travelling by air or I'm on a road trip since it's the easiest thing to get as uncontaminated as possible if you're clear that it must not contain grain products (look out for pancake batter in the omelettes--I'd like to smack the genius that came up with that one).
                          Wait. WHAT? Seriously? Pancake batter in omelettes??? THAT'S JUST WRONG. What do you do, ask if it's gluten-free? Do servers even know if there's pancake batter in the omelettes? (I'm wincing as I type that.)
                          F, 44 years old, 111.8 lbs, 4 feet 11.5 inches (yes, that half inch matters!)

                          **1st place sparring, AAU TKD regional qualifier, 2/15/15 - It's damn good to hit like a girl!**

                          **First-ever 5K race 11/28/13: 37 minutes, 18+ seconds, no stopping**

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JackieKessler View Post
                            Wait. WHAT? Seriously? Pancake batter in omelettes??? THAT'S JUST WRONG. What do you do, ask if it's gluten-free? Do servers even know if there's pancake batter in the omelettes? (I'm wincing as I type that.)
                            They do it to make them fluffy. The pancake chains are almost all doing it these days. I will simply ask that they use straight eggs for my omelette, or I order sunny eggs and bacon or steak (but no marinades!) so that I know I'm just getting eggs with no weirdness (and I ask them to sub sliced or broiled tomato for the toast). Bonus: bacon/steak dipped in egg yolk is delicious.
                            “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                            Owly's Journal

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                            • #15
                              I travel a lot, internationally, and have never had them take away my jerky. They are too focused on making sure I don't carry a bottle of water through security, I guess.

                              I often carry at least some food for the duration, not just the trip, because of the places I go (developing countries almost always) and because I am astoundingly cheap. For those who like 'em, here's the major score: Sardines. (Although I can often find some wherever I land, they're usually in some awful oil or something with sugar, so I prefer to carry my own. Yes I am serious.)

                              Otherwise, as several have said, macadamias and homemade jerky to carry, and anywhere you can get breakfast for airport foods (sometimes you can find hard-boiled eggs in those deli/sammich places. They still rip you off, but I find the markup is a little less on breakfast). And I've taken HB eggs with me, too.
                              Last edited by beachrat; 09-23-2011, 11:52 AM.
                              "If man made it, don't eat it." ..Jack LaLanne
                              "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are.
                              If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." ..Richard Feynman

                              beachrat's new primal journal

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