I have never done a post like this one…
I know this post has literally taken me ages to get up considering I went to Italy in April and it is now the end of July, but it’s finally here! I wanted to start off by saying that for a long time I was worried about travelling while following the autoimmune protocol. During the first year I traveled to Palm Springs and Arizona and ate out twice and both times I got sick afterwards. Obviously it was due to my lack of knowledge and lack of experience ordering at a restaurant but it kind of left me scared to travel. It just didn’t seem worth it to me.
Fast forward two years to planning my wedding and honeymoon and I realized that I use to love to travel and I was missing out on life experiences because I was scared about the food situation. So I made a decision to do whatever it took to travel to Europe.
We decided on Italy and I set to planning. First I made sure that whenever possible we would be staying in an apartment that was within walking distance to a market. Next I made sure that the hotel we were staying at was also within walking distance to a super market.
Then I created a food allergy card from this website in Italian so that when we did eat out I could show it to the wait staff. I also made a few in English too and I use them when eating out at home.
I decided to bring some snacks and convenience food with me so I placed an order from Vitacost.com
Here are a few of the things that I ordered:
-wild zora lamb and veggie bars
-epic bars: bison bacon cranberry
-Jackson’s honest sweet potato chips
-Inka Plantain Chips
-Artisana Raw organic coconut butter squeeze pack
-Dang toasted coconut chips
-Fruit Bliss organic turkish mini figs
-Natural sea wildcaught albacore tuna
-Nature’s organic freeze dried raw blueberries
For my international flight I brought a salad with cut up chicken thighs and a little TSA approved bottle of olive oil. I brought it through security without ice packs and then I brought a ziploc bag and asked for Ice at the Starbucks once I was through security. That is what I ate on the plane along with a few of my packed snacks. I did the same thing on the flight home except that I had cut up burgers, pork tenderloin, and zucchini along with my salad and fresh fruit.
I always packed a wild zora or epic bar in my purse with me while we were out during the day just in case I got hungry but for the most part I ate a big breakfast that I cooked at the apartment and then ate an early dinner with a few snacks in between. There are tons of fresh fruit stands and mini markets around and you can always buy cans of tuna in olive oil at all of the markets.
When shopping at the grocery stores in Italy, I bought grass fed beef, chicken, lamb, side pork, and prosciutto along with veggies and fruit. I bought salt, garlic powder, and oregano along with a bottle of olive oil at the start of my trip and used that throughout. Here are some of the dishes I created in our apartments!
When we stayed at a hotel in Venice I had to get a bit creative. I bought salads and prosciutto along with real fruit and dried fruit that I ate with coconut butter.
I ate out in Rome, Venice, and Amalfi. In Rome I had gelato, in Venice I had chicken, salad and grilled veggies, and in Amalfi I had mixed greens, sea bass and zucchini. I never had a single issue eating out in Italy. Every restaurant was extremely accommodating and pretty much anything can be done gluten free. Italians cook in olive oil and make everything using fresh ingredients so you can customize any dish to your liking. The best part is that they have balsamic vinegar and olive oil on the tables so you already have an AIP dressing available! I often just asked for fish or chicken cooked or grilled in olive oil and salt and the same for my veggies. Salad I just left plain and added the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
I had such an easy time eating out in Italy, far easier that eating out in Canada and the USA. My experience was so positive that I am venturing to Europe again in less than 3 weeks! I will be going to London, Paris, and the French Riviera for two weeks before I had back to work. I am also planning to make a day trip to the Italian Riviera as well! I have already printed out my food allergy card in French so I am ready to go!
The main message I want you to get out of this post is not to let a healing diet stop you from travelling. It takes a little extra planning but you will be so glad you went!
Here’s to the next journey! Happy travelling!
XO Meagen Ashley