The adventures of sticking to a restrictive diet while on the road

I love journeys!  Anywhere that involves a passport or car full of camping gear gets me really excited.  I think it’s the prospect of adventuring into the unknown and knowing I’ll come out on the other side with stories, life experience, and happy memories that easily get me ready to embark on a quest.  When I began my food journey, I had no idea it was going to be an adventure so similar to the traveling kind.  It started as going into the unknown and I came out with so many tales to tell.

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This weekend’s tale was a very literal food journey as we traveled 516+ miles on our production, which definitely was a quest while being on a restrictive diet that manages my Crohn’s Disease.  It took some planning (see our last blog post about road food preparation) and creativity, but I managed to come home with a happy belly!  Here are some food highlights from the road:

One of the joys of traveling during the summer is stopping for farmers markets!  It’s the perfect time to stock up on fruits and veggies on the road, and also scope out what’s going on in that community’s food culture.  We hit a farmers market at dinner time in Manzanita, Oregon, and they were definitely food-focused with organic and food sensitivity conscious vendors.  There were gluten-free desserts (but I can’t have sugar), crepes made with organic fillings (but I can’t have grains), and BBQ with pastured meats (but I can’t have nightshades).  I did find one vendor who was selling shrimp boats, which was shrimp (hold the sauce for me) in an avocado half, and that was absolutely perfect!

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Next stop: Bend, Oregon to check in with one of our participants we’ve been following since she started her food journey.  Since we last checked in with her, she’s started to find community with other people who are also healing with food.  When we stopped in, our participant and one of her friends from the healing community were making gut-healing gummy snacks together.  Her friend is Beth of the blog Real Food Inspired Me, which is definitely inspiring to read about her journey!  We totally appreciated being sent on the road with some snacks that held us over while dinner cooked on the campfire!

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Another one of our strategies while traveling besides packing snacks, was to camp and cookout over the campfire.  When I was a girl scout, we used to make something called Hobo Stew, which was a meatball, potato, and veggies wrapped up in a foil packet and cooked over the coals.  We did a version of that with salmon, yams, mushrooms, and zucchini.  It was decided that this was one of the best campfire dinners ever!

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This journey wasn’t without a roadblock along the way.  While dining with some new friends, my dinner came with some peppers cooked into my plate, even though I thought I did a good job communicating to the server what I didn’t want.  Other people are better about sending food back until it’s right, which is how it should be, but we were in a time crunch and I didn’t have the energy to pick that battle.  Luckily, I came prepared with activated charcoal so that I wouldn’t have to deal with itchy rashes for the next 2 weeks.

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So, enjoy the journey be it the traveling or eating kind.  Don’t let your disease hold you back from the adventure!  Weather a logger blocks the road and makes you 30 minutes late to your appointment after camping, or you eat something you shouldn’t, remember that it’s part of the journey!  Use your creativity, patience, and planning to get to where you need to go.  And, most importantly, have fun along the way!

-LE

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