Food is one of life’s simple pleasures. Whenever we travel, we quite often remember the places we visited by the foods we ate and enjoyed with the ones we love.
Happy events such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and baby showers are often focused around a particular meal time and for someone following a set way of eating where certain food groups are restricted, this can pose some potential issues.
If you are not prepared or armed with the knowledge to make educated decisions on the fly, you may end up eating more carbs than you intended and fall out of ketosis. Sometimes on special occasions, the moment is more important than staying in ketosis and for a fat adapted individual, it may only take 24-48hrs to get back into ketosis, so the hit might be worth it. At the end of the day, life is too short to miss out on important events, however we can always do our best to stay in ketosis where possible.
Many restaurants already offer keto meals without knowing it, we just need to know what to ask for. Read on for some practical advice so you do not feel confined to your kitchen to stay in ketosis and enjoy the many health benefits.
Most restaurants or cafes will do Bacon and Eggs in many ways however, skip the bread. Two eggs and a piece of bacon will provide you with about 25g of fat. Add ¼ of an avocado for an additional 10g and you are looking pretty good for a balanced breakfast. Ask for a side of mushrooms and tomato and breakfast is a win!
Step inside any restaurant or café and they will have a protein served with a salad as a staple on their menu. A steak, and salad is the safest, but if you can get some above ground veg as a side (Around 200g), even better. (Broccoli, Cauli, Green Beans, Mushrooms, Asian Greens, Bell Peppers etc.) Ask for sauces to be put on the side so you can check and add yourself. Taste, and if the sauce tastes sweet, bin it. Ask for a side of butter and add it to your protein or veg. Remember we still need to burn more calories than we are expending to burn fat, so you don’t need to go overboard and lay the butter on an inch thick!
Buffet restaurants are a great option as they have many different keto friendly items to choose from. They equally have a lot of tempting non keto friendly items too, so I would only recommend going to a buffet restaurant once you are in ketosis. Once you are in ketosis and your body is fat adapted, you will have the ability to self-regulate your appetite and will only eat till you are full.
Fast food, food courts and supermarkets
A Kebab shop is never very far away. If you come across one, ask for a chicken (Not lamb because the lamb most places use are not 100% meat and have carb based fillers) salad with lettuce, tomatoes, onion, mayo and even a little hummus will still be ok.
Sashimi is a great quick snack or lunch. Wash it down with a miso soup which is typically low carb. You will be lacking in fats though, so I would suggest always travelling with a 20g bag of nuts if you get hungry or ever need to up your fats.
Most convenience stores or supermarkets will offer pre-cooked prawns and full fat mayo. If nothing else, grab some salad leaf, prawns and mayo for a quick lunch. Or you could grab a leg and thigh of rotisserie chicken. A can of salmon or tuna in oil could also do the trick.
If you go to a burger joint, you will be able to ask for the burger without the bun. Just be aware of thousand island or sweet sauces. A bit of tomato sauce and mayo should be ok.
There are more grilled chicken fast food stores opening all over the world now and getting some grilled or BBQ chicken (with skin) with coleslaw is a great option.
Most fast food stores will now offer chicken salads, usually with the sauce supplied separately. Ask for ranch or mayo where possible. Ask if the chicken or meat is fresh cooked or processed. Some stores serve “meat” which is actually only about 65% meat and the rest fillers. Similar to chicken nugget meat.
If you have been invited to a friend or relatives house for a meal, communicate with them and let them know that you choose to eat a particular way and politely request that if possible, they can cook some plain protein (Which you can add your own butter or oil) and some vegetables or salad. If you feel that this is putting them out, offer to bring a plate which you can eat and share in case there is nothing suitable. They will probably be surprised how delicious your keto “Health Food” tastes! Planning is the key!
With a bit of thought, education and planning, you can stay in ketosis, even when travelling and away from the comforts of your own kitchen. It’s all part of the journey!
Keep on Keto’ing on!