May 02 2012

Dairy Free Travel Food

Hi Beth, Thank you so much for your wonderful blog on your climbing/travel adventures and your recipes. I notice that you travel a lot for your work and know that you have some food allergies and restrictions. How do you make sure you eat correctly when you travel so much? Is there a certain restaurant chain that you can always count on? I too have food allergies, so any info you can pass along would be great.

Thanks so much. Crystal


Hi Crystal,

Thank you very much for your message. Yes, I do travel a lot for work! Taking proper food along the way is one of the most important things I do when packing. You can ask anyone that I’ve traveled with, it’s basically more important than having enough underwear for me. The night before I depart, my kitchen counter looks like school lunchroom with food laid out for the next few days. I’m like a micromanaging mom with Tupperware’s full of different meals, bags stocked with snacks and my Klean Kanteen filled with water.


If I can count on having a fridge and/or stove, the sky is the limit, but normally I’m staying in different hotels each night. I count on hot water and that’s about it. In my armory of road food I always carry:


  • Oatmeal (not the instant kind, but that’s just personal preference) – an easy breakfast no matter where I’m traveling.
  • Beef Jerky (from The Fifth Quarter – a local butcher with the BEST beef jerky I’ve ever had) – great, reliable snack that I know is from quality, grass fed meat (very important).
  • Hard Boiled eggs (from Eatwell Farms and Soul Food Farm – my CSAs) – they last a very long time! In Europe they don’t refrigerate their eggs, so I usually can count on my eggs for at least a few days. Also great to know they are from pastured chickens.
  • Rice Cakes – nice gluten free snack
  • Fruit (Apples and Oranges usually travel the best, but I’ll mix it up a bit too)
  • Nuts


Meals can include:


  • Fried rice with veggies (actually lasts a lot longer than you’d think)
  • Lentils with veggies
  • Roasted Kale (lasts the first night)


I also make sure to research where I’m headed, if there are good stores, restaurants, etc. I’m a big proponent of trying to eat and shop local, but if I can’t find a local health food store, I result to the standby of Whole Foods. I know I can at least count on organic produce and staples when I am there. Unless I can get “good” meat and eggs (ie grass fed or pasture raised), I usually eat a vegan diet when I am on the road. After the feed lot chapter in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I haven’t been able to stomach “normal” meat.


Lastly, I make sure to be VERY explicit with waiters and waitresses about my dairy allergy. I read somewhere that most restaurants think that having a food allergy results in minor stomach aches, more of an inconvenience than a sickness. At one point in my life I felt like a nuisance at restaurants explaining and reiterating that I could not have dairy. A couple of bad experiences seared into my head that I need to be a clear as possible.


I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any specific questions about how long things last or recipes!




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