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Lectin-Free Snacks. Stay Plant Paradox Compliant When Traveling

How to Stay Plant Paradox Compliant When Traveling

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is how to stay plant paradox compliant while traveling. So I decided to write down the things I learned from my experience so far, hoping it will help those of you who are concerned about traveling on the plant paradox.

Beyond all the specific tips about food items and lectin-free snacks, I’d like to say that how we think about food matters. Travel, even for pleasure, usually involves some stress, and we don’t want to add to it, as being stressed is as bad as eating unhealthy; hence it defeats the purpose.

We should not do things out of fear but rather take everything as a challenge and try to have fun finding creative solutions and living the new lifestyle in different contexts. 

Lectin-free travel essentials

I’ve been following the plant paradox lifestyle for about two years now. I completely understand everyone concerned about traveling and staying healthy, as I’ve been there not long ago. We all know that food in transit is unhealthy, whether at airports, gas stations, planes, or even hotels, and this adds even more to the stress of traveling.

All my travel tips were tried and tested. In the past almost two years, I’ve traveled to Europe, in different countries, multiple times, changed planes in many airports, and made some road trips in the US, some of them in highly remote areas, like West Texas.

Before I list some of my tips, I’d like to say that it’s essential to travel with satisfying food you love, even if it’s not the type of food you would have at home every day. For example, I never have Quest bars when I’m at home. But something is satisfying about munching on a quest bar while on a plane when other people eat the food served. It feels like a cheat, but it’s not.

Just a short story, to confirm that being lectin-free matters, when I traveled long distance last winter and changed many planes and airports and stayed compliant all the time, it was the first time in my life traveling without having a headache. I understood then that the headaches I would get when traveling was not from being in a plane for a long time but from eating the food served on the aircraft. Stay hydrated is as important as eating the right food (or not eating the wrong ones).

Get the Marigold lectin-free sampler package here (click on the photo above)

An update on lectin-free protein bars

Since the last time I updated this article, Quest bars’ compliance with the Plant Paradox program has become quite confusing because they changed some of the ingredients. Plus, they are no longer the healthiest option on the market.

MARIGOLD, a family business based in Texas, makes some fantastic lectin-free protein bars. All their bars are made with grass-fed whey, free of casein and lactose, only with real, quality ingredients, and free of sugar alcohols. They are delicious, and although I’m on low histamine, dairy-free diet, having a few bites of one bar a day did not trigger any symptoms.

I still don’t recommend having a protein bar every day, but for travel and emergencies, they will be my number one choice from now. (This is not a sponsored post, although they did send me a sampler pack, and great they did because I would have missed on something delicious). They truly taste and look like something I would make at home. Plus, I have a soft spot for supporting Texas’s small businesses.

Unfortunately, you can’t find them in stores, but you can order them on Amazon and directly from Marigold website.

New Gundry MD lectin-free snack bars – Update October 2021

Gundry MD has recently launched two new lectin-free snack bars, and they are loaded with fiber, protein, and polyphenols. I have tried and tested the recent snack bars in two flavors; honey nut (made with real Manuka Honey) and polyphenol macadamia (made with decadent dark chocolate). Both are delicious and recommended.

When purchased from my Ambassador Store, you can save up to $42.00 when buying 6 boxes with 72 bars.

List of travel essentials and lectin-free snacks

Below are most of the items I traveled with that helped me stay compliant and happy all along and not feel deprived:

Lectin shield

With all the efforts we might make, there will still be situations when you can’t control everything in your food. Make sure you always have a couple of Lectin Shield in your purse. Take 2 30 minutes before a meal that you have doubts about.

I would not recommend using Lectin Shield as an excuse to eat non-compliant food, but you do you. Make sure it’s worth it. I would do it for a croissant in Paris or a slice of pizza in Italy.

You can save more than 40% and up to $180.00 on Lectin Shield when buying 3 jars or more from my Gundry MD Ambassador Store.

Lectin-free protein bars

I know, maybe not comparable with a bowl of greens, but they are packed, they don’t need to be refrigerated, and they are a lifesaver when you crave something sweet and consistent on a flight. It will keep you away from unhealthy snacks that you will see everyone eating. Plus, we tend to be more stressed and more tempted to have snacks when traveling.

There are only three QUEST bars that are PP compliant, and my favorite ones are Quest Nutrition QuestBar Protein Bar Strawberry Cheese Cake — 12 Bars and Double Chocolate Chunk. I believe Cinnamon Roll is also compliant.

For the healthiest and tastiest option, check MARIGOLD protein bars, a newer addition, and all their protein bars are lectin-free, so no more confusion when searching for compliant options.

Lectin-free chips

When I wrote this article, none of these options were available, at least not in the stores I shop, but now (I try to edit this article regularly to keep it updated), we have quite some lectin-free snacks choices, which is pretty tasty satisfying stuff. We have two brands of green plantain chips, one of the coconut tortillas and some sweet potato chips. We even have Puffs people; although careful, they are addictive.

Barnana Plantain Chips

Terra Green Plantain Chips

The Real Coconut, Coconut Tortilla Chips

Jackson’s Sweet Potato Chips

Lesser Evil Paleo Puffs

Dark chocolate

75% and more, unsweetened, or, if sweetened with sugar, it has to have less than 1-2% sugar per serving. Today many brands are making this type of chocolate, so it’s super easy to find. My favorite chocolate now is Taza, the 95%. Even my husband loves it, and he used to be a milk chocolate fan.

Eating Evolved, Primal Chocolate, Midnight Coconut

Taza Chocolate, Wicked Dark

Lectin-free trail mix

I don’t leave the house without nuts. If I go on a longer journey, I usually buy packages of my favorite ones: walnuts, macadamia, pistachios, hazelnuts, and pecans and have a small bag with a mix of all of them in my hand luggage or purse. This is an excellent lectin-free trail mix. Nuts are also an easy-to-find item in airports – not all, but most of them. So far, the best airport in terms of healthy food options was Heathrow London.

Coconut oil

I find individual packs of coconut oil at Trader Joe’s. They are perfect for carrying around in your bag when you feel hungry, need some energy, or even for your skin.

Little helpers

Coffee Creamers, Collagen, Turmeric Tonic, or these Vital Proteins Collagen Sleep Shots. For lack of a better word, I call them little helpers because I see them helping make a trip a little more bearable and exciting.

You can always buy a black coffee from a coffee shop on the road and add your collagen creamer or even turmeric tonic. And suppose you have jet lag or need a little help to fall asleep. In that case, this collagen shot with collagen peptides (their collagen is grass-fed), hyaluronic acid, melatonin, and magnesium may help.

I love them because they have the travel sizes. You find it in Whole Foods or Amazon (linked above). Same with the Turmeric Tonic from Further Food, you can find their travel sizes here. It’s amazing if you have a headache, sinus pressure, or feel like you are catching a cold.

Beef jerky

Most beef jerky is not compliant (not 100% grass-fed, has sugar or maple syrup or other non-compliant ingredients), but if you search well, you will find stores and local farms that sell compliant ones. I buy mine from Burgundy Pasture Beef in Dallas, a local farm/ranch store. They are a great source of protein, and they keep hunger and cravings at bay. Plus, they are tasty, so satisfying.

Home-baked food

Especially if you travel by car, but even on a plane, you can bake some of your favorite stuff at home and take it with you. I make avocado or sweet potato brownies, almond & flaxseed crackers, walnut bread, Italian almond biscotti, anything that you bake at home and can last for a few days. I also make fat bombs with nut butters and chocolate, an excellent healthy snack, so you don’t have to crave the bad stuff.

Italian Almond Biscotti with Tigernut Flour

Grain Free Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Cranberry Macadamia Plant Paradox Cups

Extra Dark Avocado Hazelnut Brownies

Dr. Gundry’s Carrot Cake Muffins

Green Plantain Coco-Nutty Granola Bars

Double Chocolate Tigernut and Sweet Potato Cake

Sugar-Free Carrot Cake (Nut-Free, Gluten-Free)

Canned fish

I know some people cringe at the idea of traveling with fish, but until you open a can, you won’t smell a thing. On my last trip, I had some cans of BPA-free, sustainable pink Alaskan salmon, and it was a lifesaver; plus, it is delicious with just some lemon and olive oil.

Henry and Lisa’s Wild Alaska Pink Salmon

Transportable food

Especially if you travel by car, you can get hard-boiled eggs, olives, raw veggies sticks, compliant cheese, and lemons. I usually have a cooler box in the back of the car to keep all the food.

Enjoy not eating

When food is not available, take the opportunity to do intermittent fasting. You can still have a black coffee or tea, and your brain will thank you for this. Usually, breakfast is the easiest to skip, and it makes the most sense because it gives your system a long break from digesting.

I do intermittent fasting every day by just skipping the morning meal, making everything easier. I can’t even imagine having to think about three meals a day.

Stasher bags

This new addition to the list is not sponsored, but it is the best invention; I must include it. They are the best way to transport food, especially when traveling by plane. They are transparent, made of silicon, and leakproof. Theoretically, you can take soup with you. They are even microwave and oven safe, so you can even heat your soup. I’m not going to do that, but I’ve seen people doing it.

They are a little pricey, but it’s all worth it. You can go plastic-free, and these will last you long. Unless you misplace them, as I do…

Stasher Reusable Silicone Food Bags 

Stay plant paradox compliant when traveling – Take it as a challenge, a fun one

I’ve realized that the fear that we will starve because there won’t be anything to eat is not justified. There is always an option, even if not the perfect one.

Make sure your accommodation has a kitchen, especially if you stay for a longer time. Even hotels have a tiny kitchen with a microwave, a fridge, and a sink, but I prefer Airbnbs. I’ve survived short trips in hotels with just what I brought from home. Having a cold-boiled egg for breakfast with salt and pepper, a few olives, and veggie sticks is more delicious and satisfying than you would think.

Check the local grocery stores. There are good grocery stores everywhere. Even if you don’t have Whole Foods, Sprouts, or Natural Grocers in the area where you are traveling, you will always find broccoli, cauliflower, seasonal greens, salad mixes, sweet potatoes, and all kinds of vegetables you can cook with. Some of the best dinners we had were in Airbnbs.

And finally, if you visit friends and family – like was the case when I went to Europe (my sister in the UK, my mother-in-law in Denmark and my friends and family in Romania) – have fun going shopping with them and cooking for them. We had amazing dinners with my friends and family, and there was a little bit for everyone, and we were all happy to share the experience.

The art of ordering lectin-free food

Practice the art of ordering in restaurants because if you are traveling, you don’t want to spend all the time cooking in a kitchen. Enjoy your nights out without stress, and take it as a challenge rather than a burden. And don’t be shy to ask for healthy food.

We all know that the demand drives the offering. So the more we ask, the more restaurants will think about the oils they use and how they source their ingredients. Look at the paleo community. Many restaurants now have paleo items on their menu.

Now, if you pick a fast-food chain, there is no way you can get something healthy, so I don’t want to raise your hopes high. But there are so many local, good restaurants everywhere, and some even have special menu items for people on diets (mostly paleo or gluten-free). If they don’t, here is what I learned by experiencing it firsthand.

Eating out in New York City

If you haven’t read it yet, I have an article about eating out in New York City if you are traveling there any time soon. It also has tips and tricks for ordering food that you can apply anywhere. 

EATING THE PLANT PARADOX WAY IN NEW YORK CITY

Tips on eating out and staying plant paradox compliant when traveling

When it comes to protein, never order chicken unless it is specifically mentioned that it is a pasture-raised chicken (which you probably won’t find anywhere, and if you do, please let me know as I’d like to know that place).

Pastured beef (100% grass-fed) is challenging to find but not impossible. If you find it go ahead and order. Just make sure you are sharing with someone else, and you don’t have more than 4oz per serving (the steaks, especially in the US, are enormous). Make sure you ask the server if they have grass-fed beef. Sometimes it’s a special – probably only for connoisseurs – and it’s not added to the menu; they don’t even tell you they have it unless you ask (I have no idea why but I heard chefs always have a special thing they cook that are not on any menu).

My favorite protein to order is a wild-caught fish (I always check restaurants’ menus in advance to see what kind of food they serve). Always ask about the oil they cook in.

If there is no protein option, go for a salad or two side dishes

Sometimes, there is no protein option for me, so I go with a salad or one or two side dishes. I had a fantastic dinner in a restaurant just having Brussel sprouts and asparagus. They were delicious.

Make sure you ask them in advance what oil they use, and ask them if they can replace any non-compliant oil with olive oil or butter (which, even if it’s not casein A2, is still a better option than canola or peanut oils).

And above all, be nice and graceful with the staff when you make all these requests. Usually, they are super friendly and accommodating, but it’s good to have a good connection with them for a great dining experience.

A glass of red wine or champagne always makes dinner more enjoyable, no matter what you eat.

Cheese platters are also an option. Ask them what their cheeses are and select the French, Italian, Spanish or Swiss ones. Or goat cheeses. Because my husband is not on a diet, we usually take the whole stuff, and I eat only what’s compliant, and he eats the rest.

When it comes to salads, make sure you ask to have it without the dressing and ask for extra virgin olive oil and lemon or vinegar on the side. A piece of tomato or cucumber is easy to remove from the plate, but a dressing is not. Alternatively, you can travel with small olive oil and balsamic jars in your purse and use them for your salad. Don’t be shy or ashamed. Do it with a sense of humor, and laugh about it with your partner or friends.

Ask beforehand to the ingredients

I learned this the hard way; some restaurants have dishes that sound complaint, but when the food comes to the table, it has all kinds of non-compliant stuff like chickpeas, peppers, peas, chilly flakes, etc. You don’t want to be disappointed with your food when hungry. So nicely ask beforehand if the ingredients on the menu are exactly all the ingredients in the dish or if they add something else.

And if you need a reason to give for your requests, say you have bad reactions to specific ingredients or are on a special diet for health reasons and want to make sure they are not included in the dish. I would not use the allergy reason unless you really are allergic because that makes things more difficult for truly allergic people.

Oh, and forget about dessert! I’m sorry to break this news. There is no way you will find a compliant dessert in a restaurant, no matter what. If you know you like something sweet at the end of your meal, have a piece of dark chocolate with you or one of your homemade desserts.

And, if none of the above works, get that Lectin Shield out of the purse.

Questions or comments on how to stay plant paradox compliant when traveling and lectin-free snacks

Did I forget something? If you have more specific questions, ask me, and I’ll add more points to this article if I know the answers.

*This post contains affiliated links, which means I get a small commission if you choose to purchase something via one of my links, at no extra cost to you. 

Gundry MD Ambassador Shop

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25 Comments

  • Reply
    Stine M
    June 18, 2018 at 1:42 am

    Thanks for a great article! I’m going on a road trip in a couple of weeks, and I’m definitely taking some of your suggestions!

    • Reply
      Claudia
      June 18, 2018 at 3:12 pm

      My pleasure! Have a great trip <3

    • Reply
      Kathy
      February 10, 2020 at 7:26 pm

      Thank you for your insight!! I’ve just started week 2 of PP…had a tough week 1 but today feel so much better. I’m determined to stick with this plan because I see and feel great effects from it so far. As far as traveling, we have an RV so am able to cook while traveling but your suggestions will help along the way. Thank you for giving workable suggestions

      • Reply
        Claudia
        February 12, 2020 at 1:14 pm

        Hi Kathy, I’m not sure if this is a comment to the article or a reply to someone else’s comment, either way, I’m happy you could find some helpful information here on this website. And can I say I’m jealous on your RV living? :)))

  • Reply
    Jessica
    June 18, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Hi Claudia,

    I look forward to reading your blog and Instagram posts! I’m hoping you might be able to answer a question about quest bars. I was looking at quest’s website the other day and noticed that the Dr. Gundry approved flavors say something like “now made with soluble corn fiber” . Were they always made with corn fiber or is this a formula/recipe change? I’m wondering if they are still plant Paradox compliant. I asked Dr. Gundry on his shopping list post but no response yet. Since you have them in this blog post I thought you might be familiar with the ingredients. I don’t eat them all the time but won’t eat them at all if they’re no longer a yes! Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      Claudia
      June 19, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      Jessica, good question and I’m not sure about the answer because I don’t remember exactly all the ingredients on the old bars. And checked to see if I have any old one left in the house but I don’t. I think we have to ask Dr. G for a definitive answer. How do you feel after eating them? Do you have any reaction?

    • Reply
      Happy
      June 23, 2018 at 6:04 am

      How frustrating! It’s hard to keep up when brands change their ingredients 😫

      • Reply
        Claudia
        June 23, 2018 at 3:41 pm

        So apparently they are still fine, Dr. Gundry confirmed. But it’s good to keep an eye on ingredients even for products we are used to, because they have this habit of changing stuff, and not always in better.

        • Reply
          Monique
          July 3, 2020 at 5:12 pm

          Hey Claudia!

          I’ve just finished week 1 of the PP diet and so far I am so excited. I’ve seen a lessening of problems I’ve had for 20 years, including acne since the age of 8. I wanted to ask if you know if Quest bars used blanched almonds? I’ve been a little confused on the compliant bars on the PP list but I didn’t need to eat any until the other day. I was flying from Los Angeles to NYC so i grabbed a Primal Kitchen Almond Spice bar that was on the list for the plane ride. The next day I had several break-outs, which i have not gotten since starting the diet. On their website it says their almonds aren’t skinless. I’m wondering if you know why bars with almonds are listed as ok as they most likely have skins? Do you have any issues when you eat any of the ones containing almonds on the list? (i want to order Marigold but they have a pause on orders right now!)

          Anyway, you blog has become a huge resource and I look forward to purchasing your cookbook!

          • Claudia
            July 7, 2020 at 5:58 am

            Hi Monique, I think you are right, most bars use unblanched almonds, and as far as I know, the only compliant Quest bars don’t contain almonds (although I know that lately they have changed some of their ingredients and they might not even be compliant anymore). I never tried a bar that was not compliant or containing almonds, so I’m not sure what to say. Listen to your body, it might be the almonds but also some of the other ingredients? Packaged food in general, even if convenient, might not use the best ingredients.Instead of a bar, try taking your own mix of nuts and a dark chocolate with you, it’s safer, and super tasty combination :)) I loved Marigold but I don’t eat dairy and they are only an emergency snack. But out of all bars I’ve tried, they are the most delicious.

  • Reply
    Heidi L Dockens
    August 19, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    Thank you so much! We started the Plant Paradox two weeks ago and are still getting our footing when it comes to eating outside our kitchen. Appreciate you sharing your experiences so we be prepared!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    August 28, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Is it okay to eat nuts due to their high lectin omega 6/3 ratio? Thanks for your response.

    • Reply
      Claudia
      August 28, 2018 at 11:42 am

      It’s not only ok to eat nuts, it’s recommended to have a handful everyday – but they can make weight loss harder so it depends what your goals are. You just have to be careful nuts are not roasted in rancid oil or they are old and rancid themselves. Buy them raw, store them in the fridge and if you like them salty and roasted do it at home. I hope this answers your question.

  • Reply
    Erika
    September 1, 2018 at 8:39 am

    Does LectinShield seem to help when you’re eating out?

    • Reply
      Claudia
      September 1, 2018 at 11:37 am

      It does. I used it several times while in NYC, and I felt perfectly fine all the time. I did not cheat big though, just small things. Funny you ask, just finishing up an article about eating out in NYC now and I mention lectin shield.

  • Reply
    Yayo
    October 4, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    When is it okay to eat the recommended dark chocolate? Is it okay to eat it in phase 2 and in what week?
    Thanks

    • Reply
      Claudia
      October 4, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      It is ok in Phase 2 and 3. You can have a small piece of dark chocolate every day xx.

  • Reply
    Claudia-Jean
    October 12, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    Hi Claudia! That is so fun to say to another Claudia, but I digressed! Lol. Thank your for the great tips and insights. I travel a lot for work and have found it challenging. I am inspired but your thoughts. Would you consider sharing where I can locate the home baked goodies recipes you mention in the article? Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

    • Reply
      Claudia
      October 13, 2018 at 11:31 am

      Hi Claudia (yes, it is fun haha). Thank you so much for this suggestion, I just spent some time updating this article and added much more info and links to help finding resources. I hope it is helpful. xx

  • Reply
    Remy Tennant
    January 2, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    I love the PP diet but not a huge fan of Quest Bars. I looked for some alternatives and put together a comparison chart that includes the approved Quest Bars plus some other lectin-free options.

    https://humanfoodbar.com/the-ultimate-lectin-free-protein-bar-comparison-chart/

  • Reply
    Kylie
    March 12, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Karen
    April 25, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Thanks for the road tips! I will be well prepared. Ordered Pastured chicken from Circle C Farms in Florida, USA.

  • Reply
    Cheryl Ann Turner
    May 20, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    I so appreciate your words of wisdom, thank you so much! Huge help!

  • Reply
    Mandolyn
    August 6, 2019 at 7:44 am

    Hello. I’m a flight attendant and I travel all the time and live out of hotels. I’m having a hard time with what to eat because we only have access to a mini refrigerator and microwave. Do you have any suggestions for meals? I’m getting sick of the few options that I have.

    • Reply
      Claudia
      August 25, 2019 at 11:34 am

      That’s a hard one. My sister was a flight attendant (on long, international flights) for years so I know what you mean. It’s something you will have to figure out for yourself, depending on what facilities you have access to and what do you like to cook and eat. I remember my sister never ate the food in the flight. I guess you just have to cook and pack your own food. Find ready, non perishable snacks that you can always carry with you. In layovers fo to the local supermarkets. I hope you fgre this out, inflight food is terrible. xx

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