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I am a New Zealand registered nurse and nutritionist (Grad Cert Sci: nutrition, Massey Univ). I am a Certified Zone Instructor, and have worked teaching Zone diet principles to hundreds of clients over the last 10 years. More recently after finding that eating Paleo food choices was the "icing on the cake" health wise, I have become a Paleo enthusiast and teacher. Follow me on twitter @juliannejtaylor

Gluten free and paleo while travelling – airports, airplanes and Hongkong

Gluten free / Paleo travel, the first day: Auckland Airport, on an airplane, in Hong Kong

Is it possible to eat a gluten free or paleo diet when traveling in foreign countries?

On our 4 week trip we are visiting Hong Kong, Moscow, Novokuznetsk (Siberia), London, Barcelona and Paris.

I decided that being religiously paleo would be unrealistic, and I do want to enjoy the experience of eating in different countries. What is realistic for me is to prioritise the foods that I didn’t want to eat for the sake of my health. I would add foods that I normally don’t eat only if they were not an issue eating them occasionally.

My experiment with a strict auto-immune diet has shown me that it is the best for my health, my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) was lowest with this diet. So the conundrum is – do I keep doing a super-strict diet, or do I allow myself a little leeway even though it is not ideal, for the sake of sanity and enjoyment?

My priority food to avoid is gluten. I also wanted to avoid other grains, as all grains have similar prolamine protein peptides. Rice, however is not a problem for me, so I may have that occasionally. Dairy, eggs, nuts and seeds, and alcohol I’m best off without. However I am choosing to have them occasionally. So I’m traveling on a grain and gluten free diet, and eating rice, dairy, eggs, alcohol in small amounts.

Here is how I have managed so far

At Auckland Airport. It was lunchtime, and we had 2 hours to wait to board. There are many places to eat. I found a cafe with a variety of salads, and chose this beetroot and feta salad.

Airplanes

I ordered the gluten free meal. My experience in the past is that gluten free meals on plnes are generally paleo compatible. We traveled on Cathay Pacific. Here is my first meal It’s paleo enough. And I ate the roll. Best gluten free bread I’ve tasted. I skipped the dessert and the potato.

Hong Kong. Brunch in the hotel was easy, being a buffet, I filled up on meats, seafood, salads and fruit.

That kept me going for around 7 hours, then desperate for food – I grabbed a bag of cashews. We explored the back streets off the main road, around the market area. A wide array of paleo friendly foods – meats, hanging without refrigeration. Fruit and vegetables. Live fish swimming in big plastic tubs. Offal of all types. Here are some pics of the stalls:

Dinner in the airport was pork chicken and veggies. Likely there was soy sauce in it – which is made with wheat. So not gluten free, likely a tiny bit. The tea was horrible, and I ate just a little rice.

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