When on VACATION
The most challenging part of travelling overseas with food intolerances and IBS is figuring out what to eat each day. Many may turn away from travelling altogether at the thought of not being able to eat in certain countries! After enduring the difficulties of finding accessible/tolerable food in many 1st and 3rd world countries, I have compiled a satisfying food list. It is extremely vital to be prepared and stock up on snacks from grocery stores and supermarkets when the opportunity arises! Sometimes nibbling on more snacks before dinner reservations eliminates the chance of starvation, if there is nothing tolerable on the restaurant menu. Asking for everything to be PLAIN with NO SAUCE or MAYONNAISE, and ensuring you can say these words in foreign languages is crucial!
My most important tip when travelling on long haul flights is to ask your doctor to write a letter, allowing you to take your own food through customs to eat on the plane. No one wants to be stuck on a 24 hour flight to New York or London without any food! ‘On the go’ snacks that I pack in my day bag, are practical, self-packaged and don’t cause a mess include mandarins, bananas (common, firm), kiwi fruits (I eat them like an apple, skin and all!), canned plain tuna, boiled eggs (if you can cook them the night before) tomatoes, popcorn, corn chips or plain potato chips. Although coffee can be a gut irritant for some; I try to find a large soy latte (soy protein) to get me through the first part of the day with a selection of tolerable fruit. If I cannot find soy milk, I have an espresso (this was the case in Greece).
American chain stores such as Starbucks and McDonald’s, I find are a reliable option for soy milk, as are boutique coffee shops in England or Canada. Below is a list of foods I devour whilst on the other side of the world. I consume each food in small portions and moderation is essential during each day. They are examples of what works for ME and should only be used as inspiration. No information provided is intended as an alternative to proper medical, nutritional, dietary or other advice, nor is it intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, allergy or intolerance. Verify any information and seek independent advice suited to specific circumstances (including with respect to any pre-existing medical condition/s, allergy and/or intolerance) from a suitably qualified healthcare professional prior to making any decision based on the content of this page.
When possible, I stock up on a selection of snacks from the list below and order one of the listed meal options when wining and dining. ABC and Whole Foods stores in America are perfect for this! I often travel around New York City, planning my day around the location of each Whole Foods store in Manhattan, with the knowledge that I can obtain options for snacks, lunch and dinner (they are fantastic!). In many European countries, I frequently find it very difficult to order what I consider ‘normal vegetables’ (carrots, green beans, Japanese pumpkin, plain potato) and unfortunately am served a small unfamiliar vegetable, smothered in an immense amount of carbohydrates or cheese to accompany my order of plain meat or fish.
Chopped cucumber and carrots
Feta, camembert, cheddar, tasty or brie cheese
French fries with tomato sauce
Fresh fruit - pineapple, orange, strawberry, carrot, kiwi fruits, bananas (common, firm), mandarins, raspberries, blueberries, pineapple cups
Ham, bacon (gluten free)
Peanut or almond butter, natural, spread onto a banana (common, firm)
Rice cakes, plain white or brown rice
Tuna, plain in brine or olive oil
Turkey, shredded, carbohydrate and additive free
Chicken, fish and steak (plain) with green beans and carrot
Eggs - fried or poached with salmon, baby spinach leaves and tomato
Fresh salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, olives, carrot)
Gluten free plain pasta with shredded cheddar cheese
My favourite selection from the buffet at Wholefoods in America - Roast vegetables with plain seafood or meat, boiled eggs and baby spinach
Omelette - ham, feta cheese, tomato, eggs
Rice paper rolls – rice noodles, carrot, lettuce, salmon, prawn, mint, basil
Rice, brown or white with a plain can of tuna mixed through
Sushi (white or brown rice, salmon, cucumber, NO MAYONNAISE)
Canada & England
Canada and England are amazing for their beautiful supermarkets so I purchase foods that are in my usual daily diet and prepare meals for each day the night before. Refer to the list supplied for America & Europe and also try the following easy meals below!
Bacon and eggs with gluten free white toast
Eggs with spinach, tomato and ham
Fried rice with boiled vegetables.
Gluten free sandwich - gluten free bread, plain chicken, lettuce, tomato and cucumber
Lamb or chicken (plain) salad with rice noodles and boiled eggs.
Meat or fish (plain) with boiled vegetables
Rice with canned tuna and pitted olives mixed through
Salad - shredded turkey (carbohydrate and additive free), pitted olives, tomato, rocket, feta cheese, capsicum and cucumber
Asia, Indonesia & South America (Mexico)
Below are foods I find easily accessible.
Chicken, fish (plain)
Coffee, espresso or with soy milk (espresso)
Eggs, fried with cherry tomatoes and lettuce
French fries with tomato sauce
Fresh pineapple, orange, strawberry and carrot
Fresh salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, olives)
Ham, gluten free
Rice, brown or white
Sushi & rice paper rolls (in Asia)- rice (brown or white), carrot, lettuce, salmon, prawn, mint, basil
Tuna, canned, plain
Drinks around the world
Coffee with soy milk or a plain espresso
Fresh juices - orange, kale, spinach, ginger, tomato, pineapple, cranberry, lemon or lime
Mojito cocktail - cucumber, lime or lemon juice, mint, basil
Red wine, dry
Vodka, cranberry juice
Vodka, lime/lemon, soda
Water (bottles in 3rd world countries), I always check if the tap water is safe in each country
Happy travels & bon appétit!
Please note: No information provided is intended as an alternative to proper medical, nutritional, dietary or other advice, nor is it intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, allergy or intolerance. Verify any information and seek independent advice suited to specific circumstances (including with respect to any pre-existing medical condition/s, allergy and/or intolerance) from a suitably qualified healthcare professional prior to making any decision based on the content of this page.