LCHF while travelling and NOT eating out

I’m looking for suggestions for LCHF foods or meals that can be easily eaten from a hotel room or backpack. I recently got back from a work trip and out of the fifteen meals we ate, I ate twelve of them out of the food I had brought or bought at a grocery store. I did eat out at restaurants three times—sticking to salad with meat and a vinegarette dressing each time, checking and double-checking my allergies against ingredients and food preparation with the staff, and still had an allergic reaction after eating out one night, which illustrates why I tend to avoid restaurants. Expensive, stressful, and not worth the risk.

For this trip I brought beef jerky, chocolate, tuna fish, coconut oil, dairy-free spread, homemade low-carb bread, coconut yoghurt, homemade nut and seed mix, chia seeds, cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and almond milk. I also bought some apples at a grocery store and got a few hard-boiled eggs at the hotel’s breakfast buffet (I won’t eat anything else from a buffet as I have no idea what’s in it or how it’s been prepared). The beef jerky, chocolate, and almond milk were all not the best becasue they had added sugar, but I’ve since done some research and I think there are some allergy-safe and sugar-free versions I can order before my next trip. The coconut yogurt did not hold up well at all to being unrefrigerated with ice for a day of travel (plus tossed around in checked luggage on the plane), so I ended up throwing it out.

I was thinking that in future, if my hotel has a fridge and microwave and I can get to a store, I could buy some veggies, lettuce, eggs, and balsamic vinegar and olive oil and have a pretty decent salad and cook the eggs in the microwave. And maybe there’s a way to cook meat as well with the microwave. I’ve been thinking of getting a small 0.5 L kettle and a small foldable cooler so that I will always have some means of storing food and cooking. But then, microwaves and fridges seem to be getting much more common in hotel rooms, so maybe this is something I don’t need to worry about.

This trip was a huge success for me. It’s the first time I’ve managed to bring foods that were good for both my allergies and diabetes. I got home to find that my blood sugar was an average of 7.4 mmol/L (and that’s including one massive spike to 23.6 mmol/L when I did eat a high-carb lunch on the way to the airport) and a standard deviation of 3.0 mmol/L with 51% of readings in range. Room for improvement, but not bad for a trip that involved changes in activity level, high-stress days, a variable schedule, and of course the food challenges. I’ll be doing a lot of travelling over the next six months, staying in both hotels and dorm-style accommodations, so I’m hoping to build on the success of this trip. :grinning:


Being on the road a lot makes things harder thats for sure. Only fast food option I know of is a chopped salad at Subway. If you have a refrig to use or cooler one of my favorites is taking provolone cheese and using it as my bread then put uncured cold cuts(salami works best with high fat) which ever you like in between them with lettuce and slice of tomato. Top it off with horseradish sauce or mayo and yum. :slight_smile: Can be a bit messy to eat it but the cheese holds up well. Also try unsweetened Almond milk or one I like best is almond/coconut blend. Cashew milk also comes unsweetened and is very good. If you can cook on the road a hamburger/chicken breast cooked in olive oil then topped with lots of cheese and put on bed of lettuce,tomato,mushrooms, then topped off with more olive oil. Makes me hungry just typing it out :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Thanks for your suggestions! Not being able to eat any fast-food makes travel harder for me. Most fast-food places, like restaurants, are cross-contamination city as far as my allergens are concerned and so it’s always a risk, except fast-food places are even higher risk becasue they can’t make allergy accommodations by cleaning a section of kitchen and using sterilized equipment the way many restaurants can try to.

Most processed meat like cold cuts I can’t eat because they contain potato starch, and even when potato isn’t listed on the ingredients, I’ve still had reactions (not sure if it’s a cross contamination issue or if potato is hidden under another ingredient). So I avoid processed meats and am thinking of buying meat that’s either not cooked or pre-cooked but not processed, and trying to cook it in a hotel room. I’m not exactly sure how I’d do that. I eat a lot of chicken breast and salmon at home, so if I could find a way to cook those on the road it would be perfect.

I’m allergic to all dairy, so no cheese for me. But I hear a lot of people use low-carb wraps for sandwiches, so I might try to find a recipe I can make. Unless someone knows of a wheat-free, low-carb wrap I can buy? I think low-carb wraps would hold up much better and be more compact than the low-carb bread I make.

I usually buy unsweetened vanilla or plain cashew or almond milk. When I travel, I’ve typically brought the little tetra packs of nut milk, but I can never find those things without some added sugar. So next time around I think I’m going to get a cab or Uber to the nearest store after I arrive and buy a carton of unsweetened nut milk to keep in the fridge.

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These are lightweight and portable, just need a pan with steel bottom. Aluminum with steel bottom would be lightweight.
Induction Burner

Could open up a whole bunch of more options.

Thanks! Ha, I was actually just looking at these Amazon a few hours ago and wondering if I’d get in trouble using htem in a hotel room…? :slight_smile:

Jen, I make flatbread with chickpea flour. Its just 2 cups of chickpea flour and add water and a slurp of olive oil (or whatever you use). I also add a teaspoon of cumin and some salt for flavour. Mix until you have a smooth pancake like batter. Brush a frypan with oil and pour in enough of the batter to cover the pan and cook until golden brown on one side, turn and cook the other side.
Chickpea flour is lower carb than wheat flour, higher in protein and gluten free.
Nutrition Facts
Gram flour
Amount Per
100 grams
Calories 387
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7 g 10%
Saturated fat 0.7 g 3%
Polyunsaturated fat 3 g
Monounsaturated fat 1.5 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 64 mg 2%
Potassium 846 mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 58 g 19%
Dietary fiber 11 g 44%
Sugar 11 g
Protein 22 g 44%
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 4% Iron 27%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 25%
Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 41%
*Per cent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily


@Pastelpainter, thanks for the recipe! I have some chickpeas here that I could make into flour. I have never used chickpea flour, but I am always interested in new experiments. I also found a recipe using psyllium husk and almond flour, so I may give those a try.

@Jeff_G1, it seems after some research that those induction cookers aren’t allowed in hotel rooms. It’s too bad, as it would create a lot more possibilities. I’ve been eyeing this Hot Logic (basically a personal “slow cooker” oven that lots of people seem to use in hotels without problems) for a while now, and I think I’ll likely get it.

While doing research I also found a book called How to Cook Without a Kitchen, which I’m reading as I type. It has some interesting ideas such as using a Thermos and boiling water to cook foods (I actually did try this with quinoa once at home and it worked just as well as cooking it on the stove).

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Not exciting answers, but I tend to live off of big bags of nuts and Kirkland protein bars (the high fiber, low-digestible carb ones with erythritol). I also eat a lot of boiled eggs on the road. I don’t have the food allergies you have, so I’ve found ways to eat out and spare my BG, generally. DC, for example, has all these salad restaurants. Who knew? Fairly easy to get a very low-carb big salad for lunch for me, but I wouldn’t know how to make sure it was allergen-free.

Going to San Diego a week from tomorrow, and I’ll taking a couple pounds of mixed nuts, half a dozen protein bars (one a day), and as much Lily’s chocolate as I can afford (which isn’t that much).

I tend to make my own chocolate, because we don’t have Lily’s chocolate up here (that I’ve seen) and I also suspect all their chocolates will say “may contain milk” on them. I’m also intending to make my own protein/granola bars for my next trip, although I haven’t heard of these Kirkland ones, so I’ll look into those.

I think eating low-carb when you can eat out is super, super easy. If I could buy food at fast-food places or restaurants or the breakfast buffet or lunches at conferences and just throw away the carbs, I don’t think I’d bother bringing any food beyond some snacks with me when travelling. It’s really the allergies, and especially the sensitivity to traces and cross-contamination that comes with them, that makes travelling (with or without eating low-carb) a pain in the butt. Ever since I was a kid, between food allergies and diabetes, I’ve travelled with a “food suitcase” as part of my luggage.

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Do you boil them yourself, or just find them at various places like hotel breakfast buffets?

Yeah, it has to be super challenging! I have found it difficult to eat truly low-carb in some places (Brussels, for example), but I’ve been able to make it work. I’ll check on Lily’s, I’m pretty sure they have some dark chocolate without milk, but they may very well be made in a facility with milk.

Kirkland protein bars almost assuredly have whey, I’ll check the ingredients later. Do you react to whey protein, or only the milk sugars?

As for your question (below), I take my own eggs to the airport (never had anyone ask about them in my carry-on) pre-peeled along with my other flight-food. I tend to stay in Marriott branded hotels these days (Springhill, Fairfield, etc.), and they all have hot breakfast buffets with peeled, boiled eggs. I eat a couple for breakfast and stash a couple for lunch.

Also, most airports have shops where I can find eggs (also super cheap): Cat Cora’s market in SLC is a place I always stop for eggs when flying East.

Yeah, unfortunately it’s the protein I’m allergic to, and most protein bars do have whey.

This is good to know. I never thought of eggs in airports. In general it’s near impossible for me to find anything in airports, so I’d sort of given up even looking in those stores. I remember getting stranded in Toronto at midnight with some colleagues and we were given food vouchers for missing our connection due to flight delays. I ended up giving mine to my colleague because I literally could not find anything to buy!

There is a store in Burnaby called Low Carb Grocery near Boundary and Marine. They carry Lilly’s Chocolate along with other low carb snacks that you could travel with. (I hope you find nothing in the dark chocolate you are allergic to.). They also delivery if you have troubles getting there by transit.

I agree that travelling with diabetes and allergies is rough. Doing so doing LCHF would be even harder. I always have to stay in a hotel that has a full kitchen. It limits choices for where to stay, but even if I don’t cook there’s a fridge for the food and a big freezer for all the ice packs. (The only time I didn’t have to stay in one of those rooms was Disney because the chefs are so good about the allergies if you talk to them)
What about a nut butter? That would travel well. I can’t have it personally, but my travel breakfast is usually an apple and sunflower butter. It would go well on that homemade bread too. Also, I sometimes roast chickpeas until they’re crunchy and then spice them. Not fully low-carb but healthy and protein for a snack.

Nut butter or Sunbutter is a good idea. I’ve taken that on trips before, I can’t remember why I didn’t bring it with me this time—maybe I was rushed or pressed for space. Chickpea snacks are something I’ve been wanting to look into to make. There’s a brand on them here called The Good Bean (I think), but they are somewhat expensive and I figure I could make my own fairly easily.

I’ve stayed in hotels with kitchens before, and it’s great! Unfortunately for a lot of travel I do I don’t have much of a choice for where to stay (small towns or conferences at specific hotels or staying at a dorm-style accommodation for a retreat). Luckily, most hotel rooms (and dorms) I’ve stayed in do have a fridge and microwave. I don’t have a microwave at home, so I’m reading up on ways I can use it to cook things I might buy, like eggs.

Thanks for letting me know about that store!! It looks like it’s on one of the bus routes I stometimes take to work (well, a ten-minute walk away), so I may try to check it out on the way home one day this week!

Jen, since you do cook things like chicken and such, consider investing in a vacuum sealer. You cook, vacuum seal and freeze individual portions that you can carry in your cold pack, then keep in fridge or freezer till you microwave. I have cooked larger chunks of meat (mmmm–slow-cooked pork), then portioned and vacuum-packed 4 ounce bits of heaven for later use–months later! Two advantages–vacuum pack makes a smaller size and sealing keeps food from spoiling. Hope this helps!

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Thanks for the suggestion of a vacuum sealer, @Ms_Mody! I actually have a FoodSaver that I bought last year and have not really made full use of. I used up the bags that came with it, but haven’t explored using the roll of plastic yet. You inspired me to get it out tonight and vacuum seal some cut-up apple (I’ve been bringing an entire apple to work to cut up and use half of for salads, but it’s been cumbersome and annoying when not in the office). I think this is a tool I really need to make more use of. Bringing vacuum-sealed food even just on a daily basis would be much lighter and save more space than trying to bring a bunch of fresh fruit and Tupperware containers in my backpack, and that would be even more true when travelling.

Just remember if you’re reheating vacuum-packed goodies in the microwave, poke a few holes in the packages! The explosions from steam buildup can be impressive (and messy!). Good luck!