Change is difficult. Radically changing your diet can be particularly hard. Not everyone can do it. But sometimes the discomfort of change is welcomed compared to the discomfort of IBS.
If you’re motivated you’ll learn new recipes and take the transition slowly not to shock your system. And hopefully you’ll find ways to enjoy the new foods they’re eating. That’s the ideal scenario.
Creating a healing eating routine at home is an accomplishment but things can easily fall apart when you have to leave the house.
Because the outside world is not set up for healthy eating, it’s easy to fall off your routine. Not only is that discouraging, but it can set you back physically.
I’ve run into this frustration myself while traveling or spending the day away from my kitchen. When you are hungry and unprepared it can get stressful if spontaneity or eating anywhere is not an option.
A tendency towards unstable blood sugar, like I have, exacerbates the issue. When you feel “hangry” or weak you just reach for whatever is easiest. Even if it contains gluten, dairy or sugar.
Now when I leave the house I’m prepared with blood sugar stabilizing snacks. Same things goes for travel. Have you ever found healthy foods in an airport?
Travel is already disruptive enough to the gut and nervous system I know my gut gets a bit out of wack when I travel. It’s normal, everyone’s body like predictability and routine. It’s safe and calming. But when you are highly sensitive you feel it more.
Having a stable routine, eating familiar things and avoiding over stimulation and stress are conditions under which your gut functions best. So when you travel, bringing snacks or familiar object from home or keeping your usual hours will help the gut settle.
Here are some of the things I take with me while traveling or on the go to balance blood sugar, with healthy carbs and fats. Some can be meal replacements while others will tide you over so you don’t melt down and stay on track with your diet.
Here are a few options, including nut-free, high protein and sugar-free choices.
Primal Kitchen collagen nut protein bars
There are a million snack bars around. Most of them I don’t recommend because they are high in sugar or contain sketchy ingredients like soy protein, sugar alcohols or other gut irritants.
These bars are packed with gut-mending, grass-fed collagen which helps pack 15 grams of protein into one bar. It’s perfect for balancing blood sugar with an equal amount of carbs, protein and fat. It is also great for leaky gut, unless you have a nut allergy. In that case I recommend Epic Bars, which are a mix of fruit and meat.
The collagen bars come in 4 delicious flavors, macadamia sea salt, chocolate hazelnut, dark chocolate almond and my favorite cashew coconut. You can find it all 4 flavors here. I would consider these bars a meal replacement because I’m not hungry for a long while after eating one.
Coconut butter is to coconuts what nut butters are to nuts. It is not the same as coconut cream or coconut oil. It’s naturally sweet with no added sugar. It’s got a creamy texture that can be spread on fruit or Paleo baked goods when softened. I like to just eat it out of a jar. Or with blueberries. It’s an amazing low sugar combo.
It’s also hard to overeat because of all the healthy, filing fat. Coconut is known for it’s antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. So you are treating and balancing your gut biome as you snack.
The recipe for coconut butter cups is super easy, and makes them highly transportable.
You need to soften the coconut butter until it’s pourable, as it’s solid at room temp. I submerge an open glass jar of coconut butterin a boiling water. Leave it for 7 minutes, then turn to stove off and let it cool.
Grab it with a pot holder and pour the liquid coconut butter into silicon muffin tins or regular tins lined with muffin cups.
Let it cool on the counter and then put it in the fridge to firm up. They will turn into coconut butter discs.
If you want to get a sweeter taste you can caramelize them by putting them in the oven at 350 for 5 minutes and then let it cool on the counter or in the fridge.
As far as coconut butter goes, getting a high end brand makes all the difference. This is my favorite brand for it’s rich creaminess. These travel well and don’t have to be refrigerated.
While they are called nut, these are actually tiny tubers. They look like pebbles but have a sweet taste. They are full of colon-friendly resistant starch and are one of the rare sources of prebiotics that are tolerated by folks with SIBO.
There are several ways to consume Tigernuts. You can munch them whole or sample Tigernut granola, sold on Amazon, which is sweetened with a touch of maple syrup. You can also buy sliced tigernuts and make your own granola.
My favorite way to use tigernut is to make a milk. It’s just as easy as making homemade nut milks. I promise, it’s super easy. Here’s a link to the recipe.
Sugar-free Paleo cereal
One of the things people miss most on a grain-free diet is cereal! There’s something so easy and comforting about being able to have a bowl of cereal.
The good news is that you can indulge your cereal craving with this sugar-free, grain-free, nut-free option. Paleo flakes have only three ingredients, coconut meat, coconut water and palm starch.
And even without any added sugar, this cereal tastes lightly sweet. It amazing with nut milk, tigernut milk or coconut yogurt or you can bag it with trail mix or dried fruit and nuts for a perfect travel snack.
Plantain chips are one of my staple foods. They are made from green plantains so they taste savory instead of sweet. It’s a great replacement for potato chips.
These are my go to snacks when I have carb or sugar cravings or blood sugar issues. They are packed full of resistant starch which is a beneficial type of starch that resists digestion in the small intestine and feeds beneficial bacteria in the large intestine. Resistant starch has been associated with weight loss in those who are overweight or weight loss resistant.
Extra bonus: green plantains are considered safe in moderation on the Low Fodmap diet. Of course, tolerance always depends on the individual. But these are a good bet.
These are made out of cassava or yuca, which is a large root that has a tough, wood-like skin. It is grown mostly in South America or Africa and is a big part of the diet there. It is also very high in resistant starch.
Cassava strips are fried in palm oil which is not inflammatory like other vegetable oils. Another great swap for potato chip or corn chip lovers. And a healthy way to indulge in carb cravings in an allergy-free and a low-FODMAP compliant way.
You will be surprised how many weird chemicals are snuck into prosciutto. I like to eat it on its own as a salty snack. You can also toast it in the oven and give it the texture of a chip, or wrap it around lactose free cheese, a hard boiled egg or melon.
What I love about this meat, besides the flavor, is that it is dry cured, which means it doesn’t have to be refrigerated and travels well. People with compromised adrenals tend to crave salt to balance their adrenals and this is a good way to deliver it.
Beef jerky is another easy and protein-rich travel snack. Just make sure you get one that’s made with good quality beef (hormone and antibiotic free) without any unwanted additives or sugar. I love this junk-free beef jerky.
These products are not inexpensive. I spend my money on good quality foods so I could save on doctor’s visits and health care costs down the line. It’s an investment for the future.
I also found a way to buy Paleo products at a discount price at Thrive market. It’s like an online Costco full of healthy food options that are Paleo, vegan, gluten free and regular, natural products.
If you use this link to get a 30-day trial membership for free, plus 15 % off your first order and free shipping for orders over $49. My favorite products there are the Simple Mills almond crackers and the artisan bread mix.
Angela Privin is proof that IBS is NOT an incurable disease or a disease at all. IBS is a body out of balance. It’s an invitation for change. After solving her own IBS mystery more than a decade ago Angela trained as a health coach to help others.
Angela uses both science and intuition to help people figure out what’s out of balance in their body. She works with lab tests, dietary changes, supplementation and nervous system rebalancing. Get help rebalancing your digestive system and solving your IBS mystery here.