Road Tripping with IBS – Successfully!

I did it!

I survived a ten-day road trip!  I’m happy to say that my stomach and gut co-operated and must have appreciated all the effort I put into planning a trip that wasn’t unpleasantly adventurous.  It can be done:

Road Tripping with IBS – Successfully!

Here’s my assessment of how each of my plans worked out:

Kitchen on the Road:  Most of my supplies worked out really well – if anything I needed to bring a bit more.  Using the same spoon for Peanut Butter and then Metamucil was a bit icky, but it worked.  Next time I’ll bring 2 microwaveable containers because I was always washing one out each day.  Speaking of washing dishes – next time I will definitely bring a medium sized plastic bowl, dishwashing soap and dishtowel.  Washing dished in a hotel bathroom (when we didn’t have access to a kitchenette) was challenging.

Usually the cooler fit somewhere near the kitchenette or microwave/fridge stand, and I was able to prepare lunches or dinners fairly well.  In the photo you can see the cooler, my lunch kit, some olive oil/condiments and a few groceries.  It was a bit messy, but it worked.

 

It's a bit messy, but has everything I need!
It’s a bit messy, but has everything I need!

Breakfasts – ok, I did get tired of having a rice cake with peanut butter and a banana every morning for ten days.  But, it was safe, so I would do this again.  Next time I will bring ‘safe’ teabags.  At some of the fancier hotels they had packet of tea that were scary blends (Earl Grey Apple?  What’s that?).

Lunches – the lunch kit that I packed each morning worked really well.  A small container of peanuts, an orange and/or carrot sticks were enough to get me through the mid-day meal.  I never had a problem bringing it out at a restaurant (The Husband and The Son ordered off the menu).  I had brought along a supply of IBS-friendly granola bars (I’ll blog my recipe sometime in the future) and these were a lifesaver for a mid-afternoon snack.

For drinking, I tried to stick to bottled water.  I read somewhere that it’s really important for IBS sufferers to avoid drinking water when they travel – even if it’s ‘safe’, it can be different enough to upset a touchy tummy.  I did get bored of plain water and picked up some Lipton’s iced tea powder – it’s made with ordinary sugar so OK for the FODMAO diet.  I mixed some into my bottled water in the morning so I could have an iced tea when we were out sightseeing in the afternoon.

Dinners – I had a few different experiences, and survived them all!.  When we stayed with family, they were very accommodating and made up simple, FODMAP friendly food just for me.  At a fish fry one evening my cousin broiled the fresh fish in olive oil and it was fabulous.  I was so very grateful for her kindness 0 she had made extra for me to take back to the hotel. I was able to portion them out and get the hotel to freeze the packets for me.  By keeping them in the cooler or the hotel fridge I had 3 more nights of safe and delicious protein.

In restaurants, the chefs card worked some of the time.  I was surprised to discover ho many restaurants to not have the ability to provide an unseasoned/unsauced meal.  Fries were either coated or cooked in a fryer that wasn’t dedicated to just fries (I have been caught by cross contamination in this way).  Fortunately, I was able to get a baked potato and steamed broccoli at a few places, and then just opened my pop-top can of tuna at the table.  With a glass of red wine, I really enjoyed the experience of eating out – safely.

Because we were usually able to pop by a restaurant well before dinner, I was able to ask if their menu had any acceptable items.  If the only restaurant available didn’t have acceptable menu items, I brought along my little lunch kit packed with microwaved potatoes (I had purchased some mini potatoes just for this purpose) and olive oil mini-carrots, and my tuna or the leftover fish or chicken from a previous dinner (I saved leftovers!).  I never had any hassle at a restaurant for bringing in safe food  – I did order wine, and of course The Husband and The Son were ordering off the menu.  I don’t imagine they’d be thrilled if we all brought our meals in!

microwaved potatoes, mini carrots and leftover microwaved chicken.  Just serve with wine!
microwaved potatoes, mini carrots and leftover microwaved chicken. Just serve with wine!

 

As for my Emergency Travel Kit – I didn’t need it.  I had it safely stowed in my purse, which took up a lot of room in the passenger seat of the car, but it was reassuring to have it so close by.

Road Tripping with IBS - Successfully! My emergency travel kit is ready!
Road Tripping with IBS – Successfully! My emergency travel kit is ready!

 

Can you believe it?  I’m still a little bit in awe of this.  It was such a huge relief and a sense of accomplishment and freedom when I finally reached home and realized that road tripping with IBs can be done – successfully!

 

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