I am a high maintenance packer. I am. If I’m going to be gone, I want to have all of my usual comforts and options. Now that I’m pregnant again, my usual level of packing maintenance has only increased. Recently I wrote about what my real food/Weston A. Price diet for pregnancy. You may have read it and thought that I’m crazy or that I’m trying too hard. Or you may have read it and been inspired that if I can do it you can do it. Or you may have read it and been inspired AND thought that I’m crazy! You would be right! Well last week we went to Mexico for a few days on a babymoon, where I knew I would not be able to keep up with my dietary goals, and I thought long and hard about what I would bring with me in order to keep it going as best I could. Again, it’s not that I’m a slave to my diet, it’s just that the way I eat makes me feel so good that I don’t want to give it up or mess up my momentum. It’s not worth it to me to feel gross for hours or days after I eat something that is supposedly a ‘treat,’ especially when I’m pregnant and more suceptable to feeling less than stellar anyway. Since I was traveling out of the country, I needed to pick things I could bring to keep my momentum going which also complied with Mexico’s customs policies. I searched long and hard on the internet for a blog post or article that covered traveling abroad while on a WAPF pregnancy diet and found nothing, so I thought I’d share what I came up with on my own!
My Regular Dietary Goals for Pregnancy
- Cod Liver Oil
- 1 quart (or 32 ounces) whole milk daily, preferably raw and from pasture-fed cows
- 4 tablespoons butter daily, preferably from pasture-fed cows
- 2 or more eggs daily, preferably from pastured chickens
- Additional egg yolks daily, added to smoothies, salad dressings, scrambled eggs, etc.
- 3-4 ounces fresh liver, once or twice per week
- Fresh seafood, 2-4 times per week, particularly wild salmon, shellfish and fish eggs
- Fresh beef or lamb daily, always consumed with the fat
- Oily fish or lard daily, for vitamin D
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil daily, used in cooking or smoothies, etc.
- Lacto-fermented condiments and beverages
- Bone broths used in soups, stews and sauces
- Soaked whole grains
- Fresh vegetables and fruits
We went to an all-inclusive resort, which meant that we would be eating most of our meals in restaurants on the resort itself where the ingredients were not going to be up to my personal kitchen standards. So I was obviously prepared for some concessions, but at least I knew I’d get plenty of seafood! First I went online and found out what the rules are for bringing food into Mexico. Basically, it seemed that homemade foods were not allowed, but most other things were allowed as long as they were in sealed manufacturer packaging. Next I went down the list above and thought about how I could fit the different items into my diet either with resort food or with foods that I could bring along. Finally I just thought about being on a trip, things that I had learned from past traveling experiences and combined it all together. The photo above represents the results of these two steps. I’ll go through each item and explain why I brought it and what it’s purpose was.
What I Packed
1. Sport Berkey Water Bottle – I have a Berkey with fluoride filters at home, and I had seen that they had water bottles that filter as you drink out of them and was intrigued. I asked on their website if the Sport Berkey could safely filter tap water from Mexico and they said that it could! Previously when we have been at all-inclusive resorts out of the country, we’ve been frustrated by having to wait till the water bottles are replenished in our room, or having to wait in the bar line to get a tiny glass of water. So we decided to take our water needs into our own hands and got a couple of these awesome bottles. I also brought a gigantic one-gallon insulated water bottle to use as my own little cold water pitcher as I sat on the beach all day, AND my regular insulated water bottle with a straw. I’m not messing around with my water, folks. I drink like a camel, gotta have options!
2. Teas. I don’t drink coffee at all, and I usually hate whatever teas restaurants or hotels have on hand, so I’ve been bringing my own tea when I travel for a while now. I’m usually a big tea drinker, however, during this pregnancy tea hasn’t been as exciting for me. But I figured that eating in a restaurant every morning without my milk, I’d probably want something nice to drink. And I really wanted to have something to easily facilitate number 4. (see below) Red Raspberry Leaf tea is also really good for pregnancy.
3. Homemade gummies. The rules did state that bringing homemade food was prohibited, but I did fudge a bit on these gummies. They were already in my fridge (kiwi flavor!) and I thought it would be nice to have a little sweet treat that had all the glory of gelatin in it. I had them in my carry-on and they didn’t seem to notice them when I got off the plane and they went through my bag. I will say though, that gummies do melt eventually when they get warm. My gummies lasted a day or two and then melted down to mush when I took them to the beach so I just tossed them. But they were good while they lasted!
4. Gelatin or Collagen Hydrolysate. First of all, when I ordered this puppy, I had no idea I was getting the most enormous size ever! It was kinda big in my suitcase, but I brought the whole thing because I wanted everything I brought to be sealed in its original packaging in case I had any trouble in customs. According to this great article by Butter Believer, collagen hydrolysate -
“…is more quickly assimilated into the body than regular gelatin, and greatly improves hydration to the connective tissues. It also higher amounts of the amino acids glycine, lysine, and proline, which are particularly beneficial to cell growth and reproduction.”
Collagen hydrolysate has most of the same benefits as gelatin, which of course comes from broth. I thought about making and bringing my own bullion cubes, but since homemade foods were prohibited, I decided that I’d be pretty ticked if I spent time making them and then they got taken away in customs. Instead I decided to bring the green gelatin and stir it into my tea. I wasn’t getting the amount of broth I normally would aim for this way, but it was something! And since gelatin is soothing to the digestive system, it was a good choice for traveling to a country known to send people to the bathroom with digestive complaints.
5. Ghee. I am seriously the person who panics when she’s out of butter. I use butter for everything! One day I was out of butter and couldn’t run to the store, and at lunch time I looked around and truly thought, “What can I make for lunch without butter?!” I did manage to survive, but it was traumatic and I’ve kept a closer eye on my butter stash since then. Since the WAPF Diet for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers calls for 4 tablespoons of grass fed butter a day (somebody praise Him) I decided to bring my own ghee, because it’s basically shelf stable and comes in a sealed package. I didn’t actually end up using it as much as I would’ve liked, but I was glad I had it. There were two kinds of butter at our resort, one that was white and one that was disgustingly and synthetically bright yellow. Ewww.
6. Summer Sausage. I love Organic Prairie’s summer sausage! We buy it every week, it’s a great snack, or can be a part of a great meal on the go. Since I’m trying to really pack in the protein every day for me and baby, I brought some with me so that I would have a good snack option for when I got hungry between meals.
7. Beef Jerky. Ditto with Organic Prairie’s beef jerky. Another good protein snack option.
8. Raw, grass-fed cheese. I haven’t researched Organic Valley’s raw, grass-fed cheddar, but there it was at Whole Foods when I was shopping, so I picked it up. I have to say, it was delicious! The thing I was most sad to give up for a few days was my raw milk. That little block of cheese in no way made up for the lack of milk I was getting, but again, it was something. And it pairs really well with the summer sausage! I brought a little cooler bag and blue ice pack with me to have in my beach bag for the cheese and summer sausage. You can see it peeking out underneath my book here.
9. Cod liver oil/butter oil. I left my usual bottle of cod liver oil/butter oil/coconut oil/skate liver oil with my kids because it was already opened, and brought this unopened bottle which I was able to buy from a friend who had it on hand. Although I wasn’t taking any coconut oil, I was using it as a moisturizer all over my body, so hopefully I absorbed some in that way!
10. Honey. If you’re going to bring your own tea, you may as well go all the way and bring your own honey too! Just sayin.
11. Supplements. I haven’t been super awesome about taking all of my supplements recently, but when I take the time to portion them out in my little organizer I do better. I’m happy to say that I did great on this trip! For this trip I brought my regular prenatal as well as a B complex, chorophyll, vitamin C, and a probiotic since I wouldn’t be drinking my daily kombucha or eating fermented foods. I really didn’t want to get sick while we were in Mexico, so I figured the probiotic was a nice little extra insurance policy. I also brought…
12. Desiccated liver pills! Which I made myself! Now y’all really think I’m crazy. I’m telling you, liver is such an amazing superfood! I didn’t really want to be without it for that long while I was going to be eating food that was not up to my usual standards if I could easily help it. My friend Stephanie told me about making her own liver pills, so I borrowed her little pill maker (oh real food friends!) and whipped some up myself. It was really easy and really stinky. First I set the livers in my dehydrator and dried them till they were crispy, which took about 24 hours I think, maybe less. Next I ground it down to a powder. This worked best in the Vitamix. Finally I used the pill maker to put them into 00 capsules and voila! As the livers were drying, the room they were in smelled sooo bad. I did them in the guest room so we could shut the door, but it still leaked out a bit! Grinding them into powder and encapsulating them didn’t smell so great either, but the whole project cost me less than half the price of the ones you can order. I don’t know if I want to make them all the time, but for the every now and then it wasn’t that big of a deal. I’ve heard that you can take frozen livers and grate them and encapsulate them and store them in the freezer as well.
Even I felt a little silly bringing all of this stuff and lugging my ghee out at dinner. But I felt really great the entire time we were gone, so I would totally do it again! I really think all of this stuff kept me going and feeling great. I can be sensitive to major changes in my diet, so I was thrilled not to experience any problems or ickiness. I hope this helps you next time you’re thinking about packing for a trip where you won’t be able to maintain your usual diet but don’t want to sacrifice how awesome your usual diet makes you feel!