I used to think that everything goes out the keto window when traveling overseas. What can I eat? How can I enjoy the food culture? What if I'm limiting my restaurant options. So on my recent trip to Amsterdam, I decided to try and stick to keto and see how I feel.
Keto Food at the Airport
What the heck can I eat at the airport that’s on the keto diet? American airports typically have some options including nuts, burgers (without the bun), and fish plates. On this trip, however, I had some chicken wings before heading to the airport.
Keto On the Airplane
Keto on the airplane can be more challenging as it’s difficult to predict what’s on the menu on your airline. My airline WOW AIR made choosing easy by charging for food on the flight. No thanks. I instead fasted 2 hours before departure and another 8 hours on the flight to my first stop: Iceland, home of northern lights and natural hot water springs.
After arriving at the airport in Iceland, I found a small kiosk with a refrigerated display of beautifully dill-seasoned smoked salmon, topped with sliced hard-boiled egg, microgreens, and a lemon slice all on a piece of rye bread. Of course, I ate everything but the bread.
On the flight from Iceland to Amsterdam, I fasted again, this time for 5 hours on the flight and then another 2 hours to get to the hotel. Being fat-adapted makes flights so easy because I’m not mentally occupied by what to eat next and I don’t get hangry like those people you see on those Snickers commercials.
Upon arriving to the hotel late at night, I felt slightly hungry, and so I grabbed some snacks that I prepared at home: macadamia nuts and raw pumpkin seeds that I toasted with coconut oil and sea salt. Of course, I brought Double Chocolate Keto Kookies with me and shared them with my friends. The great thing about fatty snacks like these is that they satiate faster and longer than a bag of potato chips, which usually leaves me hungry and looking for more carbs after a few minutes.
Keto In Another Country
In any country, food plays a huge role in culture. Food is where people break bread and share their experiences and stories. For the sake of kinship, I do not forbid people from eating from places full of carby foods. Fortunately, there are quite a few keto friendly options.
While at a Spanish tapas place, I skipped the bread again and enjoyed several small clay dishes of shrimp in a cheesy cream sauce, baked chicken wings, rosemary lamb chops, buffalo mozzarella caprese, and bacon from bacon-wrapped dates. While at a Chinese spot, I indulged in fatty peking duck, bok choy, and sautéed mushrooms. For breakfast, I ordered the English breakfast, an assortment of bacon, eggs, mushrooms, hash browns, and beans, of course passing on the last 2 sides. Late at night, I frequented Doner Kebab restaurants and ordered a shawarma, ditching the pita bread and fries. When in an unknown environment, my rule is this: if in doubt, throw the garbage out. Order the dishes with fatty main courses accompanied with fries, rice, bread, and just eat everything but those carby sides or ask for salad instead.
Tourist Cities are Keto Friendly
Amsterdam is a very touristy city. Like most tourist destinations, whether it be on a popular island in the Philippines or on the beach in Cancun, Amsterdam has plenty of restaurants catering to different tourist tastes, including American tastes. What food can you find in almost every tourist town around the world? Hamburgers. Juicy, fatty, hamburgers. So if there is nothing else in a city that’s keto, there will always be bunless hamburgers.
I have to admit that this is the first trip that I decided to really stick to keto. Sometimes because I want to get the complete experience of the local food, I’ll cheat. But when I do, I feel so lethargic and bloated. This trip was for my friend’s bachelor party. So tired and gassy would not make for a fun party. On top of that, I was also busy preparing for our celebratory launch of our new Keto Kookie flavor Double Chocolate. I needed all the energy to walk 10 miles a day, explore museums, bike through the city, party late at night, and then somewhere in between, get some work done.
My friends definitely did not eat keto, and it made for interesting conversations and observations. I fascinated them by sharing all the benefits of a keto diet: more energy, fat loss, improved mitochondrial health, and mental clarity. They, in turn, amazed me by asking to stop somewhere to eat every 1 to 2 hours, very much like the cows grazing in the pastures that we biked through. Each time, I had no urge to join the hourly feast, providing only my company. Fact: If you want to save a lot of money on vacation, go keto. You will eat half as much food as you would on a high carb diet.
This trip was amazingly fun, and it affirmed my love for the keto diet. Keto makes traveling life easy by saving time, money, and energy. What do you all do to stay keto while traveling?
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Bring keto snacks for your flight.
In a touristy foreign city, hamburger joints are everywhere. Have one bunless.
You can save a lot of money eating less while on keto.
If in doubt, throw the carbage out. Order fatty main courses that typically have carby sides, and get rid of the sides.
Carbs make me sleepy and gassy. If you want to have a fun time with me, don’t feed me carbs.
Keto Foods Mentioned:
Roasted Macadamia Nuts from Costco
Pumpkin seeds from Costco toasted in coconut oil and seasoned with sea salt
F Bomb, a fat-filled squeeze snack
Bacon (of course)
Shrimp in cheesy cream sauce