As the title suggests, I am getting ready for a trip to China. We had it in our minds that we would go this spring since at least last year. I have been nervous about it for all this time mostly because of food options. I will try my best to stick to SCD but when you can’t speak the language and everything is covered in soy sauce it can be quite difficult.
I started looking into portable SCD legal food to bring with me so that at meals I’m not feeling pressured to eat too much non-SCD food. Normally when I travel I bring yogurt but getting to China will take a full 24 hours and we’re there for 2 weeks (moving around a lot and not having access to a fridge) so bringing perishable food might not really be an option. Pemmican is one of the most interesting available options. It’s basically meat jerky that has been ground up and mixed with fat. I haven’t gotten around to making some yet but will definitely do it before leaving. I think that would be a great SCD friendly travel food, more so than jerky because it has the much needed fats with it. There’s also dried fruit, coconut oil, pork rinds, nuts and Lara Bars for traveling which I may bring as well.
In preparation for China I wanted to test out how I would react to some foods. It would be nice to be able to eat anything I want there and not feel impolite for refusing food. Last time I went to China (3 years ago) food was a big deal. They were very nice and trying to be accommodating but clearly wanted me to enjoy what they were serving and not miss out. I was not on SCD at the time, actually I was the opposite. I thought white rice and low fat foods were the best thing to eat. This time will be very different. I hope I can just eat anything because honestly the cuisine in China is so varied and so good, it’s hard to not want to eat everything!
So… I tried white rice and soy sauce (both NOT SCD legal). For the soy sauce I got some naturally fermented wheat-free tamari sauce to try first. I will try some with wheat next. Yep I will be trying wheat. It’s a bit scary but I’m actually expecting not to have a big reaction to it. I seem much less sensitive these days. I got regular white rice and cooked it plain, starting with 1/4 cup then 1/2 cup each day. I had some digestive symptoms the first few days I was at 1/2 cup but I think it was just me getting used to eating grains. All settled down and I have been eating it for 2 weeks. I now dream of rice and crave it every single waking moment. Probably not a good thing (craving something that badly is a pretty bad sign), but in the short term at least I should do ok in China. I did notice some upper GI discomfort and some heartburn after a couple weeks eating it. I will probably cut it out for a few weeks before going just to make sure my stomach doesn’t get too out of whack.
Tolerating new foods will help a lot with traveling. In the past I’ve always brought a lot of food with me. On a 3 day trip for a conference I brought meatballs, yogurt, almond butter brownies, applesauce and Lara Bars. On a one week vacation down south (buffet all you can eat included) I brought yogurt, honey, almond butter brownies, coconut oil and Lara Bars again. I tolerate eggs well and try to get hard boiled eggs wherever I go. I will be able to get them in China, as well as fresh fruit and probably steamed/grilled meats. I just hope it goes well, that I can tolerate trying some delicious Chinese cuisine, and that I don’t get a repeat of the awful rash.