Real Life: Food Desserts & Keto Hotel Camping

Digital nomad, simple life, paleo, primal, keto, hotel camping, what to eat when traveling, food desert.

Food deserts. Currently surrounded by huge gas stations selling the worst gas station food and cheap wine, I get it. I mean, I really get it.

Apparently, Big Dairy’s a thing here too. Those gas stations? Also packed with gallons upon gallons of milk…tubs and tubs of butter…and ginormous blocks of cheap cheese. Next to the beer cave. And the cheap wine. And the microwaveable “food” options.

Did I mention there’s a gas station on every corner? That’s understating it. They literally surround my hotel on all sides. I did find a Cost Cutters a half-mile walk or so down the road. Here, take a peek:

Turn back! Do not eat!!

But…there are ways.

Including eggs in the microwave and sparkling water and smoked salmon. Plus avocados torn open with bare hands…free mustard packs opened with nail clippers…and 90% dark chocolate. Ahhh…chocolate.

I know I could travel a little ways out and get easy good stuff. But I’m in Blaine solely to import my car officially (against my cats’ and my will, which wants to stay comfortable at home right now) and on a mission to hunker down and do work meanwhile. Plus, the hardest thing for me is giving up daily sweats at yoga — can’t get that in my hotel room, though I’m still doing lots of yoga here (nothing like 66 wall walks a day to calm the mind).

I normally eschew microwaves, but eggs in a micro taste fucking fantastic when there’s not much else and it’s your only hot food. Kind of like camping. But still able to work. From a bed that’s likely from the sixties.

I was supposed to return Monday…but now it might be Thursday. US customs. No discussion. Just waiting for the word. Did I mention opening mustard packs with nail clippers? #genmcgyver

But I’m getting shit done. Also, this is weirdly fun. Who knew.

Gee, with all that selection…
Look away! Look away!

What I normally eat

If you’re a newsletter subscriber, you got the round-up of what I’m eating these days in last week’s edition of “What I’m into lately” (where I share a taste what I’m eating, drinking, reading, and otherwise into each month). I thought I’d share the eating part here, as a baseline for assessing the current situation.

The broad strokes stay fairly constant: real-food, plant-forward, low-carb, mostly local, mostly paleo-primal. Still, the details are ever changing as I feel out shifts in season, routine, and body-mind-spirit.

I’m helping with a 30-day No Sugar Challenge at a local yoga studio this month and next…including by fielding questions on their private Facebook Group. My sugar intake is already minimal…but to play along, I’m cutting anything with added sugar for 30 days. This means forgoing my weekend paleo treat as well as daily squares of 85% dark chocolate. I’ve decided 100% dark is still allowed:). [Note: Here in Blaine, 90% is the best I could do.]

Otherwise, my meals are extra-simple lately, featuring:

  • Grass-fed butter
  • Local eggs with crazy-yellow yolks
  • Local, crap-free, plain yoghurt (11% milk fat…mmmm)
  • Hard, raw cheese
  • Tofu (not paleo-primal)
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Blueberries
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Mushroom broth with raw ginger
  • Sparkling water with lemon
  • Bulletproof coffees + teas

I imagine this sounds boring, but simple ingredients on repeat = my comfort food (all the more so when life is full). It just makes me feel good…light in body + mind…and nourished without spending energy on food choices.

I’m certainly not against eating other primal fare! But honestly, the above is all I’m craving lately (plus 100% dark chocolate;). Believe it or not, I’m still savouring meals as much as ever! [Note: Yes! Even here in a food desert dining on eggs + mustard!]

The above list is NOT a prescription…and in certain ways is unsuitable for wintertime eating (the dairy and tofu are cooling and “damp” producing). Still, it is what my body is most wanting right now.

If you’d like more doctorly + coach-ly guidance, I’ve been building out Alchemist Academy. Head there for kits, courses, and a new ebook bundle on simple eating + living to feel better.

I also just recorded a video interview for an online show coming in early February. It’s all about supportive, mindful eating + living. Stay tuned!

And you know…you could become a coach yourself! I was one of the first certified Primal Health Coaches way back when. Mark Sisson’s program is stellar, fun, and accessible to anyone (even if you just want it for self-learning). Feel free to contact me with questions! Meanwhile, some…

My last meal before leaving home (no, tofu is NOT paleo-primal; see above for caveats)

Recipes + links

Love to all the Light Givers and Love to all who’ve been burned by us. If you read one thing this week, make it this.

Everything is getting louder. I knew it. Also, see above.

Baths are the coffee of the evening. And more people should take them.

How cool are these cloud eggs. Should I try a hotel room version?

What do you eat when traversing food deserts? Do you justify unhelpful choices…or get creative? ;) Spill your tips! xo.


When you’re making changes, caring accountability makes a world of difference. I offer two avenues for customized plans + coaching:

The Foundation and The Deep Dive.

Also check out the brand new Body as Ally Recovery Kit.

In integrity + alchemy, Dana

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Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Writer, Medium Top Writer in Poetry, Health, Travel, LGBTQ.

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