I have always thought about it this way: I am allowed to make exception in my nutrition when I travel. This is something I just accepted but traveling as much as I do, I realized that exceptions could seem fun but many times ruin the experience: the trip start to seem sometimes all about eating! we are constantly thinking about where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and worst of all since I eat healthy all the time at home, my body has a hard time adjusting when I make exceptions and that make for quite the uncomfortable experience.
So I decided not to make exceptions anymore. This should be easy! After all, I do this on a regular basis. Yes cooking is necessary but there are plenty of people on a vegetarian,vegan and raw diets!
So the trip started by first packing some foods for the road so I have something with me at least for the first day since some would spoil and the plan was to buy food from stores as I would do home and buy only things that are part of my diet and avoid restaurant and deli type stores including inside a grocery store.
So here is what I packed so far:
I took my picnic basket to pack the food. It helps keep things a bit fresher and definitely compact and makes for easy picnic stops along the way.
I made my own crackers with whole grains and healthy seeds. I could share this recipe with you later. This the main sheet and I break it down to pieces to pack for the trip.
Wheat cereal. I am trying to delete wheat from my diet so this the last bit of the wheat cereal I have
I took my own instant coffee and teas and Stevia to make my morning tea or coffee. I assumed that staying at a hotel would make it easy to get hot water to make a drink. I am picky about my coffee and I tend not to like the coffees offered in hotels so I take my own. The problem here is I like some milk in my coffee (I am only drinking Almond milk now) but that's hard to pack for the trip! So I am going to stick with black coffee!
Spelt bread that I had left at home. This would be great for a couple of days
Blueberries. These would also only last few days in the car and if I use the hotel fridge over the night, they should last longer
Some simple raw cut vegetables: carrots, broccoli and sweet mini cucumbers from the local Farmers market
Water bottle. It's easy to refill a bottle everywhere you go! So no there is no need to think about buying water. I don't buy bottled water anyways for many reasons ....
Few oranges left at home. Oranges would actually last longer than we think on a road trip as long as they are not directly exposed to the sun
Organic gluten free whole grain bread! I love this bread. It lasts a long time because it's dairy free so it makes for a great road trip food
Dried apricots: this is desert! These are so sweet and would satisfy my sweet cravings along the way
and of course you have to pack a towel if you are eating in the car and parks ... etc
The beginning of the trip was not bad, lots of driving and plenty of food already to snack on all day
These are some shots on the way to CA leaving OR
I had my coffee before we hit the road early and then snacked on the crackers I made
the 2nd meal was about 2 slices of the whole grain bread
Organic Turkish dried apricots
Some of the broccoli I brought with me. I tried to eat the vegetables with the first day or two since they obviously won't make it past that
Some blueberries I brought along. These also would have to be consumed within the first couple of days
a couple of slices of the gluten free bread
This was just a day on the road and I already packed enough food. The meals I had today are complete: protein in the gluten free bread and my crackers since they are both made with brown rice, quinoa flour, almond milk, gluten free steel oats, spelt ...etc. I also had my vegetables and my berries and of course enough whole grain.
I had a great evening the first night at this beautiful winery in Calistoga, CA called Castello di Amorosa. They organised a great Havana salsa dance night. Food was provided. the choices were fabulous but I stuck to my plan. I snaked on their vegetables and made sure to use this opportunity to get some protein so I had some chicken. The theme was Cuban food so the choices were great and the food was not fried and they focused on local produce from the Napa area so that was helpful.
A view of the castle
few more slices of the bread I brought with me. I would usually have a couple of slices for breakfast and may be 2 more for another meal later during the day
Watermelon was easy to pick up at any store. Just half of a small melon so it could be eaten in one sitting and I don't have to worry about keeping it fresh in the car
San Francisco is rich in its diversity and that makes it a fun city to shop for food. We found some foods I have not tried in awhile especially in Japan town
My favorite find was Lychee! This made for a nice sweet treat in Japan town
the vegan gluten free bread! This bread is actually quite filling and tasty and lasted almost 5 days but I finished by then
The rest of the cereal I brought with me, I managed to snack on this in one day
I could seriously not eat anything in the hotel's breakfast menu. All the hotels I stayed at offered coffee with creamer and I don't do creamers. The rest was while flour bagels and breads, biscuit and gravy .... you get the picture! So there was no way I could eat breakfast at the hotels. I grabbed fruit whenever they have them and they will be nice meals during the day
After a nice Bikram yoga at Yoga in the mission on Mission St in San Francisco, I stopped by a Mexican store and grabbed these nice apricots. I got enough to eat in a day since they won't make it past a day in the car
the crackers I made lasted a very long time, I ate them until the end of the road trip!
the Turkish dried apricots did not made it that long:) I managed to finish them in a couple of days
So did the broccoli. I had some the first and second day and one!
I checked out this farmers' market at the end of the day which worked out great. Everything was on sale for $1.00! I was able to get some goodies here: dried figs, dried pluots and some delicious pistachios
Roasted salt free pistachios
the oranges I brought lasted longer than I expect it. As long as they are away from the sun they will make it few days. These made it about 3 days: one a day.
The trip overall was a great success nutrition wise and I felt great. No digestion problems!
I also saved plenty of time which helped enjoy doing more. Let's face it, if you sit down for a meal, you wasted not only over $30 but you wasted at least 2 hours and ate high calorie content food that most likely contains processed foods, canned foods, high sodium and sugar content
The fact is it's much easier to eat healthy than you think when you travel. The challenge for me was definitely getting enough complete protein since it requires some cooking: eggs, chicken, fish ... etc But I packed great whole grain high protein bread and crackers and that was helpful.
This experience was always easy for me because I eat several small meals a day on a regular basis. I can stop by any store, buy just enough food for one or two meals that will be eaten the same day. Shopping for food daily while travelling is actually not as hard or time consuming as it seems. I walk a lot when I travel and grocery stores are everywhere so a stop during a walk is not hard and you are always in for a surprise when you check out the stores and the farmers market which adds a bit of fun to the experience.
Hope this was helpful to inspire some and I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas....
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