Friday, February 18, 2011
Top 10 Tips For Healthy Travels!
Healthy traveling is a subject very near and dear to my heart, as I travel quite a bit and am obsessed with the union of delicious vegan food and optimum health. However, I'm all too familiar with the challenges that traveling presents. Lack of healthy options on the road, figuring out how and what to pack, and not having access to a kitchen can be very tricky things to navigate. So, I will share some of the things that have worked well for me. Please let me know if you have a favorite tip of your own, and keep those great suggestions coming!
Top 10 Tips for Healthy Travels!
1. When I know I'm going to be traveling through a city, I use either Happy Cow or VegDining to find vegan-friendly restaurants. Even if you're only veg-curious, you'll usually find much healthier options there!
2. To stay vitalized while traveling, two things will help you immensely: veggies and water! To stay up on your vegetable intake, try packing veggies that travel well. I've found that the following work well for me: carrot and celery sticks, dried kale or zucchini chips, raw kale salads (such as those in my most recent book), cherry tomatoes, and sugar snap peas. As for water, that's pretty self-explanatory. Drink more of it.
3. If you're staying or traveling through somewhere with dismal options and haven't planned ahead, you can consult this vegetarian list of options for chain restaurants. It will help you to find something that will keep you, well, from starving to death.
4. Plan, plan, plan! Being a food nerd is sexy, I don't care what they say. Take out your little sheet of paper and sparkly pen and make a list of all of the healthy foods that you love - especially those that will keep well in a cooler for at least a few days. Some of my favorite items that always end up in my cooler on road trips? Bean salads, tabouli, hummus, salads, raw nut dips (such as cashew "tuna"), bean burritos, tempeh sandwiches, fresh spring rolls, veggie fried rice, quinoa salads, and whole grain Asian pasta salads.
5. Fruit will remind you that life is good. You can find it anywhere (well, almost) and it will fuel you with electrolytes, calories, vitamins, and fiber until your next meal.
6. You can often find reasonably healthy sustenance at a regular old grocery store. Possible options: Fruit, pre-made hummus (use with veggies, pita bread, or regular bread for dipping), nondairy milk and whole grain cereal, guacamole and organic tortilla chips, the makings for a pb & j, and instant oatmeal.
7. Even without access to a kitchen, you can do some magic of your own. In fact, I even travel with a portable burner (OK, I use it for food demonstrations - but I'd take it either way at this point!) and blender. I also take basic cookware, including a skillet, spatula, garlic press, cutting board, and chef's knife. With just those items, I can make the following: power shakes and smoothies, stir-fry, tofu and tempeh cutlets for sandwiches and wraps, whole grain pancakes, bean dips, and more.
8. Go raw! Raw foods travel well and don't require cooking (obviously). What are some raw food yummies that travel well? Dehydrated goodies (veggie chips, fruit jerky, raw granola, crackers, etc.), nut spreads (for wrapping in lettuce or tortillas), cashew cheese (for dipping in crackers), nori rolls, flax crackers, and so much more!
9. When traveling, I always have my cooler with me. Sure, it seems cumbersome, but it's so worth it! I learned a trick from my mom too, as far as keeping it cold all handy-dandy like: Freeze water bottles (or gallon jugs of water) and place them in your cooler. That way, they'll keep everything cold while you simultaneously drink ice-cold water and stay hydrated!
10. Need to pack items that don't require refrigeration or any sort of prep work? Here is a peek into what I bring in that sort of circumstance. I keep it by the driver's seat and call it my "snack bag" (really creative title, no?): Mary's Gone Crackers sticks and twigs (or any of their crackers), almonds (raw or tamari roasted), fruit (tangerines/oranges, grapefruit, and apples are hearty travelers), dehydrated kale chips, green powder (I mix it with my water), Two Moms In The Raw granola bars, Lara Bars (or, preferably, my homemade versions thereof), trail mix (walnuts, cranberries, cacao nibs, etc.), and, of course, a little organic dark chocolate.
Hope this helps you to get inspired for healthy, yummy travels. Please keep giving me your great suggestions and questions - I love hearing from you! xxoo