Taking a road trip or flying to some distant destination? You don’t have to leave your healthy eating habits at home. With a little advance planning and thinking outside the box, you can enjoy your adventures, secure in the knowledge that you’re fueling your body with the healthiest, most protective (and delicious) foods on the planet. Now that’s something to write home about!
American highways are lined with a near-infinite number of fast food chains. However, the number of Nutritarian-friendly food choices is disturbingly low. To avoid the frustration of searching for healthy meal options on the road, turn your car trunk into your personal restaurant-on-wheels.
First, invest in a large cooler, and fill it with plenty of ice packs. Next, stock a supply of salads, cut up raw veggies and fruit, whole-grain wraps, raw nut butters, unsalted raw nuts and seeds. After that: Enjoy.
1. Pack meals that your family enjoys – especially important when traveling with children
2. Saves time – no more worrying about finding a restaurant that everyone agrees on
3. Customize your healthful meals to suit your tastes
4. Cost effective
If you are on the road for several days, stop at local farmers markets or grocery stores along the way to restock. It’s a great way to learn about a new area. I like to search for local farms that sell to the public, because I enjoy driving directly to the farm, and talking to the farmer about the fruits of his labor. And who doesn’t love going to a farmer’s market? To find out where and when they occur local to your stay, do a web search. They are sure to pop up. Besides being an adventure, there’s nothing more delectable than fresh berries, melons, cherries, peaches, apples, tomatoes, corn, okra and carrots.
Visit a pick-your-own farm. Look for farms in the area and call ahead about your visit. Fast food or chain restaurants are the same wherever you go in the world, but farms and farmers markets showcase the uniqueness of their locale and offer the freshest produce a location has to offer. They are abundant in the summertime and can be a memorable adventure. This is especially true when visiting a different part of the United States or travelling internationally.
At night, refreeze your ice packs if you have a fridge with a freezer in your hotel room or travel with plastic bags and fill them up with ice from the hotel icemaker. You can also ask the hotel to put your ice packs in their kitchen freezer.
Life on the road doesn’t have to mean wrestling with plastic dinnerware and dull hotel-room kitchen tools. Travel with real silverware, and bring one big sharp knife for cutting melons and other chopping. When traveling by plane, you can pack a metal fork and spoon in your carry-on, but make sure the knife is in the checked baggage. It is also handy to bring a large bowl for washing veggies and prepping food in your room. And skip the environmentally unfriendly plastic bottles – bring your insulated water bottles, which can be filled with ice and water when needed.
If you are flying within the United States, pack everyone’s carry-on bag with healthy food that travels well. Some good choices are:
Contact your airline to ask about vegetarian or vegan options for in-flight meals, but don’t count on it being healthy. Nutritarians know that meals made without animal products can still be loaded with salt, oil and sugar. In almost all cases, you’ll still need to bring your own food to play it safe.
If you’re staying in an Airbnb or home with a full kitchen, great! That will make eating Nutritarian a breeze. Find a local grocery store or health food store and stock up for these simple meals.
Even if all you have is a mini-fridge in your hotel room, you can still put together a Nutritarian meal:
For many of us, dining out is part of being on vacation. The good news is: You don’t have to give up restaurant dining completely. I make it a point to look for restaurants that have healthy choices. Some tips:
It is easy to find oatmeal and fruit for breakfast. For lunch or dinner, look for restaurants that offer an interesting assortment of creative salads or have a salad bar.
I always say, “Make your salad the main dish.” To put it into practice:
If you order a conventional entrée, choose simple broiled fish or chicken items, and share it with someone you are dining with so neither of you consumes an excessive amount of animal products. Asian restaurants are also good choices because you can order vegetable dishes that are steamed or water sautéed with the sauce on the side.
On vacation, you may not eat perfectly at every single meal, but the goal is to eat very well most of the time. If you eat some conventional foods, don’t despair – just start eating healthfully again at your next meal, and continue for the entire next few days until the vacation is over.
Try to avoid foods that trigger any addictive food behaviors you might have. And if you pick one or two meals, where you might eat something off your regular diet, such as an animal product, make sure it’s no more than one or two meals during your entire week away.
And remember: Stay active while you’re on the road. Do more and more exercise when you are away from home, structuring your fun around physically demanding activities. Your aim is to go to bed physically tired every day. It’s a great way to build muscles, maintain your fitness level – and create some memorable moments that are better than any souvenir.