Sipping on a frothy blend of iced espresso under an arbor of dried palms, I watched my friends play Backgammon (still completely confused how to play) on the island of Sifnos, Greece. This crew is well versed on the joys and woes of travel – they have traversed the world for business, personal amusement, curiosity and family. So I ask them a question I am on a mission to resolve…
“What gets in the way of you feeling your best when traveling?”
Remember, traveling can be a day trip to a water polo tournament, a weekend visiting family, a flight across country, a 5 week wander down under (Australia. Not your pants), or moving to a country on the other side of the world.
And the verdict is?
- Bowel issues
- Access to good (healthy) food while in transit (airports, driving, etc)
- Good (healthy) food at the destination
What are your Top 4?
It’s crazy how all of these are directly related to food. Or maybe it’s not so crazy? Food gives us energy, after all. If you don’t have clean options, then your sustainable energy will suffer (not sure what I mean by clean options? Read this bit on eating clean and then check out this eating clean guide).
Half the fun of traveling is experiencing the area’s culture, including the locale’s unique cuisine. Cambodian spring rolls (only $1 for a plate in Siem Reap!), cured meats in northern Italy, goat skewers in Rwanda, homemade tortillas in Nicaragua. And of course 5 different cheese dishes as appetizers in Greece (and you’re supposed to order a full entrée after, too?).
Side note: When I travel abroad, my gut responds better to foods I normally don’t eat here (e.g. dairy, gluten, cured meats). Why? Well, I’m guessing it’s the quality, sourcing and freshness. But that’s for a separate blog.
My point is that if you’re traveling for the sake of experiencing culture, cuisine and local experiences, you’re probably going to pack only so much extra food – like the essentials to know you’re getting enough probiotics, vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc. This is why we travel with Vega Nutritional and / or Protein powders…They’re easily digestible, full of probiotics, vitamins, protein, minerals, fiber and other plant-based goodies to supplement the often carb-based breakfast found in airports and abroad (I’m sorry, I don’t function on one croissant and a coffee).
Let’s look beyond the exotic locales of international cuisine and address the issues we probably come up with more in our everyday life…
WHAT IF you’re going somewhere that you know does NOT have your style of clean eating options? GASP! Or maybe it’s available, it’s just bloody expensive. What do you pack? How can you still support your clean eating habits, feel great during and after your traveling, without breaking the bank? Oh, and let’s not forget about making eco-conscious choices while on your travels. Making environmentally happy choices can be particularly challenging when driving, flying or staying outside the comforts of your home’s recycling bin and reusable containers.
It’s all about preparation (not the preparation H stuff you wipe on your butt).
These days, I’m spending a lot of my time driving to LA or super south Orange County…so there’s a lot of time in the car. I (sometimes we, as in Matt and me) tend to be gone for at least half the day. Which means we’re also away from our fresh produce and goodies in the house. And this girl’s gotta eat. And go figure, she’s picky about what she eats. And she doesn’t like to spend a lot of money eating out, especially when she can make it at home. Okay, I’ll stop with the 3rd person thing…
Here we go friends. Below is my list of ways to prep to EAT CLEAN for travel, while supporting eco-friendly practices.
Why focus on the eco-friendly practices? I figure there’s no reason to compromise on my values of eco-consciousness while traveling, as this would mean my travel experience wouldn’t be as genuinely awesome and mindful as I’d like it to be. I don’t want to use travel as an excuse for not supporting my values. That’s not cool, man. Not cool.
Reminder: Your version of traveling might be a half day, full day, weekend, week, month, year and so on. It might be via foot, car, plane, metro, bus, ship, etc.
Ways to eat clean during travel, while supporting eco-friendly practices
- Prepackage your food in mason jars or BPA-free tupperware. This way, you don’t waste disposable packaging, plus you’ll have snacks at the ready.
- Here are items we’ll bring if we’re staying somewhere for a while:
- Smoothie and oatmeal ingredients: Chia seeds, flax seeds, oats, cacao nibs, protein powder (can be stored together or separately).
- Nuts galore: walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, pistachios.
- Dinner options: dried lentils or quinoa to make into a soup or hearty salad.
- Here are a few suggestions to pack by the plant-based experts at Vega:
- Here are items we’ll bring if we’re staying somewhere for a while:
- Explore. Connect. Support. Get out to your destination’s farmer’s market to explore your new surroundings, connect with the community and support local farmers.
DRIVING TO YOUR LOCALE?
- Keep several reusable water bottles in the car. You can never have too much filtered water at the ready!
- Bring your own dish soap. Yep, dish soap. You choose to eat clean food. Choose to eat from natural and non-toxic covered dish ware, cups and silverware. We like Seventh Generation dish soap and powder. If you have a favorite, share it in the comments below!
- We bring our own Vitamix when we drive to a locale for a long weekend (or longer). It’s totally worth it for us. We blend up our smoothies, juices and even dairy-free cashew ice cream. Yum!
- Pre-pack the little things. We bring our organic oils (e.g. avocado, coconut) to cook with and organic spices / salts to flavor meals. I’ve found that spices, salts and oils are often the overlooked areas when eating clean and it can be difficult (or expensive) to buy them at our destination.
TRAVELING WITHIN THE U.S.?
- Give yourself a special delivery! Order from an online membership-based health market, like Thrive Market, to deliver at your destination. Be sure to check with your destination to ensure you can receive packages. Because you’re so rad, this link provided gives you 15% off your first order.
EXTRA COOL ECO-HAPPY IDEAS (MAKES FOR GREAT GIFTS)
- Love your bag. Use your colorful reusable Love Bag Cooler to keep your goods fresh. We use Love Bags for a daily lunch outing, Happy Dough deliveries, in-flight snack storage, and even bringing a holiday meal to family.
- Whip it out. Bring your Shaker Cup for your on-the-go energizer, protein drink, or post-workout recovery shake. We’re especially keen on Vega’s Recovery powder. We love how it replenishes and balances your system with electrolytes and maca while decreasing inflammation with turmeric.
- Don’t forget your extra shoppers! Yay for California passing the new law to decrease the use of plastic bags. Keeping extra shoppers in your purse, man-bag, car and carry-on luggage is always a dandy idea.
Now I’m sure there’s more travel happy ideas to be had…yet this is the capacity my brain permits at the moment. Perhaps I can follow up with a Round 2, when time, desire, demand and creativity allow. Or if you can’t wait…peruse my INSTAGRAM @aytlifestyle, which is full of travel ideas (among other lifestyle explorations).
Now it’s your turn…
Do you have favorite prepping tips to eat clean while traveling? How about favorite eco-friendly practices?
Share your awesomeness in the comments below!