Eating plant based on the go doesn’t have to be a challenge but it does require some advance planning. With all the traveling I do, I have discovered some great tips to make eating healthy on the road a snap. In this month’s series, I have shared my thoughts on what to pack in your carry-on and checked luggage and how to survive from airport to airport. So now let’s take a look at what to do once you’ve hit the ground at your destination.
You’ve ordered your ride or picked up your rental car and you are ready to go. Do plan to make your first stop the local natural grocers or Whole Foods Market nearest your destination. This will save you from heading out later when you are ready to settle in or are off to meet colleagues. In a perfect world, I have luck finding accommodations within walking distance of real food shopping. I realize this isn’t always an option, but in metropolitan areas it can be and I’m all about making eating plant based easy and accessible. If a good store is not within walking distance from your hotel, then be sure to take the time to make a quick pit stop at one on the way.
So what’s on my shopping list? Here are just a few items to cover breakfast each morning and provide me with a back up meal should I need to supplement or cover a lunch or dinner. Consider any of the following:
- Fresh pressed juices (One for each morning, keeping in mind that these days even the local Safeway-type grocer will have fresh pressed orange juice in the produce section.)
- Fresh, pre-cut, raw veggies from the salad bar or produce section
- Organic berries, cut pineapple, or other fresh organic fruits you enjoy
- Locally made, organic hummus
- Organic fresh ground almond butter
- A meal sized portion of fresh salad with a gluten free dressing on the side
- Pre-packaged vegan sushi (Watch out for side sauces that may contain gluten and/or dairy.)
Obviously all of this will need some refrigeration and here are some solutions:
- The easiest option, of course, is booking a room with a mini- fridge.
- Request a mini- fridge upon making your reservation due to the special diet/ medication you are on – nearly all hotels will honor this. (Food is YOUR medicine!)
- Bring along a soft-sided insulated cooler bag that you can fill with ice.
- If cold storage is at a premium, I buy whole fruit that I can leave at room temp, saving the limited space for the most perishable items such as fresh juices.
So now, given what I brought along in my checked luggage and my recent purchases, I am set. I may choose to go out to eat for the experience and/ or the company, but I won’t be dependent on restaurants to stay well fed and nourished.
While bringing along and stocking up your own supplies is a life saver when traveling, trying out a local restaurant can also be part of the fun. Choosing a destination that welcomes dietary accommodations is key and there are more and more eating establishments that pride themselves in just that. Alternatively, learning to navigate those that don’t is a skill especially when you aren’t the one choosing the restaurant. I’ll be wrapping up this series next week with some advice on just this… Wherever your travels may take you.