We know that healthy eating can be a challenge on the road, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that you don’t have to completely abandon your healthy habits when you travel. For us, that means finding ways to include green smoothies in our travel plans.
Travel & Restaurants
I am going to go a little off topic today to share some pics and details from our recent trip to South America!
While we can argue that it’s less expensive to cook a meal at home, the reality is that sometimes you just can’t (or don’t want to!), and fast food feels like the only option. Here’s a list of decent meals you can find at four popular fast food chains.
This past weekend we went on our second-ever family backpacking trip (our first time without a guide)! When we first did this last summer the guide handled all of the food, which definitely appeared to be a big undertaking.
In case you missed it, we just spent five of the last six weeks out west exploring our beautiful continent, and four of those weeks were in an RV rental. And after all that fun, I am here to report on our adventure in eating real food on the road.
After years and years of weekend camping trips I honestly can’t believe I am just now figuring out there is a proper way to pack a cooler to ensure food safety (and avoid food poisoning). So today I want to share these newfound, valuable tips because, when the precautions are so easy, why not be safe instead of sorry? Surely I’m not the only one that has been living in the dark on this topic.
It all started on our camping trip this past weekend when I opened our cooler to find that ice had melted and leaked (potentially contaminated cooler water) into the container holding our caprese pasta salad (that took me a long time to make from scratch…and I wanted to eat!). Melted ice has leaked into containers on us before, but it only seemed to happen with a few questionable leftovers that were still left in the cooler after returning home – not a brand new dish we hadn’t even eaten yet! So I turned to my facebook community for some important advice – eat it or toss it? And after sifting through more than 1K responses to this question, and using my brain a little, I realized we need to make some serious, yet simple, changes before ever packing up the cooler with a weekend’s worth of food again!
Cooler Packing Tips
1)Start With A Good Quality Hard Cooler.
High quality, thick-sided, hard coolers are better at insulating and keeping your food cold than the soft-sided alternative. So when it comes to packing perishables for an extended period of time (or when it’s extra hot outside) skip the light-weight insulated bags and go for something sturdier instead. For example, my daughters’ school lunches are fine in an insulated bag with several ice packs sitting in the air conditioned school building until lunchtime, but when I recently sent my 6-year-old to an outdoor camp in the middle of our hot Carolina summer they recommended a personal-sized hard cooler to ensure the food stayed cool enough in the heat.
It’s no secret that we’ve done our fair share of traveling so far this summer. If your family still has some fun trips coming up – whether by car or by plane – below are some snacks that we think are great and easy to take along. Even if you just can’t (or won’t) stick to a real food diet once you get to your destination, I think it’s great to have some items for the road trip there or even to supplement meals once you arrive. What good is a vacation if you feel sluggish (or even sick) from some not-so-great airplane or gas station food? And yes, you can take your own food and empty water bottle through airport security, provided you follow TSA guidelines for anything considered a liquid.*
1) Homemade Trail Mix or Granola
Trail mix is easy enough – just mix together a variety of nuts, seeds, and even dried fruit then divide up into little baggies or reusable containers. Or alternatively bag up some yummy homemade granola cereal that you can just eat dry out of your hand. These options can be an especially filling snack for taking up such little space.
2) Simple Store Bought Fruit & Nut Bars (or homemade!)
For the store bought versions be sure to check the ingredients for a short list of items you are familiar with and would cook with at home. We personally like Lara Bars, Kit’s Organic and Raw Crunch. (Tip use coupon code “100DAYS” for 15% off your online Raw Crunch purchase.) And yes it’s extra work, but I promise the homemade version of dried fruit and nut bars are even better than you could imagine :)
As you may know our family had the opportunity to go on the trip of a lifetime this summer. For the first time ever we took our daughters beyond the borders of the US and together we visited England, France, Switzerland, and Italy – and what an experience it was! This was one of those trips where “scope creep” ruled. We initially decided we wanted to visit my cousin and his family who have been living in Paris for a year and the plans just grew from there. Because once you take the plunge to buy plane tickets to travel all that way – why not? One thing I learned from this trip is that our daughters, at 8- and 6-years-old, are at the perfect age to go on an adventure like this. They were total troopers even when we pushed the limits more than intended (dinner at 9:30 anyone?). I was really impressed with how well they dealt with so many new (and foreign) environments, the six hour time change, and the days that sight-seeing honestly wore out all four of us. I was diligent about having them keep a daily journal (that they also taped mementos into – like train tickets and museum passes) so they will hopefully remember this experience for years to come!
by: Jason Leake Hello good people! After almost two years of editing every single post that has appeared on this blog, Lisa asked me to share my perspective on real food with you. My name is Jason, and I am Lisa’s husband. I was exposed to real food early on – my parents were hippies in Oregon after all – but honestly by the time I got to high school I was eating a pretty typical American diet and had certainly fallen prey to the ‘conventional wisdom’ on healthy food. Point being that two years ago, before we started our real food education and subsequent journey, I was probably not much different from you and your family. Lisa shared some great feedback from the facebook page on what you actually wanted to hear from me, so here are some answers to the most common questions. 1) How do I change my husband’s eating habits without constantly nagging and lecturing him? This question assumes you have made the decision to eat real food, but are having difficulty getting your spouse and/or family on board.
Two weeks in Asia surprisingly left me with a huge craving for Mexican food! I am normally a big fan of Asian cuisine, but I’ve never tried to eat it 24/7 for two weeks straight. Only a few days into our trip I wasn’t sure how much more rice I could handle. And I felt a little guilty about it, but on our very last night there, which was in Hong Kong, we actually went out for Italian food! How silly is that? Silly or not though, it was some of the best ravioli I’ve ever had in my life (my husband had total entrée envy). So I guess what they say is true…Hong Kong has amazing food to offer no matter what you are after. This trip was of course a tour of Asia though, and we had the opportunity to sample lots of amazing local cuisine as well. We were fortunate enough to visit Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and Hong Kong on our travels and here are the highlights from each location… Singapore My cousin is currently working abroad in Singapore so that was our first stop.
As our family gears up to skip town this summer I know we aren’t the only ones with travel plans on the agenda. Packing up an entire family is a lot of work, and since our switch to real food I have yet one more travel detail to “stress” over: food of course. I not only have to consider what we will eat while on the road (or plane), but also what we’ll eat once we get there…both at our “home away from home” and out at restaurants. As I learned during our “100 Days of Real Food” pledge last summer eating 100% real food while traveling is a lot of work, but luckily we have a little more flexibility now that our official pledge is over. And being out of town is definitely one of those times where we want and use that flexibility. Now just because we can “break the rules” on our trips this summer doesn’t mean I won’t still be bending over backwards to prepare plenty of food and snacks to bring along. Even though we no longer “have to” we still plan to do everything we can on our vacation – within reason – to stick to the real food we’ve come to love and prefer. So just in case “real food” is on your travel agenda as well here are some ideas on how to make it work: