Traveling can be tough when it comes to healthy meals and snacks. However, if you prepare ahead of time, you can make it work. This post is going to be devoted to car travel, though many of the tips can be adapted to air travel. Obviously, space is generally more limited when you travel by air.
When we go on a trip in the car, we take coolers. We have an awesome plug-in cooler that we use while the car is on and also in the hotel room. This allows us to take food that needs to stay at refrigerator temperature while on the road. That said, we can take pasta salad or quinoa salad for lunches and even ingredients to cook dinners in our pressure cooker. Of course, this allows us to chill our plant-based milk for cereal, as well. Sometimes, we also bring a traditional cooler (that you use with ice) when we have a lot of food or will be gone for several days.
The next item that is essential for us to take is our electric pressure cooker. We can take ingredients with us and quickly make a soup, stew, or chili in no time! We always make sure to bring empty plastic storage containers for leftovers, and we also bring a silicone spatula to scrape out the pot well before the final rinse (which generally has to be done in the bathtub unless the hotel has a kitchen area).
For breakfasts, I like to take Overnight Oats, all packaged and ready for each day of the trip. I simply bring one short jar with me, pour in the baggie I have prepared with the ingredients, and add the plant milk. Then, I place it in the cooler or hotel fridge overnight. In the morning, I add additional fruit if I desire. It is such an easy way to get a filling breakfast in while traveling. The guys tend to like cold cereal, so they will bring a couple of boxes of their favorites with extra goodies to add in (ground flax seeds or chia seeds, raisins, buckinis, etc.). If you’re going to meals eat out while traveling at least save some money by bringing your own breakfast!
In addition, we usually dehydrate some fruit for the car ride and in between meals. Our favorites are dehydrated bananas (we split bananas lengthwise, flatten them between the dehydrator mat a piece of parchment paper. We use an old meat tenderizer–the flat side–to flatten them) and mangoes.
Sometimes, I will also make my own version of Mary’s Gone Crackers in the dehydrator or oven, or we will just buy Mary’s Gone Crackers online or from the store as they are oil-free and made from whole foods. This next trip, we plan to bring Smoky Sun-Dried Tomato Almond Cheese to spread on them! We also like to make our Kale Crackers sometimes (a great way to get more greens in!). We might also pack some Oil-Free Low-Fat Sweet Potato Hummus to eat with Oil-Free Baked Pita Chips.
Other snacks that we like to take are Nature’s Bakery Whole Wheat Fig Bars. They come in several fruity flavors (and now even in 4 BROWNIE flavors). I love the raspberry and blueberry ones the best. They’re easy to throw in your purse for a boost when it’s not quite mealtime.
Since we don’t eat nuts by hand as a snack, I might incorporate some nuts or nut butter in Snack Bites, Homemade Snack Bars, or Power Balls for our road trip. We do limit our nut generally, but on a trip, they help sustain us between meals.
We also like to make Lavash Crackers before we leave to snack on with meals (particularly soup). However, they are quite crispy and crumbly, so we generally don’t eat these in the car! We also bring a big container of air-popped popcorn or pop some in a paper bag in the hotel room to have for a later-evening snack in the hotel room. We like to bring a little nutritional yeast and salt to sprinkle on top.
Another excellent meal is to bring good ‘ol homemade peanut butter and jelly (fruit-juice sweetened, like Trader Joe’s or Polaner) with some whole grain bread for quick lunches or in-between snacks.
Don’t forget compostable plates, bowls, flatware, serving spoons, napkins, chip clips, and food storage containers! We always bring our water cups and bring a jug of filtered water in our cooler for fill-ups.
Hope this post gives you some good ideas for traveling. If we want to make eating whole foods plant-based no oil a lifestyle, we have to make sure we are prepared for travel!
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