I’m often asked how to eat healthy and eat foods that I like when I travel. In fact I was at a Thermomix cooking class the other day and one of the Healthy Living Club members asked me again. Now that I’m the monthly blogger it’s time for me to answer this question. By the way if you have any topics you want me to blog about please send me an email to my inbox.
Travelling by car is very easy for me. I travel with an esky and my thermomix. I can make up everything in a hotel room. All I do is make sure I have my basics for breakfast (usually CADA, boiled eggs or a green smoothy), these are the easiest to make of a morning, I plan my ingredients that go into the esky according to those three meals. As for lunch I usually make up one of the many salads that can be made in the thermomix. Then dinner I would normally eat out.
The best places to eat these days are pubs especially if there is nothing else available. In Australia there is always a local pub. I ask for a clean steak or fish or chicken (no sauces or trimmings) and I also ask for the vegetables or undressed salad. I make sure I ask questions and let them know that I’m allergic to MSG or wheat (best way of making sure they don’t put it in your food or lie to you). I also ask if they use butter or margarine and if it is margarine I tell them I’m allergic to that too.
Within the car I have a nut and dried fruit mix, along with apples and cut up fruit. If I’ve been really industrious, I’ll have some pesto made up with cut celery sticks. These are easy to have while your driving. My thermos is also filled with a herbal tea so that when I do stop I have something to drink.
At any time you will find in my hand bag a very small container of; seaweed salt, rapadura sugar, sesame seed and dulse mix and mirin as well as about 10 herbal tea bags of my choice. I purchased these small containers at Howard Storage World. The mirin and sesame seed and dulse mix can dress any salad to taste delicious. My seaweed salt can make any meat or vegetable taste better and the rapadura sugar is when the black coffee is so bad you have to mask the taste – but that doesn’t happen very often in Australia, you can always find a good coffee shop and if not you just ask for a hot water and put your tea bag in. In all honesty the least used of these foods I carry is the rapadura sugar.
If I was going to sum it up it would be – “It is all about being organised” and it’s not that hard, it is up to you to make the effort before you leave. If you don’t make the effort then you pay the consequence of bad road side food and you really can only blame yourself for that.
Overseas and air-plane travel is different. Let’s first address air-plane travel. It really all depends what time I’m flying and how far as to what I take. Most of my Australian flights are early in the morning so I’ll start with this scenario.
To get to the airport early in the morning I have to leave my home around 4.30am . I don’t want to be getting up at 3.00am to get myself ready and my food ready, so I usually prepare my food the night before. I’m the only business traveller (that I’ve seen) that travels with a red esky instead of a black brief case.
My standard breakfast fare when I’m on an early morning flight is CADA (coconut, almond, date and apple), this can be made up the night before, I place this into a container with my homemade yogurt. In another container I put some fresh fruit, usually papaya and a squeeze of lime. I also have a sandwich bag filled with mixed nuts and dried fruit, for those times when I can’t find a good lunch. Apples are also placed in the esky and a thermos filled with a green smoothy. No matter what happens I’ve got enough food to last me till dinner time and even left overs for the next day.
If I’ve been really industrious in the kitchen before I leave I may have some date squishes, nut bars or something yummy that I put in a container or sealed sandwich bag for treats while I’m away.
Because I travel within Australia quite a bit I have my favourite places to eat at each destination. It is rare for me not to find a good place. If I go to a new destination I look up the web before I go and look for organic, raw vegan, natural, vegetarian food places or I ask my host if they have any favourite eating places. I also look or search for a health food store, so that I can buy anything that I need that is convenient. If there are no health food stores then I know that grocery stores will give me what I need with regards to fruit and vegetables, nuts and some good dairy.
If there is a grocery store near you on your travels, you can always eat well no matter what. When I’m absolutely desperate, I go into the grocery store and buy a bunch of rocket or 4 leaf lettuce, some soft cheese – like feta and a can of salmon or tuna. With a plastic fork I can eat these foods out of the plastic bag and tin and be quite satisfied with the result. Just choosing fruit all the time will not satisfy you, it is best to eat protein and fat with a bit of green to keep your sugar levels stable and your energy up.
When I was doing the 4 Phase Fat Elimination HCG Protocol I had to travel for 10 days to one destination, which had no grocery store (Dinner Plain-Victoria – near Mt Hotham) I prepared my food for the flight to Melbourne and the 6 hour drive to Dinner Plain. On the way I stopped at Bright at the local IGA and got all the food I needed for the protocol while I was staying in DP. Once again it was about being organised. While I was at DP I went to the local pub (they are everywhere) and spoke to the chef. I told him what I my requirements were and he became my best friend. Every night he would make me up 4 leaf salad greens, steamed brocollini or asparagus and 100gms of homemade stock infused braised beef cheeks. So I could be social as well as be on the protocol.
Overseas travel is different. Sometimes I can be flying and travelling for longer then 24 hours. I don’t eat the plane food or if I do have it placed in front of me I pick the cheese, fruit and nut selections out and give the rest back. I also make sure that I have a container that I can fill with water and I drink constantly. When the tea comes around I ask for hot water then use my tea bag to put in the hot water. I know this sounds annal but I actually take a travel mug so that I don’t drink hot drinks from the plastic cups. One day I’ll fly business and first class and hopefully they don’t have plastic mugs – one can only dream!
Preparing for international travel is very much like preparing for my morning Australian travel, I just laden my red esky (that is a soft one, that can be easily packed into a suit case without taking up too much room) with good foods.
If I’m travelling during the day it will usually have homemade pesto, some cut celery, a salad made with chicken and roasted pumpkin and other salad goodies, dressed just before I’m about to eat with my mirin and sesame/dulse mix. In the esky will always be the nut and seed and dried fruit mix, along with apples (they are the easiest to travel with) and some homemade goodies.
Many international airports have become very modern, so between flights I can always find a good sushi bar – that seems to be the safest in airports. My favourite japanese fare is the sashimi and sea weed salad. I will buy sushi if I think that they have not made it in a western style. Because I travel so much I’m now a gold member of Virgin, so I do get to go into their international lounges and usually I can always find something to eat.
With regards to my nutrients, I do use the changing habits probiotics, colloidals, supreme green blend and inca inchi oil. If I travel in Australia and I’m only away around a week I rarely take them with me. The reason is because my nutritional stores are very good, the food I eat is very good, so my need for additional nutrients over a week should not be an issue. If I travel overseas or longer than a week, then I always take my greens, probiotics and colloidal minerals. My two dry food nutrients I put in plastic ziplock bag and I calculate approximately what my needs will be depending on the days I’m away. Whereas my colloidals must be in glass not plastic. I just get a smaller jar and put the amount in that I need for the time I’m away. The glass jar is then wrapped in some bubble wrap or socks – I’ve never had a breakage.
You might be thinking that I take a lot away with me, but I can assure you that I am never overweight with my luggage and I’m succinct with everything I put in my bag. My main bag is never more than 17kg and by the time I’m home it’s a lot less because I’ve eaten most of it. Very convenient!
Choosing meals at restaurants when there is no food available in the esky.
Breakfast safe bets are always omelet or eggs of some sort. I ask for no bread but rather tomatoes and greens. Black coffee or your hot water with your herbal tea. I also love Kongee (japanese dish) which I will have when it is available. Rolled Oats can also be a good breakfast, but add some nuts and your rapadura sugar for sweetness.
Lunch is usually a salad or get into the grocery store and use my “desperate” food of tinned fish, cheese and greens.
Dinner has already be addressed regarding pub meals.
The most important thing when you eat out is be a pain in the butt and ask questions about the food, if you don’t then you will be served something that may cause an inflammatory response and make you feel bad. If you don’t ask questions and let them know your dietary needs then they won’t know and you will suffer.
Happy changing travel habits