This past weekend I was up in North Conway with friends and family. Weather aside (seriously Spring, WHERE the hell are you!?!) we had a blast. I lost track of the number of times that I was reduced to laughter and tears.
Food may feed my stomach, but laughter sure feeds my soul.
The entire weekend went so smoothly, again weather aside! We ate the most amazingly, lovingly cooked meals with deelish snacks at every meal. And we ate like champs during our hike up Double Head Mountain.
It doesn't surprise me that we ate well. Mostly because I'm c o n s t a n t l y thinking about food. Yup, I'm always thinking about my next meal - what will it be? where will it come from? what time are we going to eat?
I've got a pretty good system dialed down for eating well while on the road. Be it hopping into the car and driving a few hours north or jet setting off to tropical locations a few months ago, I've got a few sure fire ways that are tried and true tactics.
It's important to me to ensure that I'm taking as good care of myself while on the road as I do at home.
Why? Because when jet setting or road trippin', we're more likely to eat junk food, stay up later, not exercise and run ourselves down.
Haven't you ever said that you need another vacation when you've just come back from a vacation?
Here's exactly what I do to travel and still eat well.
1. Plan ahead as if your life depended on it. Yup - plan. ahead. This one is super key for me. I will grab pen and paper to figure out how many meals are going to be eaten while away from the comforts and confines of my kitchen and pantry. A lot of this is kinda writing down what I already intuitively know.
But I find that just taking the time to think about how many meals will be on the road, takes away some of the "OMG what/how/when am I going to eat while in North Conway/NYC/Puerto Rico/fill in the blank" stress.
Yes. I will write down "Friday - dinner, Saturday Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner, Sunday - Breakfast, Lunch."
And then I do what I do while at home - figure out which meals can double for leftovers.
2. Bring your own food. Make your own meals. Duh. I then take this list I mentioned above and figure out what I can buy ahead of time. And before I go any further, allow me to mention this. Yes, I know this is all relative. This past weekend I was traveling by car, to a place where I knew where the supermarket was. I still planned ahead and brought food because it was cheaper that way.
But duh, if you are traveling by plane, clearly you aren't going to bring all your dark leafy greens, chickpeas tins and eggs with you! (Or are you?!)
When we went to Puerto Rico for my birthday, I didn't bring items for meals. Obviously! Instead I brought some portable snacks. Even bringing those snack items made a world of difference when we were in Puerto Rico, driving around.
3. Honey, I shrunk the food! When I can, I buy smaller sized, or travel sized packs of some favorite foods. Have you ever seen the single serve packs of Justin's or Peanut Butter and Co's peanut, almond or cashew butter? What about a smaller 5 oz bag of chia seed? These smaller sizes are lifesavers!
4. Embrace what isn't going to happen. For all the planning and pre-departure prep that I think about, I also know that I most likely will not be eating exactly as I would like for every single meal. And that's okay. Well for one, it's fun to try new foods (when in a new country), two because it's nice sometimes to NOT have a plan and finally because I just want to go with the flow. That's usually more challenging assuming you aren't traveling alone.
Going back to my first point about planning it all out, I will usually look at that and say to myself, "Okay. It's super important and easy for me to eat all my breakfasts at home. And I can pack a lunch no problem. So dinner will be whatever and wherever it is."
Or sometimes I say to myself "Breakfast I can take care of. Lunch is when we'll be out and about exploring. I don't want to deal with carrying a million and one tupperwares around, so I'll just plan on eating out for lunch. And then dinner we'll come back home and make something yummy and easy."
5. Coordination nation When possible, I try and coordinate meals with the others in my group. For example, this past weekend in North Conway, my friend Caitlin and I were chatting about the weekend BEFORE heading north. We decided that we'd do breakfast and dinner as a big group. And then every man and woman for themselves for lunch.
We had two breakfasts and two dinners to cover and quickly came up with food for each meal. DIY pizzas and Burritos for the dinner. Breakfast would be pancakes one day and eggs the other. We divvied up each meal - Team NH was responsible for DIY Pizza + pancakes while Team VT (1/2 the group was coming from VT) would be in charge of burrito night + eggs.
No point in all of us in the kitchen all trying to cook at the same time. Now that's a silly (and horrible and inefficient idea!)
So there you have it. The five ways that I make sure to eat well when I travel.
Now I want to hear from you. How do you do it? How do you eat well when on the road? Leave a comment in the section below and share your tips.
As always, thanks for reading.