Two weeks ago, I went to West Palm Beach, Florida, to visit a friend. I had to change the airplane in Dallas where I spent three hours waiting for my connecting flight. I remember how hungry I was after a five hour flight from San Francisco. I decided to have some food at the airport
restaurant, which wasnít an easy task for me. I am very picky and careful when choosing the food I eat. Dallas Airport is a place where thousands of people pass through every day, and where I found nothing but fast food restaurants with very low quality food. However, because
I was so hungry I decided to try to find some healthy food for myself. All I could find among those fast food restaurants and deliís were some vegetables and noodles at a Chinese place.
While I was eating that overcooked and very greasy food, I was observing other people around me and
thinking how some of them have to deal with this ďfinding nutritious foodĒ dilemma several times per week. At the same time, I remembered ďGĒ, a very close friend of mine who is in the IT business and who would usually travel 4-5 days per week. She would always wonder what and where to eat.
So, I decided to create a list of foods that are healthy, simple, nutrients rich and easy-to-prepare, and that anybody could take with them when traveling.
First, buy yourself nice, reusable plastic containers, and a small collapsible cooler. That will make traveling with food much easier.
Second, treat yourself as a queen or a king and choose ďORGANIC FOODĒ, which generally means the highest quality food.
Third, pick some food from the following list, pack it up and you will have a wonderful and a healthy travel companion.
- Salad: A variety of mix green vegetables, raw or slightly blanched. Pack a salad of mix greens and vegetable in a plastic container. Put your dressing in a small glass jar, or old yogurt container. Make your own dressing with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar. Try different types of vinegar or flax oil. Add, mustard, fresh or dry herbs, garlic, onion (red, green or yellow), salt and pepper for variety. My favorite dressing is fresh tarragon, garlic, mustard, cashews, salt and pepper added to extra virgin olive oil and vinegar.
- Fresh fruit: Easy to pack and some travel very well. Throw an orange, banana, or an apple into your bag before trip. Then, when you are waiting those long hours for your connection flights you can have a quick, easy, healthy and nutritious snack.
- Nuts and seeds: Travel very well for a long time. Try raw, soaked or sprouted. They make a great and healthy addition to your salads or as a separate snack. Better and healthier than munching on those cookies and chocolates that are available everywhere around you. We also recommend a small pepper grinder filled with flax seeds and grinned up on top of anything you eat. Itís a great source of Essential Fatty Acid and a great immune system boost.
- Boiled Eggs: A great source of protein (and lecithin-for liver fat metabolism). They can be added to salads, as a breakfast when no organic food is available, or they could be a snack. For longer trips, you could boil 2 eggs for each day you are traveling and put them into a cooler. You can refill your cooler with ice from the hotel you are staying in. Combined with fruits and toast from room service, you can have a great breakfast without eating commercial animal products.
- Cheese: Good quality, organic, hard cheese travels well and itís a great addition to salads or as a snack on its own.
- Broiled chicken, turkey or steak: Great with salads. While traveling itís always easier to get good quality salads or veggies, but organic meats are nearly impossible to get. Even without a cooler these will keep until lunch if itís not too hot.
- Smoked tofu: I love this stuff on the road. Itís a great protein source that you donít have to cook ahead of time. It is available in all natural food stores. You can make sandwiches with a few slices of tofu on sprouted grain bread with some humus and green veggies (lettuce or cabbage). For longer trips, it travels well in a cooler.
- Tempeh: My favorite food and the best source of bioavailable protein as well as a great travel companion. You can get it at any natural food stores and prepare it as any other animal protein. Excellent in sandwiches and a very tasty, nutrient rich and easy digestible addition to your salads.
- Bread: Take an entire loaf of sprouted wheat or hearty rye to replace the white flour bread always offered in hotels and restaurants. Use in combination with some foods from above and youíll have a great meal.
- Stew: A meal in the bowl is health for your body and mind. A stew made with meat or beans can make a nutritious and very comforting meal on the road. It is easy to transport in a single container. Try making a batch over the weekend for the following work week.
- Beans and rice: Great warm or cold. It wonít need refrigeration before lunch, and it's a great source of easily digestible protein. Combine it with salad for a balanced meal.
- Veggie sticks: Always a great idea and an excellent travel companion. Cut up carrots, peppers, cucumbers, celery, radishes and whatever else you like. Pack in a plastic container or bag. Great, healthy and refreshing as a snack or with some of the above.
- Humus: Mix it with veggie sticks and sprouted bread and youíll have a balanced meal. An excellent source of easily digestible protein and healthy fats.
- Liver pate: Itís testier than you think, and very nutritious. It's great with sprouted bread or veggie sticks. You can have it as a snack or a meal. Make sure to use organic liver.
- Baked potatoes: Sweet, comforting, nutritious, red-yellow, a great travelerÖany potato can be baked the night before and wrapped up for a snack or a side dish to lunch. My favorite is sweet potatoes. Amazingly they will minimize your sweet craving too.
- Dulse or kelp sprinkles: If you donít have the time to prepare balanced food, just take some seaweed sprinkles and add them to the food available. Great source of booster immune system food. Alkalinize the body from all other acidic forming foods.
- Green powders: A great way to make a hotel breakfast more nutrient rich. Just add to your juice. I carry a bottle with me everywhere. Great for an energy boost.
- Sushi: Be creative and roll up brown rice with nori seaweed and some veggies, tofu, tempeh, smoked fish, turkey or green beans. Makes a great nutritious snack or lunch, and itís fun to make it.
There are many more options. Be creative and allow yourself time to prepare food for travel. Make an extra dinner the night before, and have it for lunch tomorrow. Don't assume that good and healthy food will be available while traveling.
Remember, you are not allowed to take food out of the country. For international travel, research health food stores near your hotel before you leave, or ask your hotel concierge where you can buy some healthy food.
Healthy and nutritious food that you bring with you on your travels will give you much more freedom and enjoyment than you think. For business professionals, nutrient rich food is an investment: it increases productiveness and alertness during long working days.
Good luck and be safe on the road!
Thanks to Jennifer Beaty NE for great ideas and useful information.