Traveling nationally via car is the most perfect situation when one is a demanding plant-based foodie like me. I can plan and pack all my meals for the next couple of days to ensure pure nutrition and great taste. It’s a win-win situation: We get real cellular nourishment, quality meals, avoid spending money on restaurants that don’t meet my standards, and my husband doesn’t have to endure my complaining about how the majority of restaurants suck. Am I a high-maintenance plant-based foodie? No. I just demand quality, great flavor and real nutrition for my physical body wherever I go. To me, that should be standard. I believe that we all deserve at least that. We just have to demand it, and until it becomes the actual standard, we have to provide it for ourselves.
When you live in a busy city like Los Angeles, frequent 2-3 night getaways (nature/up or down the coast/out of the city) are in order. Whether you stay in a hotel, trailer or a camping tent, you can do this meal prep for travel – all u need is a plan and the “I deserve the best“ mentality. Here, I share with you the practical and nutritional plan I have developed for us plant-based foodies to be satisfied and nourished while on the road.
My main three nutritional and dietary “demands” and general non-negotiables are:
1) Produce has to be organic.
2) The food has to taste amazing.
3) Salads need to have loads of dark leafy greens, a variety of antioxidant-rich veggies, and the dressing needs to be freshly made.
Just in case anyone is wondering, although my husband is not as demanding as I am when it comes to meals, he supports my demands 100% because he sees and has experienced the results of good food. Also, he always says, “happy wife, happy life” – and I agree with him.
Here are some recommendations for a little escape:
- ❉ Bring out the cooler. Always keep a big cooler in your garage or storage area, it’s your “on-call” personal restaurant. My cooler is about 24L x 16W x 18D, and I also have a larger one.
- ❉ Designate a medium-to-large bag (cloth/reusable grocery bag) for your dry foods and other must haves. I use the reusable Ikea frakta medium shopping bag, ’cause it’s the perfect size, and if it gets wet, it can endure it and I can just wipe it clean.
- ❉ Meals should be basic and practical. Breakfast is smoothies, lunch and dinners are huge variations of salads, a whole grain (I bring a Peruvian-style, precooked brown rice and serve cold) and a legume/bean. To fulfill the bean quota (unless you have a kitchenette in your hotel room) the easiest is to bring a batch of marinated baked tofu sticks, which you can chop up and add to the salad mix. Sometimes you can have an open face tartine for lunch, but I usually have to have my salads ’cause they are sooo good!
- ❉ Snacks: Homemade hummus, fruits, veggies (celery, cucumbers, bell peppers), sea algae (my fave), my hubby likes salsa and organic blue corn chips (I might have three chips max), organic olives and avocado. We cut this stuff up, make a medley of snacks, and sip on blueberry Kombucha while relaxing and chatting it up.
- ❉ “Must” produce for me: Two green leaf variations (example: spinach and arugula), heirloom tomatoes, avocados, red onions, cucumbers, bell peppers, celery, radish, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, red apples, pineapple (if it’s in season) and a juicy melon. The best is to bring your greens already washed (you can buy organic varieties pre-washed) so all you gotta do is chop and season.
- ❉ “Must” nutritional extras: Udo’s oil with DHA, Celtic sea salt, Cylon cinnamon, chlorella, dulse (red algae) and bee pollen. These guys are full of fatty acids, minerals and protein, and they all help keep you healthy.
- ❉ “Must” tools: Big comfortable cutting board, my ceramic knife, Magic Bullet, stainless steel utensils, a drying towel and a large glass bowl (for salad mix).
- ❉ If you stay in a hotel, book one with a mini fridge. That always helps.
With some ice packs, all of this stuff travels well. The more you do this, the easier it gets. To us, it’s the best and only way to travel. You deserve the best and you shouldn’t wait for others to provide it for you. Take control of your health and your life. Have conscious fun – you deserve it.