In this day and age it is vital for every family to have a Healthy Plan for eating while on the road. If you have no commitment or no plan for how to eat healthy, you will end up eating fast food or other incredibly un-healthy options out of ease and simplicity. You will be amazed at how easy and relatively inexpensive eating clean can actually be. Read the tips below to help get your family on the road and healthy!
There is eating on the road whilst traveling, and then there is eating well on the road while traveling. I am a fan of the latter.
Though I know most settle for the former. I even used to. I mean, what can you do, right? You’re on the road or you’re stuck in an airport — not exactly the stomping grounds for healthy fare, so if you are not 100% committed to eating only good for you food, you’re going to fail much more than someone who is 100% in.
As an adventure traveling mom of 12, I consider myself 100% committed. I now take nutrition seriously because it keeps us out of the doctors office and because it gives us all the energy we need to keep charging harder in all of our exploits!
But this convenience vegan momma is married to a meat and potatoes man and raising 12 carnivores who are hungry every second of every day. I’m serious, the kids are eating us out of house and home. I envy those of you who have to bribe your kids to eat.
With the food sold in grocery stores becoming more and more sketchy and rife with GMO’s pesticides, toxic chemicals, antibiotics, etc. eating healthy is one of the hardest things to do. if you don’t purchase from local farmers, to be safe, you literally have to painstakingly research where your food is coming from. Truth be told, this is annoying as heck to me and if we weren’t choosing to live in an RV these days and travel, I’d be living on a farm and raising our own food!
You see, these days, everything, and I mean everything is mass produced. We have a seemingly endless supply of meat, chickens, eggs and dairy products and while that means abundance and should mean lower prices, it doesn’t. But it is responsible for our deteriorating health.
As a result I prefer to most everything we consume myself and to sneak as much RAW foods as possible into the bodies of my children and husband! I do this by purchasing produce from organic farmers local to whatever area we are visiting and by buying only organic grass fed meats, milk, butter and eggs and buying unpasteurized cheese which can be found in health food stores and major retailers like Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage. Kroger is even starting to carry grass-fed beef!
I am of the mindset that if it’s not a fruit, nut, vegetable or seed, they don’t need it, but I can’t convince a single one of them that I am right , let alone my husband, Dan, and so buy meats I do.
And I recently discovered Paleo, which makes feeding my family meat way more acceptable to me because it focuses on lean protein, fruits and veggies and healthy fats from natural sources like grass-fed beef and fish oils like fermented cod liver oil.
And then, as if that wasn’t enough, I was browsing the cookbooks in Vitamin Cottage one afternoon and found the holy grail of cookbooks. As a foodie I am well aware that some of the healthiest foods available are from Mediterranean recipes. So when I found the “Mediterranean Paleo Cooking: Over 150 Fresh Coastal Recipes for a Relaxed, Gluten-Free Lifestyle” I picked it up.Now for me to buy a cookbook, it has to be chock-full of healthy recipes, but it also has to have a ton of color photographs! 🙂 Truth.
This one has both and it now boasts the majority of the meals we consume.
Now, see, there are things we can do to conquer healthy eating and beat the system that seriously seems to be trying to poison us, so don’t despair.
Here are a few more of my secrets for ensuring my family consumes as much good food as humanly possible.
1: RAW Foods at Every Meal & Snacks
I try to fill them up with my idea of healthy as much as possible to limit the amounts of the other foods they eat. If they utter the words, I’m hungry, I pull out raspberries, blackberries, celery and carrots and anything else deemed produce.
I also travel with my trusty Vitamix blender. At a moment’s notice I can whip up a healthy RAW food smoothie that is both filling and rich in nutrients. And since every single meal has RAW foods in it, the Vitamix is our most used kitchen item. With the vitamix, I can make everything from Nut Milks to Smoothies to soups to dressings to dips for veggies. Entire meals are made in this wonder appliance.
2: Fresh Juice
I juice everything and my kids love juice. It’s a win/win. I have not bought juice from a store in about 3 years! Instead I buy fresh produce from local farmers and turn it into juice. Not only does it taste better, but it is fresh, raw, pure juice and that means maximum health benefits.
Not sold on the concept of juicing yet? Juicing has so many benefits outside of the obvious of eating fruits and vegetables. It increases energy, builds stronger bones, gives your stomach and liver a break, fights free radicals, hydrates your body, offers instant enzymes, nutrients are absorbed immediately feeding our cells, it restores our immune systems, and so much more!
Juicing is a great way to start your day and super easy to get started. In fact, my first juicer, Jack Lalanne, was uber cheap and purchased at Costco. It lasted forever until we were on a road trip to Houston and it fell out of the car in a hotel parking lot. My second juicer, was more expensive, a Breville Fountain, and pretty sweet as well.
Moral of the story, start juicing with whatever priced juicer you can afford!!!
3. Prep Your Veggies
Whenever you have free time (ha ha ha, as if) take 30, 40 or whatever minutes you have to prepare your veggies so they are as easy a choice as pre-packaged snacks.
Wash all your fruits and veggies and prepare them, cut them into snack size pieces and put them in the fridge for easy snacking. House rules say fruits and vegetables are there for the taking, no-one has to ask permission to eat an apple or slices of pepper.
I also make sure to have staples on hand like homemade (in the Vitamix) hummus, guacamole and easy fresh dressings to pair with our produce. It’s crazy, but it really is so much easier to make healthy choices when they are ready for your enjoyment. And what’s more crazy is that you’ll actually find yourself enjoying those raspberries way more than the chips, it’s just that chips are easy.
So set yourself up for success and make healthy eating easy by setting aside a few minutes early in the week to prepare your produce for consumption!!
4. Make Your Own Condiments
This sounds overwhelming doesn’t it? But you know what, it’s easier than you could ever imagine and you don’t have to worry about all those nasty ingredients like High Fructose Corn Syrup, which is in everything you buy, and Red Dye Number whatever.
Most of us eat a ton of condiments with our meals, my kids included. They dip everything in Ranch Dressing, but the ingredients in store bought Ranch Dressing are disgusting and counter productive to all I’m trying to accomplish in our healthy lifestyle.
Which is why I make all our condiments from fresh RAW produce. All you really need are a good quality blender, like the Vitamix. Blend your ingredients and viola, instant, delicious and healthy condiments from salad dressings to salsas to even ketchup — all worry free and no limits or battles on how much they can eat!
5: Massive Dinner Sized Salads
I often trick my kids into eating more greens by making the biggest salads you’ve ever seen on a handful of greens. Sprouted legumes, all colors of peppers, RAW seeds, unpastuerized cheese, avocados, grapes, oranges, broccoli, tomatoes, onions, strawberries, cauliflower, olives, capers, mushrooms (which I dice because my kids really dislike the shrooms) and anything else I can find in our fridge. I top it off with a homemade dressing made in our Vitamix (see the pattern with this device?) and call it dinner.
On occasion I will throw grass fed chicken or steak on top, but it’s often totally unnecessary!! Greens sharpen your eyesight, strengthen your bones, oxidize your blood, keep your heart healthy and fight cancer. My mouth is watering just thinking about this salad …
Enjoy Your Food
The worst thing that can happen is that you become a slave to food and that leaves you craving all the things you tell yourself you can’t have. And that’s what’s so great about keeping foods on hand that you can eat and eat and eat without any guilt.
And the benefits are immediately reaped in the form of energy and all around feeling great.
I can totally tell the difference when I fall and eat junk. I feel lethargic and heavy. Whereas when I eat light and healthy, regardless of how much, I have energy, clarity and feel so high on life.
One other quick tip, try drinking a 1 tbsp or 2 of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar each morning with a big cold glass of water. It serves to boost your metabolism and increase your energy. On the days I remember I feel like I could climb Mt Everest and I never get that tired feeling!!
Have we missed any tips? I’m always looking for more tips to make eating healthy easy. What are your top tips? Spill ‘em in the comments below.