Traveling for extended periods of time, while finding fresh, healthy, delicious food without breaking the bank is definitely a challenge and lesson in diligence, but it can be done if you know what you’re looking for. If you travel for work, be it a touring musician, athlete, creative team, you know the pit falls of making less than stellar food choices. Maybe it’s because you are starving so anything goes, or the frustration of eating whatever is around based on a group vote that picked the greasiest option, and its 2am in the middle of nowhere. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have craft services available, but don’t know what to choose. It can become a cycle of useless consumption that leads to not feeling your best, and ultimately standing in your own way of achieving your best possible outcome and success you set out for in the first place.
PACK IT: Traveling by car, bus, or van. Pack a cooler to refrigerate, a rubber container for dry goods & non-perishables. Nutri-bullet is a great, small accessory to bring along to make smoothies and juices. Carving out space for your nutrition is essential, and ultimately less time and energy consuming than foraging while starving at every stop.
Here are some suggestions:
WATER — FIRST AND FOREMOST — Find your water sources, buy bottled when you don’t have an easily accessible source. I always recommend traveling with a reusable bottle.
PROTEIN: (helps provide stable energy when paired with carbohydrates)
YOGURT (read labels, watch sugar content. Not all are created equal)
BLACK BEANS, GARBANZO BEANS, WHITE BEANS
NUTS & SEEDS
NUT BUTTER (almond or pb)
BAG OF CHIA SEEDS (add liquid for an instant pudding that’s a great, quick meal or snack)
INDIVIDUAL MILK OR MILK SUB DRINKS (the un-opened individual servings are “shelf-stable” and do not need refrigeration until opened)
CARBS: (fiber source, ally in stable energy)
FRUIT (apples, bananas, oranges, lemons)
BREAD (loaf of whole grain)
OATMEAL (make overnight oats by adding liquid and soaking…you guessed it…overnight. Keep refrigerated. Add fruit, nuts, honey to it)
WHOLE WHEAT CRACKERS
VITAMINS, MINERALS, GOOD SUGARS, SUPPLEMENTALS
DRIED FRUITS (raisins, apricot, anything without a sugar coating, that is the least amount of processed you can get your hands on.)
HONEY (have a scoop of pb with some honey for an energy boost when there isn’t time to eat a meal)
PROTEIN BARS (try to grab ones that have simple ingredients and aren’t processed to all hell)
PROTEIN POWDERS ( I back plant based ones for 3 reasons: easier to digest than whey, little to no additives, taste better. Add BROWN RICE or PEA to smoothies if you have access to a blender)
GATORADE (great electrolyte replacement for hot, sweaty environments, post or during show .)
FRESH FRUITS, VEGGIES, & ANIMAL PROTEINS:
Fresh, quality produce & animal proteins like meat & cheese on the road is like the holy grail after seeing all of the processed diner & gas station atrocities mile after mile. I would recommend that these be the items to splurge on. Depending on your dietary preferences, if you eat meat, steer clear of the ultra-processed packaged meats. Applegate brand of deli meats and cheeses are a trusted, non-GMO, nitrate-free, free-range option to keep in the cooler. Hard boiled eggs that can easily be stored in a cooler are great options for a quick breakfast or snack.
Safe travels, and may the forks be with you.
Originally published at medium.com