eating healthy while traveling

I’m back from a fun trip down south for a baseball tournament in the sun.   I tried a tip from a woman who attended my nutrition class the night before I left–to use coconut oil instead of sunscreen.   She says it works.   (It seems rather counterintuitive–isn’t coconut oil in tanning lotions used to accelerate tanning?   But I’d read that same advice somewhere else, so it seemed worth a try.)

Well, I got a little burned anyway.   Maybe I shouldn’t have sat out with my coconut-oiled face, for THREE HOURS from 11:00 to 2:00?!   But it’s been a long winter, and I was looking forward to some sun.

So I can’t tell you coconut oil is  a miracle sunscreen.   But I was so busy, I had to fly out the door with my two sons, without doing any food prep like I usually do for a trip.   We grabbed a bag of sprouted teriyaki almonds I’d made for the nutrition class, a bag of those sweet-potato spears from Costco, and that’s ALL.   It was an adventure in finding decent nutrition on the road without the advantage of advance planning.

I found a place called Jimmy John’s (a sandwich franchise) down there.   They have a 7-grain bread and a veggie sandwich featuring alfalfa sprouts, lettuce, tomato, and a homemade avocado sauce. Not too bad, and pretty filling.

Subway is our standby as “fast food” on trips. Here’s what you do: get the “wheat” bread and order a Veggie Delite.   Tell the teenaged employee to put on LOTS of cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, and shredded carrots.   If you’re lucky, they’ll have spinach, though I didn’t see any at the Subways we visited on this trip.   Skip the iceburg and load up on the nutrient-dense veggies.   For a sauce, we just do brown mustard.

Then, your sandwich lies there, open, looking a little skimpy.   The “sandwich artist” awaits further orders.   Do not, in the interest of being polite, leave with that skimpy sandwich.   You say, can I have a bunch more tomatoes?   Thanks!   And how about a lot more cucumbers?   (Go through the whole vegetable lineup again if necessary.   Smile and use ALL your chatty charisma so as to not completely annoy them.)   When your sandwich is piled high with veggies, they manage to squeeze it shut and package it up for you, and you get a rather nutritious meal—though I recommend the 12-inch to make it filling enough!

 I stopped at a grocery store and got Grape Nuts (actually the store brand, because it was cheaper and didn’t contain soy lecithin).   We also got a couple boxes of Rice Dream, some bananas to put on top, and plastic bowls and spoons.   That was breakfast for four days.   I got a bag of apples for snacks.

I still wish I’d made two blenderfuls of GS and put it in a cooler like I’d planned (you can always use the hotel’s ice if your room doesn’t have a mini-fridge).   But we did okay!

Next up, I’m off to fill plastic Easter eggs with carob raisins, and hide them,  for the kids.   Happy Easter to y’all!

8 thoughts on “eating healthy while traveling

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  1. Hey Robyn, I think I’m in your same state! And I’m from “down south” where you visited. A lady from church gave me your web site and I’m loving it! Thanks! If you are ever in town for a week day, visit Health Nut Natural Foods market. They have two really good sandwiches! Also, if you don’t mind the drive over to LaVerkin, you could try Kathy’s Krackers.

    They are veggie/raw. We have a vegetarian society here and are always looking for speakers. Have you ever done classes down here? I would love to hear from you!


  2. Hi April, I often teach nutrition classes and would love to do one down there in St. George next time! I have noticed that your area is booming with health-conscious people.

    Thanks for the tip–I asked the hotel staff where the health food store was, and I got mostly blank looks and a vague, “I don’t know–I think there’s one SOMEWHERE.”


  3. I’ve read conflicting research about soy lecithin. On one hand I’ve heard it contains pesticides and other solvents, and on the other hand I’ve heard of people actually taking soy lecithin supplements (because it’s apparently a good source of choline). Obviously you think it’s bad, but what exaclty is it that makes it bad? I’ve been avoiding it to be safe, but I couldn’t really say why if someone asked me! Thanks,


  4. The soy myth is part of my Nutrition Manifesto, which you’re getting one part of, at a time, if you’re signed up for’s e-letter. If you can’t wait for it (it’s not posted on the site until it goes out as an e-letter), email me. The short answer is that isolated soy products (like the one we’re discussing) are a refined, estrogenic, thyroid-suppressing hoax on the American public. Soy junk foods are in thousands of products and shouldn’t be. If you’re going to eat soy, get it in small amounts, in the form the Asians use: whole, fermented products like miso and tofu and tempeh. No soy “isolates” in the form of powders or bars, etc.


  5. Hi Robyn, I like your post, as we’re prepping for a x-country move I am coming up with all kinds of ideas. I have to admit that I really don’t like Subway though. I’d rather stop at a grocery store and pick up heads of leaf lettuce, fresh veggies, avocado and sprouted grain bread. But sometimes it’s not logistically possible.

    One thing about soy and the Chinese. The Chinese have been drinking soy milk for about 2000 years. Soy milk and tofu are not necessarily whole, or fermented, but they are definitely not isolates, so I see where you are going. 🙂

    Russell and I drink soy milk every day and eat tofu regularly. Both of these we try to make at home with our soy milk maker out of plain soybeans which we buy in a 50 pound bag. Sometimes, though, we do buy store bought when we’re short on time. 🙂

    Just plain old soy beans, definitely no “isolates” in my kitchen, like you find in protein powders and clif bars, as well as vegetable oil, kinda. I can’t imagine getting soy oil out of my soybeans in my kitchen.

    The problem I have with commercial soy milk and soy yogurt is that some of them are loaded with weird stuff like “natural” flavors, salt, isolated vitamins, thickeners, and tons and tons of sugar.

    Peace ~ Ruthie

  6. Robyn,

    The next time you plan a trip to St. George let us know. Visit our web site at There is an e-mail contact there or you can just e-mail me at We would love to have you do a lecture/class. We also have potlucks once a month starting in April so if you are in town at any of those times, it would be fun to have you join us!


  7. Robyn,

    I was at a class you did the other night and I loved it. I was wondering how you go about setting up another one for you to do at my house? I have told all my friends about you and they give blank stares and I think that if they could hear this all from you they would be more accepting.


  8. Hi Liz,

    I would be happy to do a class for you. Here’s the deal: you’d just want to be able to get at least 15 people there (especially moms, because you know how I love them), since it’s a fair amount of work for me. You’ll get an RSVP and give each of them an assignment to bring a green smoothie ingredient. We can talk more if you want to write me privately and propose a date.

    And that goes for anybody else on the Wasatch Front. 🙂


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