This is a big topic, and it will be covered in more detail in my new book How to Eat Right in the Real World and in my 2014 lecture tour. But I’m asked it constantly. I’ve had two flight attendants who are GSG readers, and even a passenger in the seat in front of me, say, “Hey GSG, how do you eat right on the road?”
It must be a question burning on everyone’s minds. Since folks I don’t know ask me so often.
First of all, this is a huge topic. It is, for sure, harder than eating right at home, where you have a kitchen and a routine. It’s also entirely possible to do. It involves some simple strategies. I am very accustomed to these practices and so they honestly don’t take me extra time. I do not come home from trips depleted of energy. I feel normal, have zero jetlag unless I’m coming home from another continent, and get right back to real life.
I will share some details of a few of my recent trips.
First, though: people are obsessed with macronutrients (protein, carbs, fats). If we eat a variety of foods high in micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, enzymes), the macronutrients have a tendency to take care of themselves.
Our culture’s focus is too much on CALORIES and MACRONUTRIENTS. This obsession leads them towards “low fat” and “calorie reduced” and “lean meats” (processed and problematic) instead of raw, whole plant foods. My goal is to get people to focus on what’s actually important related to diet, and if they do, the calorie and macronutrient issue just takes care of itself. That is, focus on MICRONUTRIENTS.
Eat the foods highest in vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Those same foods are also high in fiber.
That’s greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. In that order. Every meal I eat, or serve to my kids, has vegetables and/or fruits. I don’t eat 100% cooked meals, pretty much EVER. I can’t always get the exact foods I want in a restaurant or on the road. But I can virtually always get 60-80% greens, vegetables, and fruits of some kind—virtually all raw. Whatever I can get.
As I took my friends from Switzerland to Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, and Sun Valley this summer–in 6 days—having a COOLER was key. It was July, so replacing the ice every night in the hotel was important. Most of the hotels we stayed in weren’t nice enough to have fridges in the rooms.
I had three days’ worth of green smoothies in jars. They’ll last that long. The third day they don’t taste as great as the first day. I’m not hardcore enough to take my blender and buy greens and fruit, and make them in hotel rooms. I used to. I’m simpler now. Hats off to you, if you’re willing to go to some trouble.
That gets you three days’ worth of smoothies for the road. That’s better than none. I find that I’m happy, healthy, and high-energy on trips to the extent I eat right. Continental breakfast just isn’t worth it. You eat bagels that turn to glue in your intestines. You eat pastries that spike, and then crash, your blood sugar, making you not want to walk from Fantasyland all the way over to Adventureland!
I don’t honestly spend much time planning any more. But this list is the contents of my box of food and cooler, on the road last month. After a quick trip to the Good Earth, all I made is green smoothies and granola:
Quarts and pints of green smoothie
Happy Monkey hummus (I don’t even love hummus, but OMG I love their stuff)
Blue corn chips (organic, no salt)
Tub of organic goat cheese
Perfect Foods Bars (almond butter flavor) (I’m obsessed with these lately)
A couple of tubs of sunflower greens and other sprout greens I bought (we have a big handful before breakfast–bitter greens stimulate digestion and provide enzymes to a cooked meal) (this is a form of green food that travels well)
Gallon Ziploc bag full of my homemade granola (and bowls/spoons)
2 boxes almond milk
(I bought some Synergy brand, but you can make your own, see Ch. 8 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods)
Tubs of organic blueberries (put on granola)
Go Raw’s Super Cookies
Bag of cocktail cucumbers (our new favorite thing at Costco)
Bag of mini-bell peppers (our other new favorite things at Costco)
Four days later, I went to the general store in Yellowstone, all our produce gone, and bought
A bag of plums
A bag of nectarines
All the cucumbers in the store
All the blackberries in the store
Bottled unsweetened green tea (emergency stash for any snoozy drivers)
More thoughts on keeping your nutrition level high, on the road, next time!