Who says you can’t eat right while traveling?

 

eatout1
A delicious, healthy lunch on the go!

I always feel less alone in the world, as I opt out of the “Standard American Diet” 95%+ of the time……when I hang out with people like Stasia, Jen, and Rachel. They are GSG readers and apprentice coaches.

This is me, having lunch with them downtown, while they were here from the East Coast. You can see my pint jar of green smoothie next to my salad.

Jen had her stick pack of chia seed that she sprinkled on her salad. Stasia had her baggy of sprouted, dehydrated flax crackers. And Rachel had a bag of Costco baby carrots, and baby bell peppers, that she whipped out to
augment our salads.

eatout2
Robyn with Stasia, Jen and April

I love these ladies’ creativity! All of these are “tricks up my sleeve” that I employ, so that I can eat right when I’m traveling, too. Luckily, you can get a great salad almost anywhere. I have them put the dressing on the side,
I didn’t eat the bread thing that was on my salad, and I avoid GMO corn and soy products. You can even ask them for extra greens, or extra vegetables, or additional healthy items you see they use in other recipes. I do it all
the time.

Watching all three of these amazing, healthy women be creative when they travel is an inspiration! It really is possible. It takes a little planning ahead, is all. You know what to look for as the crux of the diet, and you scan the grocery stores and restaurants for these: living foods (sprouts), greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

 

How to Eat Right While Traveling, part 1 of 3

road trip

This blog entry just introduces you to our driving trip, and part 2 and 3 give practical ideas about eating right on the road.

Last month I was on a road trip to Jackson, Yellowstone, and Sun Valley. It was my Western Party itinerary, designed by my lovely friend Bonnie Smith. I drove Ulf, Petra, and Freddy all around.

Ulf and Petra (the director and M.D. who run Paracelus al Ronc in Switzerland) grew up behind the Berlin Wall, and thus didn’t learn any English until they were in their 20’s. This was only their second time in the U.S., and their first time in the West.

love country musicBeing a Western-themed trip (we did a covered-wagon dinner with fiddle entertainment in Jackson), I played country music nonstop in the car. I told  Ulf I would stop only when he yelled out, “I LOVE COUNTRY MUSIC!” He finally broke on Day 3.

How do you explain lyrics like “Chew-tabbaco-chew-tabbaco-chew-tabbaco-SPIT!” (Blake Shelton’s Boys Round Here.)

Highlights of the tour included the very calm and staid Dr. Petra busting out in a rendition of the Rolling Stones’ I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.

Highlights included my trying to explain the slang and jokes I apparently use constantly. Like what having to “park in BFE” means—and how I talk around the middle word in that acronym–what “skinnydipping” is, what it means to be “on the edge of your seat” (my making a joke about waiting for Old Faithful to erupt).

old faithful
Old Faithful

Highlights included my daughter trying to jump across a stream to chase 2 bull moose with me, and sinking so deep in mud she lost her flipflop.

My daughter Emma is the only one of my children who came along on the trip. She and I have long-standing tension, all centering around one central question:

WHO IS THE ALPHA FEMALE HERE?

One day, Emma and I being so very similar, we will be best of friends. We have a blast together on trips. But she’s the kid I fight with. A number of things about me really tick her off on a regular basis. What I wear, what color my hair is.

Ulf’s birthday was coming up, and I promise him that on his 60th birthday in 4 years, I will find an American rock-star of his choice and get him/her to his party. He wants Mick Jagger. I shoot that down: “Not American.” He thinks, and thinks some more, and keeps coming up with more European singers.

Ulf wants Tina!
Ulf wants Tina!

I suggest Americans he just rejects. Bruce Springsteen. Bon Jovi. “The guy from U2?” he asks.

“Bono. Not American. Disqualify,” I reply.

He has clearly, however, continued stewing about it, and an hour later shouts:

“TINA TURNER! That’s who I want!”

She already lives in Switzerland, he said, so should be cheap for her to attend Ulf’s party.

Help me! I’ve gotten myself into a commitment that may be hard to pull off. I believe in 4 years Ms. Turner will be 75 years old.

Ideas?

Travel tipsMy next two blogs will be about my STRATEGIES for eating whole foods, while on the road, with a minimum of fuss. So that we come home without feeling run down and needing a vacation from the vacation!

Drinking and driving: ideas on traveling

We flew into Columbus, Ohio. We then drove through the beautiful foliage in Michigan, Canada, New York, Massachussetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.

In each of 10 cities, we grabbed whatever was left of the gallons of green smoothie we served our audiences. After the lecture, we’d put them in the fridge in our hotel rooms. Sometimes just leave them in the car when we didn’t have a fridge in our hotel room. Or we fill a trash can with ice in the hotel room, and tossed the gallon in there.

(Other times when I travel, I take frozen pints of green smoothie, bagged and wrapped in my jeans, in my suitcase. Those will last a few days at the most, carefully managed, if you have a fridge where you’re going. Warning: defrosted green smoothies don’t have a good texture!)

Kristin snapped this photo of me “drinking and driving” in Michigan.

Green smoothies are just one way I keep my energy high on a trip. I saw a woman with a green smoothie in the New York City subway. She told me where she bought it, but I forgot. The point is, look around where you are, and you can find good stuff. (We went to Pure Food and Wine in New York City once, too, on this trip—my favorite raw restaurant on the planet.)

Kristin and I are constantly finding the closest Whole Foods Market on our travels. They virtually always have a great salad bar. We load up, and it is our ONE big meal, in a day, along with an herbal tea or kombucha, and a treat (made with no sugar, and only whole foods).

Then we find a Starbucks for the WiFi and find comfy chairs. I prop up my iPad, Kristin opens her laptop, and we work all day till our class starts. A guy walked past me, with my Whole Foods Market box-o-salad, which I confess cost me $13, and said, “We call that Whole Paycheck Market.”

Maybe. But I’m pretty sure his latte just set him back $4. And for what gain?

The rest of the day, on the run in our travels, we have green smoothies, flax crackers we brought from home, dried plums or apricots (favorites of mine). The point is, drive-thrus aren’t inevitable, even if they’ve been your “normal” up till now.

We also look for Sweet Tomatoes or Soup Plantation nearby. We pull up all the restaurants in the area on the Garmin GPS we travel with, and we scroll through them until we find a place with great vegetarian options, and good salads—salad bars being our favorite.

In my hometown of Springfield, Virginia, near our last lecture in the tour, I went to find the house I grew up in, and took this picture. The lovely woman who has owned the home for 20 years asked me if I wanted a tour and of course I said yes.

What a flood of memories to walk through the home I spent many years of my life in. The spot in the basement I’d make out with my boyfriend after my parents went to sleep. The forest behind the house where I’d run to escape my six brothers. The tiny bedroom where I did countless hours of homework.

And just a few miles away is a 25-year old Whole Foods Market with a teeny little salad bar. In high school, I bought nachos at the 7-11 across the street, instead. (It’s still there, too.) Now, I am smarter. I make better choices. I think about the future and the things I want to accomplish and which fuels will send me the right direction.

 

 

Idaho Falls, traveling and eating right, part 2

I love my five-mile run on the Snake River in Idaho Falls. It’s quirky. Thousands of geese of all ages, everywhere, and apparently it’s illegal to scare or chase them, Tennyson was informed. A shrine to a 16-year old girl who died three years ago. Man-made waterfalls. Saturday flea markets with people selling really weird stuff like homemade dog food.

I’ve run many times in so many places—the streets of downtown Paris, along many stretches of California and Hawaii and Florida beaches, through packs of dogs in Urubamba, Peru, last weekend along Lake Michigan. But truly the Snake is one of my all-time favorites.

When I travel, I take more stuff if it’s a road trip, and less if it’s on a plane. Lately on planes, I’ve been taking frozen pints of green smoothies and vegetable juices, packed in double Ziploc bags, and rolled up in jeans in the middle of my suitcase. It makes it to the hotel fridge before it thaws.

Here’s my road trip list, which caused us to never purchase food from a gas station, and never set foot in the hotel “Continental” breakfast. (Thank you to GSG readers who manage Le Ritz—beautiful suite overlooking the river, great value, we always stay there!)

(We did eat salads for lunch and dinner at a couple of restaurants, and once we splurged on spinach/artichoke dip and chips—I’m not promoting it, I’m just being truthful here.) So here’s what was in the cooler:

—Cooler with quarts (me) and pints (Tennyson) of green smoothie, and veggie juice from my Norwalk (beets, cukes, celery, greens, carrots)

—Gallon Ziploc bag of granola, with a pint of soaked/drained raw sunflower seeds, to add to the granola. With cups and spoons and a box of organic rice milk from Kirkland (Costco)

—a big tub of cut-up watermelon for the drive

—whole-grain crackers from Good Earth that Tennyson likes

—some maltitol-sweetened chocolate that I like (which won’t cause me to have to pay Matthew $10,000)

—apples, baggies of celery sticks, baggies of baby carrots

—pistachios

—dried fruit

—a cooler of alkaline water

—Ormus Greens and a shaker cup (I drink a pint of water, with greens in it, when I wake up)

Tennyson and I eat at Subway a lot when we travel. Whole-wheat bread, veggie sandwich (push them to put more, more, more spinach, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, sprouts, and cucumbers, till it’s a big fat sandwich!), no condiments except brown mustard. We both eat a 12″ sandwich! Remember Colin Campbell, PhD from Cornell discovered, to his shock, published in The China Study, that those who eat 95% plants can eat 200 calories a day more than meat-eaters, and stay lean!

In Idaho Falls, after teaching a class where people bemoaned that they have no health food store, I found Scoresby Farm’s Market, with two locations. I bought a flat of strawberries, bags of cherries, pints of blueberries to add to our granola every morning, and a watermelon.

I had them wash all the fruit for me. Unfortunately they wouldn’t cut the watermelon because the law now requires them to ACID WASH knives and cutting boards with only certified acid wash, to cut melons. I guess there was some problem with melons recently, so as with so many other food issues, our government decides to overreact with chemicals and processes that take the life from our food. (Like pasteurizing all of California’s almonds and the federal government’s goals to irradiate much of our produce.) I ended up bringing the uncut watermelon home.

I took the flat of strawberries into the dugout and the whole team ate it. It’s the first whole food I’ve ever seen in a dugout, in 14 years of being a baseball mom. Except for what my boys are eating, of course, or what I occasionally send in there for everybody. Whatever Tennyson is eating is ALWAYS a big curiosity. Usually what you see is nachos, hot dogs, sodas, Gatorade, burgers, and candy. At the end of the game, with all the strawberry tops on the ground, it looked like somebody bled to death in there.

Scoresby Farm’s Market isn’t a health food store, at all. But there’s lots of produce, much of it locally grown, and I asked the manager,

“I’m an health activist from out of town. I spoke to 250 people last night in Idaho Falls, who say there are few options to get nutrient dense food around here. Would you be responsive to my readers asking you to find things for them and stock them? Like young Thai coconuts, for example? If I wrote about you on my blog?”

“Sure,” she said. “In fact, that’s how we ended up with the kale in here that you just noticed—our customers asked for it.”

Go, GSG readers! I have a feeling you had a hand in that. Muah! I love you! Bunches of kale are only $0.69 there!

I asked about organics, and the manager was able to tell me which produce was unsprayed (not organic certified) and “minimally sprayed.”

I hope that helps. Check out Scoresby’s, my I.F. friends!

Sugar-Free Baseball, Part I

Tennyson has a nickname on his team. In the dugout, when he’s up to bat, they chant,

“Sugar-free! Sugar-free! Sugar-free!”

When he gets on base, they yell, “Sweeeeeet!”

I love the nickname, of course, and Tennyson embraces it. I like to yell dumb stuff like, “That was a sugar-free hit, kid!”

It’s pretty easy to make a dugout of 11-year olds laugh. (Remember Tennyson’s joke last summer, when I’d buy him Naked juice at the Good Earth? “Hey guys, my mom got Naked!”)

But my 18-y.o. Kincade, at last night’s game, said, “Never say that again, Mom.”

We’re just back from Tennyson’s team’s tournament in Idaho Falls, where they were one run short of landing in the championship. They won three games, and were up 11-1 in the fourth, when the other team made a massive rally and TIED at 12-12! (My son was the pitcher as his team fell apart, behind him, committing errors upon errors in one horrible inning.)

Lately my boys come SO close to glory, only to be robbed at the 11th hour. Tennyson sobbed all night.

I had a long convo with a dad on the team, a high school football coach, the next day when he saw Tennyson crying into my shoulder (again). He told me that’s where we learn the most, when we kill ourselves trying, but fail. So I should stop mourning things like my oldest son’s state championship loss….at the bottom of the third overtime inning, at 10:30 p.m., after five long days and 8 games of baseball. It’s the crucible of life. We learn more from loss than success.

What a great way to see it. I’m going to embrace it.

So after the game in Idaho Falls, one parent polled everybody about where we wanted to eat. I said, “Just anything where they have salads, not fast food.” Well, the decision was to go to Five Guys for burgers and fries, and they told us Café Rio was next door. Works for me!

Tennyson and I got our vegetarian salad—whole wheat tortilla, double black beans and no rice, extra greens and pico de gallo, no chips, dressing on the side. We brought it over to sit with the team in the burger joint.

The entire rest of the team, and their families, ate burgers. It’s good for me, to be around what most people eat every day, which I now find truly revolting. It reminds me to be grateful for the education I have that makes eating that stuff completely impossible now. Coagulating lard on black patties of dead cows, white flour buns, deep fried, salted sticks of fat- and chemical-soaked potato. None of it looks appealing.

I worked at McDonald’s when I was 16…..the french fries’ ingredient list was a paragraph long, with about 18 ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. Yucky. I haven’t eaten a McD’s french fry since.

Some of the parents told me they were going to take a photo of us in that place, post it on the internet, and blackmail me. Just in case, I took this photo with my cell phone of Tennyson’s Café Rio salad, and my quart of green smoothie, on the table with all the other boys’ dinners.

Our dinner wasn’t a dreary alternative to the good stuff. We LOVED our dinner. YUMMY. Zero deprivation. We went back and had the same thing the next night, at Tennyson’s request.

My next post will take you through what we took, what we ate, on our trip. Just because I haven’t done one of those posts for a while, and it’s a very common request. (“What do you eat in a day?” Also, “What do you do when you travel?”)

As we were eating dinner, one of the boys yelled,

“Hey Tennyson! In twenty years, we’ll all be FAT, and you’ll still be playing baseball!”

Out of the mouths of babes.

Patty from Puyallup gets Creative on a Cruise!

You know I love creative ideas that help us eat right, even in social settings and on vacation. Gotta share this, sent by Patty in Puyallup, WA!

Once two women came up to me at the carwash and told me that one of them had more money, and the other had more time. So the one with $$ paid for the ingredients, and the one with time made the smoothies. A match made in heaven!

Other readers start green smoothie clubs, or salad clubs, at work—and everybody gets healthier for very little financial or time investment. Everyone brings an ingredient, or everyone takes a day blending, and the whole office benefits. And there’s just one BlendTec or Vitamix to buy.

Well, Patty went on a cruise to Bermuda, reluctantly leaving her blender behind. She told the kitchen staff she wanted a green smoothie and was delighted when the dining room staff accommodated her. There was a little learning curve, Patty reports, but after a couple tries they got the hang of it. The drink server even became a convert and starting making himself green smoothies daily!

Even on vacation, we can enjoy health and energy. Then we enjoy our vacation instead of slipping into a junk-food coma.

Here’s a photo of Patty enjoying her greens, on board the Blu dining room on Celebrity’s ship the Summit. As she puts it, “The word continues to spread!”

Photo of Patty