Staying Healthy on a Road Trip
I’m back from an amazing two week road trip adventure and I want to share with you my tips on how I stayed healthy and other things that I learned along the way.
To give you a little bit of background, I started my journey in Vancouver, BC and headed down to Portland, Oregon area. I travelled around Oregon for about a week, then headed down to northern California, around the bay area for a few days before journeying back up along the coast of Oregon… all the way home to Vancouver. Thankfully, I was in one of the most vegan-friendly states, especially around Portland. Therefore, there were lots of options in terms of vegan food. I was travelling with non-vegan friends for the first week, spent a couple days with a non-vegan family, and had another meal with a non-vegan friend. I stayed in a mix of airbnb, hotels, homes and in my car. (I brought camping gear but to be honest I just couldn’t be bothered to set it up if I could just easily sleep in my car.)
Now, on to the good stuff!
THINGS TO BRING
- Water Bottles – I mean you should always carry with you a water bottle regardless, but since this was a road trip I brought with me at least 4 bottles/containers that held water. You can easily find places to refill your bottles, from rest stops to restaurants, to grocery stores, etc.
- Tupperware / Reusable bags – These are so helpful to carry fruit that you pre-washed or to carry and pack snacks for the trip.
- Utensils – This is especially so if you decide to go camping, additionally if you ever get food to go, save some of the plastic or even compostable utensils.
- Cooler bags and ice packs – I was fortunate to be able to stay in places where they had fridges and freezers so I was able to refreeze my ice packs. However, purchasing ice is also another option. Having a cooler bag is essential to keep your fruits cool, perhaps salads or other greens you pre-bought, or other beverages you would like to keep cold as well. This is especially so if you are travelling in the summer and the weather is warmer.
- Hand sanitizer – Pretty self-explanatory but definitely a must.
- Homemade snacks – If you are starting your journey in the comfort of your home, prepare some healthy snacks that you can take. I brought with me dehydrated fruit such as banana and apples. I also made some protein balls. If I had more time to prep, I would’ve made my own raw, dehydrated granola.
- Happy Cow is a site/app that makes finding vegan, vegetarian, vegan-friendly food easily searchable and accessible, no matter where you are in the world. I used it throughout my entire trip and it was extremely helpful. Not only did I discover some amazing little spots that I definitely would not have otherwise, but it gave us destinations and allowed us to plan around it. The site also have many other resources such as blog posts, discussions, recipes and other write ups on all sorts of topics. So if you are unfamiliar, please go check it out! I highly recommend it, you may even find some amazing places near you that you did not know existed!
Eat Well Guide
- Another similar site is Eat Well Guide. This is especially so if you are travelling in the US. Not only does it list restaurants but also farms, markets and other sources of local, sustainable food found throughout the states. Simply type in your location and what you are looking for.
Grocery Stores and Supermarkets
- If you are in more remote places and in smaller towns, finding grocery stores and other supermarkets may be the next best option. Although I would rather support local businesses and farmers, sometimes you have to do what you have to. I was pleasantly surprised that even at Safeway and Fred Myer had some healthy options, such as organic products, juices, even raw foods.
- Whole Foods literally was my best friend. I cannot even tell you how many Whole Foods I went to, probably at least 8 within the two weeks. The best thing I love about Whole Foods is that they have a salad and hot food bar. I honestly cannot go a day without eating a salad so being able to count on Whole Foods was the best. Again I am thankful I was in Oregon and in the States where Whole Foods is not only an option but there are many of them, especially in bigger cities. While you’re there, stock up on those healthy snacks, such as fruit, dried fruit, granola, nuts and seeds, bars… etc.
- Always bring food with you. ALWAYS! Even if you already ate, even if you have plans for a meal, you never know. This is especially so at the start of the day, and when you are off to visit different sights and places. It does not hurt to be prepared and ready in case. This will prevent you from reaching to more unhealthy options when you are dying of hunger.
- Another thing that I brought with me on the trip are supplements. I brought multivitamins, digestive enzymes and probiotics.
Be adaptable and flexible.
- We should learn to be adaptable and flexible in everyday life regardless because sometimes life can throw you a curve ball. As organized and prepared you may be you are not in control of everything that happens, so you will need to overcome these changes and obstacles. My only suggestion is just be patient and to breathe before immediately reacting. Sometimes it is okay to give yourself a minute to regroup. In most cases it’s probably the best thing you can do. Additionally, mistakes will happen so learn from them, it is how we improve and grow.
It is all about balance.
- I’m sure you are sick of me saying this already but I cannot stress this enough. I celebrated my 3-year veganniversary and decided to treat myself with a burger. I ate other more unhealthy snacks such as chips, but they were organic and had the best ingredients such as coconut oil and sea salt. I suppose depending on your definition of healthy, I stayed fairly healthy and as healthy as I could throughout the trip.
Listen to your body.
- Another thing you probably hear me say a lot… During this trip, I did not follow a typical western breakfast, lunch and dinner formula. Instead, I ate when I was hungry and ate until I was satisfied. Most days, it consisted of many small snacks throughout the day; other days consisted of more larger meal sized portions. It is about setting yourself boundaries and limits, but also giving yourself some slack and being okay with it. There is no need to stress about it. Just remember not to deprive yourself and that whatever you are consuming is fueling you and providing your body the nutrients it need to perform at its best.
Make it a lifestyle, not a diet.
- I always get asked if being vegan is hard or that eating so healthy must be boring or tough. First of all, there is an overwhelming misconception that vegans only eat lettuce. If you are one of those people I highly recommend that you check out my FAQ page and go through some of my other posts… trust me eating a plant-based vegan diet is anything but boring. In terms of it being tough, if you change your mindset surrounding the consumption of food in the sense that it is not a diet and a restriction but an opportunity to fuel your body, choosing the healthier option will become only natural and become second nature.
Maybe it is time I plan another road trip. Hmm, where to go? So many possibilities!
Happy roadtripping my friends!