With air travel out of the question right now, a summer vacation will most likely mean a road trip. Having a good time on the journey plays a huge role in the fun and the experience. The fact that you follow a Paleo diet need not throw a wrench into you planning, even though you may feel high-quality paleo travel food can be hard to find. All it takes is a little with outside-the-box thinking, some pre-planning, a few strategies and some ready-to-go Pete’s Paleo meals you will find yourself all set to enjoy the journey along with the destination.
Staying Paleo On The Road
Food must fit the situation.
Depending on where you are, where you are going and how long your travel time is, your food may need to be temperature-stable and not too messy.
Some foods need an ice-pack or some wet wipes. If you can bring that along, great! If not, make sure you have a better option.
Choose foods you actually WANT to eat.
Often when on the road or in the air, you may feel subjected to ‘having to eat’ food that makes you feel unwell or sabotages your goals because you are out of Paleo friendly options. Be picky AND prepared to make sure that you don't have to compromise. If fasting is something you include in your lifestyle, consider it as an option whilst on a road trip too – especially if options are less than optimal.
Travel food should be grab and go.
Road trip food should either be easy to prepare in advance (when you have the time and the will) or just be something you can keep stocked in your pantry or stashed in your glove box or tossed into your bag or purse as a go-to item. Let’s be honest: If your choices require lots of planning or preparation they may not end up being choices!
Ensure your food tastes good and has variety.
If you are unimpressed with the Paleo choices you have brought along, it will be much harder to say no to non-Paleo snacks and treats, including all sorts of junky refined carb- and sugar- heavy foods. These foods will undoubtedly leave you feeling and performing poorly later. And what fun is a trip when you feel nasty?
Variety means more than simply carbs and sugar.
This can often be challenging but your meal or snack should include healthy fats and protein for longer-burning energy. Ideally, you will succeed at getting a mix of all three macronutrients in each, or at least most, of your 'meals'.
Food in any form, whether you consider it a meal or a snack should signal to your brain and body that you have, actually, eaten and ingested nutrients and energy.
The texture of the food, and therefore your need to chew plays a big role in this. The problem with a lot of liquid or drinkable meal replacements is that you can still feel hungry after washing them down, regardless of the energy they provide.
What To Bring
When traveling, it is good to have a list of staples, some trip-friendly foods to take along that you know will not only check the boxes above but keep you happy and satisfied on your journey. These are a few simple go-to foods that meet the above-listed criteria to different degrees, are satisfying alone, but do even better in combination for variety and taste:
Eggs are an obvious go-to source for protein and healthy fats. The challenge is that eggs require pre-cooking and generally only last a day at room temperature. They can often become monotonous or unappealing with too much repetition.
Pair your eggs something offering a bit of starchy carbs, especially if you are quite active.
Tip: Cook them the night before the expedition so they're ready to go. Peel and pack in a lightweight travel container so they don't get crushed.
Vegetables and fruit
Fresh produce gives you the freshness and crunch you may be craving along with the phytochemicals, the moisture and variety you need on a long journey. Vegetables and fruits are stable for several days at room temperature, depending on the variety and level of ripeness. Pack choices including apples, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, berries, grapes, celery and mini Persian cucumbers.
Without the much-needed proteins and fats, alone, vegetables and fruits may leave you feeling hungry so try to pair them well.
Tip: Sometimes they can also be messy and require a knife or other preparation. Choose a fruit (like apples) that doesn't crush, or pack in some light weight travel containers to protect softer fruits like berries or peaches.
Cured or dried meats.
Cured and dried meats like prosciutto or jerky provide another source of protein, and often help stave off the boredom and disgust the thought of yet more hard-boiled eggs might otherwise provoke.
Bacon can make an easy and always delicious travel snack. Pre-cook and take along to make those eggs into a complete meal or add some vegetables or slice into an avocado – a little bacon makes everything taste better!
Cured meats are ok for about a day out of refrigeration. Although these meats can be very salty, and it can be hard to find brands that don't come with lots of sugar and preservatives, more and more brands are turning to natural methods to smoke, cure and preserve their meats.
Tip: Some brands are now available in a handy re-sealable pouch, but you can also always re-pack into a portable container for convenience or single-serve portions. Wrap the prosciutto around the hard-boiled egg for a delicious mouthful!
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A good quality, low-sugar dark chocolate is great for a portable, no-boiling-water-needed source of caffeine, antioxidants, healthy fats and theobromine. This is the perfect reason to eat chocolate for breakfast as it can prove to be excellent for those early mornings where coffee may not be an easily accessible option…… or simply because, well, chocolate for breakfast!
Be mindful as chocolate can melt if left in the sun or the car, it contains added sugar (unless you are consuming 100 cacao or are making your own) and it fails to provide much protein.
Tip: Seek out a good source and eat in moderation. Look for one that doesn't have anything but cocoa beans and a little cane sugar. When choosing a real dark chocolate, a little of this goes a long way, as it is very flavorful, rich and strong.
Make sure you are fully stocked with chef prepared, delicious, seasonal, well-sourced Paleo meals ready to be heated up and enjoyed, piping hot, cooled or at room temperature. Menus and meals are available in both larger and smaller sizes as well as family-sized portions and with enough variety to suit any taste or dietary restriction.
Tip: Worried about what to eat at your destination? Why not get Pete’s Paleo delivered to where ever you may be travelling? Meals can be scheduled to arrive when you do. No apron required, simply heat and enjoy!!
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When going on a road trip and driving for a few hours, or a few days, reducing the stress around energy, feeling great and maintaining your Paleo lifestyle is important so you can fully enjoy your trip, be present and relax. Being prepared with a few simple strategies allows you to truly enjoy your journey, from start to finish. Happy travels.