Nothing quite says summer like the words ‘road trip’ or ‘beach vacation.’ Getting there can, for the most part, play a huge role in the fun and the experience. Your Paleo lifestyle may at first glance appear to possibly throw a wrench in that good time - high-quality paleo travel food can be hard to find. However, with a little outside-the-box thinking, some pre-planning, a few strategies and Pete’s Paleo meals you will find yourself all set to enjoy the journey along with the destination.
A few of our favorite travel food tips:
Travel food should be grab and go.
Let’s be honest: If your choices require lots of planning or preparation they may not end up being choices! Snacks 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.
Don’t eat what you don’t 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 our goals because you are out of Paleo friendly options. Be picky AND prepared to make sure that you don't have to compromise.
Your snacks should be tasty and have enough variety.
If you are turned off by your healthy food, 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 that will make you feel and perform badly later. And what fun is a trip when you feel nasty?
Your travel meal should offer more than just 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'.
Snacks should signal to your brain and body that you've indeed eaten.
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 consuming them, regardless of the energy they provide.
Food must fit the situation.
Depending on where you are and how you are traveling, 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.
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:
Pros: An obvious go-to source for protein and healthy fats.
Cons: Eggs need to be pre-cooked and generally only last a day at room temperature. They can often become monotonous or unappealing with too much repetition. Should be paired with something offering a bit of starchy carbs for active folks, eggs are best paired with something offering a bit of starchy carbohydrate.
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.
Cured or dried meats like prosciutto or jerky.
Pros: These 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.
Pete’s Paleo 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!
Cons: Very salty, and it can be hard to find brands that don't come with lots of sugar and preservatives. Cured meats are ok for about a day out of refrigeration.
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 great on the trail indulgence!
Dark Chocolate (make sure it is high-quality)
Pros: This 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 morning hikes where you don't want to mess with making coffee or a fire.
Cons: 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 doesn't supply 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.
Fresh Fruit and/or Vegetables
Pros: 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. Fruits and vegetables are stable for several days at room temperature, depending on the variety and level of ripeness. Try apples, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, berries, grapes, celery and mini Persian cucumbers.
Cons: Alone, this will leave you feeling hungry and not supply you with much-needed fats and proteins. Sometimes they can also be messy and require a knife or other preparation.
Tip: 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.
Pros: Chef prepared, delicious, seasonal, well-sourced Paleo meals ready to be heated up and enjoyed. All Pete’s Paleo meals can also be enjoyed cooled or at room temperature. They are compatible with TSA regulations, can be taken on an airplane and provide a WAY better option than any airline meal. Menus and meals are available in both larger and smaller portion sizes 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!!
By making sure you are well-nourished you are removing some of the stress around energy, feeling great and maintaining your Paleo lifestyle while on the road or in the air. This way you can truly enjoy your journey, from start to finish. Happy travels.