Monday, November 26, 2012

Traveling Food...Eating Healthy on the Road

For Thanksgiving, we traveled to my parent's house this year.  My Handsome Hubby and I were perfectly matched in the sense that we're hardcore road masters.  We get on the road, get to our destination, and then play.  We traveled about 15 hours to my parents house and if I'm recalling correctly we only stopped 3 times.  On our way back, we had a  10 1/2 hour drive and did it with just 2 stops.  All together our stops only added 30 minutes onto our trips.  We're crazy.  I realize that.  But we have 2 kids that are very content travelers and a potty chair in the back of the van.  We also stock up on cheap diapers to soak up the yuck, disinfectant wipes, Ziploc bags, and toilet paper.

One thing that we do need to calculate into the mix is food.  Now in the past, all health consciousness  was ignored.  We were on the road...the kids could eat pop, chips, candy, whatever made them happy.  The only problem is that now we realize that some of our health issues and behavior issues are directly related to the food we had been eating.  Superhero #1 is a smart cookie.  I was waiting for him to ask for pop for the trip before I bought any.  He didn't ask.  I thought for sure he'd want to pick out the chips like we've done in the past.  He didn't ask.  Candy?  No questions about it.

So what did we eat?  How can you travel 15 hours in the car without eating junk food or stopping for fast food?  What is there to eat?  How can a 4 year old and 2 year old be satisfied?  It's possible.  I do want to remind you that this is a process.  It takes some time for your taste buds to change but if you persist.  If you keep trying and keep getting back up when you fall down, you will succeed.  You can do it.  Take it one step at a time.  Today my sweet tooth kid tried a sample of candy from Costco.  I asked if he wanted more and he said no...."These are too sweet mom.  You can have them."  He ate the roast beef instead.

Here's a sample of what we had in our cooler for the road.  We haven't completely cut dairy out for our kids but at this point...only the 2 year old eats it.  Our 4 year old is lactose intolerant and seems to have lost his taste for everything that contains dairy but ice cream.

On the Road Menu/Kitchen items
homemade grain free pancakes with Grade B maple syrup (here's my favorite recipe from The Nourishing Home...we all LOVE THEM!)
nitrate free bacon or sausage (cooked at home ahead of time)
nitrate free, hormone free, organic thinly sliced turkey and ham
organic romaine lettuce
Loaf of paleo bread (here's a recipe we like from Elana's Pantry...everything I make from her website is fantastic!)
fresh veggies to snack on and put on open faced lettuce wraps or sandwiches (bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes)
homemade pickles (or store ones with nothing artificial added)
sulfate free, unsweetened dried fruit (use with Peanut Butter or Almond butter in place of jelly/jam)
Almond butter without sugar added (our kids are still adjusting to this but avoid peanut butter if possible or use in moderation it can contain carcinogens)
homemade chocolate (here's a recipe)
homemade blondies (Again from Elana's Pantry)
fresh fruit (apples, oranges, grapes (use sparingly)
ice water
almond milk
organic 2% milk for our 2 year old

cutting board
Swiss army knife
paper towel
Ziploc bags
vegetable peeler
wet wipes
small plastic bowls/plates
plastic cups

That's it.  That's what we brought and the kids gobbled up the pancakes and bacon in the morning (dipping their mini-cakes in the syrup).  Then at lunch they wanted more meat and by the end of the day they were content with open-faced nut butter and dried fruit sandwiches.  It worked great and we had enough variety we were all happy.  I admit it took a little prep work on my part but it wasn't outrageous.  I made one thing for the trip each day the week before so when it was time to leave we were ready and I didn't feel stressed.  With the pancakes I make a double batch and freeze them so I already had them ready.  I made extra bacon one day too.  The bread was leftover from our Thanksgiving meal and I had made the bars and chocolate that week too for sweet tooth cravings at my parents. 

The kids traveled a lot happier too.  I fully believe this diet is worth cleaning your pantry out for.  Get rid of the processed foods.  They only give you temporary happiness and then you end up kicking yourself for eating junk.  I know.  I've done it time and time again.  It's possible to eat well, enjoy your food, and take care of your body at the same time.  Just keep eliminating one thing per week.  Eventually, you'll get there.  Be patient with takes time but you're worth it.

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