This post comes to us courtesy of Amie Valpone, blogger at The Healthy Apple.
Let’s face it: This time of year we’re all traveling, and you’re probably thinking it’s nearly impossible to fuel yourself on the go with some healthy nibbles. Well think again — because traveling doesn’t have to get in the way of a healthy gluten-free lifestyle. There’s a whole market out there waiting for you to load up and pack a bag filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and lean proteins that will hold you over until you reach your destination.
I’m not talking about stocking up on chips and soda at the rest stop or grabbing a burrito at the airport; I’m simply talking about prepping the night before your trip. Purchase a box of large ziplock bags and fill them with freshly sliced fruits such as apples, grapes and pears. Fill another bag with gluten-free rolled oats, cashews, ground flax seeds and chia seeds. Then all you have to do is add a bit of water and you can have your oats along with your fruit mix-ins on the go. The fiber from the oats and flax seeds along with the staying power and protein from the chia seeds will keep you energized, your blood sugar stable and your tummy nice n’ ho-ho happy.
Try making grain-free wraps with corn tortillas, steamed collard green leaves or nori seaweed as the ‘wrap;’ fill them will organic slices of turkey, avocado, hummus and arugula. Or, create a medley of kale, fresh baby spinach, broccoli, fennel, diced tofu and golden raisins mixed with salsa, Parmesan cheese and fresh cilantro in a seal-able container.
I like to purchase a prewashed box of organic greens such as those from Earthbound Farms. Then all I have to do is open it up and toss in healthy fats and proteins such as olive oil, nuts, avocado, egg, tofu and chia seeds. I like to create my own salad dressing by filling a small travel bottle filled with extra virgin olive oil along with my fresh lemon to create a flavorful taste.
As we all know, eating foods that are richer than usual can wreck havoc on your stomach, while consuming large meals will make you feel quite uncomfortable and not eating enough will leave you cranky and light-headed. So don’t set yourself up for a holiday disaster by not preparing ahead of time.
There’s nothing like packing your own snacks. I always bring a freshly sliced organic lemon for a cup of hot water on an airplane or to sweeten fresh iced tea and water. Avocados are great to travel with; I like to have two on hand at all times. They’re easy to peel, and you can simply enjoy them with a spoon for a creamy snack eaten alone or spread atop your nori seaweed, sliced zucchini, jicama, cucumbers and sun-dried tomatoes.
You can easily travel with a few hard boiled eggs, crack them open when you’re hungry and enjoy the yolk or pop out the yolk, fill it with hummus and sprinkle with sea salt. Sounds delish, doesn’t it?
Chop up fresh jicama into fry-like shapes, toss with sesame seeds, stevia and dried cranberries; dip them into Greek yogurt mixed with peanut butter or cashew butter. Many brands such as Justin’s Nut Butter now have individual sized nut butters that make it easy and mess-free for travel.
Another fun idea is to pack a bag mixed with sunflower seeds, dark chocolate chips, dried cherries, raisins, unsweetened coconut flakes, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, balsamic vinegar and cooked quinoa; you can simply eat this straight from the bag.
I find it useful to pack a few individual packets of stevia, a natural sweetener, because I enjoy sweetened herbal teas and don’t use artificial sweeteners. I’m never caught without my own herbal teas, as well. This way, all you have to do is ask for hot water, plop in your lemon and you’re good to go.
Last but not least, try creating your own potato chips by roasting fresh beets and sweet potatoes. Slice them into rounds; pop them onto a baking sheet, mist with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt for a savory taste or cinnamon for a sweet taste; bake until golden brown. You can toss these into a sealable bag and they’ll stay good n’ crisp for your entire trip…that is, if you can resist them for that long. They’re pretty tasty, but hey, they’re a healthy chip!
Don’t be overwhelmed by all these different foods. Packing a bag for your trip is just like packing your lunch for school when you were a kid. Think of it as doing your body good and you won’t have to worry about wandering through the food court in the airport or the rest stop on the highway for those processed products. You’ve got your own real, clean, gluten-free food. And I bet your travel buddies will be pretty jealous they didn’t prep the night before, as well.
Have a healthy and enjoyable holiday travel season.
About the author: Mission: to change the way people eat. Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP is a Manhattan based Culinary Marketing Consultant, recipe developer and food writer specializing in Gluten-Free, Soy-Free and Dairy-Free Culinary Nutrition. Amie is also the Publisher and Marketing Director of the online gluten-free magazine, Easy Eats. Amie shares her passion for and approach to ‘Clean Eating’ by focusing on natural, whole foods and ingredients that are good for you and your body. Through her blog The Healthy Apple, Amie provides balanced, accessible and engaging information on the most basic components of good health.