Friday, January 25, 2013

Eating Healthy While Traveling

(black truffle hummus and cucumbers)

Like many of my posts this one was inspired by something that happened in my life.  Thursday morning I was chatting with a friend who is on the road this week for business.  I asked my friend if their breakfast today was a green smoothie since they had been making them in the hotel the last few days.  It turned out that my friend hadn’t had a smoothie but rather grabbed breakfast in the hotel.  This immediately made me realize how difficult it is to eat this way for people who haven’t lived this lifestyle as long as I have. I knew this conversation would be very helpful for those of you who are just starting out on this journey so I wanted to share.

(random crazy car I saw in Frederick, MD)

What do you do first if you need to travel?

Whenever either Dan or I are on the road the first thing I do is research the hotel.  In the perfect world it will at least have a refrigerator and microwave.  However that doesn’t all happen when Dan has to travel for work and I have figured out how to make that work.  Once you know whether you can prepare food in your hotel room or not then you can decide what to do next.
How do you find out what healthy food is available where you will be traveling?

The website I use is  On this site you can search by zip code, city, state or country. The site lists restaurants (both vegan, veg and veg-friendly) as well as food stores.  Since my friend was going to be in St. Augustine this week I used to make a quick list of restaurants where it would be easy to grab a healthy meal.

I also double checked to see if there was a Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or Harris Teeter in St. Augustine but those were all a no go.  If this happens to you don’t worry. There will always be grocery stores in the area and you can find healthy food there too.  Not to mention there is typically at least one health food store in a town of any size.  Even the little town of 60,000 where I grew up had a health food store back in the day.

(mushroom and caramelized onion pizza - any pizzeria could make you something like this)

Assuming you have a microwave and refrigerator in your room what do you do?

If you have a microwave and refrigerator in your room you have tons of options.  My favorite options all come from the grocery store.  You can pick up any of the following:
  • Raw veggie tray and hummus (or veggies from the salad bar)
  • Prepared soup (typically found near or at the salad bar)
  • Edamame from the refrigerator case or freezer
  • Salad from the salad bar (with beans from the salad bar or canned beans)
  • Amy’s frozen vegan entrees (or something similar)
  • Soy yogurt, fruit from the salad bar and a bag of granola
  • Packages of oatmeal that you have with dried fruit and nuts
  • Small cartons of non-dairy milk for your cereal or coffee
  • If you have a portable blender you can carry what you need for green smoothies which are perfect!

(oatmeal cooked with water, topped with non-dairy milk, a banana and granola)

What if you don’t have a microwave and refrigerator?

Without a way to warm up and refrigerate food you have a slightly trickier situation. This requires you to get a little creative.  I have used the hotel room coffee pot to warm up soup and oatmeal for example.   Other options that you might want to consider include:
  • Single serving packages of non-dairy milk and cereal
  • Instant soup that you add hot water to (Dr. McDougall makes some good ones)
  • Stopping at grocery store for salad meals (see above)
  • Use to find healthy restaurants
  • Locating ethnic restaurants (Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, and Indian are good choices that can generally accommodate vegan diners without much difficulty)
If you are traveling by car you have more options than if you are flying for work.  When we are going anywhere by car I also have a cooler with us with healthy snacks.  The cooler can be used to keep food cool in your room if you don’t have a refrigerator and that is handy. In conclusion, I hope that I have given you some ideas to consider when you are traveling for work and want to stay healthy.

Happy thoughts:
  1. Thursday was a really good day for me.  It started with shoveling snow first thing this morning.  *woo hoo*  Okay I was being sarcastic but the exercise component was good at least. Plus it was nice to be able to help out since Dan usually takes care of snow removal.
  2. I had some good calls with clients today which always makes me happy.  I get so jazzed when people make healthy changes. There is no doubt that I have finally found what I was mean to do.  I still find it hard to believe that I was ever in finance.  LOL
  3. I made a delicious dinner tonight of fagioli all’uccelletto (beans in the style of birds) and served it over cheesy polenta and veggies.  Since I hadn’t made this in a while it was really tasty to us tonight.  
  4. A little while ago I ordered some reusable lunch bags that arrived today. I am jazzed that I will be using fewer plastic zip top bags.  While I realize that my personal use of them doesn’t make a big dent in the total I also know if more people tried to avoid them the environment would be better off.  I wanted to mention the idea of the reusable lunch bags to give everyone something to consider.
  5. Tomorrow is Friday!  That deserves both a woo hoo and a happy dance.  I am seriously looking forward to Friday. I have a light day which means I can be totally productive tomorrow.  Love that!  Not to mention it is almost the weekend and you all know how much I love that. 
Signing out:

Are you as happy that the weekend is almost here as I am?  While I love helping people I also love my down time.  I can’t wait to have a little time to myself to get things done that have been piling up.

I hope that you have some fun planned for the upcoming weekend. We don’t yet but there is still time to find something to get into. If the weather is good I may suggest a little DC time over the weekend.


  1. Just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your happy thoughts. I can't help but be cheered by such positivity :-)

  2. Hello Andrea,

    *Yay* Thank you for letting me know that my happy thoughts are rubbing off. I have never seen anyone feel better from complaining so I try to take the opposite approach. It works well for me. :-)

    hope you have a fabulous weekend,


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