Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Barefoot Betty isn't gone, just busy! (On the Road - Health Edition)

I haven't been home much the past month, and when I am it is hard to motivate to sit in front of a computer when there is a garden that needs tended... a sun to be bathing in.. wine that needs drinking... ect.

I realize I am not the only working woman in the world who travels frequently for thier jobs.  Every morning women all over the country jump into vehicles or onto planes, bid loved ones goodbye, and head out to work away from home.. We sleep in hotels and eat out at restraunts at least once a day.  We try to fit in workout routines involving hotel pools, minimal-space yoga, and mostly dissapointing and out-date fitness rooms that are usually squeezed in closets and smell like a middle school locker room.
We ponder menus that feature burgers, tacos, pizza, and every once in awhile are lucky enough to find a salad bar or a raw juice cafe.
We enter gas stations and spend too much time reading nutritional labels and crinkling our noses at mile long ingredient lists that hardly ever include "real food".  We walk out with sugar loaded licorice, a bag of pretzels, and some overly salted proccessed jerky hoping that it holds us over until dinner.

In the morning we wake up and join other sleepy  travelers for hotel breakfast.  Usually this consists of sad looking fruit and pastries and gross coffee.

It is what some people think of a glamorous life, eating out and sleeping in motels. However, it really isn't at all.  It is a difficult lifestyle that can be really hard on your health and, by proxy, your waistline.

Whether you spend over 300 days a year on the road (like me) or you are looking for a way to make a vacation fit into your healthy life style.  Here are a few tips.

Stock up before you go, and make room for a cooler and a medium sized box for snacks that don't need refrigerated.
Snack Box Staples:
Apples and a jar of Peanut Butter
Dry Nuts
Dried Fruits
Pita Chips, Organic Popcorn, Annie's snacks.. etc
Cooler Staples:
celery sticks
vegan dressing for dipping (will last much longer)
frozen fruit: bananas, strawberries, and blackberries.
cubed cheese
a gallon sized ziplock bag of fresh greens
sliced cucumber
greek yogurt

Now this won't completely sustain you or keep you from eating out, but it will cut down or cut out on gas station snacking.  Don't forget silverware and a few mason jars.  Mason jars are awesome for mixing up quick salads, preparing granola, fruit, and yogurt breakfasts or mixing hummus with fresh vegetables for an on the road veggie 'slaw'.  I also like taking granola, nuts, and dried fruits and shaking them up to make my own mixture... keeps things interesting!  If you want to get real crazy, and you travel often enough... purchase a personal sized blender to make your own smoothies using fruit, yogurt, and superfoods like chia seeds.

If you are into planning ahead and you have the time, here are some recipes that will keep you full and nourished.

Cranberry Pumpkin Granola

No bake peanut butter granola bites

Also I found a cookbook I love that has recipes on healthy foods that you usually need a dehydrator to make and transitions those recipes into oven friendly creations.  This means homemade jerky, veggie chips, and fruit rollups.. all in the oven!  The cookbook is called "Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes" and is available in hard copy or on your kindle or Ipad.

If you don't have time to cook, or plan ahead, you can still make healthy decisions on the road if you know where to look.

Gas Stations:
-Most gas stations sell fruit.  Also 7-11 and other mainstream places have started carrying carrot and celery sticks or other pre-packaged vegies.  Ditch the ranch dip and go to town!
-Look for a healthy or organic section, most gas stations have a section for these things.  You may find cliff bars, pita chips, or granola.
-String cheese
- Odwalla / Naked smoothies or juice.

Hotel Breakfast:
Skip the pastries and waffles.  Especially skip the weird looking biscuits and gravy or "scrambled eggs" unless you love diarrhea.  Instead, choose whole wheat toast with peanut butter, hard boiled eggs, and fruit are usually provided.  To get the best fruit don't be afraid to dig to the bottom of the basket, they usually rotate the older stuff on top so it gets removed first.  In lieu of coffee loaded with cream or sugar use hot water and make an herbal tea.  These are usually on hand, but you can pack your own favorites as well.

Eating out:
You can usually find something healthy at most all restaurants as long as you AVOID FAST FOOD.  If you absolutely have to eat fast food, stick to salads with vinaigrette based dressings.  Chains like Denny's, I-Hop, Applebee's, and Outback all have healthier or light menu options that are tasty and simple.

It isn't always easy, but the time you take to prepare will be time well spent making you a healthier and happier person at the end of a vacation, road trip, or your average work week.

Now stay tuned, if I keep writing blogs from on the road I am guarunteed to tell you all of my tips for peeing outdoors.


Best of luck, and feel free to share your favorite road recipes in the comments below!