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3 Ways to Stay Healthy on the Road! + 3 Recipes!

3 Ways to Stay Healthy on the Road! Plus 3 Recipes!

Are you traveling later this summer and nervous about access to healthy food? Or, did you already travel and have a disastrous food experience? If so, read on!

I thought it was sometimes hard to be kosher and vegetarian while traveling. Forget it. With this vegan business of mine, my chance of starving, even with a 5 star kosher restaurant in my hotel, is about 90%!

Here’s what I’ve learned that may help you.

3 Ways to Stay Healthy on the Road!

1. Call ahead. Talk to caterers, restaurants, your hosts, whomever is relevant, to plan for your allergies or dietary restrictions. Stress that if what you need is very different from the food they normally make, you have some great, simple ideas; you’re happy to help cook; you can even bring some special ingredients or run out to the grocery store.

2. Determine your resources. Will you be staying in a house with access to a full kitchen, a hotel with a microwave and refrigerator, a hotel without either or camping in the outback? Do you have to pack everything in your travel bag or can you hit the grocery store when you arrive at your destination? Make a list of items you can eat with your circumstances and then the corresponding list of foods you need to bring with you and/or purchase at the store. Some items will need to be made ahead of time at home, and some make more sense to prepare at your destination.

3. Determine and plan for your biggest challenges. For instance, if you usually find yourself hungry and buying a sweet roll or fast food on your way to your flight, bring something healthy and satisfying, like my No-Grain Granola/Trail Mix. If you know your kids are going to beg you for unhealthy and expensive snacks, make your own granola bars and bring them with you. If the caterer can accommodate your food requirements for one meal, but not another, plan for that too. For a healthy meal replacement, make my new Basic Travelin’ Green Smoothie.

Here are the recipes:

Recipe 1

Grain-free Granola/Trail Mix

Grain free Granola and Trail Mix

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

1/2 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/4 cup golden raisins

2-3 Tablespoons maple syrup

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Melt coconut oil (can use microwave and melt 10 seconds at a time).

Mix pumpkin and sunflower seeds with coconut flakes. Add melted coconut oil and mix well. Spread out on cookie sheet and bake for 4-6 minutes (until slightly browned/roasted but not burned). Don’t you dare leave the room or it may burn! Keep a close eye on the oven.

Remove from oven. Place into your storage container (glass works great). Mix in the raisins and maple syrup thoroughly. Enjoy! Keeps at room temperature (for 3 days) or in the fridge (for 7 days).

Recipe 2

Travelin’ Green Smoothie

Travelin Green Smoothie

Travelin’ Green Smoothie

I bought Teavana’s powdered matcha tea for my travelin’ greens. I got the idea and information about its health benefits (and a great smoothie recipe!) from my buddy over at Healthful Pursuit.

My recipe is super easy and convenient, whatever your resources. If you have electricity you can use an immersion blender and if you don’t, you can simply bring an old fashioned egg beater!

Ingredients

TGS Ingredients

1 very ripe banana

1 teaspoon powdered matcha tea

3/4-1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

Directions

Travelin Green Smoothie Ready to mix

Break up the banana into your vessel. For the immersion blender, they often come with a tall plastic container designed for smoothies. If using an egg beater, you can simply use a wide enough cup. I used a standard tall drinking glass.

Add powdered tea and then add the non-dairy milk.

Mix with immersion blender or egg beater until frothy!

Recipe 3

Easy Granola Bars/Chocolate Chip Cookies

granola bars and chocolate chip cookies

Easy Granola Bars/Chocolate Chip Cookies

You won’t find a healthier or easier recipe than this! These also make a great substitute for sandwiches at lunch.

I first made these one morning before taking the kids to school. My hubbie was like, “Okay Mrs. Cleaver. Way to whip up some cookies before school!” Delish! Easy! You CAN do this in the morning!

Ingredients

2 bananas

1/2 cup quick oats

1/4 cup ground almonds

1/4 cup flax meal

Dash of real vanilla

Dash of cinnamon

1/8 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350. Mash bananas with a fork in a mixing bowl. Add oats, almonds and flax meal, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well. Add chocolate chips and mix again.

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Then…you have to make a decision: Are you making granola bars or cookies?

For cookies, simply take a big spoonful of the mix and place on the cookie sheet. Flatten the top with the back of the spoon. Space 2 inches apart.

For granola bars, dump the whole mixture onto the parchment paper and then flatten with the back of a spoon. When you’re done baking the full sheet, use a pizza cutter to cut out bars.

Bake in center of oven 10-15 minutes, with the cookies on the lower end and the bars on the higher end.

Tip: For either the cookies or the bars you can mix in different nuts (whole or ground) and dried fruit, depending on your preferences. However, I will tell you that I tried coconut flakes and the flavor really got lost.

 

Let me know if you have any travel tips and if these tips work for you!

7 ways to keep your kids healthy at camp!

7 ways to keep your kids healthy at camp!

1.Talk to your child’s camp. Establish a friendly relationship and ask them how you can make their lives easier. Then they won’t think you’re a nudge when you ask questions and make suggestions! And, you’ll know more about camp without having to ask and make them feel like they’re on Twenty Questions.

What you need to know: Find out what they’re feeding your kids, how often they give them water (or if they’re giving them something else to drink), and if they have a routine for reapplying sunscreen.

2. Sunscreen. In addition to finding out how and when your children are helped with sunscreen throughout the day, buy thoughtfully. Most mainstream sunscreens contain a number of chemicals that can contribute to cancer, hormone disruption and nervous system changes. Here’s a link to information about healthier sunscreen options. They’re not all more expensive and sometimes they go on sale or are cheaper online.

3. Keep them hydrated. Step away from the Gatorade and Powerade! You don’t need food coloring and corn syrup to hydrate. Cold, filtered water is plenty refreshing. Counselors can also make it fun by giving kids a choice of frozen fruit to use as ice cubes (and then gobble up, of course). You can either blend the fruit first and put it in mini ice cube trays or give them pieces of frozen fruit right out of the bag. Fruits like diced mango, cherries and pineapple are easy to simply purchase. You can also freeze fresh grapes. Trader Joe’s and warehouse clubs probably have the best deals on frozen fruit. If you really think your children need extra electrolytes you can give them a natural alternative: coconut water.

4. Plan before you pick them up. In the summer my kids always want me to take them for ice cream after camp. “It’s such a hot day. You know it’s perfect weather for ice cream!” Gee. Thanks. I hadn’t thought of that. They’re less likely to demand cold refreshment if I’ve already provided it for them, usually in the form of cold watermelon or green smoothies (tropical or chocolate flavor).

5. Give ‘em a break. Chances are, your camp administrators and counselors are working very hard to make your kids happy this summer. Sometimes they just don’t have time to think through whether the popsicles have food coloring. Give them suggestions for healthier options and, if you can, even use your time to help. If you can’t, maybe someone else can. It could even be a daily activity for kids to make their own popsicles out of juice (no sugar added) or fruit puree. “Bunks” can go in on buying cool ice pop molds or simply use small paper cups and popsicle sticks.

6. Pack a healthy lunch. Here are some helpful resources for this. Websites: Lunch Box Bunch, Blogher.com. Books: Vegan Lunch Box Around the World, Vegan Lunch Box.

7. Bring in a sample. Bring some fun and colorful foods to camp to try out with the kids (with camp’s permission of course). That way you’re taking some pressure off the counselors. Here is one idea for Rainbow Fruit Skewers (from Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel). Don’t be afraid to use frozen fruit for the mango and pineapple!

2014-01-14 11.54.08 2014-01-14 11.39.19

Here are pictures from some fun we had making flowers, hearts and stars out of fruit last year. We even found a natural watermelon heart!

Rainbow Fruit Skewers

Using wooden skewers, here is your rainbow:

Red: Watermelon (or cherries or strawberries)

Orange: Mango (Cantaloupe and oranges would work too)

Yellow: Pineapple

Green: Kiwi (or Green Grapes)

Blue: Blueberries

Purple: Purple Grapes

Have fun and let me know how it goes!

The Mexican Menu + New Recipes

T minus 1 day until Shavuot started, my Mexican feast totally planned and shopped for…then I realized that I’d invited someone to lunch who happens to be from Mexico. By then I couldn’t make a whole new menu. Besides, I love Mexican food and I wanted to eat it! My guest was quite gracious in insisting that I did just fine but he did inform me that in Mexico tacos are actually made with soft tortillas. The closest thing they have to what we consider a taco is a tostada. The good news is that I was just trying to make a delicious menu and not a completely authentic one!

Here is the complete menu, for your copying pleasure, along with the recipes, resources and shortcuts that I used. The point is healthy and delicious, not to kill yourself in the kitchen.

Soup

  • Gazpacho (Super fresh and tasted homemade, but purchased from Goldberg’s Bagels in Potomac)

Salads

  • Roasted Corn, Pineapple and Black Bean Salad (Click for link to cooking.com recipe)
  • Jicama Mango salad. I got the idea from a Kimberly Snyder recipe from The Beauty Detox Foods that called for papaya, basil and dill. See my recipe at the bottom of this post.

Main Dish

  • Taco “meat” made with walnuts. I used the recipe from Kimberly Snyder’sThe Beauty Detox Foods” book. I don’t have permission to reprint her exact recipe. However, if you grind raw walnuts in the food processor (to the consistency of ground meat) and add taco seasoning (make your own or buy a pre-made spice mix without additives or too much salt), you’ll get a pretty similar result. My guests loved it and they are not people who normally skip red meat! It’s actually kind of creepy how similar it tastes and feels to ground beef (minus the gross parts anyway).
  • Taco fixings: Garden of Eatin’ organic blue corn taco shells with Wholly Guacamole taco bean dip and guacamole, Wholly Salsa regular mild salsa and roasted tomato medium salsa. Tofutti and regular sour cream (If I’d had more time I could have made a healthier alternative to the processed store-bought non-dairy sour cream. Alas, I did not.) Shredded lettuce (purchased already shredded!).

Dessert

  • Freshly cut watermelon (When desperate, feel free to buy overpriced already cut watermelon. Better yet, ask a guest to bring it already cut up).
  • Non-dairy cheesecake. I used an organic graham cracker crust. Because it only made enough filling to fill it half way, I took the top of the crust and used it to dust the top of the cheesecake and served it with fresh blueberries, raspberries and non-dairy whip. Here is the filling recipe by Paul Jarvis that I found on Kris Carr’s website: Blend 2 cups raw cashews (soaked, rinsed and drained), juice of 1.5 lemons, 1/4 cup maple syrup, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Pour into crust and freeze for at least 1 hour. Was that easy or what?

Jicama Mango Salad Recipe

(Image courtesy of www.bulldogbistro.com)

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 medium jicama

1 avocado

1 mango

3 small kirby cucumbers

1 organic lime, juice and zest

Directions

Peel and dice jicama, avocado, mango and cucumber. Add zest and juice of 1 lime and mix.

Easy, right? Let me know how it turns out!

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