Eating Well on your Summer Vacation (whether you’re flying or driving)

I love to eat well and I don’t sacrifice eating healthy, even when I’m on the road.  I recently read an interesting piece on “eating well on the road” from Anna Lappé (in the Huffington Post).  Since this is the time of year when a lot of us are traveling I thought it would be helpful to post some of her ideas and some of my own about road tripping (or flying) and eating well.

1.  What’s for breakfast? Don’t forget that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  You would be much better off taking your own breakfast foods to help you get your day off to a good start.  Easily packable fruit like apples and bananas are good choices.  You can always get some kind of juice (instead of soda or coffee) on the plane if you are flying.  Dried fruits and nuts are also easy and healthy.

2.  Resist the urge to go to fast food for lunch.  Look for local restaurants that might have fresher, local food.  Do some planning ahead and check out the suggestions on the website Slow Food USA . Go to “Find Slow Food in your Area” on the right hand side of the page.  You can also visit local markets and make your own picnic.

3.  Treat yourself to dinner.  So you’ve been good all day.  Treat yourself to dinner at a restaurant that serves up the local specialties.  Ask the locals for suggestions.  You might have a lot of fun and learn something interesting about the place you’re visiting.

4.  Bring your own gear:  One reason to bring a cooler is so you can pack healthy food in the car (and avoid those fast food places).  The other reason to bring your own gear is for environmental reasons.  Grist’s Umbra has a great video on the benefits of using your own containers when you’re on the road (and when you’re at home for that matter). For instance, you can bring your own coffee mug and tea bags, bring your own coolers, food containers, and silverware.

5.  Make your own to-go snacks: Easy snacks to pack and go include nuts and dried fruit such as cashews and dried cranberries, almonds and raisins. Pick your favorites to make your own personalized trail mix.  There are also good nut and fruit bars you can thrown in your bag.

6.  Keep your eyes peeled for good food (markets and restaurants):When you see good food, go for it. You never know when you’ll find it again.

7.  Tap online resources before you go: Use the Eat Well Guide  to find farmers market hours, stores with great food options, and restaurants carrying sustainably raised and locally grown foods.

Enjoy your summer traveling, eat well, and feel good about doing your part to save your health and the environment.  That is what I call “mindful eating.”

Read the complete article by Anna Lappe go to Huffington Post

Anna Lappé is a national bestselling author, sustainable food advocate, and mom. The founding principal of the Small Planet Institute and Small Planet Fund, her latest book is Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It (Bloomsbury 2010). Anna is also the co-author ofHope’s Edge, with her mother Frances Moore Lappé, and Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen with Bryant Terry. She can be seen as the host for MSN’sPractical Guide to Healthier Living and as a featured expert on Sundance Channel’s Ideas for a Small Planet. An active board member of Rainforest Action Network, Anna has been named one of Time’s “Eco” Who’s Who has been featured in The New York Times, Gourmet, O-The Oprah Magazine, Food & Wine, and Vibe, among many other outlets.