Eat Like a Traveller: Tips for Quick, Simple EatingBy Laura Banks
I recently embarked on a multi-year journey across the Americas in a GMC Camper van with my partner, Jon. Our plan is to rock climb across the United States, Central and South America.
As athletes, we take eating healthy seriously. Proper nutrition keeps us fit and well nourished so we can accomplish our physical goals. Naturally, part of our trip planning dealt with how to keep eating healthy (and cheaply) during periods of long travels.
Here are some tips for healthy, simple eating for long-term travellers and non-travellers alike:
COOK OFTEN AND SAVE MONEY
Feel that hole in your pocket? That’s your travel money melting away. Cooking, especially while travelling, can be a pain sometimes, but it’s so much more economical to make the majority of your own food if you have the equipment to do it. Culinary discipline is how we afforded to save up so much cash in the first place!
That’s not to say that eating out isn’t allowed–I recommend a happy mix of both. Be sure to budget for eating out a few times a week to explore the fine fare and culture of the places during your long-term travels.
BUY LOCAL AND CUT OUT MEAT
We tend to stick to a diet of beans, legumes, eggs and local fruits and veggies. Meat is expensive, it can be of poor quality—thus not very good for you—and it’s a huge contributor to greenhouse gases. We also generally we save our unhealthy splurging for eating out.
Vegetarian/Vegan cooking is so delicious you won’t even notice that meat isn’t the mainstay. Here’s a link to my favourite vegan recipe website featuring tons of easy recipes. Farmers markets are a great source of cheap, table-ready veggies dying to be eaten.
ONLY COOK WHAT YOU CAN EAT
We’re avid campers who typically like to keep meals simple. Our weekend-trip prep usually entails cooking a big batch of something (usually chili or curry) that we freeze and then eat over the course of the weekend/following week. This makes cooking time minimal and mess manageable after a long day of exercise.
As long as you have a sizable freezer, batch cooking is an incredible strategy to use at home if you don’t want to spend all of your evenings in the kitchen.
Unfortunately, meal prep works differently for longer trips because leftovers can often mean spoiled food (which isn’t good for the planet or pocket book).
If you plan accordingly you can have a hearty meal with minimal leftovers that you can eat the following day for a small lunch. Our favourites include stir-fry, fried rice packed with veggies and this amazing, yet simple spicy lentil and spinach recipe.
BIG, BIG BREAKFASTS FOLLOWED BY GRAZING
We cook huge, healthy breakfasts to start our day. These usually consist of some kind of green (lately we’ve been loving Brussels sprouts fried with garlic in coconut oil) and a medley of vegetables, wild rice and two eggs. Our breakfasts fill us up so we can graze on snacks until dinner.
Our grazing snacks range from homemade trail mix, hummus and popcorn alongside fruits, nuts and dried fruits; if we’re feeling particularly hungry we will mix a small amount of tuna with chunky salsa and eat the mix with corn chips.
Whether you’re living the van life or not, healthy and simple eating can be adopted by travellers and non-travellers alike.
What are your best tips for eating simply and healthfully on the road? Share them with us below!