Most people are surprised to hear that I used to live in a van. But it was in that season of traveling, cooking outside, and having only what we needed which shaped my life today. When traveling, it’s easy to create excuses as to why you’re not eating whole, healthy foods. However, fueling our bodies with whole, nutritious foods is one of the best things we can do whether traveling or not.
As the season of, road trips, festivals, and outdoor fun approaches, it’s important to keep our body fueled in a way that will keep us going — from morning hikes to beach bonfires.
We’ve put together our 10 favourite tips for eating whole foods while traveling which have been the pillars in our lives since those van-life days. So, before you set out on those road trips this summer, here are some tips that’ll keep you and your family on the go!
10 ways to help eat more whole foods while traveling
1. Eat Local and In-Season
Taking the road less travelled can usually lead to some of the best farm-stands and local produce. Instead of buying what you would typically, try what’s in season from local stalls and markets. We’ve run into the best cherries, peaches, and corn this way. Let your pallet travel too!
2. Swap Your Grains
Some of our favourite grains to take are quinoa or bulgar. These filling and nutritious grains, take only 15 minutes to cook and use less fuel than rice. They’re great in salads, like greek quinoa or tabbouleh.
Oatmeal is one of the most versatile breakfasts you can have. There are about a trillion combinations that you can create, and they’re all so delicious. Oatmeal cooks quickly and is great with raisins, coconut, fresh berries. Sweeten with honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar. Once you start experimenting, you’ll be hooked.
4. Wild forage
We love to wild forage while hiking; we’ve been lucky enough to be able to wild harvest an array of fruits, mushrooms, and greens during our trips. Blackberries, salmonberries, dandelion greens, morel mushrooms are all native to the Pacific Northwest. If you’re traveling in a new area, do some research beforehand to see what grows in the region. Also, while foraging keep an eye out for wildlife that might be looking for snacks as well!
5. Bring a Cutting Board & Knife
During the summer months, we always keep a cutting board and knife in the door of the passenger seat. This allows us to get a quick snack ready, without needing to hunt through our bins in the back.
6. Pack Spices
Spices are my secret weapon in our camp kitchen. They can turn an ordinary meal into something fantastic with just a dash. Cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, and salt & pepper (of course) all have a permanent place in our camp kitchen. Spruce up your stir-fry, morning oats, or season your meat or tofu!
7. Keep Abeego Handy
Abeego is a must on our trips; we wrap our trail mix, sandwiches, bliss balls, veggies, and take them on the trail or in a kayak. They keep our food dry, because they’re water resistant, help us travel light, can be used as a plate for easy sharing, and rinsed in the river and hung on a clothesline when it’s time to clean up.
No more bulky containers in the cooler and our food stays fresher longer. When storing your Abeego, be sure to keep it out of the sun and in a cool place — Abeego and heat don’t mix!
8. Nuts and Nut-Butters
Nuts and nut-butter are our secret weapon on the road. Apples and almond butter, peanut butter and banana, tahini and literally anything, nut-butter is an excellent source of protein and can give you the boost you need in your daily adventures. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, or peanuts are great on salads, oats, or by the handful for a quick snack.
9. Eat Your Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and veggies are not only a great quick snack, they can be cooked and eaten in just about any combination. Also, they don’t require refrigeration like meat and dairy products; they travel much better. On the road, try eating more plant-based protein with nuts, beans, quinoa.
We’re not saying ditch the meat entirely, just wait until you can get it fresh, and grill it up that day! It doesn’t get much better than freshly caught fish, or local meat over a campfire!
10. Make Simple Meals
Cooking on the road isn’t about having all of the ingredients; it’s about using what you have to create delicious meals.
Pasta with pan-fried mushrooms & tomatoes, sauteed peppers & onions on fajitas, or pancakes with peanut butter & fresh berries, are all amazing meals that can be made with just a few ingredients.
Whether you’re taking a weekend adventure, or setting off on a summer-long reset, we suggest you treat your body kindly by eating whole foods. Experiment with the regions flora and fauna, and don’t forget to keep your Abeego close — to keep food alive.
With summer just around the corner, be sure to stock up on Abeego and share your adventures by tagging us on Instagram. We can’t wait to see what you’re up too!