On The Road Again…

We were home for what seems like just enough time to do the laundry before having to pack up again for another business trip. Such a quick turnaround is unusual, I’m hopeful that we will get to spend more time at home before the next business trip.

It has been quite awhile since I’ve flown so I was a bit anxious about the whole process. So only a week later, I felt like an old pro on our trip this time. I thought I’d share some of the things I figured out last trip that I’m going to do again this trip.

As most of you know, I love to cook, so eating out isn’t really something we do very often. And I’ve found that over the years, my body is less able to accept food that isn’t mine. It seems to me that restaurants use far more oil and salt than I do, so my body lets me know that it doesn’t appreciate the change. But on a business trip, it’s hard to cook, so I do the best I can. I have decided that it comes down to choices. I try to make the best choices with what I am presented. I am a vegan, but on trips, that is a bit hard, so I do the best I can. I don’t stress out if I can’t find anything on the menu that is vegan, I stick to vegetarian and try to make the best choices.

On the trip last time, I ended up being really munchy at the airport and ended up buying all kinds of snacks that weren’t exactly healthy. My taste-tester, who has traveled quite a bit more than I have, gave me a really great suggestion. He says that he tries to find the vitamins/ nutrients. What he means is that given the choice between pop and juice, he’ll choose juice. Instead of getting a cookie or cinnamon roll, he’ll look for something with veggies or fruit in it. Basically, he says it’s easy to find sugary things, the hard part is finding things with some vitamins.

So the week before a flight (his or ours), I tend to head to the grocery store and pick up things I hope will get through security like snack bars. Specifically, Lara bars, Cliff Kids bars, and Kashi TLC bars, for a little variety and a whole lot of goodness. My taste-tester will take these bars to work with him as well, for there will be times during the business travel week when he will be unable to get away for lunch.

This trip I went out looking for the kinds of things I was craving on the last trip. I was able to find some very vegan friendly snacks that will curb your sweet or salty tooth. Justin’s dark chocolate peanutbutter cups, Endangered species dark chocolate & cherry bar, Endangered species dark chocolate with blueberries, Food Should Taste Good olive chips (in snack bag size), Kettle bbq chips (in snack bag size, contains honey), Sunspire dark chocolate coconut bar, Stretch Island Fruit Co. all-natural fruit strips (I picked up grape, apple, strawberry, and apricot), Bumble Bar chocolate crisp, Chuao Caracas chocolate bar (the one with dark chocolate, almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios).

That might seem like a lot of snacks, but I was picking up snacks for two and I didn’t know what we would be craving. By the by, all we actually consumed from my snack bag on the plane and at the airport was the peanutbutter cups, the olive chips, the strawberry fruit strip, and the endangered species dark chocolate and cherry bar.

On the plane itself, when complementary drinks are given, I chose juice; orange, apple or cranapple have been choices I’ve seen so far, all have been good. A tip I figured out, ask for no ice, that way you get more juice and you don’t have to play with ice on the plane. For the complimentary snacks, I chose the peanuts, thinking the protein was a better choice over the pretzels or cookies.

Now that we are in the hotel, I have some more tips. We made sure that the room had a refrigerator and microwave. Some nights my taste-tester has to work really late, and restaurants are closing or are already closed, so we’ve made vital use of the microwave. Again, my taste-tester had most of this stuff figured out before I was able to join him, but I added a few things that made it even better. He tends to head straight to the grocery store and pick up silk, cereal, bananas, water, and frozen meals. To that I’ve added a few things to make life a little more eating friendly. I bought some collapsible bowls and plastic sporks from REI, for him to enjoy his cereal (instead of the disposable cups in the hotel).

This last trip I figured out something else. I am a big fan of hot tea. So I was on a quest for how to heat water in the hotel. The REI bowls are not microwave safe, neither are the disposable cups. So what to do? I found in the ‘boxed dinner’ section of the grocery store some Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers, basically pasta bowls. Three of the flavors I’ve seen are vegetarian.

After you’ve enjoyed a nice bowl of pasta, you have a microwavable dish! I’ve been using these bowls to enjoy instant oats in.

Originally, I had intended to use the microwavable bowls to heat water for tea, but then I realized that the coffee maker was a single server maker. It does not have a glass decanter and the coffee filter is disposable, so you really just have a hot water maker, one cup at a time. Perfect. So I heat water for tea, instant oats (and eat them out of the pasta bowls), and coffee, of course, with the coffee maker.

Another great tip for staying vegan friendly, is to check out all the isles at the grocery store for things that can be heated in the microwave. The grocery store I found has Amy’s frozen meals and Kashi’s frozen meals, in addition to the Healthy Choice pasta bowls.

If you are in a town that has a Whole Foods, you might be able to find even more variety. I was able to find at the local Whole Foods, in addition to the frozen meals offered by Amys’ and Kashi, Thai Kitchen Take Out Meals and Nile Spice Soup, both of which you just add water and heat.

I also utilized the salad bar and the pre-cut fruit at Whole Foods. Mmmm… all this talk of food is making me hungry!

Until next time…
~nic

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5 thoughts on “On The Road Again…

  1. This is a grest post, especially since I will be traveling this summer and needs tips on what to bring with me on the road. I love Food Should Taste Good chips but I have a confession-I’ve never been into an REI. However, I think I need to go now just to get those collapsable bowls.

  2. Pingback: Easy Tortilla Bake… « The Auspicious Squirrel

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