Traveling in the Raw

by — Feb 7, 2011

Displacing your raw food lifestyle from the ever-so-convenient bubble it now presides is never easy. Perhaps it’s the arms-length distance to a Vitamix, the barely 2-minute trek to your city’s juice bar or even your friends’ general acceptance of the way you eat that make the raw food lifestyle a bit easier for you to digest. So yes–you have your raw swagger and you like it. But then, as it were, life happens, and you choose to participate. You are going on a trip!

Traveling with a high-raw diet would ideally be a highly alkaline breeze, but it’s not. Even the smallest part of your daily routine–say a green juice–can become an impossible burden. And while it’s not the end of the world if you don’t uphold your diet 100%, it’d be nice to stick to your values despite your context. A high-raw diet should liberate, not restrict or complicate your life.

Do Your Research
Planning ahead is crucial. Before wanderlust overtakes precaution, make sure to do a background check on the city, town or village you are about to grace with your rawsomesness.

First look for food venues that have raw options such as juice bars, restaurants and cafes. Next gauge the presence of health food stores where you can get certain products that regular groceries wouldn’t have. If you want to hit a gym, find out whether your hotel has a gym or is near one that you can frequent during your stay. In order to travel with ease, you should try to prepare yourself for what’s to come and not let it be at the mercy of a big, disappointing surprise.

Golden Grub
Eating out is a travelers’ prerogative. Say you find yourself in a situation where everyone you are traveling with, be it friends, family or coworkers, want to camp out at Mickey D’s for some fuel. Not wanting to offend, you go with them. Perhaps your destination doesn’t have many healthy alternatives anyway.

Luckily, most restaurants have a salad option, but your meal doesn’t have to be as bland as that. Harness yourself with some fixin’s and keep them near and dear at all times. Luckily the following are light, compact and mess-free.

Raw food bars—eat them alone to stave off hunger or crumble them atop a salad for some more flavor and density.

Avocados—these nutrition powerhouses are tough enough to survive a dive in the good ol’ backpack, purse or suitcase and versatile enough to complement any salad or lackluster meal.

Spice—toting around your favorite spice will improve the flavor profile of every meal.
Prepared dressing—say “hello” to Tupperware. Before your trip, fill several food storage containers with your favorite dressing, condiment, sauce or dip. Freeze them before packing. They’ll be a lifesaver come meal time.

Freeze Your Drink
If you absolutely need your juices and smoothies, you don’t have to be without them. Call the hotel you plan to stay at ahead of time to see if your room will have a refrigerator. If not, ask if they can let you store your “medicine” in the hotel’s refrigerator.

Given that there is room for them to keep cold at your destination, prepare as many juices or smoothies that you will need for your trip. Freeze them in 16oz emptied water bottles. Before you take off or hit the road, cover the bottles in zip-lock bags and place them in a small cooler bag, which can travel with you in your suitcase.

While liquids are not allowed on the plane, they can be checked in with your luggage. As long as you pack them safely and leave little room for them to bang around in your suitcase, they will arrive to your destination safely. When you get there, refreeze or refrigerate them immediately.

Snack Invasion
Perhaps the easiest tip to incorporate into your travels is to always have snacks on-hand. In addition to your meal accoutrements outlined in tip #2, it’s a good idea to carry around the following items so you are getting enough energy while you travel without inconveniencing yourself and with those you are traveling.

  • Fruit
  • Bite-sized veggies (think baby carrots)
  • Raw food bars
  • Raw chocolate bars
  • Nuts, seeds and dried fruit
  • Water
  • Probiotic and/or systemic enzyme supplements (to promote digestion—traveling tends to complicate regularity)

Traveling, even if for work-related reasons, is a respite from your normal life. It is something to undertake with a sense of compromise and ease. You might not be living your usual routine, but you can still maintain your diet and exercise regimens. And if you can’t, don’t sweat it. Knowing you’ll be back to your usual ways is enough to make you enjoy your travels and shed the guilt.

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