It is hard enough to maintain healthy eating habit while traveling, let alone following restrictive diet rules. This weekend I head out to Middle Of Nowhere with an hour flight followed by six hours road trip. It isn’t so long ago when planning my travel provisions is all about portability and taste. Now, I need to consider food that I should eat more of and those I should avoid. It is a juggling act.
Complimentary hotel breakfast is awesome if I don’t mind loading up on bread, instant oatmeal, banana, sweetened yogurt, make-your-own waffle, overcooked scrambled eggs and bacon. I can potentially pick up a few avocados from the grocery store but I decide to go with something different. One good thing about staying in budget hotel is that the room is usually equipped with mini fridge and microwave. Although chia seeds are not particularly anti-inflammatory, they are certainly packed with nutrition. Chocolate Raspberry Chia Pudding is a great breakfast option.
The pudding looks decadent but it is not. Chia seeds are soaked overnight in almond milk until you get consistency of pudding. Dissolve some cocoa powder with hot water to make a thick paste and blend into pudding. Fold in cacao nibs and optionally raspberries. You can sweeten it with maple syrup or, yes, sugar. Since I cut out sugar from my diet, the raspberries will have to pull their weight. You can make the pudding before you leave home but the ingredients are portable enough to be made in a hotel room. All you need is single-serving tetra-pak almond milk, chia seeds, cocoa powder, cacao nibs, raspberries, a container with lid, and a spoon.
Getting my share of omega-3 fatty acid is crucial for anti-inflammatory purposes but it is especially challenging during travel. I can take fish oil supplement but I really rather not. I can enjoy all the freshwater fish Lake Superior has to offer but I need a back up plan. Opening cans of sardines is not considerate to my travel mates. Neither is a serious case of garlic breath. This travel salad is my answer to the dilemma. A sturdy mix of lentil du Puys, sweet red pepper, and lucinato kale ribbons are dressed in a classic red wine shallot vinaigrette. When I am ready to eat, I will top it with vacuum-packed Albacore tuna and crunchy savi seeds. This format of tuna is very portable and the least fishy. Savi seed (inca peanut) is touted as superfood (uh, whatever) with higher concentration of omega-3 than even wild salmon. This salad is dense with nutrition and wholesomely filling.
Another item in my picnic basket is a fully loaded sweet potato. Remember the cashew cream and muhammara I made earlier? They come in handy. I split a roasted sweet potato and stuffed it with the spicy sweet roasted red pepper walnut spread. Then I topped it with rich cashew cream (the nutritional yeast gives it a cheesy flavour), Aleppo pepper, and green onion. It is vegan and gluten free too. Did I get all the buzzwords yet?
Lastly, I will pack some papaya chunks dressed with a squeeze of lime juice. It makes for a refreshing snack. As we all know, snack craving and road trip go hand in hand. It’s better to be prepared than regret raiding the gas station snack aisle.