SUMMER is in full swing and people are naturally more relaxed and happy. Schedules are not as rigid, we spend more time outdoors, and everyone seems to be moving at a slower pace. Summertime brings unhurried mornings, picnics in the park, escapes to the cottage, and romantic evening strolls. It is the season to relax, unplug from our regular routine and enjoy the simple things in life.
Summer time is also when that long awaited family vacation has arrived. Whether you plan to explore unspoiled wilderness, white sandy beaches, vibrant cities or charming villages abroad, vacation-time is the perfect opportunity to discover new sights, make friends in foreign places and build relationships with our loved ones.
As a raw foodist who frequently travels with my book, ”The SimplyRaw Living Foods Detox Manual”, one of the questions I commonly hear is “how can you stay raw when traveling”? Unlike the mainstream fare of fast food, healthy foods are not always available just anywhere – particularly raw vegan! Yes, eating healthy on the road can be challenging and requires more effort but it can be done!
The most important thing for eating raw (and staying healthy) while traveling is to pack as much food as you reasonably can. Never go unprepared! Whether you are travelling by car, bus or by airplane, always bring raw food items such as homemade trail mixes, dried fruits, seasoned nuts and seeds, and dehydrated crackers along with you. These quick snacks can make all the difference and completely transform your travels, so be sure to bring them with you.
An important step to do before leaving home is to research your destination to check whether there are natural food stores and markets nearby (HappyCow.net and VegDining.com are great places to start). I love markets and no matter what country, city or village, markets are the first stop on my list. Not only do they offer a great way of tasting new flavors, markets allow us to interact with locals and learn about their culture. Keep your eyes open for local farmers when you’re travelling the countryside as well. I’ll never forget the sweet, juicy watermelon fresh out of the ground we had in Cyprus!
If you are travelling by car, you will have more freedom and space to store food and kitchen items. A large cooler (or two—one in the trunk, one in the front) filled with leafy greens, pesto, raw pate, dips and guacamole make versatile additions to your meals. Olives, avocado, dulse, spices, lime and Himalayan salt are easy to pack and will enhance your dining experience. A grater, large bowl, cutting board, sharp knife, peeler, utensils, portable blender, assortment of containers and ziplock bags for storing food come in handy to have on hand whenever you decide to picnic along the way.
Flying can be more challenging with all of the restrictions and limits. In my earlier days, I used to travel with green smoothies, fresh juices and even carried my juicer on flights. Now instead, I bring powdered greens for adding to water (see “The SimplyRaw Living Foods Detox Manual” for more tips). I also have chlorella tablets in my purse for easy access. For carry-on, an empty shaker bottle is useful for preparing instant green drinks; once past security, purchase a few liters of bottled water and mix together with your green powder. Personally, I prefer travelling light, hydrating my body with plenty of water and eating mainly high-water-content foods such as fruit, sprouts, or greens and cucumbers, as I find that being inactive slows down my digestion.
Useful snacks to pack in your carry-on bag are apples or other fruits (please note that some airports have restrictions on certain fruits), goji berries, olives, and dehydrated crackers. Bee pollen, powdered greens and enzymes are also good to have with you to assist with digestion. Although I don’t eat a lot of bars, there are some better quality bars out there, and they can certainly be handy when travelling (my husband likes Vega bars, and typically travels with a couple on hand).
If your destination is a town, village, or city (and not in the middle of the wilderness), don’t be shy to check out the restaurants. Even if there’s nothing raw listed on the menu, most places will have fresh salad ingredients on hand, and you can easily request a special meal with fresh vegetables, a bit of olive oil and lemon – voila, your own custom raw salad! Add some raisins that you brought with you, and you’re set! We had some delicious raw meals while visiting Turkey a few years ago, even though “raw” wasn’t on the menu!
Having a healthy lifestyle is about incorporating good habits into every aspect of your life – and learning to be gentle with yourself. Yes, with a little forethought, you can create and enjoy a healthy raw vacation. And remember, it’s ok to indulge occasionally during your travels — just try to choose the healthier options!
Wishing you a beautiful radiant summer,
Today’s food log:
- 4 ozs E3live
- fresh apple juice with Schinoussa Powder
- chlorella tablets
- bowl of cherries
- 4 ozs wheatgrass juice
- Green juice (cucumber, celery, romaine, kale, ginger, pea shoots, sunflower sprouts)
- smoothie (almond milk, frozen berries, banana, hemp, stevia)
- salad: fresh tomatoes, cucmbers, purslane and olives
- cauliflower and broccoli florets dipped in tahini dressing
- 4 ozs E3live
- firewater (See my book “The SimplyRaw Living Foods Detox Manual”)
- chlorella tablets
- fresh grapefruit juice with msn & green powder
- 1 peach
- bowl of cherries
- 1 quart fresh green juice
- 5 ozs wheatgrass juice
- bowl of gazpacho soup – extra spicy!
- 4 radishes
- corn on the cob
- kale chips
Speaking of traveling, I’m soon off to Italy to meet up with my dearest friend, Sonia. Sonia and I go way back – we both went to Glebe High School and shared a lot of interests, particularly traveling and nutrition. (We also did our fair share of partying back then) Besides being a fellow traveler and confidante, Sonia was also a jet-setting model in the 80′s and as girls constantly on the fly, we managed to meet for a brief and comical time in Rome some 20 years ago. We’re now returning – with our kids. :)
Afterwards, Mischa and I will be joining Mark in Turkey via Santorini as I’ve been wanting to visit this beautiful Greek isle since the 70′s. Our hotel is perched on the cliffs of Oia and comes with a spectacular view!