In a perfect Whole30-ing world, each of us would have a personal chef and all restaurants would serve only complaint meals and dressings and mocktails. Alas, this isn’t a perfect Whole30-ing world…this is just the real world. Just because the world isn’t created with our 30-days in mind doesn’t mean we have to stay at home and live in a whole food filled bubble. Life keeps happening even when you aren’t eating gluten or dairy or soy!
As a mom of 2 small kids and dealing with the back and forth of moving, I find myself on the road quite often these days. My key to staying successful while traveling on a Whole30? Prepare! Just like you do before you get started, you have to plan for it. If you have kids, you are probably already used to this: you pack a diaper bag, maybe bottles, a change of clothes, entertainment for the ride, snacks, lunch, back-up plans for bribery…you know the drill! Just like you pack the bag for your kids, you have to take a few extra minutes before you run out the door for yourself. It doesn’t have to take forever and you will be so happy you did it once it’s time to eat!
Before I pack I ask myself 2 questions:
How long are we going to be gone for? Meaning, am I going to be out and need just one snack or is this going to be an outing that last a full day or several days?
What are the worst case scenarios? Meaning, will I be only in my car for a snack or will I be out meeting friends for dinner at a pizza place followed by drinks back at their place and birthday cake for their 3-year-old? What are all of the situations that might come up?
Then I pack! I try to include things that are easy and don’t require refrigeration. You will also notice I don’t have a lot of packaged “snacks” and I make everything myself. I love Chomps, and I like some of the compliant bars, but for me it boils down to price. Those items can get pricey and I’m just as satisfied after eating these things that I am by eating those. For me, that’s a no brainer, but you do you and your preference and budget.
Ok, without blabbing on too much more, here are the things that I pack when I hit the road:
I struggle with finding compliant dried fruit other than raisins (I see you added sugar!) but I did snag this bag of dried organic mango at Trader Joe’s a couple weeks ago…I should have grabbed more! At first this was a food with no brakes for me, but once I got that in check, I can happily eat a few pieces at a meal (or in a snack emergency) and be fine. Dried fruit is so tricky, so be careful with both ingredients and your response to them!
This baggie is pretty much my go-to snack on Whole30. Even though I try to snack as little as possible, if I feel like I’m starving beyond survival, this is what I grab. And, to make it even easier, I make these little baggie portions in bulk…handful of roasted almonds, small scoop of raisins, small scoop of coconut. Having a few of these already prepped in my pantry makes it just as easy to grab as a granola bar!
Fresh Fruit (or Veggies!)
We LOVE apples in our house, so we always have a heaping bowl of them. My apple crush? Honeycrisp! Throwing an apple or banana (or carrots or sugar snap peas!) is a super easy snack or meal addition to keep in your bag.
I operate under the assumption that whenever we are going to eat out I will be able to find some kind of compliant salad I can order and I often end up ordering it with a side of a plain baked potato. Bringing my own dressing makes this so easy. Ok, it’s a little awkward to present your mason jar of dressing to the waitress and people you are eating with, but you get over that pretty fast. This is a balsamic vinegarette that I made (and LOVE) and it travels well! I put it on salads and sometimes even my potatoes. Most of the time, even if it’s not planned that we go grab food at a restaurant, I still pack a dressing just in case plans change. This is definitely where the “worst case scenario” question comes into play!
I love herbal tea, especially on these winter days. I have found, however, that it is really difficult to find it out at restaurants. Black tea? Yes, I see it everywhere, but not so much herbal. I keep a little bag of it so if I’m a little watered out, I have a warm and delightful option!
This might sound like Whole30 sacrilege, but I do not like Lacroix. There, I said it. I do, however, like Spindrift. I I try to always have one with me if, again, I get bored with water, or if I end up somewhere having cocktails. Is it awkward and weird to pull a canned drink out of your purse? Of course! But honestly, it doesn’t matter. I laugh about it with the people around me! “Ashley’s here and she has all kinds of Whole30 goodies in her bag of tricks!”
There, of course, are tons of other things you could put in your Whole30 friendly travel bag, but these are just a few of my easy favorites. Of course I don’t want to eat like this for 30 whole days, but for a morning of traveling with a meal or 2 on the road, I’m totally fine with it. Most importantly, it keeps me from letting Whole30 stop me from living my life, which is the whole goal of this process.
Happy travels! xo