Eating Healthy While Traveling

by Susan on August 28, 2013

A view from the road. Driving through Eucalyptus Trees. Heavenly.

Smokey Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe, blanketed in a layer of smoke from the Yosemite fire.

We just got back from a successful (vegan, mostly raw) trip up to Lake Tahoe. I’m surprised at how easy it was to stay 100% vegan (not an option for me to nudge that one) and at least 75% raw. All it required was a little pre-planning and packing a few tools. 

The big challenge for this trip was having very little packing space. We were driving in a small two-seater that has a trunk about the size of a suitcase. It’s amazing how many clothes you can leave behind when healthy food is a priority. A small insulated lunch box in the car filled with energy bars, bananas, sliced apples and water did the trick while we were on the road.

In anticipation for this trip, I bought a Nutri Bullet. I have been dying to try one out to see if it lived up to the hype. The Magic Bullet has let me down a bit for green drinks. I liked it so much, I am going to get another one and do a give away for you! Stay tuned. 

I was impressed by the Nutri Bullet. You can pick one up for about 100.00 and it’s worth every penny. It does a decent job with greens, makes great smoothies (although small batches), good cashew creams, and if you just need to grind some oats into flour, or grind up some flax seeds, it is fantastic. I am finding that for some small jobs in the kitchen, I grab the Nutri Bullet instead of my Vitamix. (That said, I could not live without my Vitamix. )

I am eating almost all gluten free these days which can be even harder than vegan when traveling. I try to stay away from processed foods and the gluten free choices in the store frighten me with their extended lists of non-nutritious ingredients. I do like Rudis Gluten Free Spinach Tortillas because they don’t have a laundry list of ingredients. I can stuff them with a ton of raw ingredients when I want something more than a salad. You can also try these!

One of the keys to our success was doing a little advance research. I found quite a few restaurants that served vegan and even raw food! Simple Bliss Cafe turned out to be a favorite in South Tahoe. When ordering vegan food out, we found that we still had to be really careful about making sure it was healthy vegan food. My sweetie ordered a lentil loaf that was supposed to mimic meatloaf and they deep fried each piece. Really? Was that necessary?

All in all, we had a wonderful trip, sans the smoke from the Yosemite fire, and were able to eat healthy the whole time. It didn’t take much effort and it was wonderful having the extra energy that eating this way gives us!


10 Travel Tips


1. Do some advance planning. Happy  is a great place to start. You can plug in a city and they will come up with a good selection of restaurants where you can find vegan food.  I would also do a search for vegan and raw food in the city where you are going. That simple step gave us a list of restaurants in South Tahoe and we were not disappointed.


2. Prepare some of your favorite, easy travel foods. Some of my favorites are linked at the end of this post. 


3. Plan to make the grocery store one of your first stops. 


4. See if your room has a fridge. If not, a small ice chest will do in a pinch. 


5.  If you have a gathering to go to, eat before you go. It helps, believe me. 


6. I love taking healthy tortillas. It is so easy to load a wrap with fresh, raw food. An easy      way to make a meal. 


7. Make sure you are drinking a lot water. Very important, especially when traveling.


8. If you can’t find restaurants that do serve vegan, call ahead and see if a restaurant you choose can accommodate. Sometimes just an advanced call will do wonders!


9. Look for menus on-line. It is a great way to see if you can “create” a vegan / raw meal in a non-vegan restaurant. 


10. If you are flying, pre-pack some food in your carry-on. It comes in very handy when those snack carts are going by. 


Some of my favorite travel recipes:

Collard Wraps

Cacao Goji Oat Balls

Rawmazing Doughnut Holes

Cacao Goji Energy Bars

Cinnamon Orange Energy Bars

Cinnamon Ginger Truffles 


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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Chelsea//TheNakedFig August 28, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Very helpful information! Traveling is when I sometimes eat amazing foods or when I give up and eat junk. It always works best if I plan for it!


Susan August 28, 2013 at 4:48 pm

I know what you mean, Chelsea. But I am now unwilling to give up! :-)


teresa August 29, 2013 at 1:22 am

I have been wondering whether to get the nutri bullet or not, but only if it works on carrots and beets. Have you tried anything like those with it?


Susan August 29, 2013 at 7:06 pm

What are you trying to do with beets and carrots?


Eileen August 29, 2013 at 12:10 pm

We were in Tahoe last weekend too! Yay! I’m not vegan, but I still find getting decent food when traveling tough. So I packed a cooler full of dipping veg with hummus, peanut butter-honey-sesame seed sandwiches, and several apples and nectarines. With our giant water bottles, it worked out really well. Next time I’m definitely going to give some of your tips a try!


Faith August 29, 2013 at 12:16 pm

just called my whole foods, disappointed they don’t carry these. so you don’t have to heat them to enjoy them? I’ve tried the Brown Rice tortillas by Food for Life, they get dry and tough really quickly…


Faith August 29, 2013 at 12:27 pm

found them at another supermarket around here, going to get them! thanks again Susan..


teresa August 29, 2013 at 8:32 pm

I can’t afford a real juicer yet or vitamix/blendtec and was considering the nutri bullet or ninja as make-dos for the time being.


jayney August 30, 2013 at 2:39 pm

I travel extensively for work – lecturing on holistic health all over the world and often find myself in some pretty obscure places. I’m vegan and about 90%+ raw under normal non-travelling circumstances – but when travelling to environments where water quality is questionable it can be a challenge. I used to really get a bit uptight about needing to ‘fall off the raw wagon’ in those locations where it might be dangerous to eat foods washed with local potentially contaminated water – especially as I’m raw vegan for health reasons (it has been largely responsible for putting severe, incredibly aggressive rheumatoid arthritis into long lasting remission – I believe that this lifestyle and other concomitant factors (meditation, compassion, love, tai chi, qi gong, Pilates etc.) have in fact cured the condition. I was a wheelchair user for 10 years and was told I would never walk again but now I’m able to galavant around the world unaided). So, bearing all this in mind, I find that it is best to be really flexible about the raw – and not to get down on myself if I can’t eat raw for a while. I believe that the power of intention is extremely strong and that if one is doing one’s very best to look after one’s self, the body will respond and appreciate the kind thoughts and nurturing – however it manifests. Oh . . . and the NutriBullet is waaay cool – I need one for my Mum – so fingers crossed . . . . and in any case, blessings to you – your site is rawmazing and totally inspirational – thank you!! xx


Susan August 30, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Jayney, I completely understand! I say there is no “fail” with raw food. Just do the best you can with what you have available. Make sure you enter for the blender in the comments on that post!!


shanna August 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I love this! I stick to a vegan, GF, alcohol-free, and high-raw diet, but I will not flex on the vegan part. If desperate, I will have a piece of bread–try 3 weeks in France without doing that :)

I only take a carry-on when I travel, I never check luggage, so consequently, half the contents in my carry-on and tote bag are food! That’s okay, though. I do research ahead of time, and make sure I can communicate on a basic level in the native tongue so I can express my dietary needs. Also, I typically stay at an apartment so that I can cook–eating out, for me and with my limitations, is not all that exciting, anyway.


Debby patterson August 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I work in a fitness club and all they offer in our kitchen is a toaster and yuk microwave, I make foods at home but getting up at 4.30 to do this is a pain. Using this wonderful appliance would be promoting how easy it is to my staff and want to be healthy customers.


Eliška Kostková August 30, 2013 at 4:07 pm

because i love your sites, your recipes and also the nutribullet:-) i will write you, what is my biggest chalenge in beginnng with raw food.The biggest challenge in beginning with raw food is not to buy every book and every simple stupid little thing (that you just must have, f you want to be raw:-) Of course, the money stops me usually:-D but i can feel the tickle as i want to learn more and more about raw food, about world, people, love and life. Thank you.Eliška


Susan August 30, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Hi, Eliska, You need to leave this comment on the post with the blender. Just click on comments at the end of the post. :-)


janet August 30, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Susan, thank you for your great tips – and very timely for me! I am planning a trip in October and I plan to take my Nutri-Bullet with me. My dilemma is that I will be traveling by air – and attempting to get by with the carry-on rather than checked bags – I’m wondering if my Nutri-Bullet and food items will leave any room for clothes and other necessities – hmmm. This will be interesting.


Gabriela Hydle August 30, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Hola! The most challenging is when I am out of the country, because while in the US (most of the time) you can always find something. When we go backpacking through Europe, or I just came back from a month stay in Mexico and also when I go back to my hometown Guatemala gets tricky. I usually don´t know who to ask for places with raw options. We love to visit markets so here were is were I usually find some colorful, amazing tasting, juicy fruits and vegetables and I would love to be able to bring the Nutri-Bullet to have more options…hopefully will fit and not be to heavy in the backpack :)


Susan August 30, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Please leave your comment on the give-away post or it won’t count. :-)


Angie Lipscomb August 30, 2013 at 7:10 pm

The thing that is hard for me is the cost of fresh fruits and veggies in Minnesota and availability in the Winter months which can last 6 months.


Cynthia Inson August 30, 2013 at 7:56 pm

I love the creativity of eating and making raw recipes. The most difficult thing for me it to get the chewing texture right. Thanks for sharing so many amazing recipes.


Margaret August 30, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Biggest raw food challenge for me is the prep time for preparing meals. When I’m trying to go all raw I find myself eating a lot of salads. Of course, salads aren’t a bad thing to eat but I do find myself craving mroe variety. The alck of spontaneity with raw foods is hard for me.


Devin Richards August 31, 2013 at 1:24 am

Thanks for your travel suggestions! Being consistent with my preferred eating style is my challenge. The size, weight and power of food prep equipment has been an issue. I am very mobile. The Ninja & Magic Bullet are not very powerful… the Vitamix is too heavy & bulky to travel with… When I tried the NutriBullet with a friend… I was amazed!
Deep gratitude for all that you share!


Evelyn Midyette August 31, 2013 at 2:15 am

Dining out and socialzing and hearing ” Oh, you’re one of those people “, and maintaining my life style of raw and fresh juicing. Much work, however, well worth the feeling of wellness and spirit.


Lisa W. September 2, 2013 at 5:58 am

Looks like you had a great trip! Traveling can be a challenge when you’re trying to eat raw. Now that I’m more conscious of what I eat my biggest challenge is finding affordable organic food. Thanks for all the great tips and recipes.


Mintie September 5, 2013 at 5:23 am

Whats a ” Southern Gal” like me going to do living half of my time in
France and half in the U.S.?
Withouth this website I would go crazy. Thanks for being here!!


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