In this week’s Giraffe Paper, I am writing about eating healthy on the road, this time in South Florida. I have written some prior about this but I thought it would be good to share more examples as I’m often asked how to eat well when away from home.
This weekend I ventured to South Florida as I had my first triathlon race of the year in Ft. Lauderdale on Sunday. So not only did I have to consider my normal options when traveling I was also considering my nutrition leading up to, during and post race.
My preparation began early in the week to ensure I would have the supplies needed for both travel and the race. I have a triathlon checklist so my fueling needs are captured easily for that part but throw in traveling I had considerations for the car and thinking about the meals I would have out.
The night prior, I organized my fruits and veggies I would take that were easy to eat while driving. I prepared bags of grapes, celery and carrots to go with hummus singles, sliced an orange into quarters, and put a cold pressed juice to the side to throw in the cooler. For my not cold options, I packed bananas, almonds, chickpeas, a new sesame seed snack I found at Costco and a couple Lara Bars. In a separate cooler I threw in a kombucha, several bottles of water and all of the rest of my triathlon fueling needs. It’s so important to pack healthy snacks so you are not in a position to eat something out of convenience. I can be “hangry” and you don’t want to see that so by always traveling with a bag of healthy snacks I minimize those episodes…ha!
Being in South Florida, I got to spend time with Morgan so we had already scoped our options to eat out and she was great considering my options for the night before race meal. My new night before race meal is an Acai Bowl and we know the best place in Florida to get one, Raw Juce (with no “i” in there) …wow, it was good!!! So Saturday night was taken care of on the plan.
On Saturday afternoon we went to famous vegan chef, Chloe Coscarelli’s, new restaurant in Miami. We heard a couple weeks prior it was opening so we were really excited to try. I have followed Chloe for a couple years now, have been to her restaurant in Boston and have two of her cookbooks so I was really up for this experience.
As I’m paying for lunch, I asked the cashier how much Chloe’s new cookbook, Chloe Flavor, was as it was sitting nicely on the stand next to the counter. She replied stating the price and also said she would be doing a book signing later in the day. HUGE – Morgan and I quickly looked at each other and agreed to return. We were lucky enough to meet her prior to the signing and she spent about five minutes with us talking about being plant-based, our stories, and her ventures. What a great person and influence in the plant-based movement!
I could go long with my race prep but I’ll keep it brief – eat a power packed, no animal product meal, 12 hours prior to the race and be full. Well, eat no animal products anyway, but my tip prior to race if you do is by doing so you eliminate all the inflammation the animal products cause to your body. Don’t tell anyone in my age group though as I want to have that competitive advantage. I kept hydrated (my Hammer Heed electrolytes were in my bag to mix with water) leading up to the race. I do some other things but that will be for another performance post.
Post race I inhaled a couple banana and orange slices at the finish line, drank a bunch of water and then headed to a bagel shop for a bagel with avocado. For the ride back to Tampa I had a cold pressed juice I bought the night before at Raw Juce and I stopped by my favorite vegan bakery, Parlour Vegan Bakery, for a doughnut and pizza roll. Oh yeah I have no rules after a race so I ate up!
So to wrap up I will leave you with a couple simple tips for eating healthy while on the road:
- Think ahead during the week so you have your list together when you go to the grocery store
- Always keep a bag of healthy snacks with you so if you don’t know what you are getting yourself into you have options to keep from becoming “hangry”
- Pack a cooler with fruits, veggies and water
- Search the new city for locations of grocery stores and places to eat. I always look to see if a city has a Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or Sprouts. I do have to say most grocery stores have plenty of healthy options now so there are limitless opitons
- Think of it as an exploration vs. thinking what am I going to do? I love looking for new places to eat in other cities. Yelp is a good resource to search a city – “Vegan Food”
- If in the Boca Raton/Ft. Lauderdale/Miami area check out:
- Raw Juce (smoothies, acai bowls, and juices)
- Parlour Vegan Bakery (bakery and some lunch items on weekends)
- Chef Chloe and the Vegan Cafe (cafe type lunch items and crazy desserts!!!)
- The New Vegan (great plant-based restaurant – try the Falafel Pasta Salad and a side of Mac and Cheese. Morgan and I won’t order anything else as it is SO GOOD!!!