School is letting out everywhere and people are planning for their summer vacations. Some choose to stay home and enjoy the free time to soak up the sun and play, but then others like to TRAVEL!
We actually have a weekend trip planned for my cousins graduation THIS WEEKEND, and I am SO excited to see everyone. I, of course, have turned in to a crazy lady– planning for every meal to help keep Blake full and safe. I also like to have a few paleo meals up my sleeve so that John and I can keep from getting too hangry, and to avoid blowing too much money on eating out:)
I am really glad that this planning fiasco is happening at the beginning of the summer too, because it will help me make the tweaks I need to make to better our other trips we may take this summer. (Can you say beach weekends?)
I found a few helpful tips for packing a cooler on various blogs that -even though they aren’t all necessarily paleo- offer great packing advice. I picked from them what I needed and I think that we should be able to pull of a partially successful trip!
- This site has great advice on packing a cooler and keeping food safe to eat!
- The lady @ Phoenix Helix has a great blog post that gives tips on eating out and several links to other pages that could help in travels. I liked learning that Panera has a secret “Power Menu”! Not a good choice for Blake, but GREAT for John and I.
- I also ran across a GREAT tip from Marks Daily Apple that may have changed the way I pack a cooler from here on out. — He mentions to pack gallon bags of ice to keep your cooler cold with out the mess! Then, when your ice melts, you can just stop at a gas station, empty your bag and fill ‘er up again! SO SIMPLE…. yet I am still in awe!
So, keeping my cooler packing tips in mind, I have comprised a list of what we will bring to keep us well fed on the road, and meals for keeping Blake safely fed.
I decided to splurge a little in the meat department. I figured with the money we would save by NOT eating out, we could stand to do this. Besides, we don’t need to feel deprived of good food just because we are taking a road trip, right?
Taking the advice from Marks Daily Apple, I am going to grab a steak from our local farmer. Beef tends to keep longer than chicken, so that works out great! I will also cook up a big slab of quality bacon. After portioning these up for Blake’s breakfast each morning, I will pack a nibble bag for myself and John. Along with a pack of frozen Applegate hotdogs (that will double as ice in the cooler), I will pack some chicken breasts. To keep things easy, I plan on cooking and cutting all the meat the day before we leave. Then, I will leave cold what we will eat on travel day one, and freezing the rest.
So for meat we have:
- Steak- cooked and cubed
- Chicken- cooked and sliced
- Hotdogs- frozen to double as ice in cooler
- Bacon- for Blake’s morning protein
This is mainly for Blake’s meals over the weekend and dinner the night we arrive. There are several healthy options for raw and cooked veggies while traveling but this is what we landed on:
- Roasted, portioned, and packed veggie medley made of carrots and celery
- 3 large sweet potatoes- baked– these could be good cold too, but we plan on eating them with that steak^^
- Mashed potatoes- pre-made and frozen
–Anything else we may need should be simple to find at a local grocery store. Grocery shopping while on vacation may take up a tiny bit of time, but we wont be buying large amounts so it shouldn’t be too bad. Food like lettuce just doesn’t travel nicely.
With Blake’s breakfast bacon, he will get a fruit bowl each morning! Spoiled little thang… I know. But he is SO worth it. The other reason we pack so much fruit is because they tend to keep well and they are great for snacking… especially in the summer!
- Sliced melon
- Soft pears
- Apples- both cut and packaged for Blake and washed but not cut for John and I
- Frozen blueberries and grapes- refreshing in the summer and doubles as an ice pack- double whammy!
- Kale Chips- these will be good for the car ride because they don’t pose much of a choking hazard for the little one in his car seat… although they might be a bit
- Enjoy Life Trail Mix— because road trips just aren’t complete unless you have at least one bag trail mix
- Homemade (Nut-free) Granola Bars- recipe can be found here
- Apple-sauce To-go packs- I love stocking up on these when they go on sale. There are brands out there that are packed with extra sugar so keep an eye out for those.
- Pascha bar for a little pregnant mama treat 😉
- Homemade Sunbutter cookies
- Tea Bags- yes, I love my organic tea
- Sea Salt and Pepper mix
- Raw Honey- we get a small bottle from our honey guy- super convenient
- Small jar of coconut oil- ya never know when you will need it
- Blakes Ketchup- he loves ketchup! He can only use certain brands, so we just make things easy and take it along.
- Plastic forks, knives, spoons
- Extra bags for trash and such
- Baby wipes
- A REALLY GOOD cooler! This is a must and I have read great reviews on the Polar Bear coolers. I will let you know how ours works after our trip:) –To see which one we used click here.
Another great travel tip for eating healthy on the road is to know where you are going and what your options are. Packing food for the road trip to save from the disaster that strikes when hunger strikes – but there’s not a decent place to eat in sight- is great… But what about once you get to where you are going? If you know your destination, it is easy to scope out a few local restaurants that are somewhat paleo friendly before you arrive. (I LOVE UrbanSpoon for this!) Have a list on hand and ready to go so you can enjoy your trip! Same goes for those who have food allergies and eat out. We aren’t there yet with Blake so we still pack his food for the duration of the stay too, but I’m sure the same dining-out rules could be helpful if applied.
Whatever you choose to pack and how ever you choose to pack it, I hope you don’t let food allergies and healthy eating keep you from traveling. It may take a little more planning that usual, but after it’s all said and done, you are making memories with those you love!
How do you plan for your allergy free AND/OR paleo outings? I would love to hear about it– so feel free to comment below!