Growing up on a farm in the middle of nowhere, meant my family always prepared a lunch before leaving home. Even going to the back paddock called for “smoko”. Usually, this consisted of something ripe and juicy from the orchard as well as a home-baked, low-sugar wholemeal treat with a flask of tea and a water bottle (not cigarettes, as the word suggests)!
Nowadays I don’t live so far away from civilisation but the sentiment remains. I don’t expect to find sustenance along the way – service stations, roadhouses, fast food joints and airport food halls don’t have much to offer. That’s why I like to be prepared when travelling whether by car, boat or plane; healthy snacks and meals can be hard to come by so here’s my list of my favourite healthy travel staples.
11 go-to items for eating healthy when travelling
1. Nuts: Soaked or unsoaked, activated or raw. An unsalted bag of nuts will tide me over if I get peckish. I know nuts can go the distance if lunchtime is pushed back due to a work meeting, delayed flight or if I get stuck in traffic.
2. Fresh Fruit: I like to have something light on hand to munch and fresh fruit is the perfect option. Definitely recommended for road trips. I even carry my fruit on flights but I sometimes get pulled up by the sniffer dogs at the airport – they excitedly smell the apple or mandarins I’ve had stuffed in my bag for the journey! Fruit is something I can get at the airport if I haven’t managed to pack some.
3. Vege Sticks & Nut Butter: Celery, carrot, cucumber or capsicum sticks in a container or bag, with a jar of nut butter, will sustain my family on a road trip or flight. And it’s so yum!
4. Salad Sprouts: A super-nutritious combo of protein and carbohydrate makes solid feel-good-food that I know will put a spring (or sprout) in my step.
5. Tulsi Tea: I always carry a stash of ORGANIC INDIA Tulsi-Holy Basil Tea in my handbag and ask for a cup of hot water wherever I pull up. I rise and shine with Tulsi Cleanse, get through the day with Tulsi Original, Tulsi Turmeric Ginger & Tulsi Jasmine. Tulsi Sleep does what it says on the pack and is great for flights or after a late night of travelling. Tulsi Masala Chai or one of the Tulsi Green flavours will give me a gentle caffeine hit if needed. I like to carry enough to share with others along the way since Tulsi’s remarkable stress-relieving and energising benefits are well-worth discovering. Plus, the flavour is delicious.
Despite the airline and travel industries efforts to make air travel as easy as possible, we as travellers can be bombarded by physical, mental and emotional stressors while flying. As an adaptogenic herb, Tulsi has the ability to help the body respond to these external stressors issues. Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, may also assist the body with issues has such as infection, fatigue, thrombosis, anxiety and dealing with restraint, noise, hypoxia, (from oxygen reduction), radiation, industrial chemicals and poor sleep (1). So next time you’re heading to the airport pack a couple Tulsi tea bags in your carry on, grab some hot water from the flight attendants and enjoy a lovely mid-air cuppa of Tulsi tea.
6. Dark Chocolate. It’s rare for a day in my life to pass without a piece of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate. The darker the better, if you ask me. I always make an effort to purchase fair trade and organic; this is one of my daily favourite moments and very helpful for that after-lunch slump. On really long car trips, it can be hard to get my 4-year-old back into the car seat after breaks. A tiny corner of chocolate quickly becomes my handy helper and we’ll be back on the road in a jiffy.
7. Pocket Knife: For the road trippers a swiss army knife or pocket knife is a must. I keep this in the console of my car so it’s on hand for picnic moments. I enjoy the simplicity of sliced tomato, a handful of green leaves & some good quality salt on a tasty cracker.
8. Good quality salt: A little jar of good salt has lived in my car for years; it’ll pep up a picnic lunch or a half-avocado snack, and season an indulgent splurge of fresh local fish and chips (which I order unsalted) at a seaside village. It’s also an excellent remedy for leaches if I discover stowaways on my ankles after a rainforest walk.
9. Gluten-Free Bread: Two slices of gluten-free bread will safeguard me between arriving somewhere late at night and getting to a health food store the next day. If I’m travelling domestically, I’ll throw in an avocado. I have a favourite Airbnb Host who leaves free range eggs out for me – thankfully, breakfast is sorted!
10. A bag in my bag: I love those little silky bags that scrunch into a tiny pouch and slide in anywhere. Currently, I have one in my handbag that can hold up to 20kg which is a substantial shop. I love exploring health food stores and discovering new delights in my destination or even unique and local products along the way. I prefer to stay in places where I can self-cater so usually google a health food shop or green grocer at my destination, then go from there.
11. Water: I carry a bottle of pure, filtered water with me everywhere. Yep, even when ducking out for an hour. I love to stay hydrated (I can’t stand brain fog) and am teaching my daughter this vital lesson. If my car journey is a long one, I fill several bottles before leaving home. I leave extra water in my car at the airport so that it’s waiting for me when I get back in after a flight. I use a double insulated stainless steel bottle which can take a bag of Tulsi for a herbal tea boost, and fill with hot or cold water depending on the season.
Since I know that travelling can often leave me feeling tired and uncomfortable, these basics help me stay energised and clear and maintain my digestive system’s usual rhythm. Not to mention stand by my values; to eat locally-sourced whole food closest to its natural state, and pursue wellbeing without compromising the environment. Safe travels this holiday season!
Best Tulsi Wishes.