I am back on the road again. Up in Colorado trying to acclimatize to the killer altitude before running TransRockies from Aug 23-28th. I know it will be hard enough just to run, so I wanted to minimize the suffering where I can. That means 3 weeks pretty much without a kitchen. Am I worried, heck no! I am a "carry on, make it work" kinda girl. I am camping out and we have a few useful tools and I am likely going to pick up odds and ends, so I have essentially the kitchen necessities. Whenever I am without a "real" kitchen I think back to when I was at culinary school and we spent a day on an organic farm. We picked a bunch of fresh produce and then cooked a 3 course, amazingly delicious meal right there on a few portable burners. So I proceed without fear or trepidation when faced with the minimal accommodations.
In fact, I am excited to cook out over the fire tonight. I mean nestling some root veg & corn down under the hot coals wrapped in foil? Kale salad with fresh tomatoes. The possibilities are quite exciting.
But most healthier or conscious eaters are not excited by the prospect of road eating. I get asked more than anything when I road trip, especially considering my special needs, what do you eat? Most people think of fast food restaurants and chains when they think of road trips. Not me! I make a bee-line for the nearest grocery store and can put together something that fits with my foodie philosophy pretty much anywhere.
Take for instance, the delicious salad above. I was somewhere in middle of nowhere Utah and managed to eat a completely organic salad. I just grabbed some organic baby mixed greens, a package of those pre-cut stir fry veggies (cabbage, carrots, broccoli and sugar snap peas), and some Amy's organic salad dressing. I topped it with some packaged cooked grilled chicken (free-range, vegetarian) that I was pleasantly surprised to find. It was a great complete meal and I didn't have to succumb to eating fast food. I have done this all over and never cease to be surprised to find what some grocery stores have in places where you would never expect it. For instance, I once went to a middle of nowhere grocery store in West Virginia and they not only had Kombucha, but they had an extensive gluten free selection, lots of organic products and even a bulk section. If I had judged it by the location (near nothing) or by its seemingly "unorganic" structure (think mega market), I would have missed out on a great opportunity to eat healthy on the road.
I think what it comes down to while out on the road is priorities. I feel better when I eat healthy and avoid my trigger foods, thus I go out of my way to be prepared. I bring a few back up items with me (like Vega shake mix and rice bread) and do a bit of pre-planning when I can (locating if possible the nearest natural food store). And I never feel put out or like I spend any more time than I usually do shopping and preparing. Plus, it is always a fun adventure, keeps me on my culinary toes to see what I can pull off. The way I think about it is, I can fail in a kitchen as quickly as I can fail over a camp fire, but it would be even worse if I never tried!