Planning for a Real Food Road Trip

This is the most recent installment to the series Someone Else’s ShoesReal Food Hits the Road— that’s what my family is attempting. The desire is to eat our normal 85% real food way while living out of hotel/motel rooms for the next 2+ weeks.

Planning for this trip began last summer while we were on a road/camping trip. We learned much then about what worked and what didn’t while on the road.  While not food related, the number 1 thing that we always have to figure out in order to make a trip happen is the care for everything here at home.  Those of you with livestock and/or animals are sure to know what I mean.  We have been fortunate to be able to find willing house sitters.  Knowing that someone will be here to take care of the dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, and garden is a huge relief.

Today is the day we leave for this trip. My husband will work his normal shift while the girls, Christopher and I get everything ready to go. We’ve been planning (and saving for) this trip since last summer.  At this point, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed about all of the last minute preparations! You would think I’d be calm, cool and collected since I’ve been making my lists and getting things together since last summer. Yep, that’s right. I’ve been working on to take lists, to do lists and the menu plan since last summer. I have  serious addiction to list making!

Since we began to plan for this trip while we were still on the road last summer, we had a very good idea of the things that could be

Stock photo from Chevy that shows the HHR trunk space. We won't be taking along a surf board instead it will be loaded with coolers, tote bags and back packs.

improved  upon. #1 thing was we needed to pack much less.  Last summers trip was a camping road trip and we took our full size pick up truck. It was loaded to the gills and seemed to get even more full as time went on.  This year we decided not to camp but to hotel stay. Because of this change we do not wish to take our big truck instead we are taking our little car. The fuel savings will help with hotel costs.  The lack of space may be an issue.

One of the early things done when the planning started was researching “packing light”.  I love this website on packing light and used the lists as guides to make our packing lists.  Since we plan to follow our usual way of eating while on this trip I did some research on that also.  There have been several terrific posts put up lately focusing on real food on the road. Here are a few that I found particularly helpful.

A GAPS Legal Road Trip— While we are not on GAPS these are great tips. I copied some of them for our trip.

Food Ideas While on Vacation and Staying on the GAPS Diet— This post is from my new friend Starlene ( we are getting to know each other through the Nourished Living Network) and I found it to be very helpful. I actually found this post long before I ‘met’ Starlene.

My road trip food list— Also GAPS but also great ideas

How to Eat Healthy on the Road— Primal but again useful. There is some really great stuff in the comments.

Raw Food on The Go— a video put out specifically for raw food eating but I found the packing tips to be helpful.

Traveling on GAPS— From another fellow Nourished Living Network blogger, Patty at Loving Our Guts.

 

Seeing what other people have done was very helpful to me.  Especially knowing what worked and didn’t work. While most of the links I found were not exactly how we eat it still gave me many ideas. I also revisited my own posts last year for our road trip since some of them had links I had found before that trip and many had great tips in the comments.

We have a menu plan in place for the entire 2 weeks that also includes a ‘to do’ list plus shopping lists for specific stops. This might seem excessive to some but since I really rely on structure this what I need to make this 85% real food goal happen while on the road. You might not need to do these things and can just ‘wing it’.

Worth noting, when I started the planning process my menu ideas were alot more elaborate than the final plans. As we got closer to the date it was extremely obvious that simpler would be better. Our every day meals tend to be rather simple so it makes sense that our on the road meals should also be simple. Not sure what I was originally thinking by going elaborate. And seriously, on a vacation in a standard hotel room isn’t exactly the place I should be creating elaborate gourmet meals.

Our meal plans have several stages. The first few days we will take prepared food and eat out of our coolers. Then we’ll restock and the hotel we are at will have a full kitchen. I hope to do some bulk style cooking that will carry allow us to restock our coolers and carry us through for several days.  One place we are staying has a no cooking in the room policy so we will be eating prepared foods and cold foods there. Many of the places we are staying have refrigerators and/or microwaves. We do not plan on using the microwave but my thinking was since they have them possibly we are allowed some cooking in the rooms. I called all of the hotels/motels that we thought we might wish to ‘cook’ in and asked about using a crock pot and/or rice cooker.  Every place said ‘no problem’. One place did tell me that hot plates are not allowed but we don’t have a hot plate so that is fine.  Knowing what the hotels/motels allow really helped me with the menu plan.

One thing that we are also focusing on during this road trip is our gut health. Even though our goal is 85% real food, just like at home, there can be challenges with that. At home we have a rather large collection of cultures and ferments that we add to our meals. On the road we won’t have the same access to those. We are taking along a few things and do have plans to continue with some ferments on the road. I’ll share more about that as we go along.  While we are not planning for dining out while on this trip, we have budgeted for it just in case we decide to. We eat out at home but only at select restaurants. Dining out is especially hard on me which is why we only go to certain places. On the road isn’t a great place to experience tummy aches so limiting or avoiding dining out is our first defense against those tummy aches. Sticking with cultures and ferments is our second defense.

 

What do you do to help with gut health when away from home? Share in the comments.

Photo Credits:  Cooler on Amazon, Chevy HHR

Millie

Comments

  1. Starlene

    Thanks for the mention, Millie! I’m glad you found my post helpful. 🙂 As it turns out, the hotel when I booked the room it said “full kitchen” but I thought that meant a microwave, fridge and coffee maker. Goes to show you how often I’ve stayed in hotels/motels in my life. 🙂 Well, it was a *real* full kitchen and when I saw the full sized refrigerator, two burner gas stove and oven I almost started crying. It was awesome because we just did our grocery shopping at the Safeway around the corner and I cooked us delicious meals. We actually ended up buying too much food and the maid was very glad to take what we had left over. I need to catch up on your Road Trip series. It sounds like a lot of fun!

  2. Megh

    Hi! Thank you for the link love! It’s really fun seeing what others do with the same problems. We’re not on GAPS anymore either, so our road trip options have opened up quite a bit for this summer! 🙂

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