What A Nutrition Educator Eats: Road Trip Edition

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There’s nothing quite like packing up your life, stuffing your dogs, boyfriend and some luggage in a small vehicle, and proceeding to drive for 7 days.

3,4000 kilometers down, 500 to go on our Cross Canada (turned Cross United States when we realized just how huge Ontario was) adventure from Montreal Quebec to Calgary Alberta.

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Somewhere between Ontario and Wisconsin, I seem to have picked up a nasty habit…

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Caffeine.

Trenta (31oz!!) Starbucks Iced Green Tea, no water, light ice, no syrup, with 1 cup Valencia Orange Refresher, to be exact.

Try saying that 14 times…

I know I have.

Caffeine aside, Kevin and I have been making really health conscious, awesome choices on this adventure of ours. It’s not easy to eat healthy when you’re living out of a suitcase, have access to free continental breakfasts and cheap fast food. Did I mention all the candy at the gas stations? Ah!

Driving times in the double digits or not, I’m happy to report that we haven’t done the fast food thing at all (!) and no candy has been purchased.

So, what are we eating?

I thought you’d never ask…

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Bagged Snacks.

I found these sprouted sweet potato tortilla chips in Tobermory, Ontario and had them as a snack on the ferry. They’re loaded with good things like chia seeds, sprouted quinoa and sweet potato. The best part? They taste like Sun Chips… but they’re gluten-free!

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Canned Tuna (plus a can opener!)

When there are hours between one town to the next, and eating out just doesn’t interest you after day 5 of being on the road, a can of tuna with loads of fresh veggies starts to look pretty darn good. This lunch had hummus, black beans, cucumbers and tuna stuffed into my awesome Pyrex container.

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Tailgate Salads.

Instead of paying upwards of $20 for a boring salad at a restaurant, we went to the grocery store and each picked up our own small tubs of lettuce mix, veggies and protein. The bill came to $12.97CAD. Once we got to a quiet picnic spot, we used the lettuce tubs as ‘bowls’ and loaded our salads with our fixin’s.

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Cold Omelets.

I’ve been whisking eggs in the morning in my circular Pyrex container, microwaving them for 3 minutes, placing them in the cooler and having the cooled omelet with veggies for lunch. This plate was packed with cucumber, chicken and carrots.

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Quinoa Flake Bakes.

Mixing quinoa flakes (or quick oats) with egg and applesauce makes a fabulous, high protein, breakfast. My Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Flake Bake recipe is the simplest of my quinoa flake bake recipes. It can be made 100% vegan by using all apple sauce, or add additional protein by subbing out some of the applesauce for egg.

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Sleepover Dinners.

We stopped at my cousin’s house for a gourmet meal, Flintstones style, and had a fabulous visit (plus amazing breakfast the next morning!).

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Sweet Desserts You Can Be Proud Of.

It was either a pack of Tootsie Roll Dots, or KIND Maple Quinoa Granola with cherries. I chose the granola and cherries. Still, just as sweet and delicious, but without the sugar rush. Yay!

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Snack Plates.

Another cousin sleepover favorite – a snack plate made up of salmon, jerky, olives, beets, pickles, radishes and artichokes. A little taste of everything goes a long way.

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Blender Power.

I brought my little Magic Bullet with me on this trip and am so thankful that I did. I’ve been blending up fresh fruits with water, ground cinnamon and vegan protein powder daily. Topped with some banana, hemp seeds or gluten-free cereal and I’m a happy touring Canadian ?

What’s your guilty pleasure? You know mine… what’s yours?

Tell all (or at least a bit?) in the comments below.

PS: We’re all human… it’s normal to indulge. No sweat, no judgment. Just fun.

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  1. Espresso. Hands down I am an addict. Turns out I am unpleasant to be around when my caffeine intake is low. I am so impressed with your planning and commitment to health during this epic trip. I know it is not easy and takes willpower and thought to do what is ultimately right and more delicious. Thank you for sharing these tips!

  2. I was SO stinkin’ proud of myself this past holiday weekend – my two sons and I headed out from the Atlanta area to go meet up with my mom in Hilton Head, SC, and I knew that 5+ hours on the road (each way) with little people would require a plethora of snack options. I packed up hummus (a perennial favorite of everyone in our family), veggie chips, carrots, celery, avocado, grapes, cantaloupe, peaches, cereal bars, dried papaya, mozzarella sticks (for the kiddles), some cashew bars that I thought would be mine but that I ended up sharing with my 4yo… And my favorite splurge: a $4US bar of salted chocolate from http://www.salazonchoc.com/ ! I’m happy to report that for the three days and estimated 12 hours in the car, we only ate out TWICE! Breakfast on the way out, dinner on the way back – Everything else came from someone’s home cooking. My favorite was our last minute sidetrip to Savannah, GA, with a picnic next to the Vietnam Memorial in a tree-lined park near the riverfront – I almost gave in to the temptation to just buy lunch but asked the boys which they’d prefer – they chose a picnic of OUR food!! :D

    One final P.S. I found tahini-free hummus at Trader Joe’s – almost as good as my own and has the same exact ingredients! :)

  3. Oh Leanne, you so inspire me. I swear I wish I could afford you…currently looking into other nutritionists in Ontario area that are holistic that offer reduced rates…still looking :( But found a couple of potential ones (waiting to hear back from them)…maybe I can show you their blogs to get your thoughts on them from a quick glance?

    I WANT to eat like you but am afraid…afraid of beans, afraid of processed chips, afraid of …ugh…yet its 11 pm and guess what I just did? …binge….and guess what? I do not exercise, and I’m constipated…and I didn’t even want the food ..not at all…but its “Friday” and ….well
    I just sit here and keep saying in my head “please forgive me” over and over again and dreading the morning :(

    Anyway, keep well. Love. Your. Blog. (and if u know of other online or Canadian nutritionists specializing in guts-metabolism-hormonal health, underweight yet binging, a mess, etc…let me know…i’m a terrific disaster, no?). Cheerio.

  4. for me it’s coffee and my mother’s ratatouille… yum! guacamole as well, but i don’t feel guitly about it ;-)

  5. Never thought of bringing a small pyrex and making scrambles/omelettes in the hotel micro–great idea thanks! However, we tend to fly to our road trip destination and rent a car these days… pyrex in the carry-on? :) Don’t know how well a can opener would go over through security, but I’m sure we could also find a cheap one at a dollar store.
    Thanks for the suggestions! (We actually just finished a short road trip and fueled it partially with grocery store salad bars/fresh berries!)

    • Hey Brooke! I’ve brought pyrex on flights (in my carry-on) and it was fine. I’ve done it multiple times, cross border into the USA from Canada. Also, can opener is okay, too. The pyrex is king!

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