I connected my laptop to my phone’s hotspot wifi connection so I could type this on the road for you guys! We left this afternoon to head “back” to Chicagoland [we lived in the western suburbs from 2009-2014] to attend the wedding of a couple friends this weekend.
We are taking this long-drive opportunity to spend a couple extra days there to see old friends, play tennis with my former personal trainer, Keith, and also take one of my beautiful 1-on-1 client’s out to lunch and play at the beach! Holla @allison 🙂
I want to share a sneak peak of how we prep and pack our coolers for a long road trip and weekend stay. We typically like to bring one large cooler for the “stay” and a small cooler to eat while we’re on the road.
- Cold bean and veggie salad
- Hummus x2 with raw vegetables
- Stuff for tacos once we get to our destination
- Frozen chili that doubles as an ice pack
- FRUIT [fresh and dried]
- Grab-n-go bars
The bars are a great find from Home Goods/TJ Maxx. If you have one of those stores near you, definitely check it out. They have balsamic vinegar without caramel color, bean and lentil pastas, flavored teas, and occasionally some other whole food, plant-based finds.
I got a box of 6 of these mini wrapped bars at Home Goods for only $2 on clearance. Because of the oats, they are more like a granola bar than a fruit and nut bar, like Lara Bars. I could make my own at home, but these ingredients are pretty good for a travel go-to: oats, dates, chicory fiber, cocoa butter, raisins, strawberries, and date syrup.
We stopped at Whole Foods on the way to our friends place [where we stayed for the weekend] and grabbed some corn on the cob. It was the first time I had any all season! It was soooooo delicious. We boiled and then added a bit of low sodium soy sauce, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper. That’s it!
That was our dinner/supper since we had already filled up on salad and fruit and bars on the ride in. Water and off to bed… or couch 😉
Friday was soooo amazing! I got to hang out in person [which doesn’t happen often!] with one of my 1:1 clients and Nutribabe Nation member @allison! We went to lunch at The Amazing Kale Burger, a vegan place in the city.
Our appetizers were medjool dates stuffed with smokey almond “cream/cheese” and fresh arugula [pictured]. Definitely need to replicate this recipe! Sweet and spicy and smokey all in one. OMG. <3
For the rest of the meal:
- Amazing Kale Burger on greens with chipotle plant-based mayo, tomato, and pickles
- Amazing Kale Burger with tomato and seasoned onions + mushrooms on a whole wheat bun
- Coconut collard greens — again, need to make a Nutribabe Nation version!
- Cauliflower mac ‘n “cheese”
At lunch we opened gifts with each other. I love giving presents and Allison surprised me with some, too! Cactus water, dried jack fruit, homemade canned tomatoes, homemade salsa, cookbooks, and more were exchanged.
After lunch we went to the Lake Michigan beach… How refreshing! I’m a little bit obsessed with the water. We sat and talked along the shore and threw rocks into the lake.
It is SO AWESOME to meet “my people” in person. Should we get a Nutribabe Nation retreat weekend together? Someday! 🙂
Friday evening was our friends’ wedding and it was fantastic! The groom is a chef, so the food was great. There was some salt and oil in the dishes, but I didn’t worry about that for just one meal. It was plant-based otherwise!
I had cooked asparagus, squash, and peppers and also a pea sprouts salad topped with a quinoa and eggplant salad. So good and filling!
Later they pulled out fresh fruit and veggies and I might have danced on the dance floor holding watermelon in both hands. 😉
On Saturday we met with some friends for coffee and an early lunch at Panera. I fasted food-wise but did have some coffee with almond milk. Zane had a Mediterranean sandwich on wheat bread with tomatoes, cucumber, onions, sprouts, romaine, spinach, and vinegar.
In the late afternoon and into the evening we parked it at another friends house for a grilling BBQ. The weather and the day and the food… all so perfect! We stopped at a grocery store for some more corn and also brought food from our cooler that we had packed the day we left.
- Corn on the cob — plain
- Veggie burger courtesy of the host! So sweet of her. Topped with mustard, Nutritarian sour cream, and salsa.
- Grapes and pineapple
- Sugar snap peas and cucumbers
- Cold bean and veggie salad topped with Nutritarian sour cream and salsa verde
- Dessert was a cherry pie Lara Bar
The ride home was more from the cooler! We cleared everything out except the taco ingredients that we didn’t end up making.
We stopped at a grocery store in Missouri somewhere and grabbed an avocado to add to our salad. We got on the road and realized we didn’t have anything to open it with.
Oh, never mind… Insert Zane’s pocket knife. 😉
What a crazy weekend filled with friends, laughs, good food, and travel. The 8 hour drive was kind of a killer… even though Zane drove the whole time… [Thanks @zane!].
Eating healthy on the road, especially with a cooler, is super easy to do… just gotta get in the groove and do it.
A lot of this lifestyle is implementation, staying a step or two ahead of yourself, and prep. Then if you fall a bit behind, you have some wiggle room AND can thank yourself from a few days ago for prepping 😉
Love, hummus, and watermelon spears!