Our top tips for a healthy life on the road
Travel and clean eating are not variables that are usually used in the one sentence right?? Well if 2 years on the road has taught us one thing, it is possible to have your cake and eat it too while travelling either short or long term. People contact us all the time and ask us how we stay fit and healthy while living on the road, and to be honest, it’s super easy.
As full time Clinical Nutritionists and Naturopaths, there really is nothing more important to us than maintaining a specific look and feel while living away. Having three kids actually demands this of us, as no-one has time to be sick with so much great stuff to constantly do and see around this wonderful country we call home. Food for us is as much as passion and hobby as it is fuel, and for this reason has been a primary focus throughout our adult lives. As a fortunate side effect, our kids now share our food and nutrition interest, eating the very same foods the adults do. For any parents out there reading this right now, it is imperative that you get your kids on-side very early in their lives. Parents that allow their kids to dictate the terms of their food choices end up burning out very quickly when constantly forced to come up with separate menus. Food should be simple and fun. It should make everyone feel the same way.
Here are our top tips for anyone contemplating a journey like ours, or even those who simply travel a lot with work.
1.Keep it simple – At the basis of any good eating protocol is consistency, and consistency requires a moderate degree of food appreciation. Pick your favs from all the major food groups and keep them handy, as you know that you can turn any number of these great ingredients into a meal quickly. A good friend of ours described this as ‘your best friend list’, bringing reference to the top 10 or so favourite ingredients and flavours that you can make both savoury and sweet menus from in an instant. Examples from our list include sweet potato, quinoa and rice, coconut oil, berries, frozen mango and banana, protein powders & branched chain amino acids, lean proteins, almonds, cashews and peanut butter. We have these on hand at all times, and can produce multiple menus with these items alone.
2.Roster your evening meals – Can you think of four or five dinner examples that you love and wouldn’t mind to eat once a week? Of course you can, and by default you have just created your work week evening meal plans. Your shopping is now identical each week, and if you make extra, you have also created tomorrow’s lunch in the same breath. How clever of you! If you intend on caravanning, be sure to purchase a van with a full oven. It shouldn’t be sausage sizzles everyday, and your van needs to reflect your life at home. Our New Age Big Red features a Thetford Caprice Mk3, which we use daily and has made the shift to life in a van very easy indeed.
3. Keep moving – Life on the road doesn’t need to be about beer and sausages. We have some basic training equipment equipment that we take everywhere and for this reason we are never gymless when in regional or remote locations. While weight is often an issue with towing a van, simples tools like fit-balls, TRX straps, sand bags, skipping ropes, Ankorr harnesses and medibands, go a long way in keeping training fun, functional, challenging & diversified.
4. Take the right supplements – This isn’t a sales pitch I promise! Before travelling we had cupboards full of all the right treatments for every occasion. When travelling though, space doesn’t come at a premium and as a result there are certain questions which must be pondered when setting off on the road. What can’t I get from food? What special requirements may I have? What if the kids get sick? What can’t I purchase in remote areas?? The questions go on and in all seriousness it is difficult to cover every basis. What you can do though is prepare for the major likelihoods and be well equipped with some basics that have multiple uses. These are a few of our favs
-Homoeopathic first aid kit- we have resolved everything from worm infestations, accidents/bruises, hangovers, fevers, mild skin infections & belly aches with the correct homeopathic remedies.
-Fermented probiotics – Gut health is paramount for healthy living, and heavily affected by alcohol, rich foods, some medications & refined sugar products; most of which creep in here and there for the average person. I swear by bio-fermented liquid papaya and turmeric, with 15mL/day keeping my digestive system functioning optimally.
-Liver tonics – weekends away or life in caravan parks can become quite social! Liver tonics support the breakdown and digestion of dietary fats + the detoxification of alcohol. Fingers crossed you won’t require these often, but when you do you’ll be happy they’re there!
-Essential fatty acids – Manage symptoms of dry skin, mild to moderate skin irritations and any inflammatory presentation with high dose fish oils & pomegranate seed oils.
-Molecular Hydrogen – Remedy fatigue and chronic cellular oxidation processes with MH. Pre-exisiting inflammatory processes respond really well too.
-Cell Charge – Our go-to! Put in what soils can no longer supply. Got fussy kids who won’t eat enough fruit & veggies? Cell Charge supplies a host of organic acids, trace minerals & electrolytes to keep them fighting fit.
-Essential Amino Acids – Carbs and fat are everywhere, but supplying an optimal source of amino acids for energy and recovery can sometimes be difficult. EAA’s have been a godsend in remote locations where food provision or food quality has been questionable.
5. Buy Local – The most amazing aspect of continual travel is found in the hidden gems which exist along the way: The avocado farms, truffle farms, fruit orchards, local seafood mongers, chocolatiers, organic wine makers, egg growers, bread makers etc are all a pure joy. The detail, the ingredients, the stories, the backgrounds & the conviction are truly inspiring. The prices are always second to none & the quality of produce is like nothing we’ve ever seen before. On many occasions we have collected the produce ourselves straight from the earth, and in doing so, given the kids an experience that most never get to enjoy.
6. Take your own time – Travel sounds like the ultimate dream, but be assured that 5 people in a van 24/7 can have it’s own frustrations. We recommend ‘special time’ with the kids, where one parent gets to enjoy a single child for a small period of time. No-one fights for attention and everyone has that chance to simply feel special. Mum and dad too need ‘me time’, and this should be prioritised regularly for mental health purposes.
So get out there and we will see you on the road
Shannon and Michelle…