How To Eat Healthy Traveling – Part One

Eating healthy while traveling can be a daunting task for anyone beginning a transition to a healthier diet. Some may decide to put good choices aside when they take a trip, fly, or go camping for a week. Because I have two trips in July where I’ll be traveling in a car for 2 days to attend a personal development course in BC, and then to New Zealand for work, I thought I would take the opportunity to share how I manage eating healthy while traveling and staying on track.

healthy eating while traveling

Travel Food

First thing I do is stock up on things I can take with me, non-perishables. Things like: trail mix, dried fruit (make sure to get non-sulphured, non-radiated brands), raw nuts, power bars (I eat only Sunrider ones), herbal teas (again Sunrider), etc. Be careful if going over the border – you have to make sure they are all in the original, sealed packages. If any are opened they could be confiscated. You can’t take fresh fruit and veggies over a border either – but you can take it with you to eat on the plane – just dump any in the trash before you hit customs.

Airplanes have very poor food choices, so it’s important to have healthy snacks like raw almonds better suited to support your health. Depending on the length of the flight, you might consider a nutritional shake as well.
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Recipe: Steamed Dark Leafy Greens with Figs, Pine Nuts and Garlic

We eat a lot of steamed and cooked dark leafy greens and are always looking for and coming up with new ways to dress them up with different flavors. I love figs and a little crunch adds texture – so this recipe works great. You can never have too much garlic, ever!

If you aren’t familiar with dark green vegetables make this your first try and you’ll be amazed how much energy and nutrition these leafy plants pack! For more info on them, read Rob’s article about the Top 10 Foods.

 Dark Leafy Greens with Figs, Pine Nuts and Garlic
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Recipe: Indian Spiced Lentil Burgers

Rob loves lentil burgers! We’ve made several different varieties now, I had no idea there were so many options. This one caught my eye because we love Indian food and anything with curry in it. Lentils have so many benefits including: low-fat, high fiber, fill you up so you eat less, taste great! If you like Indian food and flavors try these lentil burgers and increase the spices to your own tastes.

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Recipe: Chicken Dijon Marinade

As promised, this chicken dijon marinade is our second week of recipes for the BBQ or grill. We put this one in the fridge overnight to marinate, along with last week’s Garlic Herb Marinated Vegetables. The dijon flavor totally permeated the chicken and the flavor was amazing, the chicken very tender and juicy.

We found this recipe in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s “Eat Right America – Food Scoring Guide”. You can find it on the Eat Right America web site.

Chicken Dijon Marinade
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Recipe: Garlic Herb Marinated Vegetables

Well I figured it is almost summer here – knock on wood – so best time to have some BBQ or grilling type recipes, with a healthy twist. So here is the first of a couple, let’s start with marinated vegetables. You can eat them as a salad, or put them on skewers and grill them on the BBQ like we did. Either way – they were yummy!

 Garlic Herb Marinated Vegetables
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Recipe: Roasted Root Vegetables With Orange Spice Sauce

We love roasted vegetables, especially in the winter and this recipe is great tasting with a zesty orange sauce. I’ve used three of our favorite root vegetables here but I’ll often mix it up and put in sweet potatoes, rutabaga, or even chopped up winter squash like butternut. Feel free to add onions if you’re so inclined also.

roasted root vegetables with orange spice sauce
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Featuring Black Bean Recipes

This week’s whole food recipe will be a compilation of various bean recipes Darlene has done over the past year. These recipes include black beans, red beans and garbanzo beans. Darlene is away showing her art this weekend, so I (Rob) will be posting on her behalf.

Being low on the , beans not only provide fiber to your diet, but also have very little, if any, impact on blood sugar.

not all protein is equal

Not All Protein Is Created Equal

Ounce for ounce, black beans provide the same amount of protein as ground beef, but have no saturated fat, no cholesterol and provide 9 grams of fiber. As well, 4 ounces of black beans are almost one third the calories as ground beef.

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Recipe: Gold and Black Bean Salad

This is another gem from one of my favorite recipe books Vegan Planet cookbook. This recipe sounded good and did not disappoint. I modified it slightly as I didn’t have any olive oil in the house, and I added tomatoes and we were happy with my version.

Beans are a great source of dietary fiber and have no fat or cholesterol – unless you add that to them. You can eat as much of them as you want. As you start adding more bean into your diet, you may have a flatulence issue but that will settle down as your body gets used to getting the much needed fiber you may be missing now. Be patient – or sprout them a bit before cooking – that will help with the gas issues. To do that – soak them overnight, spread them out on a damp cloth for another 12 hours. Once they have just the tiniest little sprout on them they are ready to cook. This step isn’t necessary but will help if gas is a concern.

Gold and Black Bean Salad
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Recipe: Vegetable Chocolate Chili Mole

Yes I said CHOCOLATE! This Vegetable Chocolate Chili Mole is amazing!

If you’ve ever eaten as a real authentic Mexican restaurant, you’ve probably seen something with “mole” sauce on the menu. I’ve got one book that says mole is a Spanish word meaning “mashed together” but I know it to mean (my own personal definition) – “very tasty, spicy Mexican sauce with dark chocolate in it!” How’s that for highly technical?! 😉

I came across this recipe for chili mole in Extra Vegan Za and just about flipped. I LOVE mole sauce!!! This Vegetable Chocolate Chili Mole is one of the best chilis I’ve ever made. We spiced it up by adding a whole habanero pepper (one of the hottest you can get) because I can’t make anything too hot for Rob’s tastes. If you haven’t ever used one – handle with gloves, throw out the seeds, and use about 1/3 of the pepper to start. You can always add more later, but if you make it unbearably hot you won’t enjoy the subtleness of the mole – or have any feeling left in your mouth.

Vegetable Chocolate Chili Mole
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Recipe: Miso Lemon Tahini Sauce

We are always looking for healthy sauces and dips to make that are both tasty and multi-purpose, as well as being healthy. This Miso Lemon Tahini Sauce fits the bill perfectly. We both love miso and Japanese food in general, so this is a nice addition to our repertoire.

If you haven’t used or bought miso before, you can find it in your local grocery store in the Asian section. Once it is opened you need to refrigerate it, and never, NEVER boil it! Miso contains live enzymes because it is fermented soy beans or rice (depending on the variety you choose) and if you heat it to a boil you will kill all the enzymes and healthy “stuff” in it. I won’t get too technical, but miso has lots of health benefits including B12 and zinc. When you choose a miso, make sure it does not have MSG in it. Read Rob’s article on the to find out more on that.

Miso Lemon Tahini Sauce
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Recipe: Black Bean Sweet Potato Almond Butter Burgers

We are always on the lookout for a great bean or that we can make a huge batch of and eat for days. We have come to really dislike the store bought ones for the lack of taste and large amount of salt and other preservatives and unhealthy things in them. These black bean, sweet potato and almond butter burgers fit the bill and are SO tasty!

This recipe if from Extra Vegan Za cookbook, another one of our favorites. Best part is – they were super easy to make. You just have to remember to soak your beans and cook them a day ahead or so. If you forget like I did – use the method, below.

8oz of black beans have as much protein or more protein than does an 8oz steak?

When I tell people I eat mostly vegetarian at home I often get asked “how do you get your protein?” Are you aware that 8oz of black beans have as much protein or more protein than does an 8oz steak? AND beans have NO fat or cholesterol and beans are full of fiber where the steak has none! Yes – you heard right – ALL MEAT has NO fiber. Zero, nada, zip. Fiber fills you up and you want to eat less – try eating two of these burgers one night and your steak the next and see which fills you up more and you have to stop eating. Think that will help control over eating? You betcha! Try it!

Avocado Wasabi Sauce
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Recipe: Avocado Wasabi Sauce

I found this great sauce which is both healthy and tasty in the Vegan Planet cookbook, one of our favorites. You can use it as a spread, a dip or a sauce on just about anything. As you can see in the photo, we put it on lentil or bean burgers.

You need to either have soy mayonnaise or make your own (is easy, see below). Please do NOT use regular or even any of the no-fat regular mayonnaises available. In my opinion they are all crap and have so much preservatives, (it is often hidden, so don’t be fooled) and salt that I wouldn’t eat it if you paid me.

Avocado Wasabi Sauce

Avocado Wasabi Sauce

1 large ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or parsely
1 green onion, minced
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp
2 tsp wasabi powder or to taste (I used double that cause I like it)
2/3 cup soy mayonnaise (see below) or use store bought Veggainaise

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Transfer to tightly covered container and refrigerate. Is best used within an hour or so of being made.

Soy Mayonnaise

6 oz. of firm tofu
1.5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of natural sweetener like Stevia or Agave (optional)
3 Tbsp olive oil, sesame oil, flax oil or Udo’s oil – your choice base on flavor preference.

Place all ingredients except the oil in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. With the machine running, slowly add the old in a thin stream through the feed tube until it is incorporated. Taste it and adjust seasonings to your preferences.

Store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 4-5 days)

We found this avocado wasabi sauce great on bean burgers, or as a dip for raw carrots. The smooth texture of the avocado and the zip of the wasabi make an unsuspectingly great combination of flavors. We haven’t tried it on eggs yet – if you do, let us know what you think.

Enjoy. Bean burger recipe to follow shortly, stay tuned.

Subscribe to my recipes by email: Make sure you get my recipes emailed to you every weekend by subscribing to my recipe email service. Every weekend, one new whole food recipe posted for you to enjoy and then comment on.

Avocado Wasabi Sauce Photo Credit: Her View Photography

Benefits of a Blended Salad

The benefits of blended salads include increased absorption rate of nutrients, ease of digestion, simplicity of getting in your greens every day and a healthy breakfast or late night snack. Lets face it, you know you should be eating more dark leafy greens, and you know that the powdered “greens” mix isn’t quite the way nature intended, so what are you to do?

Blended salads to the rescue. This article on the benefits of a blended salad is contributed by Joel Fuhrman, M.D., author of Eat To Live.

Big Benefits of Blended Salad

Green Smoothie
A powerful and delicious way to maximize your intake of nutrients

By Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

What is a blended salad, and why would I want to eat one?

A blended salad is a mixture of raw, leafy greens and other foods blended together to make a smooth, creamy salad with a baby-food-like consistency. Eating a salad prepared in this manner is quick and convenient,and increases absorption of important nutrients. By adding fruits, nuts, and other ingredients, you can support health and healing with a truly gourmet eating experience.

Blending raw, leafy greens guarantees that a higher percentage of nutrients will be absorbed into your bloodstream for your body to use

By singing the praises of blended salads, I don’t want to give the impression that a regular “chewed salad” is not a highly-recommended source of nutrients. Blended salads are simply a great addition to the already superior, anti-cancer style of eating that I recommend. What are the advantages of eating a blended salad as opposed to eating a regular salad? All plants are composed of cells whose walls consist mainly of cellulose, which is a type of carbohydrate. A plant-based diet (one rich in fruits and vegetables) contains a large amount of cellulose. Humans do not have the enzyme capable of breaking down cellulose,so we cannot utilize cellulose as an energy source. If we eat cellulose-rich, raw greens without thoroughly masticating them, we lose much of the food value.

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Monosodium Glutamate – Dangers of Hidden MSG in Your Food

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is in almost everything. I remember growing up knowing that MSG was in Chinese food as a flavor enhancer, but today, MSG is hidden in a wide variety of foods including baby food. These excitotoxins are hidden in everyday foods that we eat under names such as glutamate, aspartame, broth, casein or caseinate, textured protein, hydrolyzed or autolyzed yeast. Even such well know products such as whey protein, whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate are some of the .

Apparently, animals exposed to MSG early in life prefer sweet foods later on. Obesity may be related to MSG exposure early on in life, says Dr Russell Blaylock, author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills. This is the first part of a series of videos on Monosodium Glutamate and your health.

Make sure you check out this related video on as well.

Recipe: Ultimate Green Lentil Vegetable Burger

These lentil burgers with kale, walnuts and flax are a convenient food for us around our house. The flax seeds and kamut flour hold the burgers together without egg or other unhealthy options while kale is one of the you can eat. More often than not, we make a triple batch of these, cook them all and then store them to be re-heated later or used as the filler in a wrap along with avocado, fresh greens and Franks Red Hot sauce.

Each lentil burger is roughly 7.5 grams of fiber or more (depending on how much you use for each burger), so they are both filling and nutritious.

Ultimate Lentil Vegetable Burger

The Ultimate Green Lentil Vegetable Burger

1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
2 Tbsp
1/2 cup walnut pieces
3/4 cup cooked green lentils, well drained
1/4 cup grated onion
1/4 cup minced green kale
1/3 cup kamut flour
Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large blender, combine the flax seeds and Braggs, blending until viscous and then set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the walnuts to a coarse mixture. Add the lentils, onion, kale, kamut flour, flax mixture and the salt and pepper. Process until well combined but with some texture remaining. Shape the mixture into patties and place on a platter. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Have a cup of green tea.

Heat a small portion of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the patties, cook until browned on both sides – about 4 minutes per side.

Serve hot, or if you make a large amount, store them in a container in the fridge to be reheated later or to be used as filler in a veggie wrap.

We found that no oil is required in these lentil burgers lowering their fat content even further. 1 cup of cooked lentils has less than 1 gram of fat in it so the only fat in this recipe comes from natural sources, the walnuts and flax seeds, both a good source of essential omega fats.

Serve with steamed Swiss chard and a salad, to add even more of the desired greens into your menu plan. Pictured here is Quinoa Salad from a few weeks ago.

Subscribe to my recipes by email: Make sure you get my recipes emailed to you every weekend by subscribing to my recipe email service. Every weekend, one new whole food recipe posted for you to enjoy and then comment on.

Ultimate Green Lentil Vegetable Burger Photo Credit: Her View Photography