As I roam the globe cooking and speaking, people often comment to me that one of the biggest challenges regarding eating healthfully is traveling. I recently wrote an article that was widely disseminated giving some valuable tips for eating on the go (Dr. Mike’s on the go tips). But for folks who travel often and for extended periods, like myself; I wanted to delve a little deeper and share a few more successful strategies.
Plan ahead: These days we’re gifted with the ability to be nearly omniscient, if not always correct, thanks to a little thing called the Internet. If you know where you are headed check out the location ahead of time. Communities of all shapes and sizes these days often have farmers’ markets, local shops and grocers who are in the business of supplying high-quality, often fresh and locally sourced, comestibles.
Checking in: Checking into your lodging also means more than showing up at the reception desk eyeballing the Otis Spunkmeyer cookies. If I’m going to be anywhere for a significant length of time, say more than a night or two, I look to many of the fine hotels that can provide you a kitchen and more than hobbit sized refrigeration. Of course the minibar can be a delightful bonus on its own accord, but that’s a topic for another day.
Pack it in: Almost all of the lodgings that offer kitchens also supply serviceable pots, pans, plates, utensils, etc. However, as any chef worth his high-end smoked and seasoned finishing salts will tell you, you should always bring your chef’s knife. As I spoke about in my first book, Eating Well Living Better, if there is one implement in which you should invest; if there is one tool that you must have in the kitchen, it is a good chef’s knife. It is the samurai sword for the road warrior. To that, I would add a decent, durable cutting board. Neither of these takes up much room nor adds much weight to your checked bag. It does however, make a world of difference in your ability to perform gastronomic wizardry in the little gibbet that is your home away from home.
Cook it: As a picture is worth a thousand words, here are some examples to keep this diatribe at less than War and Peace length. Along with the basic utensils shown, the hotel room where the following dishes were prepared provided two electric burners. Also in addition to the utensils shown, I had packed my chef’s knife and travel cutting board as described previously. Each of these dishes range anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes total time; which included prep and cooking time. In other words, in the time it takes to dress, leave the hotel, get something to eat and return; you can enjoy a sumptuous, and healthful quality meal; in the privacy of your own room and even in your underwear if you so desire!
Some other dishes over the following days…
Your hotel room can be your cloister and the world-including your dinner options- can be your oyster….