We set off on our Big Aussie Adventure 4 months ago and although we are not always perfect (Hello squid and chips on the beach and a few too many glasses of wine!) we have managed to stick to a real food diet fairly well.
Food is one of the pleasures of exploring new places. We have spent a good chunk of our travel adventure so far in the Margaret River region where there is an abundance of wineries and breweries which all seem to serve yummy gourmet pizzas or burgers. One of the kids favourite things to do was ride our bikes down the main street to the ice cream shop to choose which flavour they wanted to try next!
I have no problem with sampling the wine in the region or treating ourselves to a pizza because on the whole we have a good foundation of healthy habits and include plenty of the good stuff (real, whole foods) in our diet daily.
Here are my top tips for staying healthy when travelling
Visit local farmers markets
Becoming a locavore in the area you are travelling in helps you to fully immerse yourself in the local food culture. We became regulars at the Margaret River farmers market where we bought the biggest bunches of basil I had ever seen, juicy cobs of corn and the most delicious plums I had ever tasted (a variety called Amber Jewel that I had never come across before). We also found local grass fed mince which became a staple and trays of 30 free range eggs for a real bargain. There was locally made kombucha, saurekraut and bone broth which were a great find as I haven’t been making my own gut healing foods since we have been travelling.
Bunbury farmers market was a fantastic find too. We stocked up there on our way up to Perth. Not as locavore focused as other farmers market (they had produce from all over Australia and the world) but very convenient as they are open 7 days and stock pretty much everything you could ask for. Everything was labelled so you could clearly see what was local and what wasn’t. The kids loved it as there were plenty of tastings as you went around.
Other farmers markets (I’m looking at you Esperance) were really disappointing with only a few stalls and very little variety.
I know it is not always possible to find a farmers market but when you do make sure you stock up on local produce.
Start the day well
Eating a good breakfast, rich in protein and healthy fats helps to sustain you until lunchtime and reduces cravings for rubbish later on in the day. Some of our favourite breakfasts are coconut and chia muesli with natural yoghurt and fresh fruit, buckwheat pancakes (both of these recipes can be found in my Energetic Mama ebook) and scrambled eggs with parsley and avocado on rye sourdough.
Pack your lunch and healthy snacks
Packing food for day outings and on travel days saves you heaps of money and prevents those last minute fast food or bakery stops. I always cut up a heap of raw veggies such as coloured capsicums (a favourite of my daughters), cucumber, celery, carrots, snow peas and tomatoes. I always pack fresh fruit too depending on what is in season but it will often be strawberries, bananas, apples, stone fruit and grapes. A container of mixed raw nuts is usually included or I might be organised and have some bliss balls ready to go We might also have rice crackers, cheese, hummus, rye sandwiches, frittata, leftover chicken or meat.
We always have plenty of water with us too so we stay hydrated and avoid having to buy bottled water (not only a waste of money but also terrible for the environment).
It’s impossible to stay still when travelling with kids so we get plenty of movement in most days. We walk a lot and all love immersing ourselves in the outdoors. Taking all four of our bikes was the best decision we made as we often ride places rather than drive and I have been getting some alone time riding my bike through the forests in Margaret Riverhttps – Bliss! On our family bike rides our 6-year-old has her limits but we often push her a little further (or hubby holds onto her handlebars and drags her along!)
We also have surfboards, skateboards, balls, skipping ropes, yoga mats and suspension training straps so we are geared up for an active adventure. Even on those days when one of the kids isn’t in an active mood (read whining that they can’t be bothered!) we have plenty of equipment to do our own fitness.
Bring a good blender
We have very limited stoage in our Jayco camper s0 it was a fight to the end with my husband when it came to packing my Vitamix and of course I won! What Real food loving Naturopath is going to travel Australia for a year without her favourite kitchen gadget! And may I add that hubby has gulped down every green smoothie and eaten more than his fair share of bliss balls, healthy ice cream, pesto and soup that I have made in it! We can only use it when we are in plugged into power in caravan parks (not when we are bush camping) but it was still well worth bringing it!
P.S. If you are interested in finding out more about Vitamix’s or purchasing one let me know as I can hook you up!
Take good quality supplements
There are always going to be days that our diets don’t quite cut it. Days where fresh produce isn’t readily available or we just haven’t managed to have enough of it. I am a big believer that supplements are necessary for us to be in optimum health anyway. A few good quality supplements can ensure we are getting all the nutrients we need. Hubby and I take a good quality probiotic, multivitamin, magnesium and fish oil most days and feel way better for it. We also give our kids supplements, not every day but regularly.
Get plenty of sleep
Without the temptation of a Netflix series, we haven been catching up on the last 8 years of sleep deprivation since we have been on the road and have been feeling the benefits. Let’s face it when you become parents interrupted sleep becomes normal and it becomes normal to function on less sleep than we really need. Once our kids start sleeping through evenings become the only time we get a little space to ourselves so we tend to take advantage of it and stay up later than we probably should.
Once it is dark and the kids are asleep there isn’t much to do besides read a book and go to bed so we find we are going to bed earlier than at home and have far less screen time before bed which improves the quality of sleep. Getting plenty of good quality sleep replenishes the adrenal glands, enhancing energy levels and stress management.
Do you have any tips you would like to share on how you stay healthy when travelling, I would love to hear from you in the comments.