It’s almost summer time, and that means for many people travel plans are being made. I myself am writing this from Vancouver BC, twelve hours away from home. I had to make this trip rather suddenly, which meant that my husband and I didn’t pack any food and ended up eating whatever we picked up at gas stations along the way. This meant we ate a lot of junk food, which turned out to be a terrible idea. When we finally crawled out of the car at our destination, we both felt like we’d lost a fight with a steamroller.
Travel, even when it’s fun, can be hard on your body. Long trips by plane or car jostle your body, making you tired even though you’re not moving. Changes in climate and altitude can be exhausting, and also contribute to aches and pains. Asking your body to deal with junk food on top of everything else is an excellent way to feel icky and awful and wish you’d stayed home.
I did some research on what you should eat to make traveling easier, and found that the very best thing you can do for yourself while traveling by car or air is to drink lots and lots of water. Dehydration will make you tired, sore, headachy and cranky faster than just about anything else. Breathing air-conditioned air, especially on airplanes, will dehydrate you very quickly. Bring a water bottle with you and refill it regularly. Yes, this will mean more bathroom breaks, but stretching your legs more often is a good thing.
As for eating, you want to stay away from salty and sugary foods, which can contribute to dehydration and bloating. Take it from me: Those are not amusing things to deal with. Veggies and dip are an excellent travel food, as are salads that taste good at any temperature. Chickpeas and other high-iron foods in salads will give you stamina and help your stomach stay settled. And, of course, these foods can be easily transported in Tupperware containers and eaten with a minimum of mess.
Here is one of the salads I wish I’d whipped up, before stuffing myself into a car for twelve hours. Enjoy, and happy travels!
Broccoli and Feta Pasta Salad
1 pound mixed tri-color pasta
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
8 ounces feta cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Cook and drain the pasta.
Cook the broccoli in a frying pan with a little olive oil over medium heat until tender-crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Toss with cooked pasta and olives.
Crumble the feta cheese into the pasta.
Whisk the oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper and toss with the pasta.