Being that Memorial weekend is all about celebrating the start of summer, I asked Natalie Jackson of the lovely & insightful blog, My Green Son, to talk about her healthy road-tripping tips and to share one of her favorite warm weather recipes. My Green Son is a great addition to your blog repertoire if you are looking for light yet filling whole food family recipes along with beautiful photography. – CC
5 Top Tips for Healthy Summer Road Travel + Chickpea & Avocado Salad by Natalie Jackson
Hey there! I’m Natalie, creator of healthy lifestyle blog, My Green Son. After my son was born I had a sense of urgency to live better. My son, Lucas has inspired my passion to live a green vibrant life. I remember feeling overwhelmed when I opened my first vegan cook book. The long list of “staple” items glaring back at me, some I had never heard of. Over time, and with trial and error, I have finally found fulfillment in my own kitchen. My approach is none other than baby steps in the direction of wellness. I am still taking new steps everyday. I am stoked to be sharing some healthy travel inspiration with Count Me Healthy! My husband and I recently invested in an Airstream to explore the great outdoors with our 2 year old son and super pup, Russ. Our goal is to get back to nature as a family.
As all busy moms know, a healthy road trip can be quite a challenge. Although a quick drive-thru meal and bagged snack foods can be easy, planning for a healthy trip can be made simple too! It’s all about crowding out unhealthy choices with nutrient rich ones. Here is a simple guide to a health conscious excursion.
1. Plan ahead. This is essential to anyone striving for a healthy lifestyle. During my first real gig out of college (way back when) I was a health educator for a local hospital. I basically worked as a health coach for a medically supervised weight loss program. Planning ahead was taught in every single class. This is not just a weight loss tip, it is a healthy living must have. Moms get this. It’s all we do.
2. Pack that cooler. It just makes for an easy ride. If you already have it you don’t have to run out and get it. If healthy options are readily available you will be less tempted by the not-so-healthy options lurking at every stop along the way. I load mine with whole foods like chopped veggies & fruits, granola, roasted chick peas for snacking and the little one’s favorite organic yogurt. I also pack almond and soy milk so I can enjoy my coffee the way I like it (vegan). The other benefit of a cooler is packing up your current stash of fresh produce that would have otherwise gone bad. I hate wasting food!
3. Use technology. As much as I love my cooler and all the goodies inside, it’s nice to go out sometimes. I like to research local markets and restaurants and preview what the locals have to offer. I am always looking for restaurants that offer healthy vegan options. Google Maps is where it’s at! I also love the Healthy Out, Happy Cow and Urban Spoon Apps. I always take a sneak peak at menus before I go inside. Again, plan ahead.
4. Be present. Embrace the calmness. There is no laundry piling up or urgent emails to return. Enjoy the sunshine on your skin. Breathe in the fresh air. Exist in the moment. Take it all in. Make yourself slow down.
5. Move. My sole reason for loving to camp is the hiking. In nature, all together, moving with my most prized possessions. We certainly aren’t moving fast with a toddler, but for me it is bliss.
Here is an easy recipe for a chick pea and avocado salad I made on my last camping trip. Its packed with protein and fiber. It’s extremely versatile. It can top your favorite greens, spread on toast, or roll up in a wrap with fresh spinach.
Chickpea & Avo Salad | Vegan, Gluten free
- Organic chickpeas, rinsed
- Organic avocado
- Dash of pink Himalayan sea salt, cracked pepper
- *Optional red pepper flakes, garlic powder
- Slice and smash the avocado
- fold in chick peas and mix in spices
- Top with a light drizzle of Sriracha sauce