This is a question that a lot of people ask when starting on their raw food journey – what on earth do I eat on a plane/train/road trip? Is it possible to stick to my diet or shall I just give up for the duration of the journey?
It’s really up to you, depending on how strict you are with yourself and how long the journey is. Personally over the last year I’ve only truly stuck to it on a handful of flights (and I travel a lot) but now I have decided to stay true to myself and not to put junk food into my body just because I am travelling, as it makes me feel bad every time and it’s just not worth it.
If you are going on a long haul flight, see if your airline carries raw vegan meals, and a lot of them do nowadays. Don’t leave it at that though, as you won’t be getting much more than a tiny salad. On my flight from Singapore to Bali via China Eastern Airlines, they made me have a giggle fit…just look at what they gave me for breakfast.
Pack with you some vegetables and fruits that are easy to eat, such as cucumbers, apples, carrots, avocados (these will fill you up nicely, just try not to squish them) as well as almonds and cashews. Dried up goods are also great, like raw granola, energy bars, raw chocolate or falafels and crackers if you want something salty, they give you lots of energy and don’t take up much space. Put them in a zip lock bag to save space.
Broccoli and cauliflower are comfortable to take with you, but if you are prone to gas from cruciferous vegetables, perhaps its better to leave them at home. The cabin’s air pressure will decrease in the air, causing the air in your guts to expand, and I can imagine your neighbours wont be too happy about that…
If you’re flying annoying-airlines (aka Ryanair), I would recommend taking a jacket with you with many pockets (aka RyanWear lol). Firstly, it is always freezing in planes, and secondly, you can easily stuff your pockets with food…just don’t stuff cucumbers in your trouser’s pockets.
Don’t take things that can be easily squished or will stink up the plane, such as cashew cheeses with garlic, soups, tomatoes (cherry tomatoes are ok) or bananas.
Lastly, try to resist buying crap on the plane itself, overpriced food-look-alikes is not what you want in your stomach and you will regret it after (I’ve made that mistake too many times, trust me, the cravings get easier).
If you have a long transfer wait at an airport, try to resist the Burger King smells, go instead for a salad at some decent-looking restaurant. Yes, some will power will be needed, but I know you can do it! Even if they don’t have vegan options, you can always ask them to take out the ingredients you don’t want.
Trains and busses
Land transport is easy since they don’t have weight or baggage restrictions. If you’re going far, try to get a seat with a table (on trains), so you can have some food in comfort. Here you can take already prepared foods if you wish, kelp noodles work great if you have some (much cheaper to buy them online), as they don’t get soft compared to zucchini noodles. You can also take some cut up veggie sticks with a yummy dip (here at least you can open the windows).
Take a separate bag for food so if you want to place your luggage in the designated area, you don’t have to search for it. Use disposable containers that you can throw away at the end of the trip (I often use supermarket packaging from nuts or dried fruits). Try to find some tiny foldable plastic forks too, those are awesome (I used to get mine from friends who used to buy Tescos salads, but the link above costs only £1,50 for a full set!).
If you are just a few hours away from your destination and ran out of food, don’t panic. It is better not to eat anything than have a tasteless cheese sandwich, and you will thank yourself for making that decision later…trust me!
This is by far the easiest of all as there are no restrictions whatsoever. You can get a cooler bag to keep your food fresh, or even take some ice bags with you. You can take nicer tupperware since you can always wash it and shove it back in the boot (I like the ones with separate sections in them).
It’s still important to be smart with what you take with you. Take lots of nuts and dried foods that won’t go bad fast. I would never recommend taking a ready made salad, but if you really want to take something like a salad or a raw falafel wrap, take the ingredients separately. This is very important as they will stay fresh for longer if you don’t mix them. This is especially vital for dressings and sauces, always have separate little bottles for that.
Exceptions to that are “tough”-ingredient salads, like a Korean carrot salad, or a marinated cauliflower salad. They will go even nicer the longer they are marinating, just make sure not to leave them in the heat too long.
If you’re stopping at hotels along the way, you can even take a small hand blender with you to make some fruit smoothies for breakfast to avoid eating croissants at the hotel restaurant.
Remember to take lots of water and napkins with you too. Even better, why not take a blanket and stop somewhere beautiful for a picnic?
Anywhere you go, do keep a small bag of almonds in your purse. These are a lifesaver when you get those nasty travel cravings and can fill you up enough to get to your nearest rest stop. I also like taking them on hiking trips as you never know how long they will last, and it’s better than borrowing your friends sugar-loaded granola bar. If you are allergic to nuts, then keep dates at hand. If you can’t have dates, then dehydrate some fruit that you can have, like dried mangoes, or dehydrated crackers.
Being raw is not a limitation, there are so many options, it’s just a matter of changing your habits a little bit. Experiment and see what works best for you. Enjoy your travels!