Emergency Vegetarian Road Trip

cb20theeasyvegetarianlifestyleebook-final4Late last month my husband Mark got a call from his family that we were dreading.  His Uncle Frank had passed away from a terminal illness. It was a very sad time for us since we were so close to him and he was such a wonderful person.

We quickly booked our flights the next day to Philadelphia for the funeral. I know this is a sad story, but I’m sharing this with you because this is an opportunity to share with you how I eat healthy while traveling on the road, in flight, and laying over in airports. Even last minute notice!

Part of my packing routine, besides packing every outfit I can think of and fit in a 2’ by 3’bag, is packing a lunchbox of yummy healthy treats for the flight.

Going from west coast to east coast is especially challenging since we always have a layover for several hours somewhere like Phoenix or Las Vegas, then we take the red eye flight. Which means our flight departs at 10pm and we fly through the night and arrive at 6am the next morning.

Our journey began at 5 pm so we needed food for dinner, snacks and breakfast since we got into Philly at 6’ish in the morning.

The key to losing weight and staying lean and fit is preparation.

A little preparation goes a long way! Did you know you can take your own food through security? Most people we spoke to didn’t know this.  Just liquids, gels or gooey stuff they don’t allow if it’s over 3 oz.

Here is what I brought on our trip below.  Please make sure you also check out the vegetarian travel nutrition video to see a visual.

You’ll see in the video (below) that I just gathered all the veggies I had in the refrigerator and made a huge salad. It was tasty!

My quick travel food list:

1.    Huge salad with salad dressing on it. That salad lasted us 2 meals. 2 for me and 2 for my husband.

2.    2-4 healthy bars

3.    fresh celery, carrots, and cucumbers

4.    nectarines

5.    a baggy of soaked almonds

6.    seaweed snacks – yep I love them!  Even the girl across the aisle from New Jersey asked about them, it was funny as the whole row in the plane got involved in the conversation.  My food stirred up conversation, again!  I even gave samples to the whole aisle, and people loved it!

7.    And finally, a bag of flax crackers

These snacks actually were a life saver because we ate them on the way home also!

I tell ya, we ate like kings and queens. You always feel so good about yourself when you are doing things that are great for your body.

It was funny because we asked a very nice guy (Thx Avi!) sitting near us in the airport to film us.

Afterwards he was so impressed with our feast we had brought, that he started confessing that he knew that he should also be stepping up and making better choices.  The only difference between us and him is that we took a little action step that makes a world of difference.

Even if you can bring some healthy treats to supplement a meal, you need to eat in the airport right?

Our plan will help you eat healthier and not have to lean on junk you know is bad for you.

cb20easyveggiemealsebook20final42If I run out of salad dressing at home, I will find a Mexican restaurant in the airport and buy salsa from them and put it on my salad.  Often they give it to me free!  I’ll also buy fresh guacamole and dip my veggies in it.

These are just some ideas to get you thinking of how you can step up your travel game!

Wishing you wellness,

Kardena Pauza
Author, Easy Veggie Meal Plans

28 Comments Leave a Comment

Comment by Carollyn
2009-09-01 02:22:47

Looks so delish. I am sorry about the reason you had to go to Philadelphia. I lived there from 1974-83, then bought a house in Jersey right across the river from philly and lived there 15 years before moving to where I am now, in NC. Love salads. You can eat them all year long if you have the right ingredients. Health bars- the same. Haven’t tried seaweed yet, but i am on my way to eat more vegetarian. Take care,

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2009-09-02 18:11:04

Hi Carollyn, These things happen and we are never prepared enough for someone to go. My husband went to Rutgers on Jersey side and live in Marlton all his life before coming to California. We head over the Betsy Ross bridge from the airport to see his friends and family. For salads, even chopped veggie salads with no lettuce are tasty. Seaweed is very nutrient rich. gotta try it. Or use flakes to flavor meals. Wishing you Wellness on your vegetarian journey! Kardena

Comment by Pramod
2009-09-01 07:03:13

Hi ,
Thanks Kardena You gave very usefull and realy eazy veggie Meal Plan . Only I could not enjoy/concentrate on vedio for all foods u prepared may be some net problems
and sorry for loss of ur uncle ,God Bless him .
Thanks once again

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2009-09-02 18:06:31

Hi Pramod, I will check in about the videos. I haven’t heard anyone else having problems. Thanks for the heads up and your condolences. It was tough but it’s the circle of life. He will be missed. Kardena

Comment by Colleen
2009-09-01 12:45:21

Can you just eat raw almonds without soaking them in water & why do you soak your raw almonds?

Comment by kathy strahan
2009-09-01 13:21:27

You two are awesome! My husband and I will be traveling much starting at Christmas. Christmas we’re staying with dear friends in WI which does not strike me as the “health” capital of the world. And she loves to bake. But, iI’m already planning by researching teh area for helathy foods since we’ll be there for 5 or six days. Then we’re going on a vruise! A marketers cruise actually. Help me!! I’ve already vowed to not have desserts. I know that the sugar is to toxic for me. I adore you kardena.

Comment by Kimberly
2009-09-03 16:51:38

One quick question- why do you soak the almonds? Does that improve the nutrional value?

Comment by Claire
2009-09-04 07:47:21

Hi Kardena – thank you so much for your emails and videos. My question…how did you get the food onto the plane. I thought you were not allowed to bring outside food and drink past the security area? Thanks.

Comment by Paula
2009-09-09 03:32:42

Hi Kardena,

I admire your dedication to take your healthy lifestyle with you wherever you go… so easy to let go during travel and other out-of-the-ordinary circumstances. Anyway, you mention in the videoclip that you also make flax crackers yourself. As they are not commercially available where I live, I’d love it if you could share the recipe. What do you use as the binder? Many thanks.

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2009-09-12 23:03:36

Hi Colleen,
You can eat almonds raw. However they are easier to digest when they are soaked. Kardena

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2009-09-12 23:07:38

Hi Kathy,
Your are so sweet. We shall meet soon! You are going to be a busy gal! Great idea looking up healthy places where ever you are going. That’s key. use the enzymes if you end up eating of your program. They will save you to some degree. Always have snacks in your purse and opt for more of the veggies on the plate. Eating less for one meal won’t hurt you:) Starting now to not have desserts will give you healthy habits by the time the Christmas cruise comes around.
LOL, Kardena

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2009-09-12 23:08:19

Hi Kimberly,
It makes almonds easier to digest and absorb the nutrients.

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2009-09-12 23:10:41

Hi Claire,
You are very welcome. The reason I did the video is because lots of people think you can’t bring food on to the plane. That is incorrect. It’s only the liquid they have a problem with. Several years ago, a guy in Europe tried to bring on liquid explosions on to a plane so from then on they banned liquids. You’ll see in the video my cooler goes through security. So go for it!

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2009-09-12 23:20:09

Hi Paula,
Yes there are so many reasons and excuses to not eat healthy. And they are only excuses and justifications because you don’t have a big enough why. Have a big enough why and you will do what it takes to keep your promise to yourself. Flax crackers are easy. Just soak the flax seeds for 8 hours in water. They will be slimy and gooey. You can’t drain off the water. The slime is what holds the flax seeds together. Just mix in salt and seasonings, herbs, garlic and spread thinly on a dehydrator tray and you are set! let them dry for about 12-24 hours, scrape off tray and store in a bag. Enjoy! Kardena

Comment by Darlene
2009-10-20 22:24:58

What is you opinion on the Sanitarium meat substitutes.
Eg nutmeat, soy products, etc.
Would they be a healthier alternative to meat or are they too processed and should be avoided

Comment by Meena
2009-11-07 09:35:23

I became a pescaterian after attending Anthony Robbins’ seminars last year. I have actually gained weight which I am trying to drop again. I use to eat sushi and lots of fish. Then I discovered the issue of PCPs and mercury etc. I am trying to find the balance where I can eat healthy seafood and other organic products, vegetables and fruits. Do you have a book for pescaterians?



Comment by Jazz
2009-11-16 17:24:15

Im taking a flight next sunday to Miami and Im going to take your advice! So awesome Kardena! Good thing i have a whole foods near my house…makes it easier to choose the right foods for optimum living.

You Rock! :)

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2009-11-17 01:37:51

Hello Meena,
I just responded to another comment you made. This email answers all your questions. :)

Congratulations on your transition. I don’t have a book for pescaterians, so if you are committed to staying a pescaterian you can use the easy veggie meal plan and include fish a couple times a week. Eating fish everyday is not ideal for you as you already know, so you need to incorporate other meals that are vegetarian since you don’t eat other types of meat. The great thing about the meal plan is all the meals are portioned out so you will be sure to not over eat and will give you meals that will give you more fiber, fat burning ability, and energy.

Heavy metal toxicity is a real concern and the amount of protein you need per day is over rated by the media to sell you more protein rich foods.

A couple of tips: A serving size of meat/calories etc is around 3-4 oz. so when you go out to eat that is usually 1/3-1/2 of a fish fillet. Don’t eat predatory fish as they acquire more heavy metals. Wishing you Wellness, Kardena

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2009-11-17 01:39:52

Hi! Excellent, glad to hear! Way to take responsibility for your own health!

Kick Butt!

Comment by Maryann
2010-03-03 17:34:51

Hi Kardena,

Your goodie bag for traveling is excellent. My husband, and I will travel to Tampa and I’ll have to try your method. I’ve been a vegetarian for a couple of years, cholesterol problem. I just love being a vegetarian, and now I’m buying vegan cookbooks. My problem is since I’ve been a vegetarian I don’t feel full, and I’ve gained weight. I just love food. Any suggestions? My condolences to your husband and you regarding Mark’s uncle.

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-08-29 22:55:14

Hello Maryann,

Thanks for your condolences, I love being veg also! In regards to not feeling full, that’s pretty amazing. On a veg diet, I know I feel so full I definitely can’t eat anymore. Make sure your eating whole grains and beans along with veggies. They are full of fiber which should fill you up. Try my easyveggiemealplan.com to give you guidance.

All the best,

Comment by Danielle
2010-04-23 18:11:09

Hello. I am starting out to be a vegetarian. Up to fours days of not eating meat. Taking it slow. I have a question though… I saw to have no more than 6-9 servings of sugar. Am aware of some fruit that high sugar is that okay? I am going to start writing down my intake in regards to calories, fat, sodium,carbs. Is there anything else. Thanks.

P.S. Unable to get book at present time but planning on it.

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-08-29 23:23:05

Hi Danielle,

How’s the veg diet going? You probably meant 6-9 grams of sugar per serving. Fresh fruit sugar is not an issue, it’s the added sugar in foods you need to be careful of. Another tip Make sure you drink plenty of water, at least 64 ounces per day roughly.

Comment by Joyce
2010-06-01 06:08:18

awesome tips as usual Kardena! I live in Philly and there aren’t many options available for vegans :( But my husband and I have been thinking about opening a vegan cafe. Keep doing what you do!

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-08-29 23:24:05

Hi Joyce,
I hope you do! That way more people will be able to experience how delicious and healthy vegan food really is.

Comment by Bella
2010-08-16 04:20:15

This is so great..Thanks a lot for the tips..Yah, it helps me to prepare foods when am traveling especially in the airplane. Actually, i am a vegetarian for 10 years…and i really love it. My family is a vegetarian too…Thanks a lot.Keep up..And i’ll just keep in touch with your tips for vegetarian foods..Thanks a lot.

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-08-29 23:24:59

Thank you Bella!

wow 10 years, amazing! You are an inspiration!


Comment by Julie Wilcoxson
2010-08-29 21:06:54

Hi Kardena,
I am new to your site and loving the wonderful recipes. I do have a quick question, I don’t fly very often but will be flying to Florida later this year, my question is how do you keep the food cold? I heard no ice packs on the plane.Do you do ice in a ziploc bag to keep it cold? I always plan my meals ahead of time, but I drive usually. Thanks! :)

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