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Behold, the amazing travelling handbag!

Posted May 15 2010 9:49am
Hi all,

I hope the start to your weekend has been full of fun and relaxing times. I'm currently in country Ireland after a few days of visiting gorgeous Irish scenery, hiking, bike riding, lots of strolling through towns and villages and spending time with my partner Alan. It has been two weeks of travel already now so I wanted to share some of the ways I do things when I travel to make it easy to eat high quality plant foods all the time that also taste delicious, no matter what is served up. I also wanted to share a few extra tips for travel.

Let me introduce you to what I am now calling my amazing travelling handbag :) that accompanies me always (except when hiking or bike riding or exercising of course!) when I travel. While its contents vary significantly, I always have some of my special travelling tricks with me...often even when I'm just at home and heading out to restaurants and the like.

In a perfect world I would be served up fresh organic green vegetable juices, organic giant salads with beautiful local ingredients and some raw and cooked organic plant based meals for each and every meal when I travel. As I'm sure you are aware, this doesn't happen too often when travelling! I have found I can get by at almost any eating establishment while travelling however, with just a few tricks up my sleeve. Even if they only have a side salad on the menu (although anything else that falls into line with my preferred eating habits is welcome!) I can manage and enjoy my meal. Here's what I carry in my travelling handbag to make my travel meals a pleasure

Stevia drops
My favourite is NuNaturals alcohol free liquid drops which come in a handy plastic container, great for travelling. They typically come in glass containers which obviously is not as safe (and light) as carrying plastic. I always use the glass bottles at home as I'm not a fan of plastic, but for travelling purposes, I have no fault with the plastic bottles.
I use stevia to sweeten herbal teas, to add to salads (particularly with fresh lemon juice) for a beautiful, simple and quick salad or vegetable dressing.

Herbal teas
I ALWAYS, whether travelling or at home, have a selection of some of my favbourite herbal tea bags in my purse. I love herbal teas with a serious passion, and in all seasons. I am not just a winter tea loving kind of gal. I often buy peppermint or chamomile teas when we are out but I always have my own selection on hand so that I have more variety and even for second or third cups when I don't wnat to pay a huge amount for a non organic tea bag that isn't even what I want. I can be a little cheeky at these times and after my first herbal tea purchase, I may ask for some more hot water and add my own herbal tea bag to it. I also like to have herbal teas sweetened with stevia as a dessert sometimes, so having a more complex and indulgent blend, such as the Vanilla Tahitian blend by Yogi Tea, can really hit the spot.

I typically find lemons are easy to come by while travelling or eating out. Most restaurants will happily provide you with lemon wedges to squeeze over your salad or vegetables and most grocers and supermarkets will stock them in their produce aisle. I sometimes carry a lemon with me, othertimes I just rely on the place we are eating at to have them, and if they don't I just go without. If my travelling experience is going to be more backpacker-styled, where I am eating out of farmer's markets, grocers and supermarkets (which I adore doing), I will always pick up a lemon or two to have handy.

I love avocados with nothing short of pure dedication, pure unadulterated joy and really if I could marry avocados I would. So you can understand that they are often a part of my travelling kit. If they are not too soft but just nicely ripe, which is ideal anyway, they will keep well in your handbag unless you let a thousand other things sit on top of them. I love slicing into a delicous ripe avocado and splattering it all over my side salad or adding it to any other meal when travelling. I often carry these in my bag when I'm home also as they just make any meal amazing. A whole fresh avocado cut in half and sprinkled with sea salt on it's own is also a yummy snack that is filling but won't weigh you down.

Raw nuts and seeds, organic dried fruits and raw snack bars
If avocados aren't your thing, or even if they are carrying your favourite raw nuts or seeds to add to your meal, or even to snack on with some organic dried fruit, can round out your meal, add some density and crunch and just makeyour meal a whole lot more interesting. You could even carry a small tub of raw nut or seed butter with you to spread onto banana slices. Organic dried fruits are a fantastic sweet way to polish off a meal of a salad meal. One of my favourite ways to enjoy dried fruits and nuts when travelling is to split open a medjool date or dried fig and place a raw almond, pecan or hazelnut inside the fruit and eat!
Of course, keeping a few raw snack bars such as Lara bars on hand when travelling can also add density to your meal, and can be a fantastic way to end a salad meal.

While mustard isn't always in my travelling handbag of tricks, I do love having a high quality organic mustard in my handbag when I am eating at standard restaurants. A good dollop of a delicious mustard makes even the blandest of salads (of yes, think iceberg lettuce and tomato), along with my lenmon jucie and stevia drops, taste so much better. This is a salad I had early evening tonight for dinner. Nortice the big heap of mustard on the side?

Celtic sea salt or Himalayan Crystal Salt
I have been carrying high quality salt in my handbag for years, and I tend to carry it in it's grinder. It would be lighter and less bulky to carry it in a small ziplock bag, but so far I just haven't done so. I don't know why...something about grinding the salt fresh maybe! I have seen mini sea salt grinders which would be even better but they are often still bleached or refined to a level where I will not choose to consume them.

Spices and dried herbs
Sometimes I carry a favourite spice or herb or two, and these I do tend to keep in zioplock bags. I love carrying cayenne pepper and cumin or paprika as I can make a killer guacamole on the road in two minutes flat when I have these ingredients. I can make the guac without too but having a few select spices on hand can really make a super simnple "travel dish" much more exotic!

High quality 70% plus organic dark chocolate
What girl doesn't love a little (or lot of) chocolate?! While I try not to overindulge on chocolate at home, I find having dark chocolate on hand when travelling makes me very happy. It is the perfect end to a dinner meal and I find that even if my dinner wasn't as incredible as the meals I make myself at home, having a little dark chocolate after my meal makes it perfect. It also just feels very indulgent and therefore supports that holiday feeling! If you are ensuring you still having fresh juices and fresh salads daily, your bosy should be able to tolerate the acidity from the chocolate while you are travelling.

Frozen juices
I always make plenty of frozen green juice (with my slow masticating juicer...oh for a freshly made slow pressed juice service nearby!) to take with me when I travbel. I typically take two litres on the plane with me to sip on as it defrosts. This keep sme hydrated and feeling well like nothing else. Plane travel is so dehydrating and takes so much out of the body and living off frozen green juices really cuts the damage down for me. If you can't do frozen green juices for whatever reason, I suggest taking fresh lemons on board with you and squeezing the juice into a bottle of water and drinking that.The lemon juice will help to alkalise and hydrate your body, plus it's delicious and refreshing.

I also take a number of frozen green juices, typically in 500ml or 600ml plastic bottles (again, plastic travels easier unfortunately), to drink when I get to my detsination. I will drink one or two when I arrive, and the others I will freeze again if possible for other times throughout my travels when I may not have access to fresh juice. For example, three days agao we went on a 6 hour road trip to Killarney in County Kerry, Ireland. I had already checked online and saw that there are no juice bars in Killarney and the drive was long, so I took a frozen juice with me. Other times I am able to access a juice bar easily so I do not need to worry about taking my own. Of course, there are also days when I don't have juice at all as I can't get to a juice bar or have run out of my frozen juices, and typically on those days I drink a lot of water,lemon water, herbal teas, and then focus on fresh green salads and fresh raw ingredients as much as possible.
Wheatgrass is also wonderful while travelling as it seems ot be more readily available at random cafes and stores. It is a great pick me up!

List of places for juice and healthy food options

Typically before I travel anyway (for more than a day or two), I will do a bit of online research to find out where my local juice bars, organic markets, health food and wholefood stores are. I may even check out the menus of local restaurants if I know I am visiting one of them to see if they have the side salad or better offering that I talked about already! I usually take a trip every year for at least a few weeks where I visit many different places (such as this trip!) so having a list handy that I can refer to after a long day of travel when I just want to easily find something to eat makes life much more enjoyable.

Ziplock bags
I always carry some extra ziplock bags to put food and toiletries in, and also my frozen juices, to avoid unpleasant spillage surprises.

Travelling cutting knife and cutlery
These are extremely handy for obvious reasons. Even if you are planning on eating out for every meal, having a sharp knife with a cover (for safe storage) to cut your lemons in half so you can squeeze them into water or over salad when the restaurant is out of lemons, can be so useful. If it's a more hands-on backpacking holiday, then these tools will be invaluable. I travelled my way around Europe and the UK for six months with a mini cutting board, cutting knofe and spoon and fork set which I used every day without fail for cheap salad meals from local markets and supermarkets. That was eight years ago when I was a lot younger and my budget was much smaller, but even know I find the same kit extremely handy.

Enema bag
OK, OK,you got me. I don't carry an enema bag in my handbag! But I do bring one with me when I travel.
As a trained colon hydrotherapist, and as someone who has used this incredible modality in her own healing, I clearly recognise the value of regular colon cleansing on a regular basis. Especially when travelling when plane travel, re-circulated air, strange sleeping schedules and less sleep, lack of routine, often an increase in more acidic foods and quantities, and even less exercise for some can be a recipe for constipation. Having an enema bag and ensuring you can still drink some fresh (or frozen) juices, plus fresh raw salads and then getting plenty of fresh air and movement and sleep, can really turn this around. The enema kit can be used easily in any bathroom and can get you out of an unpleasant situation quickly.
If you are not willing to travel with an enema bag, I recommend picking up a product called Natural Calm, which is one of the only bowel helpers I would ever recommend to clients, and even thgen, it should only be used sparingly and when really needed. It can be a useful product to have around just for trips away when tyou are unable to do bowel cleansing and your normal healthful habits may be compromised.

Fresh air and outdoor scenic exercise
Again, this is not something I carry in my handbag (imnagine if I could...what do you think my handbag would be worth? haha!), but it ois something I always do when travelling. Even if I am in a ciuty such as New York, London or Paris, I walk and walk and walk for hours. I am definitely not a lazy person and when you combine that with my pure passion for all that is travelling, you will get days and days and weeks upoin weeks of endless walking out of me. Most days, other than days when I am confined to vehicles for travel, I walk a minimum of five hours, seeing sights, walking through parks, trekking across cities, trail working, biking, swimming, you name it. I just love seeing new places, new landscapes and breathing in the air, culture and scenery of new places in this fabulous world of ours. When you put my love of travel together with all that fresh air and movement, there is definitely some alkalinity happening. Use your holidays to make the most of these elements of life that aren't perhaps maintainable to the same degree (particularly in terms of time!) when you are back in your own town in your own routine with its other competing demands. My example of loving the outdoor world in Killarney... :)

I hope that gives you a look into my travelling handbag of tricks, and gives you some ideas for how to make your own travelling experience as delicous and easy as possible.

Back soon!
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