How I'm Eating Healthy On The Go This Summer

Jul 29, 2021
healthy eating coach sustainable healthy diet healthy eating travel well-being coach & mentor life foundations

Happy Summer! 

For most of us, summer means being on the go more, whatever you are into.

For me, it means more camping, hiking, days at the lake or the river, and mini road trips.

When I used to go to places like the beach, It felt normal to bring sandwiches, snacks, chips, cookies etc. That’s what I was raised to do. I think most of us were. (I grew up on white wonderbread bologna sandwiches & chips for lunch to go)

Eating healthy on the go is not as hard as you may think, and it’s something that a lot of people struggle with. There’s a misconception that when we are on the go, it’s all about convenience food & less healthy options. It’s the norm for most. It's nothing more than habit, really. And a habit that you can change with a little intention. 

You can make on-the-go food convenient AND healthy for yourself. You simply need a little forethought and habit change.  

I've done a lot of camping, hiking, & road trips with friends over the years and I often get comments on how healthy I eat when camping or day-tripping to natural places. I'm going to share with you some personal tips on how I make it easy for myself to eat healthy on the go as well as my personal favorite foods to take. 

 Salads - Bringing a delicious salad on the ego with you is easy, it's just a matter of a little prep and/or knowing what works best. Let me tell you that a delicious salad lakeside is amazing and you feel so much better enjoying the day.

  • Focus on chopped salads with heartier vegetables & greens that will last in your fridge or cooler for days. Think kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, & chopped veggies. If you google chopped salad you'll come up with a ton of options. Here are a few of my personal traveling favorites:
  • Softer greens like spinach & lettuce don't hold up as well and can be messier when trying to mix with dressing at your destination. Chopped salads will hold up with dressing already mixed in, and you can dive right into lunch with a fork, and without the mess.
  • Beans can be a great plant-based source of protein to add to chopped salads. My favorites are garbanzo beans & white beans. 
  • Salad kits at the store can be an easy way to go when you don't have time for prep. Mix them up right in the bag & then pour into a bowl to eat. 

2) Protein - There are so many great options for a healthy dose of protein while on the go. Here are my personal favorites: 

  • Nuts & seeds - This is a great snack to keep with you or in your car for any time you are on the go and need some nourishment. Nuts & seeds contain good amounts of protein & healthy fats to keep you satisfied longer. This is the kind of thing that can save you from hitting up a drive-through or grabbing junk food, even if you are just running errands around town that take you longer than expected. When traveling or camping they can be a great addition to your morning oatmeal or your salad for lunch. 
  • Things for the cooler - when you hit the road with a cooler, these are my favorite, easy go-to's for protein: Smoked salmon, hard-boiled eggs, & hummus with veggies. For me, hummus & veggies are often a complete & satisfying lunch.

Dinners to go - Whether you are a camper like me, enjoy staying at AirB&B's, or hotel/motel stays on a road trip, I want you to know that it's actually pretty easy to bring your dinner with you to avoid eating so much restaurant food or convenience food when you are traveling. Your body will thank you and you'll feel so much better when you are out adventuring! 

  • Make ahead soups & stews - This my friends, is a game-changer. When I make a pot of soup, chili, stew, curry, or any other kind of one-pot dish that freezes well, I ALWAYS make a large enough batch to have some in the freezer. Besides having quick & easy weeknight meals, they are great for traveling. When my freezer is well stocked, prepping for a weekend away is super easy. 
    • The frozen meal can serve as a way to keep things cold in your cooler. (bonus!)
    • It will usually defrost by the time you are ready to heat it up. 
    • Zero fuss in making a meal - simply heat & serve. You can spend more time enjoying where you are and less time prepping & doing clean-up. (I'd rather have less dishes, especially while camping)
    • Soups, stews, curries, chili, taco fillings, etc. 
  • Staying in a rental or AirB&B with a full kitchen? It's SO nice to not have to spend the weekend cooking or cleaning up, and extra nice to not have to bring your whole kitchen with you to cook a meal. This makes for easier packing up. 
    • Frozen meals made ahead in a pan that can easily be popped in the oven are always winners. Things like enchilada bakes, casseroles, etc. Here's a great vegan lasagna recipe as an example. Whenever I make a meal like this, I double it & make an extra pan to put in the freezer for a later date. 
    • Quick sheet pan meals like this Sheet Pan Shrimp Echiliada Recipe can be easily prepped in advance in your own kitchen to make it easy peasy when you arrive at camp or at your rental home.
    • Delivered meal kits are wonderful for these kinds of getaways! There are a lot of options out there, and this one has been my favorite: Green Chef When you get these meal kits, there's everything them to make the meal except some basics like olive oil or salt. It allows you to bring one little bag to make a gourmet meal rather than half of your kitchen.

Snacks - If your idea of snacks is something processed that comes from a bag like potato chips, it's simply a matter of reframing & beginning to choose differently. There are plenty of whole foods snacks that are not processed foods, have a ton of nutrition, & will actually give you good energy that you want when you are out having fun. 

  • Nuts & seeds - they contain lots of protein & healthy carbs. Keeping them on hand is key. 
  • Fruit - it's the season for so much good fresh fruit! Blueberries & stone fruits are amazing right now. Apples always travel well and are filling, especially if you bring peanut butter or almond butter to eat with them. 
  • Make your own energy bites/protein balls! These are a favorite go-to that is full of nutrition easy to make, delicious, and keep for quite a while in the fridge. Here's a great resource for some recipes: protein balls Most of them freeze well, making it easy to have on hand.
  • Hummus & veggies, or any kind of bean dip & veggies. Store-bought is easy peasy, and making your own is far more delicious if you have the time. It will keep for a week! My favorite veggies with hummus are carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, asparagus, & jicama, Here's  The Best Hummus Recipe.
  • Powdered shake drinks. There are so many different health shakes on the market now that all you need to do is bring a shaker bottle, some powder, & water to mix up a lot of nutrition on the go. Know that these shakes are not created equal. There are going to be some out there that are marketed as health foods but have a LOT of questionable ingredients, and sugar as well. Be a label reader. If a drink powder has too many ingredients with long names that you are not familiar with, find something different. look at how much sugar is in them. Find the ones that are healthy & that you enjoy! This one is my absolute favorite: Purium Powershake It goes everywhere with me, and I drink at least one per day. (I'm still an affiliate - if you want a code for $50 off your first order, just let me know!)

Prepare ahead - If you are camping, traveling by car, picnicking, or adventuring, it's easy to make a delicious no-fuss meal wherever you are. The trick is simply making things up ahead of time. It saves the mess, the number of things you need to take with you, and this makes healthy home-cooked meals convenient.

  • Think ahead - what can you chef up weeks in advance & have in the freezer?
  • What salad can you make in the 2 days before leaving that you can make extra to bring with you? 
  • Mix up some packages of trail mix to have ready to go in the cabinet or protein balls in your freezer. 
  • Whenever you make meals or snacks that can be frozen, always make extra, this way you have meals ready to go in the freezer whenever the opportunity for an adventure arises. You can then focus on packing up your other essentials without feeling overwhelmed at the prep of a trip. Most recipes found online will tell you if freezing is a good option.

I could write an entire book on ideas, and maybe someday I will. today I shared with you my most common go-to's for food prep in the busy summer months when I am adventuring a lot. 

You can create your own common go-to's as well.  It’s just a matter of developing new habits and exploring what you love to bring with you. 

Pay attention to how much better you feel when you are on your adventures and avoid eating a lot of restaurant food, convenience food, processed food, & junk food.  You deserve to fully enjoy your adventures, and your body will thank you for eating well by feeling better & having more energy. Besides, it's such a treat to eat really good food on your trips! 

Wishing you wonderful adventures & great health to enjoy them! 


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