We all know staying health-conscious while traveling is an uphill battle, and one we often simply choose not to fight. After all, what's a vacation for if not forgetting about everyday worries and letting yourself relax?
During the week I just spent traveling around the eastern part of the country visiting friends and family, there was a lot of good- dare I say great- food that wasn't the least bit sustainable or corn-free: the classy onion soup in Bethesda, the late-night Spring Rolls in Pittsburgh, the good old-fashioned cheeseburger in New Haven to name a few. And these meals all fell under the ethical category of "Who cares? I'm on vacation." Anything that's eaten in good company and truly enjoyed can't be all bad, can it?
The really tough part about the trip were those rushed, over-priced, unappetizing meals with which people on the go are so familiar. I had more than my share of fast food due to a complete lack of other options, and even made the mistake of trying to get some whole food in at one of those right-off-the-highway rest stops, which resulted in $3.50 spent on apple slices that were inedibly brown. Almost worse than the quality of the food at such places, though, is the "let's-get-this-over-with" mentality. There's nothing particularly comfortable or enjoyable about them. Next time you're in one, take a good look at the people around you. They (and I'm certainly not exempting myself) have a slightly glassy-eyed look, as if they're in a kind of limbo that needs to be slogged through as painlessly as possible before getting on to the next thing.
After a particularly long and tedious stretch of rural highway on a Greyhound in which I learned that the state of Pennsylvania is enormous, I found myself in Manhattan with some time to spare, so I took advantage of being outside for awhile, and walked down 42nd street, popping into shops , snapping photos, and generally looking like a tourist. I wanted a snack for the impending ride up to New Haven, and was hoping to, at best, find some potato chips cooked in an oil I could pronounce. I was almost back at Port Authority when I got lucky enough to stumble upon a place called Well Green Market.
The inside reminded me of...well...imagine if, instead of a supermarket, Whole Foods were a convenience store/deli. I browsed the snack bar aisle for a few minutes before settling on an apple and apricot bar from a company called That's It Fruit. Ingredients were listed as "Apples and Apricots. Seriously...that's it!"
I also got one of Bobo's Oat Bars. There were more ingredients in this one, and some were not-so-natural sounding, but the company gets major brownie points (pun intended) for its transparency. For example "Lactic Acid (derived from sugar beets)." Very helpful for those of us who undertake the frustrating hobby of trying to decode ingredients lists.
The place was pretty high-end, of course, and at $2.50 a piece, the snack bars I chose were among the less expensive on offer, but they were still cheaper and far tastier than those ridiculous apples.
What successes and challenges have you met with while eating on the road?