Road Trip Preparations AKA: Kitchen on the Road
As anyone with IBS knows, the thought of going on a road trip doesn’t fill oneself with carefree thoughts of the open road. There is fear, anxiety and a general feeling of helplessness. That’s why I thought that making a lot (a LOT) of road trip preparations would really, really be important.
Our road trip this summer is to take us through the American mid-west with a goal of visiting family and doing some touristy things. The Son and The Husband are eager for new sights and are really looking forward to the journey. We will be on the road for 10 days, staying in 4 different hotels. The Husband has been so very supportive, and has booked us hotels with fridges and microwave ovens in the room.
I am preparing on two fronts: for Day-to Day meals and for Emergencies. Here’s my plan for day to day meals…
Road Trip Preparation AKA Kitchen on the Road
My road trip preparations for regular meals means that I am going to be travelling with a small kitchen in a cooler (good thing we have a big car!) Here are my plans for each meal:
To start my day I need two things to function: a hot cup of tea with milk (dairy free) and sugar, and something with protein to keep me full. The tea should be easy, I’ve found small tetra-packs of almond milk that I can bring. Best of all, they don’t need to be refrigerated if they are unopened! On the downside, once the container is opened, it can’t be sealed shut again. Ill either drink a lot of tea each day (to use up the container), bring tape to try and seal it shut, or throw the remaining contents out. I hate wasting food, so well see how this goes. For the protein, I’ve decided to bring plain rice cakes and organic peanut butter. I can eat this in the room with a minimal of fuss – maybe add a banana for flair. The organic peanut butter needs to be refrigerated, and I figure I can manage this with the in room fridges and our cooler. I’ll need to bring cutlery, and some sort of container that I can fill with hotel ice each night, as I doubt the hotel fridge will be able to refreeze a freezer pack.
This will often be eaten at small road-side diners and I don’t want the hassle of checking with the waitress about ingredients, cross-contamination, and that sort of thing. My plan is to bring along a FODMAP friendly granola bar (heavy on the nuts for protein), or a small Tupperware container of nuts, a small baggie of carrots or an orange. I’ll need a lunch kit that I can fill up each morning and then have accessible for when we stop.
Dining out is usually one of the joys of travel, but I’d rather be safe and healthy than adventurous and sick. So, my plan is to try and find a restaurant where I can get plain rice, baked potato, or fries that are uncoated and cooked in a dedicated fryer (no cross-contamination). Also, I think it’s pretty easy to ask for steamed carrots or broccoli, so that will take care of my dietary need for veggies. For protein, I hope I can get a plain grilled chicken breast, but ‘Ive got a back up plan. I’ve discovered pull-tab single serving sized tins of tuna – easy to pop into my purse and have in an emergency!
For snacks, I’ve discovered that salt and vinegar chips are fairly safe (still read the label as some brands list dairy on the ingredient list – what’s up with that?) I know this won’t wash with the health food advocates out there, but I’m on vacation and have enough food denial in my life.
So, Ill take some stuff, buy some stuff on the road. Hopefully my road trip preparations will take some of the adventure out of travelling with IBS!
I’m still working on what Ièll bring for emergencies… stay tuned for my next blog….