Thursday, June 27, 2013

Find it Hard to Eat Healthy While Traveling?

Eating Healthy on The Road

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One of the most common questions I receive is:

  'How do I maintain my healthy diet while eating out or traveling?'

Honestly, it isn't really very hard at all but before I start explaining I need to confess something.  I am insanely shy.....Yep.....I never ask for anything, I have never returned anything even if I couldn't wear it because it didn't fit, I could go on, but you get the picture, I am shy.  So if I can do can you!

Okay on to the eating out and traveling tips.  First I will detail what I did on my recent trip to Glenwood Springs, Colorado.  

**Please Forgive the Photos I took them with my cell phone as it would look to 'weird' for me to lug my huge SLR camera into the restaurants :-)

Day 1 Lunch

Costa Vida Veggie Salad

Costa Vida is an easy place to get a great healthy meal........We order the Costa Vida Veggie Salad, you can even get a whole wheat tortilla.  A delicious salad piled high with lime rice, black beans, leafy greens, guacamole, pico de gallo, mango salsa....YUM!

If you want a delicious, oil-free dressing on your salad....Check out the Costa Vida Copy Cat Mango Dressing recipe in the Zesty for Health Salad Dressing ebook in The Peaceful Kitchen Store

You can find Costa Vida just about anywhere so if you are in a pinch traveling and need a quick bite to eat this is a great option.

Day 1 Dinner

Veggie Pizza at a Hole in the wall local restaurant

Hubby was CRAVING pizza and we drove by this really dumpy local pizza joint and I said NO....let's look up online and find a restaurant that offers veggie pizza.  Hubby says he'll go in and ask about the ingredients, I stayed in the car pretty sure they wouldn't have anything.....well I was wrong.

We walk in and they do have veggie friendly pizza sauce and were very happy to make us a veggie pizza, they even had a veggie pizza, veggie subs and other veg options on the menu.  I was impressed for a tiny little town in the middle of Colorado!

They made us a lovely pizza with olives, mushrooms, onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic and NO cheese!  It was actually really good!  I couldn't get a picture because after 9 hours of driving and playing games on my phone out of sheer boredom, my phone battery was too low for the camera to work.

I think though that this is a great example of how even in some tiny town, population 400, you can find something!  You just have to ASK!

Day 2 Breakfast

Okay, I know I always harp on all my readers to GET A HOTEL WITH A FRIDGE!  Hubby has to keep the hotel rooms under $100 when he travels for work and has always been able to find one with a fridge, even in tiny towns.  However, people keep whining, I mean, telling me they can't find a hotel with a fridge.  Okay..... I decided to prove that you CAN do a healthy, cheap breakfast even without a fridge.

This hotel did not have a fridge but offered a continental breakfast.  I knew ahead of time the fruit options would be limited generally continental breakfasts offer bananas, oranges and apples...that is a start.  I planned ahead, found a grocery store on the way to the hotel before checking in and bought white peaches and raspberries which do not need refrigeration and lasted perfectly for the three days we were there.

Hubby got me UNSWEETENED instant oatmeal, banana, and apple juice at the continental breakfast.  I poured the oatmeal in a bowl with the apple juice, topped it with sliced peaches, banana and raspberries and viola cheap, healthy breakfast!

Eating healthy while traveling or going out to eat is NOT hard, you do have to plan a little bit but it isn't anything that can't be done.  I am not a good planner, I did NO prior planning for this trip, I decided to just go and find whatever food I could find to prove that you CAN travel, eat healthy with NO prior planning.  With a little planning you could probably do even excuses.

Day 2 Lunch


My son LOVES Subway, he absolutely LOVES the veggie sandwiches.  Hubby was off working today so my son and I were left to explore Glenwood Springs.  My son and I walked 2 miles from the hotel to Target and 2 miles back.....we were getting pretty tired on the way back and my son BEGGED to go to the subway by the hotel.  

Subways are EVERYWHERE, I don't care if it is a town with a gas station and two houses I guarantee they will have a Subway!   I ordered my sandwich......the employee will ALWAYS give you some sort of grief about the 'No Cheese'.....they may give you a confused look, clarify "you don't want cheese?", or make some snyde remark.  Regardless of the nutrition illiterate teens working in restaurants you can get a healthy meal.  

I got ALL The veggies piled high and topped it off with a splash of vinegar, mustard and black pepper.  Sometimes I get plain baked lays but today I just had the sandwich.  

Day 2 Dinner


Yep, you read that right, we went to Chili's and I am going to teach you how to find something to eat when someone else picks a restaurant and you can't find anything on the menu that fits your dietary choices.  I purposely chose a difficult place to find veg friendly food to help you out.

They had a yummy looking Carribean Salad on the menu but it was ONLY offered with the options of Chicken or Shrimp and none of their dressings are vegan.  No problem, the dressings are always served on the side to it is easy to pack a dressing in a small canning jar [they have really tiny jam jars you can buy] and put it in your purse.

I did not even have a dressing with me because like I said, I did this trip with NO planning to prove that it can still be done.  Although I would recommend at bare minimum have some prepared dressings with you, they only take 30 seconds to whiz up before you leave and you just pour into a tiny jar with a lid and you are good to go.  Need some oil-free dressing ideas...check out The Peaceful Kitchen store for the Zesty for Health Salad Dressings.

Anyway, I ordered the Carribean salad and asked for NO chicken or shrimp.  The waitor didn't even skip a beat and wrote it down.  I then asked for a side of black beans.  I topped my salad with the black beans and it was DELICIOUS!

A Lesson in Using the Restaurant Menu to Create A Meal


The Chili's Menu lists this sandwich....

California Turkey Club Toasted Sandwich

With turkey, applewood smoked bacon, avocado, Swiss, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and seasoned mayo on wheat Texas toast

Hubby and my son are vegetarians, they do have some dairy or eggs in baked goods when we are out to eat and they don't have as strict of healthy eating ideas as me so this is what they did.

They looked on the menu and saw that this sandwich had tomatoes, onions, lettuce and avocado.....they LOVE sandwiches with those ingredients.  So hubby told the waitor they wanted this sandwich with NO turkey and NO bacon.  The waitor didn't even give a strange look he just said, okay.

You can do this ANYWHERE!  Look at the menu and find ingredients listed....whether it be a pasta dish or whatever if it includes broccoli, bell pepers or whatever you can get an idea of what ingredients they have so you can create something suitable.

Example #2 for Chili's

ALWAYS Look for the  Sides on the Menu

Chili's has some GREAT sides:

Black Beans
Broccoli [you have to ask them not to prepare it with butter]
Corn on the Cob
Corn Tortillas
Flour Tortillas
Penne Pasta
Pico De Gallo

Okay so if we are just working with the sides on the menu we could create.....

Gluten free - Corn tortilla stuffed with avocado, black beans, salsa and broccoli  with corn on the cob on the side.  

NOT gluten free you could use flour tortillas

You could create a Mexican pasta using the penne, black beans, pico de gallo, avocado, and salsa with a  side of corn on the cob

Do you see how easy this can be?  I was just using the sides to create yummy food!  It is really that easy.

Outback Steakhouse Example

Okay, I don't regularly visit Outback Steakhouse......however, if someone else chose to eat there for some reason and I went...I could still find something.


We can again look at the sides menu.  You may have to ask some questions about chicken broth that may be used in cooking pasta sauce or rice pilafs etc.. or avoid them if you don't want to ask.

The house salad [no croutons or cheese]

Outback has vegan dressings:  mustard vinaigrette, oil & vinegar or the tangy tomato if you don't bring your own.

Baked potato with chives

Green beans
steamed mixed vegetables
steamed broccoli

Just make sure they don't put butter on them.

Just from the sides menu alone you can have a baked potato, steamed veggies and a salad with dressing.  You can also ask for a dressing on the side to top your potato....I usually bring my own tofu sour cream in a small jar but either way it works.

Day 3 Breakfast

Same as Day 2

Day 3 Lunch
V Cafe in Grand Junction

An AMAZING resource when traveling!!!  I always Check Happy Cow for Veg restaurants or Veg friendly restaurants while I am traveling.  

I had a delicious wrap filled with veggies and guacamole.  This was a fun little place we found on our way home.  I highly recommend searching Happy Cow for veg restaurants as you travel, we have found some amazing places that we never would have been able to find otherwise so check it out!

Hubby had the black bean burger on Ciabatta bread and LOVED it!!!  He actually wrote down the address so next time he was on a business trip he could come back.  They had really great food and it was very inexpensive as well.  

Tips for Traveling Healthy Style

  • Prepare a couple salad dressings ahead of time
  • Look at the ingredients listed in entrees on the menu to see what you have to work with
  • Look at the Sides to see if you can create a meal from them
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions
  • Check out before you go
  • Go to a local grocery store and pick up whole wheat bread, peanut butter, jam, fruit and even unsweetened instant oats if you have very few options available to you.
  • We even found oatmeal on a room service menu [just ask for no milk] and they often have fresh fruit as a side you can top it with.

Traveling while healthy doesn't have to be difficult, have a great time, don't stress about the food you can always find something!  Life isn't about food, it is about people and relationships so make memories and forget about the food.  If you have to eat a big bowl of fruit for lunch from a gocery store for lunch because it is all you could find....great.  Forget the food, make memories!

Monday, June 17, 2013

I'm Back with a delicious recipe for Chipotle Soy Curls and Chipotle Ranch Dressing....

Chipotle Soy Curl Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing

If you would like to continue to follow my work......
My recipes and I can now be found @

I hope to see you there!   
This delicious salad features Soy Curls smothered in a chipotle BBQ sauce tossed in a healthy salad of green leaf lettuce, cucumber, fresh tomato, grated carrot, millet, lenils, and onion.  All this deliciousness is smothered in a simple chipotle ranch dressing!

Where Have I Been?

I have been MIA the last couple of weeks, no recipe creation, very few facebook posts and no blog posts......  It was extremely difficult being that we were living at my mom's house, all four of us in a 10X10 room with just the bare necessities.

I am terrible at keeping track of my recipes at home, I knew there was no way I would be able to keep track of recipes created at my mom's house and so I put my blog on hold for a couple of weeks until we could find a house.  I am happy to report that we found a house and we are all moved in....YAY!  I resumed my recipe creation when my mom came to see our new house.  I offered to make her lunch, and so this recipe was created that morning along with some delicious homemade bread!  

I am Back to recipe creation and blogging and hope you enjoy the new recipes!

I have a few new things in the works that I think you will be really excited about!   I am trying to improve the blog, update the store front and add some amazing new products to the store as well as provide you with more features... Check back often as I will be announcing new and exciting things to come.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Decadent Vegan Chocolate Decadence Recipe

Chocolate Decadence Recipe

If you would like to continue to follow my work......
My recipes and I can now be found @

I hope to see you there!   
I must apologize for the poor photo, all my belongings have been in a storage shed for over two weeks and so this is a cell phone picture....

Decadent is the PERFECT word for this dessert....creamy, rich, smooth chocolate heaven!   My husband has a favorite restaurant that he goes to frequently because they have really good veggie sandwiches and he always orders their chocolate decadence.....hubby is vegetarian so he does eat desserts with dairy or eggs at times....

He absolutely LOVES this dessert and so I set out to make a vegan version of this very popular chocolate lovers dessert.  The photo above is before the decadence had been chilled long enough, my family could NOT wait to eat it and so we ate it while it was still warm and the strawberry ice cream was melting quickly on top of it.

Hubby really enjoyed the dessert but it wasn't until he snuck back into the kitchen to get some more hours later that he started raving that this was every bit as good as his favorite restaurants chocolate decadence.....SCORE!

We are still living in the 10X10 room at my parents house......I cannot believe how absolutely frustrating finding a home to rent is.  We found a wonderful home in an area we loved and submitted an application...we were the FIRST ones to submit an application and then we find out they are going to 'collect' applications for four days and then just pick one....much to our dismay, we were not chosen.

We continue to call on homes only to have them rent before we even have time to make an appointment to see it or we have to sit and wait for them to collect applications and of course we are never chosen and end up back at square one.   It has been very emotionally draining....I hope we find a home soon.  Unfortunately while I continue to try and find a home my recipe creation will be hindered and my photos will be on a cell phone so hopefully you can bear with me until I can get settled.