Clean Eating Foods That Travel Well

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Clean Eating Foods That Travel Well

Need a specific list of clean eating foods that travel well?

Clean eating and travel are not always the best of friends. But the good news is, I’ve done some of the hard work for you. On my last trip, I took careful notes and came up with a nice list of foods that traveled well. Some need refrigeration, some don’t. Call ahead to find out if you can get a fridge in your hotel room. Many hotels have them by request.

Here’s what I took with me:

FRUIT

  • Raspberries
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries – washed and de-stemmed
  • Kiwis – sliced
  • Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Apples

VEGGIES

  • Sugar snap peas
  • Baby carrots
  • Celery
  • Roasted veggies (brussels sprouts and zucchini)

PROTEIN

  • Protein bars (try these!)
  • Chicken breasts
  • Cheese sticks
  • Hard boiled eggs

CARBS

  • Whole wheat tortillas (or try these homemade quinoa tortillas)
  • Brown rice crackers
  • Whole wheat crackers
  • Pre-made oatmeal packs (quick oats, whey powder, nuts)

TREATS

DRINKS

  • Sparkling water – just be careful it doesn’t get to jumbled around
  • Sparkling juice (no sugar added)
  • Juice boxes (no sugar added) for the kiddos
  • Water, water and more water
  • 1 jar of milk (for coffee and any munchkins along for the ride)

If you package these all in Ziploc bags or Tupperware they travel well. Then just get a cooler for the chicken, eggs, milk, cheese sticks and as much of the fruit as you can get in there.

Remember to request a refrigerator in your hotel room, or take 2 extra gallon sized Ziploc bags for ice.

Just plan to “snack” for your entire trip.

So there you have it! Please share any extra travel tips or food that travel well in a comment below.

And enjoy your trip!

Article is an original work and is © Tiffany McCauley. It may not be reproduced for any reason without written permission by the author.

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50 Comments

  1. Kelsey @ CleanTeenKelsey says:

    I’ve found that clean hummus is a HUGE help on the road. It makes any sandwich/wrap yummy, and it’s thick so it won’t get messy. I also like to bring protein powder and dry roasted edamame (found at Costco with the nuts) for quick, easy protein boosts.

    Try to keep things as simple as possible; believe me, I’ve tried to make complicated meals on the road before and it only ends in disaster. You may have to repeat some meals, but it won’t kill you and you’ll save a lot of time. 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Edamame beans are terrific for a road trip! I’ll have to try the hummus next time. I forgot about it this time around! Thank for your input Kelsey!

  2. Since we have nut allergies in our family, I made up a “trail mix” of dried mixed berries, raisins, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Oranges and apples also travel well; softer fruit need to be packed in containers to help prevent bruising. We have well water at home, but took along a brita filter in order to use tap water on the road-saved having to take along enough water for 5 people for 10 days. We had rooms with refrigerator/freezers so I washed the ice trays and filtered the water to make ice.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Fantastic Jodi! Thanks for your input! Can I just travel with you next time? lol

  3. Great ideas. All these would work well for a lunch at work, too. So hard to resist the temptation of cafeteria/ready made food! Thanks.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Leigh – I feel your pain. Cafeterias are LETHAL to a clean eating diet though. So steer clear!

  4. Yes! The only reason I go in is to get ice water. But people ask me to go to lunch every day and I feel like such a troll saying no *sigh*

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Don’t feel that way Leigh!!!

      You should feel proud of yourself for taking such good care of your body. You are giving yourself a gift by choosing to eat real food. Avoiding the cafeteria is a wonderful gift you are giving yourself. NEVER feel “like a troll” for taking care of yourself. What other people do to their own bodies is their business. You take care of you… and feel good about it!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      If you really feel bad about it, try taking a clean salad dressing to work with you and just go to the salad bar. At least you’ll be able to socialize with everyone, which is kind of the point you were trying to make I think.

  5. I would like some portable vegan protein ideas for travelling. I know you mentioned edamame and hummus but any other ideas you have I would really appreciate.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Denise – In your case, I would cut up a block of firm tofu into bite sized chunks. I don’t know a lot about being vegan, but I’m sure there is some sort of sauce or seasoning you could sprinkle on it.

      Also, remember that beans and rice travel pretty well.

      Not sure if those are exactly unique suggestions, but maybe somebody else here can suggest something?

  6. i have so enjoyed your post and comments. I know what Leigh means i have a friend who wants to cook me her brazilian food as a late birthday present and i dont want to be a nub by saying oh sorry cant eat that do you have a eating clean version. LOL i think we dont like to hurt peoples feelings but i am really enjoying this clean eating business hope it helps my family get in shape i just wish it would have been way before bathing suit weather : O

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Belinda – Ya, I know what you mean. I say no to a lot of people. It’s not easy. But you have to remember that you are standing up for your own health. Something that most folks are not used to doing these days.

      That said, sometimes one cheat meal is totally acceptable. You have to be the judge of what’s right for you.

      Keep up the good work!

  7. This couldn’t have come at a better time. Just found out I’m going on a 16 hour drive in 2 weeks. Thank you for all the info you share.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lori – Ouch! 16 hours? Good luck! That’s a looooong drive! Be safe!

  8. One thing I like to do with tofu is cut very thin pieces off a firm block. Then soak them in tamari for about 15-30 minutes. Then I broil them for about 10 minutes, flipping them over half way through. I can’t remember where I got this idea, but it wasn’t here. I have taken those on short road trips and they are almost like a tofu jerky.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sounds yummy Leigh! Thanks for sharing that!

  9. Kelsey @ CleanTeenKelsey says:

    Hey Denise,

    As a (mostly) vegan teenager that travels a lot, I’ve found the easiest forms of portable protein are protein powders, dry-roasted edamame, nuts, nut butters, hummus, pre-cooked beans (black, pinto, navy, etc.), pre-cooked lentils, nutritional yeast (a HUGE help), marinated tempeh, marinated tofu (not my preference since I don’t like tofu uncooked, but it may work for you), sprouts (lentils, peas, etc.) and my personal favorite, sprouted chickpeas. All you have to do is soak some uncooked chickpeas in water overnight, then drain and rinse them 2-3 times every few hours the next day. They fully sprout within a couple days, all though I’ve been known to eat them before they’re completely done. 😛

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kelsey –

      Not to jump in on your convo here, but I’m fascinated with the chickpea sprouting thingy. That’s awesome! I’m gonna try that. Is it a complete protein, or do you have to have it with a whole grain to make it complete?

  10. Kelsey @ CleanTeenKelsey says:

    Hello!

    Oh no, you have every right to! lol. It is your blog, after all. 🙂 It really is great and I love sprouting them. It’s become my favorite way to eat chickpeas. You know, I just did some looking online and I’m not sure… chickpeas themselves have to be complemented with a whole grain to be complete, but I wonder if that changes after they’ve been sprouted. That would be a good thing to figure out somehow. I’ll do some research and get back to you. 🙂

    Kelsey

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Thanks Kelsey! Can’t wait to hear what you find out!

  11. Kelsey thanks for so many suggestions. I am going to be playing with some new protein powders as the one I ususally use is whey isolate but now that I am playing with “veganism” that doesn’t jive! Have you ever roasted the chickpeas with a little oil? I heard they taste really good as a snack but I am not sure how they would taste cold.

  12. Oh, the sprouted chickpeas will NOT be a complete protein.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Thanks Densie!

      Can I ask what is not vegan about whey isolate? (Sorry. I’m sadly lacking in knowledge in this department, but I find it fascinating.)

      Thanks!

  13. Excuse me, but I know the answer to that one. 🙂

    Whey isolate is produced from (usually) bovine dairy, starting when fresh milk is separated into curds and whey. The whey is processed further in some “nutritional lab” into whey isolate (whey is “isolated” from the rest of the parts/ingredients in milk).

    Since vegans don’t consume anything that comes from an animal or contains parts from an animal, of course, they do not drink milk or use anything containing or derived from milk.

    I don’t have the high-powered gadget (like a VitaMix) to make my own, but having such a thing makes it easy to make your own soy milk or almond milk–really, it’s water (not “milk” at all) and raw/rehydrated soy beans or raw almonds liquefied in a blender. You can add whatever you want to it, though–cocoa powder and agave nectar, vanilla extract or let a whole vanilla bean pod soak in it, and any other spices you love. As a tea lover who misses Starbucks mocha chai soy lattes (have you read the nutrition labels on those ingredients??), I prefer chai spices with vanilla or cocoa and a little sweetener (agave nectar for vegans, but honey for vegatarians and omnivores). You can make your own soy/nut Mexican-style hot cocoa by heating up some of the soy/nut milk with sweetener, cocoa powder and cinnamon.

    Green eatings! 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Charlena – Wow! Very informative! Thank you for taking the time to share what you know!

  14. This is helpful. I am heading to Canada next summer and wondering to negotiate that whole thing. Can I take food on a flight that makes me go through customs, etc?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Paulissa – Airlines have changed so much since I was last on one that I hate to give you the wrong information. I would call the airlines and explain that you have special dietary conditions that they cannot accommodate. See what they tell you. Hope that helps!

    2. I bet you can’t take more then just a plane trips worth of fruit and veggies and you absolutely cannot take any liquids (at least if you are leaving from the US)
      Call TSA to find out about going through security and they can prob tell you who to talk to about regulations for taking produce into another country.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Dy-Anne – I haven’t been on a plane in a while, but I bet you’re right. Good to call in advance!

  15. christine m. says:

    Thank you for all the helpful tips for eating on the road. My husband is a truck driver and it is hard to figure out lunch ideas.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Christine – You’re welcome! I can just imagine. Glad I could help!

  16. trude wofford says:

    thanks again for the info Tiffany. with summer just around the corner it seemed like a good time to check here for some inspiration. I just love your food and tips

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Trude – Awwwe, thanks! Glad my info helped in some way!! 🙂

  17. Anonymous says:

    cdnchick – Really? I thought they had cracked down on all of that in a big way?

  18. Thank you so much for all your advice. Madly in love with your blog!! We’ve got a 12 hour road trip coming up next week and this info has been amazing. My only addition is popcorn. We let the kids watch a couple of movies so popcorn fits right in 🙂 I do have a question… is Philli light herb and garlic cream cheese clean? I make my own bread with quinoa, and then make cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches.

    Thanks again 🙂

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Marie – No, cream cheese is not clean as far as I know. Sorry! Good luck with the trip!

  19. Thank you for your blog. I am prepping for a 30 day challenge at work starting January 1st and Pinterest led me directly to you when I researched my quest for successfully eating clean. I especially like this post of how to eat clean out and about. My hubby and I often eat at restaurants and I am also in need of ideas for eating at work (a school where treats are everywhere!). Your tips helped greatly!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Hedi – Thanks so much! I’m happy I could help in some way. Happy new year!

  20. Great article & will certainly use lots of your tips.

    We just completed our 3 week of clean eating and things are going great!!! I am down almost 5 lbs and my husband has lost 10lbs (Is this possible???) Hard to understand how come I have not followed through in the past. We are planning our meals, I am packing lunch and snacks to work (even leftovers are more appealing when packed in individual servings…ready to heat up).

    I have a couple of travels this summer with my husband and our two boys and wanting not to sabotage our efforts to clean eating. Again thanks for the tips.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Becky – My pleasure! Please come back after your trip and share any other tips you may have picked up in your travels! 😀

  21. As a mostly vegan and some Raw clean Eater with many Food Allergies, it is very tricky to travel! I just go to grocery and healthfood stores to shop and eat their salad bars. Also bake and cook then take those dishes with me. Invest in a powerful inverter or small generator for long road or TV trips to plug your blender and juicer into.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Michelle – Great tips! Thank you!

  22. I’m in a predicament. My husband and I work at a small Bible college and we travel alot with a singing quartet. We mostly go in people’s homes or stay at campgrounds to eat. That means we don’t have a choice on the food we eat. Since there’s really no answer for this, I was wondering if you had any good suggestions for a clean cleanse after we get home from our travels. Alot of days, we have to eat fast food as well. I know none of it is healthy, but I need some help with “healthier” options at these places. Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Rachel – I don’t advocate for doing cleanses. If you come home and eat 100% clean, that will cleanse your body pretty quickly on it’s own.

  23. Great post, which really inspires me with my current article that deals with eating healthy clean foods while working (and living) in remote isolated areas as a Humanitarian aid worker. The tricky part is finding foods that travel well even where there are no traditional supermarkets, Internet delivery points or even local shop. My challenge us to identify what you can pack and take with you – that lasts for months on end. So far dehydrated fruit and veg, nuts, flax and other seeds come high on the list. What ideas might you have?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Anna – Your best bet is to focus on very simple, local foods. What you have so far sounds like the basics. I don’t know of much else that will last that long unless you get canned goods.

  24. I learned this in girl scouts many moons ago and Ive done it camping, traveling and on day hike trips. One apple cored…fill the center with peanut butter mixed with granola or dried fruits. Its contained and really good.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lolly – Yum! That sounds wonderful!!

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