With the New Year, you’re probably thinking about resolutions — those annual “exercise more, lose weight, eat healthier” promises most of us make. The RV lifestyle can play havoc with resolutions, especially when it comes to healthy eating. Too often, we opt for convenience when we travel instead of eating healthfully. Here are a few tips to help you eat foods that are healthy and tasty whether you’re at home or on the road.
Get real. If you want the best flavor and healthful foods, trying eating foods as close to nature as possible. Go for fresh veggies, not canned or frozen (if you must, frozen is better than canned). Instead of opening a can of soup that’s laden with sodium, make your own with chicken stock, veggies and lean chicken or fish.
Buy local. It will be fresher (and taste better). Local foods also use fewer resources like fuel for transportation so are they’re better for the planet. Try eating grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and wild-caught (not farmed) fish. You’ll be doing a kindness for the earth.
Go small. Try foods made by small, artisan vendors. Seeking out regional food producers is a great way to explore an area and get familiar with the tastes different areas have to offer. You might pay a little more, but the quality is worth it and you’ll experience flavors you can’t imagine.
Get out of your rut. I’m just as guilty as the next person for going to the same restaurant or using the same food or recipe over and over. There’s nothing wrong with longtime favorites. But the food industry is dynamic. New restaurants are opening all the time. New food producers and artisan craftspeople are selling new foodstuffs. Ethnic flavors are more available than ever. Chefs are producing new recipes all the time. Commit this year to try new tastes, new flavors and explore the world with your palate.
Learn about regional flavors. When you travel in your motorhome, find out which foods make that country or area special and enjoy them, whether it’s tamales in New Mexico, foie gras (goose paté) in Quebec, or boudin (rice sausage) in Louisiana. Shop in local markets. When you’re on the road, take a cooking class. Or hire an expert to take you on a local food tour. You’ll develop a much greater appreciation for the history, culture and people of area you’re visiting.
Go for quality, not quantity. The Western Hemisphere is in the throes of an obesity epidemic. Portion sizes have risen so much that we think a quart or more is a normal drink size! Many of our foods are laden with unhealthful and fattening high fructose corn syrup. And we’re eating more and more processed foods filled with dyes, fillers and preservatives. Vow to eat less, but better, more real foods.
These are just a few ideas for your New Year’s foodie resolutions. Let us know your own resolutions for eating and traveling in the New Year by emailing me at [email protected] with “road foodie” in the subject line. Happy foodie traveling!