Healthful Eating on the Road

Every new town I visit, I have to search for healthy places to eat and places that are ok with dogs.

I'm putting these links here so I have them as a reference along my travels and in case they might serve anyone else looking for healthy food choices in a strange neighborhood. I've also uncovered some unknown gems in my own neighborhood using some of these sites.

Eat Well Guide
search engine for finding health minded food establishments by city

Healthy Dining Finder
search by city for restaurants that offer healthy eating options

Green People
huge listing of health food stores and healthy restaurants searchable by zip code

Happy Cow
a resource for vegan and vegetarian store and restaurant options, by zip code

Primo Water
search for filtered water dispensers, including Primo and Glacier waters

Natural Grocers
chain store selling organic and healthful foods

When I travel with River, eating is easily the most difficult task I face. I shouldn't really leave him in the car, or in a motel room or tied up outside while I go into a restaurant or grocery store, but it's just him and me, so I have very few other options. I could go exclusively to drive-thru restaurants, but that's not very good food, usually. And, if I'm driving all day, the last thing I want to do is stay sitting in my car while I order and eat my food. Usually I try to find a shady spot in the parking lot and go either early in the morning or in the evening when it isn't so hot, run quickly into a store or restaurant, leaving River in the car, with the windows down, and shopping in a big hurry. I know I run the risk of someone approaching River and getting bitten, or of someone stealing River or the car or both. I've had plenty of occasions where a concerned citizen chastised me on my cruel mistreatment of the poor dog, which I have to take on the chin as I know it isn't very cool.

To make things even more challenging, I'm mostly into wholesome, fresh healthy food. Burgers are OK once in a while but on that last trip, when I lived on burgers, I gained 20 pounds and got sick twice. I was experimenting with it as a solution to this food problem, but it clearly is not the way to go.

Sometimes, when I stop at places to teach a class, one or several of the community will want to do something nice for me, and buy me some food. This is enormously helpful!

Sometimes, I'm taken to a cute cafe where they'll allow River to come in and lie on the floor while we eat. That is nice. Many times, though, I can't spare the time it would take and sadly have to decline the offer. Or other times, the place we go to might be a bit TOO dog-friendly and we have to contend with River reacting to all the other canines in the place throughout our meal.

I've been given gift cards to food establishments that serve good healthy food. This is greatly appreciated, but still doesn't really help with the most difficult aspect of eating on the road with a dog in tow, which is the actual procuring of the food.

I have this fantasy that I could trade some of my pay for groceries. If I could get paid partially in wholesome and healthy foods that stored well, even without good refrigeration, that would really streamline my life. That would be worth a lot to me.

When I spent a week at Embody Movement Studio, the owner, Christina Mae Wolf, said she wanted to stock the refrigerator for me and asked what I'd like. She did an amazing job and I made a mental note of what she purchased because it seemed like a nearly ideal shopping list for easy but healthful food options on the road.

All of the products were "O Organic" brand except for a few but all products were organic.

peanut butter
sprouted grain bread
tuna in cans
soup in boxes
vinaigrette dressing
baby spinach
mixed baby greens
raw baby carrots
raw snap peas
microwave popcorn
instant oatmeal

(and I had packed and brought)

raw cauliflower
cooked shredded chicken
homemade cookies
six jars of fermented vegetables
black organic ground coffee

And all of this kept me fed for nearly a whole week. If I could manage to get just a fraction of that every three days or so, I'd be free from having to forage from town to town.


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