Such a great post from Whole 9. Just had to repost. Enjoy~ jgirl
What’s in YOUR cooler?
Happy Tuesday, and thanks to all for contributing your own form of weekend motivation. We had a ROCKING workshop at EmerFit in Fort Collins, CO on Saturday morning, followed by a fantastic cook-out featuring Whole30-approved 100% grass-fed dogs and burgers, plenty of fresh fruit and veggies and unsweetened tea, courtesy of our hosts and the members of EmerFit. Thanks so much for the hospitality, and the great time. We’ll be back – in the meantime, get on with your June 1st Whole30 start date, and let us know how things are going!
We’re 17 days in to our own on-the-road version of the Whole30, and we’ve got this travel stuff down at this point. Part of the reason we took on this project – completing the full Whole30 while permanently on the road – was to experience with our readers the challenges we all face trying to Eat Good Food when life requires lots of travel, socializing or just a a super-hectic schedule. So today, we’re going to spend some time dissecting the contents of the Whole9 cooler – what’s in it, what’s in the grocery bag next to it, and how we put things together to make delicious, Whole30-approved meals and snacks. We’ll break it down by food groups, and will include things in rotation – we don’t always have all of this stuff on hand, depending on grocery availability and our travel schedule. But we’ve found a few lifesavers along the way, and we hope by passing these along to our readers, you’ll have an easier time Eating Good Food under any circumstance, whether at home or on the road.
What’s in the Whole9 cooler (and accompanying grocery bags)?
Deli turkey/chicken/roast beef. Usually Applegate Farms, where the only ingredients are organic meat, water and sea salt.
Sweet Apple chicken sausage, by Bilinski, organic and all-natural. (We’ll cook these while camping, or bring the camp stove right into the hotel. True story.)
Albacore tuna. Chicken of the Sea Healthy Selections (in the pouch), where the only ingredients are tuna and water.
Hard boiled eggs. We always have a dozen of these on hand.
Smoked salmon. Wild caught Alaskan (never farm raised), unseasoned.
Whole Foods brand of “simple” chicken breast or salmon, where the only ingredients are chicken/salmon, salt and pepper.
Sugar snap peas and snow peas
Pepper slices (red, green, yellow and orange)
Tomatoes (usually the small grape variety)
Sprouts (sunflower, alfalfa, radish, broccoli, sweet pea shoots)
Baby spinach (mostly for cooking while camping)
Jicama – peel, slice into thin strips and munch, these are our new favorite snacks
Fresh salsa. Whole Foods and other stores sell fresh, organic salsa with 100% approved ingredients.
Frozen butternut squash and sweet potato, for microwaving post-workout
Pumpkin (canned and organic). Technically a fruit, it’s still a great source of post-workout carbohydrates.
Whatever we can get that is fresh, local, in-season and not too expensive
Larabars (a dried fruit/nut combination, used only in food emergencies)
Olives. Lindsay Naturals in the can, where the only ingredients are olives, water and sea salt.
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). We bring a bottle everywhere, and pour over veggies, salads, meat, whatever.
Fresh guacamole. Whole Foods and other stores sell fresh guac with 100% approved ingredients.
Coconut milk (full fat, in the can)
Shredded coconut, unsweetened.
Coconut oil (for cooking when camping)
Avocado oil (for cooking when camping)
Macadamia and hazelnuts, and some almonds, cashews and pecans
Sunbutter (in serious moderation – one to two servings a week)
Cinnamon. We bring a bottle everywhere.
Sea salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, nutmeg.
Fresh basil and cilantro – we top lots of stuff with fresh herbs.
Tips, tricks and adding variety to your Road Trip Food
Protein is going to be the hardest to get in good amounts. Plan ahead and stock up – cook chicken or salmon the night before you travel, boil a dozen eggs, find deli meat and tuna packets that meet criteria.
Smoked salmon is often overlooked, but the wild caught stuff is a great source of N-3 and protein. Slice, roll around chunks of honeydew melon or mango, secure with a toothpick and go.
Fruit is way too easy to overdo when traveling, so swap some of that fruit for portable vegetable sources. A flexible cutting board, sharp knife and plastic silverware help you branch out from just carrots and celery.
Fresh salsa and guacamole are life-savers. Roll deli turkey around pepper slices, secure with toothpick and top with salsa and guac – delicious and totally portable.
Frozen root veggies are also a good idea, especially if you’re training on the go. Sweet potato and squash varieties are just as good hot or cold – top with cumin and cayenne for a spicy kick.
Nuts are also easy to crack out on when traveling. Try olives instead! They’re portable, don’t need refrigeration and you can eat an awful lot for the same amount of fat as an ounce of nuts.
Spices and herbs are an easy way to add flavor and variety to your meals, and don’t take up a lot of room in your bag/cooler.
Planning and preparation are key! Take time to purchase, prepare and pack your cooler before a trip and you’ll have good, Whole30-approved meals and snacks at the ready.
We hope this peek inside our cooler (and, below, our hotel fridge!) helps to give you fresh ideas and inspiration for your own travels. Got a road-trip-worthy snack, meal or food idea? Post to comments!