P1000837Eating, for me, is just as high a priority as finding shelter.

I certainly would not plan a trip without figuring out, beforehand, where I was going lay my sleepy head for the night!

As a conscious eater, before traveling, I do food research too.

I’m not the kind of person who shows up in Podunk, USA, and plops myself down into any old restaurant for a meal. My travel itinerary always includes eating the best quality food available.

Once I know my needs for food and shelter are met, I can truly relax and enjoy the destination.

Thanks to the internet, locating great food is practically effortless. It’s as simple as entering the name of the city where you are headed plus the words, “local, seasonal, organic, farm to table restaurants.”

If there is something available in that area it will pop up in an article, website, or blog. You could also go to localharvest.org and enter the zip code or city where you are headed to help you find farmer’s markets, grocery stores, and natural foods restaurants. Or check out http://www.americanfarmtotable.com for the best farm to table restaurants in the USA.

This little bit of detective work makes discovering new places a yummy experience instead of a frantic search for food after arriving famished from a long day of traveling.

Once food becomes a priority, it’s pretty darn easy to eat well no matter where you are.

You may be surprised to discover how many restaurants and chefs are sourcing high quality ingredients and they are proud of it – they boldly showcase local farmers and artisanal food producers on their menus.

Savvy chefs and restaurateurs purchase from people who care about the products they create. For example, you may see something like this on a menu: “Martin Farms pastured chicken, Stoneledge Farms Heirloom Tomatoes, and Squiggly Piggly Farms Heritage Bacon.”

Farmers are certainly the new rock stars!

If you don’t have access to the internet, try the old fashioned way of digging up information: call the hotel, inn, or place where you are staying and ask if they know any local, natural, seasonal restaurants, or health-food stores in the area. The local town-folk may know where to get the best homegrown fresh products.

I love exploring new places and savoring local, seasonal, and indigenous ingredients. As an added bonus, eating locally grown food helps my body become physically acclimated to each new environment and eases the effects of jet lag and general fatigue from traveling.

For example, I live in NYC, which has a temperate climate.  If I travel to Costa Rica or some other tropical climate, upon arrival, I would eat the food growing in that area of the world to help balance my body. Eating locally in Costa Rica includes fish and coconuts, as well as tropical fruits and other foods that help cool the body and keep it naturally balanced from the sweltering heat. 

HOTEL, MOTEL, HOLIDAY INN…

Clients sometimes tell me that they don’t have the option of leaving the hotel due to seminars, meetings, and other business obligations. In that case, it’s imperative to check out the hotel restaurant menu before arriving. Many hotels have restaurants with great food on their menus. Some offer international fare for people traveling from all over the world.

If the hotel doesn’t provide any quality food ask if they have a room with a kitchenette. If yes, bring some simple travelling food: a small plastic baggie filled with rolled oats, dried fruit, and nuts and seeds (trail mix). With these few ingredients you can prepare a nourishing breakfast in your room.

If you don’t want to travel with food, you could always find something to eat somewhere. This is America for gosh sakes!

When I worked for MTV Networks, I remember getting off the plane and driving directly to the nearest Whole Foods or natural foods market to stock up on eggs, bread, oats, butter, yogurt, and snacks like hummus before checking in to my hotel. I simply stored that food inside the small refrigerator in the hotel room.

If you do not have a room with a kitchenette and/or stove, you can still make a variety of foods in the coffee machine. Yes, that’s right; I said, “in the coffee machine.”  To prepare basic oatmeal, we only need hot water. The same goes for soft-boiled eggs. You can acquire magical cooking liquid by running the coffee machine without adding coffee. Voila! You’ve got hot water.

For oatmeal, pour the hot water on top of rolled oats and let it sit covered overnight. In the morning pour a little more hot water on top, add some trail mix, a dab of yogurt, and you’ve got a nourishing breakfast.

To soft-boil an egg, fill a coffee cup with hot water and let the egg sit in it for 3 to 5 minutes. Change the water 3 to 4 times to achieve desired consistency. The longer you continue adding hot water, the more the egg cooks and the firmer it will be.

Or you can drink the eggs “Rocky-style”; gulped down raw. Bleachhh!  Not my favorite. And, I can’t believe I’m going to tell you this; but, you could even fry an egg on top of the coffeepot heating element (although not recommended, and very messy). By sharing that last tidbit of coffee-pot-cooking knowledge with you, I may have just been banned from every hotel in America.

Depending on how long you will be staying, you may want to consider renting a house or an apartment instead. They usually come equipped with stocked kitchens. The Egg Burrito pictured in this post was prepared in my apartment/hotel in Miami. What a great way to start the day!

All you have to do is bring some food savvy and cooking skills with you wherever you go and you’ll always have access to great food.health-is-wealth

Want more tips on how to make food a priority for you? Check out Health is Wealth – Make a Delicious Investment in You!

You are worth it!