Is eating healthy while traveling even possible? Well, lemme tell you from experience…yes! My family loves to travel, and we do it a lot. Whether it’s day trips to Disney world, camping trips in National Parks, or our yearly mission trip to Guatemala, I make sure to bring our green smoothie habit along for the ride!
Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely indulge in a few less-than-healthy meals when I’m traveling (hello, New York pizza!). However, keeping my green smoothie habit up while traveling means I’m more likely to enjoy a few treats along the way v.s. ordering the entire dessert menu every time we go out to eat. It also helps me recover from jet lag and keeps my immune system in tip-top shape—because who wants to get the sniffles on vacation?
Like me, I know eating healthy while traveling is important to you. So today, I’m here to give you my best tips + tricks for taking green smoothies on the road, whether you’re going on a day trip, overnight, or a cross-country flight!
TAKING GREEN SMOOTHIES ON THE ROAD
Heading out for the day? Simply blend your smoothie before you go + pop it in a mason jar or any travel-friendly cup. If you plan on drinking it in the car, I recommend using a lid with a straw hole. These Mason Bar Company lids + re-usable metal straws are my favorite! If you’re bringing your smoothie to a picnic or want to enjoy it as an afternoon snack, simply store your green smoothie in a cooler with a little ice. Make sure it’s stored in an airtight container (like a mason jar), and be sure to give your smoothie a good shake before consuming!
Unplugging for a few days to enjoy the great outdoors? Just because you don’t have an outlet around the corner doesn’t mean you need to give up your green smoothie habit! To bring green smoothies on your next camping trip, simply blend up a batch of smoothies the night before you leave and store them in airtight containers*. Stick the jars in the freezer and allow to freeze overnight. Before you head out, transfer your frozen smoothies to a cooler with lots of ice. They may not stay completely frozen, but they should stay cold! And of course—be sure to shake that smoothie before drinking :).
*PRO TIP: One thing you should know when pre-making smoothies is that not all green smoothie ingredients are great for blending in advance. When pre-making my smoothies, I tend to stick to recipes that use water as a base and contain spinach, peaches, mango, strawberry, and/or pineapple, with a little citrus added in—either lime, orange, or lemon—to help preserve flavor. Some ingredients that are a definite no-no for blending in advance (and I learned this the hard way!) are blueberries, raspberries, avocado, chia seeds, flax seed, almond milk, and bananas.
You have a couple options here. Depending on how long I’m going to be staying in the hotel, I'll either pre-make smoothies before I leave (like for camping), and then allow them to thaw in the hotel fridge (be sure to call ahead to make sure your room has a fridge) OR for long stays, I'll bring along my blender and blend right in my hotel room.
If you're planning to bring your blender along, here are some of my favorite tips:
1) Decide which recipes you want to blend in advance. For ease, I recommend sticking to recipes without a ton of ingredients. If you need some inspiration, be sure to check out the Simple Green Smoothies book—there's a whole section in there dedicated to simple recipes that only have 4-5 ingredients!
2) Pack a couple jars + lids and any superfoods/protein powder you need (I always travel with my Natural Citizen protein powder).
3) Decided where you're going to get your produce. Before you leave, do a little research and see if there is a grocery store near your hotel (if not—you can always have Amazon Fresh deliver!). If you can, go for pre-washed greens + frozen fruit, so you don't need to rinse or chop anything. Be sure to bring along an insulated cooler to store any frozen ingredients, and use the hotel's ice machine to re-fill the cooler each day.
“You bring your blender on the PLANE?” Yes. Yes, I do. After spending hours in a circulated-air germ factory, I definitely want to harness the immunity-boosting power of green smoothies once I land! And bringing your blender along really isn't a huge inconvenience. The trick here is to pack it correctly to make sure your blender doesn't get damaged on the flight.
The type of blender you pack is up to you, but if you travel a lot, I think it's worth it to invest in a smaller blender like a NutriBullet, Magic Bullet, or even an Immersion Blender. I still lug around one of my full-size, high-speed blenders from time to time, but personal blenders are much lighter + easier to pack.
The TSA recommends packing blenders in checked luggage. Even though I've had success packing one in my carry-on, I think it's worth playing it safe and packing it in a checked bag. Either way, make sure to pack your blender in such a way to prevent it from being damaged. I like to pack all of my smoothie supplies with my blender to keep everything organized. Pack your jar or bottle + any other supplies you need inside the container of your blender, using a dishtowel or t-shirt to help pad it. Fit it into your bag and pack clothes around it so it doesn't move around too much and has some padding.
If flying with your blender isn't an option, one of our community members also suggested a trick for flying with premade smoothies—if they are completely frozen you can get them through security. She says she freezes her smoothies and packs them in a cooler right before leaving for the airport. She puts them in the fridge at her hotel, and then travels home with empty containers! (P.S. I just tried this on a recent flight to Arizona, and it WORKED!)
What are you fav tips + tricks for bringing green smoothies on the road? Leave a comment and let me know!