The Daily Beet

25 Aug Where Did the Summer Go?

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Vacation is over. I am not sure where my summer went, but it evaporated. I’d like to bottle a summer from my third-grade, where little did I know that I was a triathelete-in-training, because I swam, rode a bike and ran every day.

One of the things that I scoped out during the summer was handling healthy food options while road tripping to your destination. We live outside of Philadelphia, and head to the Eastern Shore of Virginia every summer. It’s a four hour drive, and convenience stores have upped their game for those of us who eat plant-strong.

If you’ve been to Chincotague Island, you know that it is a sleepy place and people are still waiting for healthy food trends to arrive. This was evident in my panic when I realized that I did not bring nutritional yeast with me. We do a lot of cooking when we are away, and if you live plant-strong, for me, cooking without “nooch” as it is affectionately called, is like cooking without water when you want to boil potatoes. I scoped the Island, went to drugstores, but to no avail. Mustard and hot sauce were a good substitute, but, I missed that cheesy flavor that nooch brings to the table.

So, my advice is simple. DO NOT FORGET TO PACK NUTRTIONAL YEAST. And, my other advice comes in the form of what plant-strong foods there are in convenience stores for you to enjoy!

Ten Foods to Grab Along the Road

1. Fresh fruit is everywhere. Have an orange, apple, or banana for a refreshing snack. I was surprised that packaged grapes and blueberries were also part of the selection.

2. Ready-made salads. They might not be your salad ideal, but they will be packed with fresh veggies. Just make certain to check the expiration date. Head over to the deli section and ask for a few fresh slices of lemon wedges—makes a great dressing. Mustard packets are also a good substitute.

3. If drive-thru is your thing, do not lose hope. Again, skip the burgers and fries, and order a garden salad. And fast food places always have lemon for your salad dressing.

4. Fast-food plain baked potatoes. Get a potato, and a salad. Top the potato with the salad. It will be super tasty. And that potato is satisfying and packed with Vitamin C!

5. If pizza is your thing, give this a try. Now, mind you, in the ideal plant-based pizza world, there would be a whole wheat crust. If that isn’t being offered, order a pizza “hold the cheese,” add broccoli, onions, peppers, olives, and any other veggies that will add color and texture, as well as taste, to this delicious pizza. Remember, no oil.

6. Frozen yogurt shoppes are popping up everywhere. Hold the swirl of vegan frozen stuff, and opt for just the fresh fruit at the “fixings bar.” The vegan “screams” are loaded with sugar. And, you can really make a great fruit salad, loaded with peaches, mangos, berries, and more.

7. Cool, clear water. Did you know that on the “soda fountain machine” there is a white button that you can push for a nice glass of cool water? And on some of the newer machines, you can even find seltzer? Plus, it’s almost always free! Fill your water bottle to the top!

8. Skip the Joe. It seems as though herbal teas have made it to the coffee bar of most convenience stores. Grab your favorite tea bag and enjoy a cup of herbal tea for the road.

9. Need something crunchy? Those individually wrapped carrot and celery packages look as though they would fit the bill. Avoid the dressings.

10. At the Deli Counter instead of getting that veggie hoagie, ask for “everything in a bowl.” A nice fresh salad just might be a great addition to your day.

Getaways are always fun, and you may as well eat healthy foods so that you enjoy your excursion even more.

On our recent trip, there was no kale at the one grocery store in town. The only place where I found kale during our stay was as a garnish on dishes while eating out, and yes, I ate everyone’s kale.

Happy trails!

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Char Nolan for Engine 2
Char Nolan

Char Nolan is a blog contributor and Engine 2 Extra Coach. She's been plant-strong for almost five years. From Philadelphia, she works in the plant-based whole foods arena, and is also the "vegan features writer," for the "Town Dish." She's lost a great deal of weight from being plant-strong, practices yoga, and is always dabbling in her kitchen to create new, plant-strong recipes. Armed with a degree in public health, Char also holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from e-Cornell.

  • Matt Jager
    Posted at 17:14h, 25 August

    Fun article Char, don’t forget the nooch! Thanks for sharing

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