{Today’s Lunchbox} Return from Travel: Part Two

by Valerie on August 28, 2011 · 1 comment

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It feels somewhat wrong to be writing about as mundane a topic as keeping up with one’s wellness routine post-travel (see part 1) when Washington is waking up post-storm while Irene has now moved on to New York and New Jersey.  Then again, I do not really know what else to say about the storm – I got rained on a bit yesterday, then I hid at home where I was warm and sleepy, made a tropical smoothie, doctored up leftover quinoa and lentils with some homemade tomato sauce, played around with a different version of Ricki’s latest amazing creation, Chocolate Bean Butter, talked to a friend, and then read a magazine. While we kept computers on, neither my husband or I turned on the TV (more by mutual tacit agreement than anything else) and every half hour one of us would comment on how the rain was just getting heavier.  It was far from a traumatic hurricane experience, and for that I am grateful.  I hope more people had my hurricane evening than a disruptive one, though I know hundreds of thousands are without power and there has been devastation and fatalities as a result of this storm.

I did want to finish this series with a few more tips people emailed me and some additional thoughts:

  • The Freezer  – I mentioned on Tuesday using the freezer to your advantage when you travel.  For me that is a three-fold approach.  Any leftover grains or legumes can be frozen and be the base of a meal when you get back.  Many raw veggies will survive just fine for a few days to a week or two in the freezer, without losing their consistency too much.  For example I froze some raw peppers that were diced prior to freezing.  They released some water when defrosting, but once that was drained, were a welcome addition to salads and lunchboxes (like this lunchbox).  Another option is to sauté some vegetables for a couple of minutes and freeze those as a make-ahead meal.  For freezing vegetables in this manner, I view it as a short extension of their life in the fridge rather than a long-term storage solution.
  • Produce  – my default is to go to the grocery store as soon as I get back from a trip, but you could also pick up produce on your way home.  Even a couple of bananas or apples from a conference breakfast can travel home easily and add some fresh fruit to your breakfast the next morning.
  • Water – I am actually almost fanatical about drinking lots of water while I travel, but many are not, and Keelie’s comment on Tuesday reminded me of the importance of drinking lots of water, both during and after your trip. Planes and hotels tend to have dehydrating air, so water is always a good thing during travel.
  • Pick a couple easy versatile dishes that are quick to make – for me that was making Cheezy Red Pepper Hemp Dressing on Sunday night, which dressed up leftover grains and lentil salads all week, and hummus and a new black bean hummus/dip situation on Tuesday night (which popped up in this dip-filled lunchbox).  Along with a block of Twin Oaks tofu, these items added protein and nutrient density to vegetables and grains and beans with minimum effort.
  • Rely on simplicity and timesavers – for me that is eating a lot of simple raw foods and paying for some convenience like buying some kale chips and crackers and buying juice
  • Time zones – Victoria, the District Chocoholic, mentioned staying on the schedule of your own time zone, which I have heard works for many people.  I have yet to master jet lag as it seems to affect me differently every time, but I wanted to pass this tip along.
  • Exercise and rest – those go without saying.  I find that I cannot exercise if I do not have adequate rest, so I balance the two.

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General Disclosures

Specific Disclosure: I received Twin Oaks Tofu from the company a few months ago.  That tofu supply is long gone, and I purchased the tofu in this lunchbox myself, but I wanted to emphasize that the fact I received free products in the past did not affect my perception of the product, and the views expressed in past Twin Oaks Tofu mentions on this blog, as well as this particular lunchbox post, are my own and remain uninfluenced.


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Katie (quick cook rice) August 30, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Your hurricane day sounds a lot like mine. It was a good reason to stay inside and be cozy. You're right. I'm definitely grateful for that.


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