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Healthy, Nutritious Motorcycle Travel Foods

I recently ran across an article in a club newsletter, written by a member about how to make healthy and hearty meals while moto-camping. The examples used canned meats, Campbell's soups and white flour pasta. The idea being that this type of match-making was healthier than freeze-dried food. And while that may be so to a minor extent, this person appears to be trapped in the canned food bubble laid upon humans in the 1950's which includes excessive levels of salt, preservatives and whatever Monsanto wants to throw at us next.

Bantering about the words 'heathy' and 'nutritious' in the article was such an oxymoron to the reality of the food being offered, I was inspired to sit down and come up with a list of truly healthy and nutritious foods riders can enjoy on the road.

Just so you have a better sense of where my list is coming from, you might want to know that although I'll go with the flow when eating out, at home I cook with clean proteins like grass fed meats and wild-caught seafood, and use as much USDA certified organic ingredients otherwise. 150 years ago we didn't have Monsanto, nitrates, nitrites and other factors meddling with the food supply. We also didn't have space food sticks, high sodium canned soups, excessively sugar-laden candy bars or energy drinks. We're all better off when we leave those things out of our diets, both on and off the road.

Pick up a copy of the book, Smart Fat (2016) for lessons in the latest understandings of food.

A lot of the motorcycling thought process when it comes to packing runs parallel to that of a back packer. If that's where you're at it's time to move on beyond that mindset. Back packers don't need to stop for petrol every several hundred miles, but for riders, that almost always means we can shop daily, so there is plenty to forage on that will hold until you make it later that night or in the morning.

The list offered up here is of dried goods and other foods that will hold at least several days without going bad, or can be purchased the day they are going to be eaten.

Nuts - starting with the obvious, nuts are a great source of protein and other goodness we all need each day in our diet. The best and least expensive way to purchase them is in bulk. Look for raw or roasted nuts that aren't sugar coated in the process. When it comes to flavor, I prefer my almonds roasted over raw, and because of their nutritional value, they are my number one nut of choice. 10 almonds will go a long way in satiating hunger around snack time, then say a Snickers bar.

Fruits - Oranges, apples, apricots and pears pack nicely and withstand a minor beating in your luggage. But it's also nice to stop off at a fruit stand and grab peaches, bananas, grapes, cherries, berries and other items that may not pack so well over a day or so. Unless you're getting the fruits marked as USDA organic, be sure to wash them well so you're not ingesting pesticides sprayed on them in the weeks prior to harvest.

Real Veggies - Carrots and celery are the two most common veggies to find on the road and will last a few days packed without refrigeration. They work together nicely with hummus and nut butters and retain 100% of their health qualities when eaten raw. But - be sure to wash them up in advance of eating them.

Rice Cakes - Rice cakes are a great addition to enjoying things like nut butters, hummus and other items coming up in a moment. They travel well, but you'll need to do your homework before buying them. They are available in all sorts of grades from crap to healthy. Go for healthy. The best kind of rice for you is whole brown rice, so look for organic brown rice cakes. Available at better grocers and on Amazon.

Nut Butters - Just like nuts, nut butters are a great go along because they don't need to be refrigerated and travel well. The best way to buy them is in the bulk section of a better market and some markets allow you to grind the nuts onsite. We're not talking Skippy peanut butter because that type of product is filled with sugar and other badness. Go for just the nuts ground.

Hummus - Like almonds, hummus, which originated in Egypt, is another superfood full of all kinds of goodness. It comes in all sorts of blends to so you can really mix up the flavors. Use it for dip, or spread it across a rice cake. Since it does need refrigeration, this is one to pick up the day you plan to eat it and consume it all at that meal.

Dried Meats - Well, here's a can of worms. 95% of the dried meats on the market are horrible for you. They are high in salt, often loaded with nitrates and nitrites. But we're going back to better days when it comes to food and you can now source uncured, grass fed, preservative free beef sticks and otherwise. You just have to spend a little time to source them. If you can't find them locally, they are easily purchased online.

Cheeses - There are many kinds of cheeses, and many will travel several days or more without going bad. If you can't locate organic cheese, look for cheeses with the least ingredients and be sure you can annunciate all the words on the package. A lot of larger grocery stores have cheese mongers inside that have freshly made cheeses that haven't been living in plastic packaging and don't contain chemical preservatives. Swiss, cheddar and other soft cheeses are fine for a day or two of travel, but harder cheeses like solid bricks of parmesan will go even longer.

Chocolate - Like dried meats, 95% of the available chocolate on the market is not very good for you. Instead look for chocolate that has 70% or higher of cacao and is USDA organic. In the Pacific Northwest, the two most accessible brands are Justin's and Theos. Watch for great pricing each time you shop, then scoop up vast quantities when the price is right so you have them at the ready for your next trip. Perfect for snacks and deserts.

Chips and Salsa - This is a combo to purchase the day you plan to eat it. Obviously, chips don't travel well and salsa needs refrigeration. Look for USDA Organic corn chips and freshly made salsa if it's available. Then gorge on it for dinner!

Dried Fruits - This is here with hesitation. In moderation, dried fruits have their value, but overdoing will put a heavy glycemic load on your system you don't need when you're travelling or otherwise. Again, search the bulk section of a better grocery store like Whole Foods for organic dried fruits so you know you're doing the best you can for yourself.

TM/March 17


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