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How to Stay Healthy While Traveling

Health, TravelAmanda Walter | Maple Alps3 Comments

Traveling is an amazing thing. Seeing the world and experiencing different cultures and landscapes and places can be a good way to shake things up a little. Of course, when we shake things up a little too much, our body sometimes suffers as well. There is nothing worse for me than getting sick on a trip, or right after one. Here are a few things I do to keep myself as healthy as possible, even through the stress of traveling.

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How to Stay Healthy While Traveling | www.maplealps.com
 

Eat As Close to Your Normal Healthy Diet as Possible

Don’t go from eating smoothies and kale salads to cheese fondue for breakfast every day for a week. I mean, you could, but your body might try to rebel and the results may not be pretty. I may or may not be speaking from experience. ;-) It won’t always be possible to eat your exact normal diet, but try.

 

Get Enough Sleep

It is definitely hard to get enough sleep during the holiday season or traveling. Friends and family may be in town, and parties are happening left and right. Do your best to get as much sleep as you can. I find that even a weekend of too little sleep leaves me feeling pretty awful and makes for a very long week. If you are traveling to a different time zone, you can use a small amount melatonin to help get you out of jet lag quicker. Note that melatonin is not a long term fix for sleep problems.

 
 

Choose Healthy Alternatives

While packing your own snacks is a health and money saver, when traveling for longer periods of time, it is often necessary that you stop for sustenance. Try to plan ahead by creating a meal plan for your vacation. The best thing for your wallet is finding a local grocery store to stock up on healthy foods and even meals. Of course, not everyone stays in facilities that allow you to cook your own meals, so thankfully, many fast food places and restaurants (and even grocery stores!) have started offering healthy options on their menus that you can take advantage of as well.

 

Drink Water

Water is so important! Staying hydrated will help keep you healthy! I pack my own water bottle and fill it up whenever there is an opportunity to so that I don’t have to buy giant, heavy, and often expensive, packs of water. Seriously, having to pay $4+ for a bottle of water is not fun when you are thirsty. I have actually experienced not even getting free water on a 6+ hour plane ride, so don’t assume you’ll get some on flights sometimes. If you do take a water bottle on a flight in you carry on, be sure it’s empty before you go through security. Yikes. By the way, you will also want to keep your skin hydrated with all the stress of travel.

 

MOVE!

If you regularly exercise (which you should be!), don’t let your habits go completely out of the window when you travel. If you’re staying in a hotel, there is a chance they have a fitness area where you can set aside some time to exercise. If not, Youtube is full of at home workouts that require no equipment and that cane be done in 20 minutes or less! Phone apps too. Walking will also help keep you active - especially when you have to sit for hours during the traveling process in trains, planes, and other automobiles. Just make sure you pack some good sneakers and gear!

 

Be Prepared

Be prepared for whatever conditions you will be facing. If you’re going to be having fun in the sun, make sure you pack a water bottle and sunscreen and a hat! Pack warm clothing for chilly weather. Borrow from hosts if you need to, by the way. We went to Canada and couldn’t pack our snow gear in our suitcases, so we borrowed from some cousins! Bring some immunity boosting vitamins and stuff to keep you clean. Pack a small first aid kit with some basic needs. You get the idea. Being prepared will help you stay healthy - or help you when you aren’t as successful.

 
 

What are some of the ways you stay healthy while traveling? Any other tips?


 
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Easy Ways to Cut Down on Refined Sugar

HealthAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

I have a definite sweet tooth. I didn’t always have one, and actually, as much of a sweet tooth I have, I prefer savory things. I do, however, go through periods where it seems I can’t get enough sweetness into my mouth. It’s a strange thing. Or is it? After reading up about refined sugar, I found the obvious: that too much can be really detrimental to our health!




I also found that sugar can be found in many of the products we buy in the grocery store. I had no idea about that until I took a no sugar challenge, where not even trace amounts of added sugar were allowed. I was reading every single label on every single product in the grocery store and found that there is a lot of unnecessary sugar out there!




Now, I’m not against a sugary treat every now and again, but I think it is important to limit how much sugar we put into our bodies! Your mother always told you that too much of a good thing is not good. And she was right.

Easy Ways to Cut Down on Refined Sugar | www.maplealps.com




Cut down on sugary drinks

This is pretty straight forward. Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Beware of bottled juices though - some hide large amounts of sugar that are not naturally occuring. Try some of the following if you think you absolutely cannot handle plain water:


Infused water

If you can’t stand the taste of water (I personally love it), feel free to infuse it with fresh fruit, vegetables, or herbs. Not only does it spice up your water, it makes it look extra pretty too! You can easily do this by adding them to your water pitcher or glass, or even buying a fancy one that is made to infuse (check this one out from Amazon).

Herbal Tea

I love having some herbal tea in the morning or before bed. It’s hot, so it’s more comforting to drink than water, but contains zero sugar when you don’t sweeten it!




Make your own food staples

There is a lot of refined sugar hidden in a lot of staples you buy in the store, like bread and granola and even sauces in a jar. You can even find extra amounts of sugar in canned foods (like canned fruit) that are unnecessary. By making your own, or cutting your own, you can avoid these ingredients and choose exactly what goes into your food.


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Cut Out Sugary Desserts

Many desserts are just calorie dense and provide few nutrients. If you need something sweet after you eat, try to have a bit of fruit or splurge and have a small piece of dark chocolate.



Eat full, whole-food meals

By eating full, whole-food meals, you can generally reduce the temptation to snack in between. Especially the sweet kind. Personally, my parents never really allowed me to eat between meals growing up, so this isn’t hard for me, but I know it can be a challenge.



Replace Sugary Condiments

Many condiments such as ketchup and BBQ sauce are filled with sugar. One tablespoon of ketchup, for example, may have up to 4 grams of sugar in it! Use some low sugar options to substitute for condiments. There are plenty of options, including different fresh or dried herbs and spices and homemade sauces.



Beware of Processed Snacks

Watch out for foods that are marketed as healthy. Things such as granola bars and protein bars and dried fruit can contain large amounts of sugar - sometimes even more than a chocolate bar. You can make your own trail mixes that don’t contain extra sugar, or make your own crackers to add to soups!



Read Labels

Did you know there are at least 56 names for sugar?! Check your labels for sneaky sugars hiding out in the ingredients list. Watch for anything ending in “-ose.” Here are some common names you should look out for: High-fructose corn syrup, Cane sugar or juice, Maltose, Dextrose, Invert sugar, Rice syrup, and Molasses Caramel.




 

Eating Cleaner on a Budget

MoneyAmanda Walter | Maple Alps13 Comments

One of the things I hear most from people when we talk about eating clean or healthy is, “but I can’t afford to eat healthily!”

I honestly used to think the same way, but now I know that everything is doable on a budget - you just have to prioritize and do a little research! Below are a few of my favourite ways to eat clean on a budget. 

Eating Cleaner on a Budget | www.maplealps.com

 

Use Your Freezer

There are so many great foods that freeze so well! When I stock up on our favourite staples, I always consider how well it keeps. Since there are only two of us, our freezer gets a lot of use. Some favourites to stock in there are spinach, kale, tofu, beans, nuts(!), and tomatoes.

 

Plan Ahead

Make a meal plan to most effectively use your groceries.

 

Eat less meat/Be a vegetarian

We choose to not eat any meat at all and it has cut down on our grocery bill. Yes, while there are meat substitutes out there that are wildly expensive, we choose to greatly limit these as well and opt for making it from scratch or only having it once in a blue moon (a.k.a. When there is a crazy sale). Most meat substitutes found in stores are highly processed and full of sodium anyway, and aren’t the best for you!

Eating Cleaner on a Budget | www.maplealps.com

 

Consider a Homemade Pantry

Pancake mixes, cake mixes, canned beans….all of these things and more you can do yourself! It’s actually simple, takes the same amount of time as it would to go to the store and buy them, and is much better for both your wallet and your body! One cookbook I use that helps me greatly is The Homemade Vegan Pantry. I love all of the ideas in it and adapt them for my own use.

 

Save Your Scraps 

Don’t waste those onion skins and celery and carrot ends! Collect them and store them in your freezer and make a simple vegetable broth (that can also be frozen, by the way!). That saves on having to buy veggie stock.

 

Reusable Water Bottles

If drinking more water is in your cleaner eating plan, skip buying the bottled water and the extra sugar and calories from bottled juices and invest in a good quality reusable water bottle. Pay next to nothing and stay hydrated - it’s a no-brainer and a win-win.

Eating Cleaner on a Budget | www.maplealps.com



Shop in Season and Locally

Start paying attention to what is in season for cheaper produce. Shopping locally will not only give you a great deal but also help your local farms and community! Your freezer comes in handy for this as well - so much produce, depending on what you want to do with it later - can be frozen until you're ready for it. That way, it doesn't go to waste.

 

Skip Organic Produce in Some Cases

If you've ever heard of the dirty dozen then you'll know that there are some foods that you can skip in the organic section, and some you probably shouldn't. Your decision!

 

Try Store Brands

So many grocery stores offer high-quality organic food for less [enter applause]! 

 

Don't Forget Apps!

Using apps to save me money has really paid off over the last few years - no pun intended! One of my favourite rebate apps for grocery shopping is Ibotta and I love it! By the way: Use my referral link to download Ibotta and get a $10 welcome bonus!

 

Eating clean doesn't have to make you go broke by any means! With a little extra effort, you can make your dollars stretch!

 
Eating clean on a budget is easier than you thought!
 

How do you eat clean on a budget?


 
 

DIY Vegan Chicken-Style Seasoning

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps4 Comments

Growing up, we would have McKay's Chicken-Style Seasoning on occasion (especially since I was mostly vegetarian). However, the stuff is crazy expensive, in my humble opinion, and it contains ingredients not suitable for our current lifestyle such as MSG and lactose. Lactose!! I was honestly shocked when I picked up a jar to read the ingredients! 

The only solution was to make some myself. It took a few months before I got something I like, but I have finally done it. I felt that sharing it was almost a duty. I was so excited about this I could hardly wait!

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DIY Vegan Chicken-Style Seasoning | www.maplealps.com

It's not as salty as the original, which I actually prefer (you can always add more), and the flavour is out of this world - well, actually it's out of my pantry, but that just makes it that much easier for YOU to make too!

I use it in pretty much everything - soups, sauces, gravies, you name it!

DIY Vegan No Chicken-Style Seasoning | www.maplealps.com

Vegan No Chicken-Style Seasoning

What you need:

  • 1/2 C Nutritional Yeast Flakes

  • 2 TBSP Sea Salt

  • 4 tsp Garlic Powder

  • 2 tsp Onion Powder

  • 4 tsp Celery Salt

  • 4 tsp Turmeric

  • 4 tsp Parsley

  • 1 tsp Basil

What to do:

1) Combine all ingredients and mix well - either in a mortar and pestle or food processor.

2) Store in airtight container for up to 4 months.

 
 

Healthy Vegan Snacks for the Road: 3 Easy Recipes

Health, RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps8 Comments

Eating healthy on the road is a feat. Whether you’re on a road trip, on a hike or you’ve decided to get out of town for a few days, you still need to take care of what you’re going to eat while travelling. Sure, you can always go for some greasy junk food in diners along the way, but you better believe that those calories will stay right where you are and they’re not that good for you to begin with. This is why we come to you with healthy vegan snacks suggestions that are perfect when you’re hitting the road and you need to eat right.

Healthy Vegan Snacks for the Road: 3 Easy Recipes | www.maplealps.com

 

Yummy Vegan Granola Bars

There are many recipes for granola bars that taste great and are really filling, but we decided for this chocolate chip one that is very easy to make and can last for a few days. With these, you don’t have to buy chocolate bars or any other sweet; they’re scrumptious enough.

  • 1½ cup of oats

  • 1 cup of pitted dates

  • ¼ cup of maple syrup

  • ¼ cup of almond butter

  • ¼ cup of vegan chocolate chips

  • ½ cup of raw cashews

  • ½ cup of raw almonds.

Bake the oats for up to 15 minutes in the oven, the temperature should be 350 degrees F. While they’re toasting, pulse out cashews and almonds in your food processor just until they’re in chunks and then mix them with roasted oats in a bowl.

After that, take your dates and use your food processor to make them pasty and finely chopped, and then add them into the bowl as well.

Take a saucepan where you can warm up the maple syrup and peanut butter (on a low heat) and then pour it over the oats, nuts and dates mixture. It’s mixing time, so don’t give up until you get a well-combined sticky mess. Line a tray with parchment paper, pour the mixture into it and press it down firmly, after which it’s time for the chocolate chips. When you’ve pressed them into the mixture too, you should put it all into the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. After the granola is hardened, you can cut it into even pieces, put it in a plastic container and take it on the road with you.

 

 
 

Fresh Veggies and Hummus

Though it might be a bit rough to preserve fresh veggies for a longer period of time, you can always restock on the go and it’s actually more affordable than buying chips and snacks. Carrot sticks and celery are always a good way to go, because they don’t have to be refrigerated to stay nice and crunchy, but you can also go for some sliced bell pepper, cauliflower and even cucumber. You can add some spices into the combination and we always suggest taking some hummus along with you because let’s face it, hummus goes well with everything. If you want to go all out and make your own hummus, there are some excellent recipes out there, but we’re giving you our favorite and simplest one. Anybody like garlic?

Take your garlic bulb and cut off the top, so that you can clearly see the cloves. Generously drizzle olive oil over it, add a bit of salt and wrap it in aluminum foil. Roast it in the oven at 375 degrees F for an hour.

When the garlic is done, make sure to gently squeeze it out of the peel and put all the creamy garlicky goodness into the food processor. Add the rest of the listed ingredients into the processor and then mix it until it gets smooth and hummus-like. Get it into a container and you’ve got yourself a healthy and delicious vegan dip.

  • 1 large garlic bulb

  • 2 cans of chickpeas (don’t forget to rinse them)

  • juice of 1 lemon

  • 3 tbsp. tahini

  • ¼ cup water

  • 3 tablespoons EVOO

  • ¼ teaspoon of sea salt

 

 
 

Energy Bite

These little balls of joy and taste are a great way to go when you’re craving something sweet, and there’s no vegan treat in sight. Besides, nothing beats eating healthy food you’ve made yourself. Here’s one recipe that can be taken anywhere you go, it won’t get bad easily and it’s filling. When you’re on the road and filling a bit hungry, reach for these ginger-fueled energy bites and enjoy.

Put the walnuts into the food processor and pulse until they’re chopped well. Add the dates and pulse continually so that you get a mixture that resembles a dough. Chuck in the rest of the ingredients and mix until you’re satisfied with what you have, after which you can roll the dough into balls and have them on the go. Portion yield: 15+ gingerbread bites.

  • 1 cup of quick oats

  • 2 tbsp. of maple syrup

  • 1¼ cup of walnut pieces

  • 3 tsp. of ground ginger

  • 2 tbsp. of blackstrap molasses

  • 1 cup of dates

  • ½ tsp. of sea salt

  • 2 tbsp. of cinnamon

 

As you can see, preparing vegan snacks for the road doesn’t have to be complicated nor expensive. These munches are simple to make, they will help you stay full longer and what’s most important, they will allow you to eat healthy even when the conditions for it are not ideal. 

 

 


Monica Nichols is a 32-year-old fashion designer and freelance writer from Omaha, Nebraska. She's been writing for www.diet.st since 2014, and in her free time, she likes making pottery and playing with her pet cat.

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