Healthy Eating on the Road Part 2: Breakfast!

 

A while ago, I shared part 1 of Healthy Eating on the Road, giving some basic tips for staying healthy while travelling. I know I have a lot of musician friends out there who struggle to find healthy options while on tour. I’ll be doing a few Friday posts sharing my favourite health nut tips and recipes to help you plan ahead so that you don’t have to eat crap and feel like crap on the road!

Part 2 is all about BREAKFAST. If you travel a lot for gigs and the food options are pretty slim, these tips might be just what you need to start off your day on tour!

Leaving at 7am to make it to your next venue by 6pm is no fun, and doesn’t leave much time or brainpower for making a good breakfast.  The trick is to be organized the day before! Below are loads of delicious, simple foods you can make or buy in advance and bring with you to avoid the seemingly inevitable 9am McDonalds’ pitstop. 

1. Nature’s Breakfast: fruit, berries, nuts and seeds

Ready-to-eat whole foods such as fruit, nuts and seeds make an awesome breakfast because they involve no preparation at all, and don’t even need to be refrigerated! You just need to buy them in advance. Choose local and/or organic veggies if you can, as these have more of the good stuff (vitamins, minerals and antioxidants) and less of the bad stuff (pesticides and weird textures from being picked before ripening).

Try keeping fresh fruit such as apples, bananas or berries in your bag for a quick morning brekkie. Berries are amazing because they contain lots of protective antioxidants such as vitamin C, and they also contain less sugar than other fruits! Just make sure you aren’t storing them right beside your gig clothes as that could get messy. 

One problem with a fruit-only breakfast is that it can spike your blood sugars and leave you feeling hungry an hour later. To avoid this, try pairing your berries with a handful of raw nuts and/or seeds for a more balanced breakfast. Raw nuts and seeds are an excellent energy source because they contain lots of protein and good fats, so are the perfect snack for keeping you going without spiking your blood sugars too much. 

2. Make your own granola

FullSizeRender (35)

If you’re travelling more long-term and get access to a kitchen, you can make your own granola to last you for the week, and BOOM that’s breakfast sorted for ya! I have stayed in a few hostels where backpackers shared their granola recipes with other guests by sticking them on the fridge! You can find healthy granola recipes on my blog here and here. Once you’ve made and cooled the granola, store it in a ziplock bag and keep in your car or bag for a quick breakfast or snack!

3. Make your own travel treats.

The day before you leave, set aside some time to premake a few healthy snacks for your trip. 

One really easy option is trail mix: Just combine your favourite nuts, seeds, and dried fruits in a plastic bag and bring it with you! (e.g. almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and maybe some fruit like grapes, raisins or dates). Make sure to buy your nuts raw and unsalted, with no suspicious extras in the ingredients list. Unfortunately, store-bought roasted nuts are often made using unhealthy oils such as canola or sunflower oil that you’re better off avoiding. 

If you want to get fancy, you could try my grain-free granola recipe, which tastes amazing on its own as a trail mix! It combines nuts, seeds, coconut chips, maple syrup and sea salt together to make an awesome sweet-salty snack!

Another great idea is to pre-make a bunch of energy balls and granola bars to bring with you. Although I LOVE making raw truffles and raw energy balls, they do tend to get a bit soft if they’re out of the refrigerator for more than a couple of hours, so might not work if you have long days and no way of keeping them cool. Granola bars are a far more portable option. I’ve shared a recipe here for some grain-free ones, and am still working on perfecting my favourite oat-based ones which will be up on the blog soon!

There we go. That’s breakfast taken care of. Stop by next week for some lunch tips!

 

Teeny x

 

Cashew-Cacao Spring Balls

FullSizeRender (25).jpg

Happy Spring everyone! Apparently the first day of Spring was on Monday. I don’t know about everywhere else, but it definitely feels more like winter here in Dublin today (thanks to the grey skies and sideways rain). If you’re like me and sometimes need a little chocolatey pick-me-up to keep you going on grey days like these, you’ll LOVE this delicious little number.

There are so many variations on energy ball recipes out there. Personally, I like to keep it simple. These Cashew-Cacao Spring Balls contain only 5 ingredients, and will definitely put a spring in your step! (Pro tip: if you’re watching you sodium intake, they work great without the sea salt, and will only contain 4 ingredients! Yuss!)

FullSizeRender (16)
5 ingredients: cashews, dates, cacao powder, coconut oil & sea salt.

Medjool dates are appearing in all sorts of recipes lately, and it’s no wonder really. They have an amazing ability to add natural sweetness as well as a delicious, caramelly texture to sweet dishes. On top of that, they are a great source of  potassium, magnesium and fibre! This recipe works out at less than 1 date per ball, so you don’t even need that many dates to get that amazing decadent, sweet taste!

FullSizeRender (18)

When it comes to choosing sweeteners, it’s important to choose your poison wisely, and enjoy in moderation. Some good options are dates, raw honey, good quality maple syrup, and coconut blossom sugar. Remember that all these healthy(ish) sweeteners DO contain naturally-occuring sugars (mostly glucose and fructose), so are not sugar-free. They’re just refined sugar-free. 

The difference between eating lots of dates and eating lots of refined (cane) sugar is that when you eat refined sugar all you get is the calories, with absolutely no other nutrients. When you choose a natural, unprocessed sweetener (like the ones mentioned above), you’re getting lots of other great nutrients along with the natural sugars in dates. For this reason, natural sweeteners are more satiating, and less likely to lead to a sugar crash a few hours later.

Now, the fun part: the recipe. Warning: this one involves getting your hands messy!

 

*This recipe is vegan-friendly, gluten-free, refined sugar-free & grain-free*

Cashew-Cacao Spring Balls

MAKES: approx. 12  | PREP TIME: 20 min

INGREDIENTS

7 dates

150g cashews

3 tablespoons cacao powder

1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

1/4 tsp sea salt (or to taste)

METHOD

Pro tip: if the Medjool dates you bought are a bit tough, you might need to soak them in boiling water for about 15 minutes, and then drain them before adding them in step 2, with a tablespoon of their soaking water.  

  1. Place 2/3 of the cashews in a blender or food processor, and blend until you get a fine flour. Throw in the remainder of the cashews and pulse to get a rougher texture. Take all cashews out and set aside.
  2. Place the dates and the tablespoon of melted coconut oil in the food processor, and blend until you get a thick paste.
  3. Add the blended cashews back in on top of the dates, along with the cacao powder and sea salt. Blend everything together until you get a thick, chocolate-y dough-like texture (see photos).
  4. Pinch a bit of the mixture into your hands and roll until it forms a ball (about the size of a ping-pong ball). Repeat until you run out of mixture. It made 12 for me.
  5. Place in a container in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up, then store in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-5 days.