Well, after two months of travel, we’ve officially hit our healthy hostel life groove.
We have accumulated a little supply of spices, staples, and supplies, and can whip up some pretty great healthy meals in a flash.
That is, of course, until you take away a pretty essential necessity, a kitchen.
The vast majority of the hostels we stay in have great shared kitchens, with all the supplies we need. Other’s don’t have a kitchen, but we’ve got a little fridge. In those cases we just plan ahead, and bring some pre made meals, or stick with simple things like cereal or salads.
The most challenging places, are the places that have no facilities. No kitchen, no fridge, nothing. How on earth do you eat healthy, when you have absolutely no amenities?
Well let me tell you my friend, it requires some serious creativity.
If you are travelling short term, you could just go out for meals, but we’re on a budget. Homemade meals are a way of life here in the land of Hostels and Hot Rollers.
So today I thought I would share some tips on how I manage to stay relatively healthy when faced with the dire circumstances of having no food amenities. Let’s start with my supplies:
Bananas, Apples, Oranges
I usually try, and buy the supplies when I find them, and keep them on hand. It’s a pretty limited shopping list, so if we get to a town that doesn’t have one or two items, I’m pretty much out of luck.
Next up is meals. Shaun, and I will usually make something in advance when we know we won’t have a kitchen. That means, the first night we get there we will have something for dinner. Usually some sort of rice, veggie, bean concoction (stored in all the empty peanut butter jars we are accumulating!)
After that, the meals start getting pretty creative. Here is an example of what I ate during our last kitchenless day:
Breakfast: Kate’s Magical Slop: Mmmm, doesn’t that sound appetizing? Don’t let the name fool you, this delicious concoction is both tasty, and will curb your hunger. I invented it by chance one morning by just throwing everything I had on hand in a bowl. So, my very precise recipe is: nut butter, oats, banana, almonds, protein powder, and a little bit of water. I like mine to look like a chunky cake batter. You can add whatever you want, coconut, raisins, granola…be creative! Be advised though, with all that protein, a little goes a long way with this concoction. A little bowl full can easily keep me going till lunch.
Lunch: Peanut Butter and Banana on (blank). Oh hello peanut butter, so we meet again. I usually smear some of this legume gold on rice cakes, and then slice some banana’s on top. Unfortunately, rice cakes aren’t always available. If all else fails I’ll use a mini wrap, or slice of bread, depending on what Shaun has hidden away in his carb stash.
Dinner: Tuna Vegetable Medley: When I first decided to try this concoction, I did not have high hopes. The thought of my entire dinner coming from cans made my stomach churn, but I forged ahead.
I was actually shocked at how much I enjoyed it! Maybe it’s just because it was a welcome change after a long day of peanut butter and banana overdose. Regardless, I actually look forward to this meal.
I always have a small can of light tuna in water on hand. One that has a snap open lid so you don’t have to deal with a can opener. Add in a can of drained vegetable medley (my fave is peas, beans, and carrots), a couple dashes of lizano, and some pepper, and you my friend have yourself a meal! If I’m looking to mix it up, I’ll put it in a wrap, or grab a small head of lettuce, and make it into a salad. Either way, in a pinch, this meal will do. (Full Disclosure I’m editing this post three days after writing this…and am sick of this meal now! Glad we have a kitchen tomorrow!)
To curb any potential Hanger throughout the day, these are the snacks that I keep on hand, or I’ll pick up, during our kitchenless times:
Carrots, and Cucumber- Buy and consume the same day
Nuts- Keep them in your purse, for emergency Hanger!
Kale Chips- If you’re lucky enough to find them
Buy a Smoothie-Add some of your protein powder to it if you’re really clever
Side salads- Nothing beats fresh greens
Eating like this is certainly forces you to be creative, and is not something I can sustain for more then a day or two. I feel fortunate that this moments are pretty few, and far between during our trip!
How would you eat healthy when faced with no kitchen??
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