Healthy eating on the road — almost an oxymoron

Yes, 4-Leaf eating on the road can be challenging…but not impossible.

34 Main Street in Stonington, CT, the location of my first calories of the day.

Today, I awoke in my own bed at 0645 and had a leisurely three hours before arriving at PVD (Providence, RI airport) for my all-day trip to Florida. The first step in eating healthy while traveling is starting out with a proven 4-Leaf meal at home. So that’s exactly what I did, serving myself a delicious and nutritious Sailors Daily Oatmeal at my home in Stonington, CT.

Under the watchful eye of Christmas Clyde, I consumed my first 500 calories of the day with about 95% of them coming from whole, plant-based foods, still in nature’s package. The only part of the meal that was not whole plants, was the unsweetened vanilla almond portion of the cold liquid that softened up my oats — just right.

Christmas Clyde -- my holiday buddy, he brightens my home from Thanksgiving until my birthday in February.

My next stop was the Mystic Starbucks, where I only had one small, black, unsweetened Pike Place. I arrived at PVD around 0945 feeling good and enjoyed a non-stressful trip through the TSA Army. Wanting to have a few calories before my first flight to Atlanta, I had a small bag of almonds at the airport Starbucks and ate some of them along with my fresh banana that I brought from home.

Score at flight time: about 95% from whole plants, but the nuts put me up close to my 20% limit for fat. After settling into 12D on the aisle, I ordered a Delta Airlines cookie along with my Coke on the rocks — a No-Leaf snack but not that many calories. After landing in Atlanta at 2:30 p.m., I made my way to the Delta Sky Club on Concourse A. There I loaded up on the carrots, celery, olives and hummus (See picture) while enjoying a glass of wine — all courtesy of Delta Airlines; as long as you have a platinum Amex card.

Maybe not quite a 4-Leaf, but it was way ahead of whoever had the second-healthiest meal at the Atlanta Airport today.

So, as I boarded my flight for South Florida, I figure that I was still at the high 3-Leaf or low 4-Leaf level of eating for the day. While enjoying my 3-Leaf luncheon, I played a little game of BMI Sampling — estimating the approximate BMI (body mass index) of those who passed by my high-top table.

After 20 minutes of playing this little game, my score vs. the crowd was 99 to 1. Only one person was estimated to have a lower BMI than mine (about 21.0). As for an average, I would have to say that it was between 29 and 31 — borderline obese. Every time I travel, I realize that our sad national statistics on obesity are accurate, if not understated.

After a nice flight to Fort Myers, I arrived in Naples, where I enjoyed a lovely dinner with Ruth, Clark and a few friends. At my all-time favorite, Bleu Provence, in Crayton Cove, I ordered a yummy gazpacho, followed by three sides of veggies: mushrooms, asparagus and broccoli.  So I figure that I ended up with at least a high 3-Leaf day; not bad when you’re traveling. For the record, I did not have a single calorie of animal product, but did have a few glasses of wine, some bread and a cookie.

If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page.

And if you like what 4-Leaf eating is doing for you and your family, you might enjoy visiting our new “4-Leaf Gear” store. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

J. Morris Hicks, author and activist. Working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at

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About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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8 Responses to Healthy eating on the road — almost an oxymoron

  1. mike crosby says:

    First time here on the blog. Led here from Vegsource.

    Must say, maybe I’m too strict with my diet. Rarely have nuts, don’t drink alcohol, would not drink a soda, and definitely not eat the cookie.

  2. Denise Welsh says:

    Life is about choices not regiments. It is called wiggle room and with out some flexibility we would all bomb out sooner or later. No, Jim you won’t go to H*** because you had one coke and a cookie. If I learned anything from your posts, It’s the Big Picture not the small. Keep up the good work 🙂

    p.s. It shows that you are human tooooooooo.

  3. Jean Myers says:

    Thanks for sharing what you do in the real world. While I realize the above comments are true about the unhealthiness of Coke, cookies, etc., when you are trying to help the masses change to healthier eating, you cannot come across as a fanatic or you turn everyone totally off.

    Is it better for a very few to eat pure diets or for a lot of people to eat mostly healthy diets? Thanks for keeping the big picture in mind! Jean

  4. Leo M. Schwaiger says:

    It might be best to fast while on a trip that only takes a few hours or just take fruit if you feel you must eat. It might be best to eat the banana first which should digest quicker, and wait about an hour before eating the almonds which require different digestive juices, take longer to digest and might hinder the digestion of both. A cookie? What were the ingredients? A Coke? I know what it is CALLED but WHAT IS IT? Aspartame changes to harmful products above 86 degrees (4th paragraph in the link). The normal body temperature is 98.6. Even if the drink comes from a refrigerated dispenser the body will increase its temperature and may cause it to change to toxic products and affect the cells.

    I have your book and am sending copies to relatives. Glad you didn’t include those comments in the book. People just don’t realize that just because somethimg is sold does not mean that it is good for you. Tried to teach our kids to ask themselves every time they chose something to put into their body–I know what it is called but what is it? The answer might keep them from eating it just because “it tastes good.”

    Wishing you continued success with your book and efforts.

  5. Jim,

    You are a lot more liberal in your food choices. I would have difficulty with food as I did when I flew to the McDougall clinic in California. Airport food plus airline food for me is a no, no. I don’t eat until I know it’s safe.

    sligg (eat more broccoli)

    Sal Liggieri

  6. MiMi McGee says:

    I agree that travel can strip the leaves from our plant-based 4 leaf eating plan, its nearly impossible for those of us who travel to remote places on the planet where magpie goose or muktuk are the only offerings. I have come to realize that eating this way is actually a privilege because we have choices where many do not. I have however often wondered if I should choose the lean, wild caught animal product over a processed, fat-laden vegan option when those are the only choices. Love your blog! If you are ever in Maine or coastal GA, stop in for a healthy 4-leaf meal.

  7. Bill Kranker says:

    Coke on Ice?? I think you may have wilted a couple of leaves with that addition!

    Remember if it is health you are seeking, processed foods can be more hazardous that animal foods in most cases. Processed corn syrup (Coke, Pepsi etc) are far from health promoting or planet saving.

    Sorry to knit pick your travel diet.


  8. Jim – you are the best, most beneficial blogger out there! Great eating while traveling report.

    I am into my 9th day of water-only fast and feeling fine. Will go to my family doctor today to expose him to the effort and ask for some lab tests. I’ll start to eat agin on day 10 – Tuesday. Have lost 16 lb. — from 142 to 126. Some will come back as salt is in the diet, increasing water weight. The doc already knows that I normally don’t take his advice — statins and supplements, for example (caused much friction in the past till he finally said that I am doing good diet and exercise as he would like all patients to do). A good person in a tough business.

    On another subject, I posted some wrap-up comments (again) on the “New Atkins” book reviewed with less than one star by Dr. Campbell.

    Here is a great link to pass on to all:
    49 REASONS

    Dr. Campbell sent me this one line email Sunday:
    “Subject: Thanks for getting to the point on the blog!! Keep going!”

    I keep asking your line in my comments: “Let me know when you get your —>:
    —————— BLINDING FLASH OF THE OBVIOUS! ——————————–“

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