Healthy Headie founder Holly Alberti is typically eating on the go. (provided by Healthy Headie)

Food & Weed: How to avoid the allure of junk food when you’re a cannabis-loving traveler

Some may think when you travel a lot, your diet consists of gas station taquitos and bags of spicy chips, especially when you consume marijuana before every meal. But in the case of Holly Alberti, founder of the cannabis lifestyle company Healthy Headie, an ice-packed cooler, a plan and the desire to consume healthy snacks outweighs any junk food munchies. Her philosophy, both personally and with the business, is about conscious consumption.

“In the middle of nowhere there aren’t a lot of options,” Alberti said on the phone as she took a break from driving around her hometown of Oakland, California. “I do my best to pack creatively and do what I can to get a healthy meal.”

She travels so much for Healthy Headie that if you call her, chances are she will be in her car driving to a meeting down the street, or perhaps a dispensary two towns over, or a manufacturer 50 miles away, or flying to a product demonstration in a different state. She may even be eating a salad or sandwich while you have her on the phone, muting the volume so she can take a bite.

Alberti’s company gives consumers in legalized states a chance to test out products such as desktop vaporizers or portable models and learn more about them at in-home private gatherings like the Tupperware parties of yore, hosted by a national network of consultants. The curated array of products includes vapes, home infusion equipment, storage options and other goods.

Aside from time, place, and travel constraints, another thing this entrepreneur deals with is actually affording to eat healthy. But finding a way is a necessity.

“For us as a startup, it’s hard to find the funds to eat super healthy all the time,” she said. After all, it’s cheaper to buy a hot dog than a salad. Plus, she added, she’s really good at packing her bags with food in addition to clothes since she spent years doing so while crisscrossing the country as an airline attendant. Now she taps into those well-honed travel skills to keep her in-the-car cooler and/or suitcase filled with the stuff that makes her feel good inside and out.

To help save the company money and to keep her own diet healthy, Alberti brings bags of nuts, fruit, easy-to-eat vegetables and, if it’s going to be a particularly long day of driving around, she will grab a pre-bagged salad or container of curry chicken salad from Trader Joe’s. In fact, she said, she had just finished a sandwich made with said curry chicken right before our interview.

Also, she says that because she needs cannabis to help with digestion, she also tends to pack marijuana tinctures and/or concentrates while traveling, be that in the car or on a plane. “The tincture looks like green tea extract,” she said, adding that this form of cannabis is one of the better ones for traveling and dosing inconspicuously. (Yes, it’s still illegal to fly with marijuana products.)

Another way Alberti deals with cravings for fatty junk food while using marijuana is by choosing her strain wisely. This proves especially true when it comes to stress eating, something the entrepreneur faces at times. Hence, she will vape with a bud that suppresses appetite rather than enhances it so she can avoid the classic stuffing of one’s face.

“I have been told I should be living at home in the basement eating Funyuns,” Alberti said. “But whatever stereotypes are out there, they are being broken, and I like being a part of that.”

Alberti also enjoys edibles on occasion. Some of her favorites include Kush Nuts (a blend of cashews, almonds and cannabis); granola from Flour Child Collective, which she adds to yogurt or pancakes; and Sprig, a beverage that she said tastes like a cross between Fresca and Squirt and far surpasses downing a beer. She is also a big fan of cannabis-infused coconut oil, which she whips into a smoothie, stirs into her coffee, uses to make grilled cheese, or just eats a spoonful when the mood strikes.

Long before weed played such a prominent role in her life, wholesome food was already a big part of it. When she was growing up in Massachusetts her family would get fresh milk and eggs from a farm down the street. Then later, in her teenage years, her father’s girlfriend started raising horses on their land, a project that soon turned into a full-on farm with chickens, goats, lambs and guinea fowls.

Alberti still has penchant for farm eggs, something she will indulge in whenever she gets a chance to actually sit down and cook a meal at her home in Oakland. Until then, she is happy nibbling on apples and avocados while spreading the word about Healthy Headie’s user-friendly products and vaporizer education around the Bay Area, Massachusetts, Colorado and everywhere else cannabis culture is growing.