Labor Day is fast approaching, and with it, road trips. Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest periods for roadways across the country. It’s summer’s last hurrah, after all. With all of the things we have to do to get ready to hit the highway, sometimes we forget to think about food. What will you eat while traveling? Have you made some positive lifestyle changes and turned your diet around? If you’ve recently made some changes, you may not have considered just how you’ll maintain this cleaner way of eating on the road, but you should. It’s far too easy to fall into the drive-thru pothole when you’re on the road for hours, trying to get where you need to be quickly so you can maximize your vacation time. A little planning will take you a long way. So, here are a few of our favorite tips for eating healthy on the road!
1. Pack your own snacks! This is the easiest way to guarantee a few healthy foods on your way. Some of our favorites: nuts and seeds (full of protein and healthy fats, it only takes a handful to go a long way); air-popped popcorn; rice cakes; car-friendly fruits like apples, bananas and grapes, as well as dried fruits like raisins, cherries or apricots; energy bars and granola bars; pre-packed veggies like celery sticks, carrots or cherry tomatoes; and single-serving cheeses. If you’re really motivated, consider packing sandwiches or even yogurt in a cooler (and don’t forget some trash bags for the back seat!).
2. If you have to stop for snacks at a convenience store or rest stop, don’t stress out. You don’t have to buy those Twinkies, you know? Convenience stores and vending machines usually have a variety of trail mixes (a mixture of nuts, seeds and dried fruits) that contain far less sugar than your average pit-stop food choice and offer actual nutrients like protein and healthy fats. Also, try single-serving whole-grain cereals and veggie and fruit juices!
3. Imagine a lonely stretch of highway, nothing buts trees and/or open fields as far as the eye can see. Up ahead, one lonely McDonald’s sign glows and you’re starving. You need to stay fueled on a road trip so you can be alert and ready for whatever may come your way, so if you’re starving, pull in. The Big Mac and large fries are not requirements. Most fast-food restaurants have been putting in an effort to offer more healthy options on their menus. So, skip the super-sized meal and order a salad with grilled chicken or a grilled chicken sandwich instead of a burger. Grab a bag of apple of slices or a fruit cup for dessert. Skip the large soda and opt for water instead. Fast food doesn’t have to be a WMD on your healthy lifestyle; there are options you can choose to stay on the fruit and veggie wagon, so take them!
4. Skip the soda. Pack refillable, BPA-free water bottles and refill them at rest stops along the way. Eazy-peezy.
5. Google Maps is your friend–consult it! If you don’t have time before your trip to map your route and find some healthy restaurant options along the way, or packing your own meals isn’t going to happen, whip out your phone and ask Google Maps to help you find local restaurants. This friendly little app knows exactly where you are and will find and direct you to any restaurant, landmark or gathering place in a flash. Smart phones mean you’ll never have to eat greasy, unhealthy food again!:)
If you’re on the road this weekend, we wish you a safe trip, and we hope some of these tips help you stay on the right track. If you’re in and around DC, come see us! We’ve got your healthy favorites made fresh for you every, single day!