Eating Healty On the Road

imageEating healthy, especially on the road, can present some unique challenges.  Gas stations combined with convenience stores along the major interstates are doing a better job of providing healthier options for meals when you stop for gas, a bathroom break, and to pick up something to eat.  However, there is still that moment’s hesitation during the decision-making process, that bag of Fritos or a banana?

In my case, it would probably be Fritos and a bottle of water.  I use “being on the road,” as an excuse to not eat as healthy as I would normally when I am at home, and I do splurge on unhealthy options at times.

Now that we are in full holiday mode with non-stop eating (or so it seems) from Halloween to New Year’s Day, AND I am on a road trip right now, I decided to arm myself against all of those temptations when I stop for gas and a bathroom break.

Hence my “arsenal” of defense against the enemy:

imageI packed up some Ritz chips and hummus, Greek yogurt and granola, mozzarella sticks, cereal bars, chicken salad (that I made in advance), cheddar cheese, some great crusty semolina bread, cottage cheese, packaged oatmeal, lightly salted peanuts, bottled water, some plastic utensils, napkins, paper plates and my swiss army knife.

In advance of my trip, I packed granola and peanuts in serving size portions and put it into individual plastic bags for a quick snack.  And instead of stopping at a fast food drive thru for lunch or dinner, I stopped at a rest area (during the day), and had a little picnic.  It is a little chilly this time of year, so eating in the car is also an option (which you would do anyway if you went to the drive thru at a fast food restaurant).

I eat my lunch and take a break, and breathe, relax, stretch my legs, use the restroom.

It is so much more enjoyable when you take a break on a long road trip.  It doesn’t need to be hours long, 30 minutes will do wonders, trust me.

I put refrigerated items into a cooler with ice packs (and ice in a Ziploc bag), or into one of those freezer bags you take to the grocery store on a hot day to keep your perishables from melting before you get home.

I love to stay at Holiday Inn Express, or other similar hotels, and most of them have refrigerators, and microwaves.  I pack enough food for dinner as well, and that’s another meal that I am saving money, and eating healthier.  After my meal, I refrigerate items that need it, and empty the bag of ice.

The next morning, I skip the hotel free breakfast, which isn’t very healthy, make oatmeal in the microwave, toss in some dried fruit and walnuts, and I have a healthy, inexpensive breakfast.  I fill up my plastic bag with ice, re-pack my cooler, and am on my way.

I will admit, a caramel machiato from Starbucks is my weakness, so I save Starbucks only when I travel and try NOT to stop every day.

You can also do the same thing when you fly, you just have to plan ahead, and stick to non-perishable items, such as packages of oatmeal, and request hot water, pre-package your nuts, dried fruit and granola, bring cereal bars, and get a little mess kit from the camping section at Wal-Mart that has a plate, cup and fork, knife and spoon that can be washed and re-used.

Bring anti-bacterial wipes for clean up in a hurry.  Never leave home without hand sanitizer.

A Swiss Army knife is also essential when traveling, just make sure you put it in your checked luggage when flying.

Wishing you happy and HEALHY eating and traveling.


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