I like taking road trips. I like driving and seeing what’s between here and there. There, in this case, was northern Indiana. A lot of cornfields are going on there!
And I was really happy to see my sweet Sunny. I had to board him while I was away this time. He’s only been boarded once before as a kitten for just a weekend, so I was a little concerned how he would do for nearly a week. He was a bit stressed and sometimes agitated, I was told, but basically did fine. Whew. He was pretty cuddly for a while once we got home.But taking a road trip can be challenging for a healthy lifestyle, in terms of eating, at least. So I thought today I’d give you my tips for eating healthy while road tripping.
- Take food with you. I took an ice chest and brought along things like apples and cherries and bottles of water. For lunches on my way to Indiana, I made salads with romaine lettuce, cucumber, broccoli, celery, baked chicken breast, and feta cheese. I put each salad in a plastic baggie and brought along paper plates and plastic forks. I also stuck in a jar of peanut butter because no day is complete without peanut butter. For snacks, I brought along some raw almonds, raisins, and Lara bars. I would stop at a park and enjoy my surroundings and a lovely healthy lunch. One day I ate lunch on Abraham Lincoln’s family farm!
- Find healthy fast food. Well, I don’t know if there is such a thing, but at least, choose the healthiest from what’s available. I generally avoid fast food, but facing a 14 hour drive, sometimes a girl just has to buy food. I didn’t want to eat food I had made 5 or 6 days earlier. And I didn’t want to stop for very long since I had such a long way to go, so I looked for places that I knew had quick and mostly healthy options. These are my go to places when I’m in a pinch or in a hurry:
- Subway–Choose whole wheat bread, grilled chicken, load up the veggies, skip the dressing and cheese, and you’ve got a meal for under 400 calories. Well, that’s for my 6 inch sub!
- Chik-Fil-A–I recently discovered that instead of just fried chicken, they now serve grilled chicken. And you can choose fruit or kale salad instead of fries for a side. Not a bad option.
- Panera–I like the cup of soup and half a sandwich option. I choose a non-cream based soup to save calories. Then, choose whole wheat bread, turkey and veggies for the sandwich, skipping the cheese and dressing. And of course, choose the apple over the chips!
So you may not have these restaurants where you live, but what choosing a fast food place comes down to for me, really, is finding a place that gives me as much control as possible over what I eat. I like being able to construct my meals instead of just ordering an entrée that has who knows what in it.
3. Assess your hunger. If you’re like me, I get bored and tired sometimes when I’m driving so I find myself wanting to snack to keep myself busy and awake. It’s a challenge, but I have to constantly be in tune with how I’m feeling. Is it true hunger that’s making me want to reach for a snack? Or do I just need to take a break for a quick walk, find some new music, or begin the alphabet game (you know, find the alphabet in order on the road signs)? And if it’s true hunger, reach for those healthy snacks you brought with you instead of facing the temptation of gas station snacks of chips and candy.
Here’s to safe and healthy road trips!
Where did you go on your last road trip?
What tips for eating healthy on the run do you have?