Road trips involve tedious planning, especially the longer ones. Snacks and water need to be packed, gas station stops, hotels along the way, and the convenient fast food restaurants to choose from. The combination of lack of preparation, unhealthy choices along the way, and sitting in a car for hours on end could lead to weight gain and loss of energy. Read on for ways to plan a healthy road trip.
#1 – Snacks. Pack Them!
Water, protein bars, protein shake packets, nuts and seeds, dried fruit, jerky are all great healthy snack options for the road trip. Pack a variety of snacks in baggies and put them into a cooler within reach of everyone, so they can just grab when hunger strikes. Lunches can also be packed, like sandwiches, or roll up some deli meat, even diced or strips of chicken are convenient. Pack some hummus, peanut butter or mustard for dipping. You can eat in the car or stop at a rest area with picnic tables, and, while at the rest area, go for a walk and stretch your legs.
If you run out of snacks, most gas stations sell fresh fruit, usually near the register. Grab an orange, apple or banana for a snack that’s a natural source of energy and fiber. Most stations offer string cheese, or beef/turkey jerky providing a convenient pick-me-up with the healthy fat and protein content.
#2 – Breakfast. Eat it!
Start your day off with a healthy breakfast to provide your body with nutrition and energy to get you through to your next snack, or meal. If you hit the road early and donâ€™t have time for a sit-down breakfast, pack an apple, banana, or protein bar. If you do have time and happen to be in a hotel, stick to the basics: eggs and bacon or sausage (preferably turkey if it is an option).
#3 – Dinner. Plan Ahead!
Dining out on a road trip is the usual case. This too can be planned ahead. It can be fun to get everyone involved and it will help to avoid any last minute decisions resulting in a drive through visit. Map out your stops along your trip and research the dining options for the nights you plan to eat out. Look at the menus online, if they are available, and have everyone agree on the restaurant. During dinner don’t be afraid to ask questions about how the food is prepared. You can choose broiled, roasted or grilled chicken over battered or breaded, for example. You can always nicely request your 6oz chicken breast be baked without added oils, if thatâ€™s what you prefer. Ask for the sauce/dressing on the side and rather than pouring them on, dip the tip of your fork into the dressing or sauce. And choose vegetables over potatoes or fries.
Preparation for the actual trip on the road is equally as important as the destinations themselves. Road trips are meant to be fun, music, car games, good conversation, etc. Letâ€™s take the impulsive poor snacking and dining off the table and prepare better for a road trip that can be both healthy and fun!