Are you planning a camping trip, road trip or a trek to the cottage? Or maybe you are on the road being a taxi for your kids’ activities. We are all about being social and taking advantage of our weekends and vacations, but finding the best options to fuel your body during a long drive can be tough.
Keep in mind these few simple things to make traveling on the road a bit healthier.
- Plan. Plan. Plan.
Sorry, I know you want to just jump in the car and go…but plan your food just like you do the weekend events or the vacation. And a lot time for the food preparation just like you a lot time for packing. Think about what your travel plans entail and take into consideration things like: how many hours you’ll be on the road and for how many days, whether you’ll be flying at any point, if and when you’ll have access to a grocery store, and if you’ll need to map out restaurants (which provide healthy options) ahead of time.
If you’re flying bringing homemade snacks for the whole trip may be tricky depending on your airline, so plan to hit up a grocery store soon after you arrive. Pack snacks for the flight and then shop for enough snacks to last you until your next grocery trip. Also, think about that trip back. You will need snacks for that as well.
- Be a smart snacker.
Many portable and non-perishable food items also tend to be highly-processed, leaving you feeling tired and depleted. Look for snacks that can help you stay awake and energized. Snacks that are high in protein will also help you feel full throughout the day, eliminate cravings and ultimately help keep the weight off. Aim to eat something at least every 2 to 3 hours.
Some of our favorites include:
- Rolled oats + cinnamon:make a simple overnight oats recipe by adding equal parts of any liquid the night before you hit the road. This makes such an easy, filling and affordable breakfast or snack.
- Pre-mixed hemp seeds, chia seeds and crushed nuts:to blend into your snacks and meals, such as oatmeal, smoothies, salads from a restaurant, etc. Ask for the oatmeal without the cinnamon crunch topping (aka sugar bomb) and add a touch of honey and your nut mix. Same thing for salads, nix the candy covered almonds or cheese and use your nut mix.
- Single-serving packets of nut butter:I love using Justin’s almond butter packets (1.15 ounces) which is perfect for squeezing onto rice crackers, fruit or mixing into oatmeal.
- Mixed nuts and dried fruit:all you need is a handful every few hours to help keep you full and energized.
- Fresh fruit:fruits with a tough exterior work best for travel, such as apples, oranges and bananas (not too ripe).
- Homemade granola, muffins, cookies, energy bars, etc:the following recipes are nutrient-dense and designed to get you through the day, whether it be an extended period of driving or long hours in the office. Just throw them in a ziploc bag and go.
- Popcorn – homemade
- Morning Glory Muffins
- Kale Chips
- Peanut Butter Protein Balls
- Monster Breakfast Cookies
- Overnight oatmeal jars
- Energy Bars
- Black Bean Brownies
- Remember, you can still eat healthy at restaurants.
Eating at restaurants while on vacation is inevitable, exciting and fun. Keep in mind the tips for eating out healthy, such as skipping dairy and gluten which can both cause inflammation in the body.
- Go easy on yourself.
Living that clean life is all about finding balance. For many of us, eating healthy 100% of the time is difficult and probably unrealistic. This is especially challenging when you’re away from home with different routines and access to resources. If you’ve fallen off the healthy eating bandwagon, don’t let it defeat you. Try to forget about the past and just focus on how you are going to be better moving forward.
- Have fun!
If healthy eating isn’t something you enjoy doing, you are a lot less likely to stick to it. So make it fun. Ask a friend to help make the granola recipe, discover local farmer’s markets or explore delicious new restaurants that offer healthy options. Don’t do it because you “should”, do it because you want to. Most important of all is to have fun and enjoy your time away from the kitchen!
Founder of Dig In Fitness, Founder of Healthy 56 and coach and motivator to those wanting a healthier life.