Eating well can be a challenge for the busy individual. Buying groceries, preparing ingredients, and cooking meals takes time that a lot of people can barely spare. When you’re traveling, eating healthy on the road can be even more difficult. It’s easy to pull off the freeway and stop at a fast food joint so you can make the best time possible to your destination. Here are our top tips for eating healthy on the road – without adding a ton of time to your route!
Top Tips for Eating Healthy on the Road
Eating healthy on the road takes some planning; however, the benefits can be very worthwhile! The costs of fast food and restaurant stops add up quickly, but carefully planning your road trip meals can save you both cash and help you stay healthy. The food you get on the go often contains a lot of salt, sugar, and fat – all of which combine to add extra inches to your waistline.
Stop at Grocery Stores
It may take a little extra time, but a quick stop at a grocery store can help you stick to your typical diet as long as you shop smart! Grocery store stops on the road are especially useful for people with dietary restrictions or specific dietary needs.
Many grocery stores have:
- Cold cuts counters
- Salad bars
- Bagged salads
- Prepared sandwiches or ready meals
- Hot food bars
- Options for people with dietary restrictions
- Vegan and vegetarian options
If you’re planning to camp, a stop at the grocery store can score you ingredients for the quintessential campfire meal. If your hotel has a microwave, meanwhile, you can always grab some healthier option frozen foods.
Pack in Advance and Bring a Cooler
If you have room in your car between your passengers and your luggage, you might want to consider bringing a cooler. That way, you can pack food in advance and help defray the costs of eating out.
Cooler-friendly options include:
- Deli sandwiches
- Cold cuts
- Cold rotisserie chicken
- Sliced vegetables
- Ready-to-eat meals
While snacks aren’t a replacement for a meal, they’re a great way to help keep you and your road trip crew fed when there’s a hundred miles between rest stops. Bringing road trip snacks lets you customize exactly what you will be eating so you can keep your sugar intake and salt intake down.
Some ideas for road trip snacks that pack well include:
- Nuts and/or trail mix
- Dried fruit
- Fresh fruit (whole or pre-sliced – bananas, apples, oranges, and grapes are all road trip friendly)
- Hummus and pita chips
- Sliced vegetables
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Bottled smoothies and protein drinks
The snacks you bring can also save you money, since you won’t be pumping quarters into the vending machine.
Eat Smaller Meals More Regularly
Eating throughout the day helps regulate your metabolism, which in turn means your body utilizes the food you eat more efficiently. Combined with healthy options like fruit, vegetables, and nuts, you can stay satisfied and well-fed no matter where the road takes you.
Use Rest Stops
Depending on where your travels take you, you may wind up passing by rest stops. A lot of rest stops have grills or pavilions intended for use just like your community park. If you’re traveling with no hard timeline, you may want to consider taking advantage of this resource. You can not only enjoy a hot meal, you’ll be able to cook it exactly like you want.
Eating healthy on the road may take some extra planning, but as you can see, it’s worth the savings in both wellness and cost.