We’ve all been there ~ tired from traveling, just trying to find a way to get energized, snack fast, and – let’s face it – conquer our boredom. We go in with full intentions of finding something healthy to snack on… But then our only options end up being candy, a bag of chips, and some sort of sugar filled drink. We end up caving because it’s what’s there ~ only to feel terrible by the end of the trip because our energy is crashing like waves on the sand.
Sound familiar? Yeah… Me too.
Well, luckily for all of us ~ there are ways to conquer this. All it takes a little bit of effort for us to be grabbing for a bag of veggies instead of that second bag of candy!
Having been living on the road for 10 months now ~ I’ve pretty much gotten this down. At first, it was a constant struggle. Trying to figure out what worked for us and our needs… Only to not have prepared enough and have us ending up in a small town gas station reaching for protein cookies and some type of chex mix. But over time I’ve become more versed on our specific needs and how we like to snack. To the point where I am always prepared to keep us energized even on the days we drive 18 hours.
These are tips that I follow on our travel days. They definitely involve a little prep work, but in the end you’ll be in a much better mood when you arrive to your destination!!
1. Go to the Grocery Store FIRST!
Instead of shopping at every gas station along the way where, lets be real here, you’ll pretty much find the exact same things ~ head to your preferred grocery store and stock up on items you enjoy! You will likely need some way to keep everything cold like a cooler or something, but it’s so worth the hassle! Ice is available at every gas station too! Grab some apples, oranges, celery, cucumbers, hummus, rice cakes (plain), dried fruit (no sugar added), greek yogurt, almond butter, raw nuts & seeds, avocado ~ really any whole food or snack you enjoy! And if you know you’re going to be tempted to buy something at the gas station ~ opt for a healthier version and pick it up in advance! These days there are SO MANY better options for chips and candy, you just have to be willing to do some research. Just head to your local health food store and browse different brands ~ you’ll be sure to find something that will satisfy your craving! Items like this aren’t technically “good” for you, but grabbing for a bag of baked sweet potato chips is still better than the bag of Cheetos IMO!! Remember, life is about balance ~ not deprivation.
2. Prep, Prep, Prep!
Now that you’ve done your shopping for some healthier snacks, it’s time to make them “travel ready”! Cause I don’t think many of us bring a knife and cutting board with us in the front seat? (Props to you if you do though) But for the rest of us ~ let’s make it as simple as possible to fuel properly! Chop all of your veggies, mix together your DIY trail mix, maybe even make some of your own tortilla chips!? (Grab an Ezekiel tortilla, spread a dash avocado oil and pink salt on it, slice into chip shape, throw it in the oven on 350 for a few minutes until crispy… BAM. DIY tortilla chips). Maybe hard boil some eggs? Roll up some meats? Make a skewer with tomato, basil, and mozzarella? Stick everything in reusable baggies or Tupperware and you’ve got yourself an easy-to-grab-even-easier-to-share snack party!!
3. Drink Plenty of Water
Believe it or not ~ drinking water actually curbs your cravings! Many times when you’re experiencing the need for junk food, all you really need is a big ole glass of water. Thirst is a feeling that is often misinterpreted with hunger since the symptoms of dehydration are similar to those of hunger. So typically when we’re feeling “Hangry”, we feel the need to reach for a soda or candy bar as an afternoon pick-me-up, but water does just the trick without the need for excessive added sugars. When we’re hydrated ~ we are energized! Maybe even try drinking a glass of water before a meal to help suppress your appetite.
4. Add Fruit to Your Water!
If you find yourself craving soda during your trip, try cutting up some fruits to add to your water! In fact, adding lemons to your water has been shown to support weight loss. In any case, going for natural sugars over processed sugars is always the better idea. There are many different ways you can make flavored water, some being ~ cucumber, mint, lemon ~ raspberries, lime ~ strawberry, mint ~ blueberry, sage ~ ginger, lemon ~ strawberry, kiwi ~ orange, lemon ~ the possibilities are endless!
5. Shop Local!
Before you leave ~ look up any farmers markets/grocery stores along your route. Always be one step ahead of your hunger… Because we all know what a nasty beast hunger can be! Try out the local fruits and veggies while also supporting the farmers. It’s always best to be prepared no matter how far you’re driving! Covering our bases with only ensure a healthy road trip!
6. Tips to Eat OUT on the Road
The first step in eating healthy on the road ~ is choosing the right place. This is where Tip #5 really comes into play. Know exactly what is along your route. Don’t wait until you’re starving only to choose whatever is closest… Because we all know what’s closest normally isn’t the best option for you. Then once you get to wherever you are stopping, always choose the light option. I know how tempting it can be to want to eat the best thing in town (and hey… no shame in doing just that! But I’m only here to give you tips on how to eat HEALTHY. If you want that specialty Loaded Mac N Cheese Bacon Burger ~ GO FOR IT! BUT… Only if you’re not going to regret it and feel terrible about yourself later. Own your choice and move on.) but if you’re truly trying to stick to a healthy road trip, you must choose healthy. Possibly opt for the salad bar at the grocery store, or a green juice at the local grocery. OR Use Tip #1 and make all of your meals ahead of time! There are PLENTY of rest stops along the way where you can enjoy a home made meal. A salad, overnight oats, cooked meats, an almond butter & banana sandwich, a wrap… Just by simply doing a little search online you can find plenty of recipes to suit your taste!
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