With Spring Break and Summer vacation upon us, I’m sure we’re all currently planning out every detail of the fabulous vacations we’ll be taking over these holidays.
While cruises and exotic vacation destinations are exciting, taking a road trip with a few of your best friends or even your family is one of the most fun experiences you’ll ever have.
Planning is a big part of organizing a road trip, especially when it comes to food. Fast food is what most people eat on the road, simply because they believe that there are no other options. However, restaurants like McDonald’s and Wendy’s are not the only choices for meals when traveling by car, if you plan accordingly.
For those of us who like to eat healthy even when we’re on the road, here are several tips to make sure sticking to those habits runs smoothly.
1. Eat breakfast before you leave
Making sure you eat a full breakfast before you leave makes a huge difference in your travel day. Not eating breakfast before a long day in the car is a mistake that I commonly make either out of necessity or forgetfulness in those chaotic mornings before leaving for a trip.
Although I tend to reach for a granola bar before I hit the road, I’m always hungry a couple of hours later. Avoid this problem and eat a filling breakfast you can make in a short amount of time. Read this article for some recipe inspiration.
2. Bring snacks
Every time I go on a road trip, I always bring a few snacks with me to make sure I keep myself focused and alert. Getting hangry on a road trip is not fun, so fruit, granola bars, crackers, and trail mix are some of the snacks that I always have on hand while I’m in the car.
Bringing a jar of peanut butter and a spoon is also a great way to quickly eat some protein if you feel yourself fading before you reach your destination.
3. Eat small portions often
Eating smaller, protein-packed snacks throughout the drive will help you avoid that sluggish feeling you would normally get if you stopped for the chicken and dumplings plate at Cracker Barrel.
Choosing portion controlled snacks is the best way to go since you’re sure to avoid overeating. If you need some tips on how to make sure you’re portioning the right amount of food for yourself, check out these 10 portion control hacks.
4. Plan food stops ahead of time
This is a big one. If you do choose to stop and eat while you’re on the road, make sure you know your food options ahead of time. If you don’t, then you may just end up eating wherever is most convenient which could result in an unhealthy meal.
If you know which restaurants will be offered at a certain exit, you’ll be able to make sure there is a healthier option for you. Some highways, like I-75 and I-95, even provide an exit guide website to help you plan your food stops.
5. Avoid coffee
Coffee seems like a no brainer, especially when going on a road trip typically means waking up at the crack of dawn to leave. However, stopping for a Starbuck’s or Dunkin to boost your energy could make you crash later on and is not the most healthy way to wake yourself up, with all the added cream and sugar.
Instead of drinking coffee, hydrate with water in the morning before your road trip and bring a big bottle with you to fill up along the way. If you can’t seem to kick your caffeine addiction, here are 5 other coffee alternatives.
6. Eat smart
If you do end up eating at a fast food restaurant, make sure that you try to choose the healthier options on the menu and resist ordering that chocolate milkshake with whipped cream. Avoid sandwiches with sauces or mayo on them since those can be pretty fattening too.