Road trips are tons of fun and a great way to connect with a partner, friend or family member.
Road trips also offer hurdles and stumbling blocks on your path to good health and eating.
You may be heading out on an Easter holiday or Spring Break road trip soon and I have some tools to help you along the way.
Bored Mindless Eating
After the initial excitement of hitting the road runs out, (think the scene in Swingers when Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau are driving to Las Vegas), the boredom of highway driving sets in. In order to stay awake and alert the natural instinct is to reach for a sugary, fatty, salty snack.
Instead, talking is great way to keep your mind alert and off snacking. It is so rare to have this opportunity to have uninterrupted time with a loved one. Use the time to relive special moments or discuss issues that you haven’t had the time or space to discuss, now you have it.
Once you are all talked out, keep your mind alert by stocking your handheld device with music, podcasts and audio books.
I asked my Facebook friends what they suggest and here are some of the results:
Podcasts: Serial, Invisibilia, This American Life, The Moth, RadioLab
Music: The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Dire Straits, The Weavers, Tom Petty
Audio Books: Steve Martin’s Born Standing Up, In The Heart of the Sea, Endurance
On the Road food options:
Even if you road trip is only 5 or 6 hours, you will still probably need to eat something along the way. Healthy snacks and a plan for meals will help you stay on track.
- Apples with almond butter: prepare ahead, slice apples, spread with almond butter and stack together. Keep them from getting squished in a reusable, sealed container.
- Hummus and veggies: cut carrots, celery, and cucumbers to 2 inches so that you can dip and chomp without double dipping or getting to messy. Grape tomatoes are great for this application as well. Wrap veggies in a wet paper towel to keep them moist.
- 60-72% dark chocolate: my favorite is Theobroma chocolate bars because one bar is 140 kCal. It’s the perfect size for sharing.
- Nut and seed mix: raw and unsalted is best
Healthy Meals: Kole and I drive 16-20 hours to my home in Ohio a few times per year. We pack healthy snacks and non-perishable foods but we also have to stop and eat a real meal or two along the way.
- Panera Bread has a great menu selection of low-calorie sandwiches, soups and salads
- Wendy’s in a pinch if fast-food is the only option has chili, baked potato, salads
- Road side diners: Grilled chicken without the bun, salads and soups are usually good options
- Choose the best possible option from the food available. The food may not be organic or of the best quality but all we can do is choose the best options from the food available. Most national chain restaurants will have the nutritional information on the menu, read before you order.
Yoga on the Road
Sitting in the car for hours at a time can cause muscle cramps and blood clots. Seated yoga poses and stretching like the ones below can help alleviate these discomforts. Make sure to stop every few hours to stretch and move your body.
I know it can sometimes feel like you can’t even leave the house when you are eating healthy because there are unhealthy food temptations around every corner, but really there are so many more good foods and adventures out there.
Hit the road this spring, have an adventure and eat good food.