5 Healthy “Eating on the Road” Tips

5 Healthy “Eating on the Road” Tips

Road trips can be great adventures but if you eat wrong they can quickly turn exhausting and uncomfortable. When new sights and the freedom of traveling get in the way, it’s easy to forget the important nutritional benefits of grabbing the proper snacks and wholesome main meals. However, all it takes is adding to the list conscious efforts to maximize food choices.

Follow these 5 healthy “eating on the road” tips and you might be able to avoid poor food choice side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, fatigue, headaches, and overall irritability. Not fun to travel with.

Pack a Punch

If you have the time and patience then by all means pack nutrient dense foods that will act like super fuel for your body.

According to Men’s Health, Rikki Keen, R.D., director of sports nutrition at Florida Hospital and a consultant to NFL athletes recommends to,

“Fill your bags with snacks like beef jerky, dark chocolate chips, nuts, and individual peanut butter packets. Keen has her football players carry Caveman Bars because they’re made of mainly wholesome ingredients like nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.”

Stick to “live” foods too such as cleaned fruits and vegetables as opposed to processed, packaged “fun” junk. Salt, sugar, fried foods and preservatives like dyes can mess with your central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract and cognitive skills.

Pick Your Stops Carefully 

If road food preparation can’t be done, rather than glide in and out of a highway rest stop that only offers fried foods and sugary desserts, look for a nearby supermarket, grocery store or even local farm stand.

It won’t take much longer and you will be able to grab highly nutritious choices such as fresh produce, nuts, hummus, salads, and much more at probably less money than a junk food side of the road fix.

Also, researching restaurants along your route can make all the difference. Don’t roam around wasting gas and settling for whatever you find because you’ve run out of patience and energy. Having a list of restaurants that cater to your healthy choices will save you lots of aggravation and keep you going at the same time.

Feed the Fire

When you are stuck in a car or plane you want to snack at least every one to two hours. Mens Fitness recommends protein heavy choices for energy enhancement,

“Eating the right amount of complete protein for your weight and activity level stabilizes blood sugar (preventing energy lags), enhances concentration, and keeps you lean and strong. A complete protein is any animal and dairy product or a grain plus a legume (such as whole grain bread with nut butter, or corn tortilla with beans).”

Some good protein picks according to the United States Department of Agriculture include:

  • Almonds – 1 cup = 20 grams
  • Greek yogurt – 6 oz = 17 grams
  • Kidney beans – 1 cup = 15 grams (mix with rice and spices for an on the road treat)
  • Protein snack bars – 6-15 grams per bar (be careful of high sugar ingredients)
  • Low sodium beef jerky – 1 oz = 9 grams
  • Edamame – 1 cup = 8 grams

Drink It

Hydration is key for focus, digestion, toxin removal and appetite suppression. Clean, filtered water is the best choice. Add in some organic lemon juice and local, raw honey for essential enzymes and a natural sugar boost without a fatigue crash.

Freeze a couple of prepared bottles and throw them in a cooler with your snacks. These make great ice replacements and as they thaw out remain cold the whole way through. This can work for unsweetened smoothies too.

Staying Awake

Sometimes traveling by car requires long boring hours that could threaten falling asleep at the wheel. Attempting to stay alert could turn into an unhealthy cycle of excessive caffeine and sugary snacks. This may cause dehydration and gastrointestinal problems as well as set you up for major fatigue that defeats your original intent of staying awake in the first place.

In addition to healthy, high protein snacks to maintain energy, choosing healthy caffeine beverages could help you create a slow energy rise that doesn’t zap your energy shortly after. Instead, these beverages give you a steady stream of vitality while infusing your body with a slew of antioxidants, phytonutrients and electrolytes at the same time.

The three best choices for staying awake are: Yerba mate’, green tea or powdered vitamin C packs added to water.

If you are venturing out, make an effort to try these 5 healthy eating on the road tips. It could make all the difference between a trip with added stress or smooth sailing all the way.