Eatin’ Healthy on the Road

Hi everyone!  Anna here, from Newlywed, Newly Veg.  When Mary asked me to do a guest post for Food, Fit and Fun, I jumped at the chance!  I’d love to, I told her.

Then…life got in the way.  Before I knew it, weeks had passed since I had agreed to do the post.  Yikes! Sorry Mary!

One part of “life” that got in the way was holiday travel.  I spent the month of December traveling near and far for the holidays…but mostly far.  My husband and I live in Pennsylvania (like Mary!), but our families live in Seattle and Louisiana, respectively.  We like to spend time with both our families over Christmas, which translates into A LOT of time spent in the car and in airports. 

Because of this, when I finally sat down to write this guest post, I thought, what better topic to cover than eating healthy while traveling? 

I’m going to mainly write about road travel here, because, in my humble opinion, it’s actually pretty easy to eat healthy in the airports these days.  Almost every airport has some sort of deli where you can get a turkey or veggie sandwich.  Even Starbucks has sandwiches, fruit plates, and yogurt parfaits!  Plus, I’ve noticed that most of the gift and news shops have started carrying things like Clif bars, KIND bars, and even Pop chips!  There’s also lots of trail mix to be had– go for the kind without the M&Ms if you’re really trying to be healthy.  With trail mix, the only thing you have to watch out for is portion control.  Share the bag with your flight neighbors—they’ll love you!  (Or they might think you’re a weirdo and secretly toss the trail mix under their seat…whatever.)

For me, as a vegetarian, road travel is a little tougher.  Before I went veg, my go-to healthy stop was Subway.  They do have the veggie sub, but that’s pretty much it.  Some have the elusive “veggie patty,” but that seems a little sketchy to me. 

When we were driving home to Louisiana over the break (twenty hours straight through, in the car with two dogs…I should get some sort of medal for that, right?), we stopped at Subway for lunch and I ate a veggie sub, which was fine.  But then, dinner rolled around.  I didn’t want to eat Subway again, and I couldn’t have, even if I’d wanted to—there were none in sight!  All we kept passing was Burger Kings, McDonalds, Sonics…you get the picture. 

We got hungrier and hungrier, and finally we stopped at Sonic for my hub, and I ate a Clif bar, animal crackers, and a v-8 juice for dinner.  Not the healthiest, right?

What this taught me was that, when traveling on the road, preparation is key.  Especially for long car rides, if you don’t want to get caught in an “unhealthy” situation, the answer is simple: pack healthy eats!

On the way back up, I took control of the situation.  We made almond butter and banana sandwiches for lunch, plus carrot sticks and apples.  For dinner, we had quinoa salad with roasted veggies (great because it can stay at room temperature). 

Some travel-friendly meals you might try are:

  • nut butter sandwiches
  • fruit (I like apples for the road because they hold up well, but I’ve also been known to split a banana down the center, spread some peanut butter on it, and seal it back up in foil.  YUM!)
  • trail mix (again, you know which ones are healthy.  We brought one in the car that was a mix of almonds, pistachios, raisins, dried cherries, and sunflower seeds)
  • granola
  • energy bars (some of my fave are Clif bars and Lara bars, but there are TONS of options out there)
  • pasta salad (sans mayo) with veggies
  • pop chips
  • peanut butter pretzels
  • candied ginger (good for car sickness, too!)
  • crackers (I like Mary’s Gone Crackers and Kashi’s TLC honey sesame crackers)
  • assorted veggie sticks (carrots, bell peppers, celery, etc.)
  • and of course, dark chocolate! You have to have dessert!

So, there you have it.  Hope these tips help you out on your next long road trip.  Have a great day!

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6 responses to “Eatin’ Healthy on the Road

  1. you are so right: preparation is KEY. even when i’m on drives that are only 4 hours long i make sure that i pack something so i’m not stuck looking at something from a gas station

  2. I always pack my own food. It saves money and it is healthier at the same time!

  3. Yes! Unfortunately, I tend to eat it all soooo quickly – just because there’s nothing else to do really 😉 oh well…nice post!

  4. great post!! i actually never have tried a veggie sandwich from subway before…need to get on that on my next road trip 😉

  5. Pingback: Hello Sun! « food, fit & fun

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