Load up the car… it’s time for a road trip! If you’ve ever taken a trip across the country, you’ve probably noticed that the roadside food options don’t usually promote good health. Highways across America are littered with drive-thrus, convenience stores, and the temptation of processed snacks.
Just because you’re hitting the road doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your healthy balanced diet. With a little extra planning (and a quality cooler), you can enjoy your own roadside snacks without compromising your health!
Tips for Having a Healthy Road Trip
Pack it in!
Let’s face it – the best way to avoid fast food is to bring your own! Not only will you eat more healthfully, but you’ll save some cash. Nutrient-dense foods help boost energy levels too, so you won’t get sleepy at the wheel. Try these yummy snack ideas:
Whole grain crackers, sliced veggies, and hummus.
Hummus is resilient, so it’s great to take along in a cooler. Bring some sturdy vegetables like baby carrots, fresh broccoli, sugar snap peas, and cucumber slices for dipping. Feeling extra snacky? Munch on whole grain crackers too!
Homemade trail mix.
Super easy to throw together, just be sure to purchase unsalted nuts and dried fruit without any added sugar. Resist adding M&M’s – you’ll be glad you did later!
If you must buy food in a convenience store, choose the least-processed items you can find. String cheese, packaged nuts, and hard-boiled eggs are usually pretty easy to come across.
Stretch it out.
Sitting over a long period of time causes all kinds of problems. At every bathroom stop or gas station fill-up, get out of the car and do some good deep stretches and twists. Do some basic standing yoga poses – like reaching your arms up high and wide, arching your back, then folding forward to touch your toes. Repeat this a few times while breathing deeply.
Feeling a bit sleepy? Take a couple of jogging laps around the car, do a few squats and jumping jacks, or play a quick game of tag with your road trip buddies. It’ll wake up your muscles and your mind!
Once you arrive at your destination, here are some ways to stay active while on vacation.
Drink up the smart way.
It may create an extra bathroom stop, but it’s always a good idea to stay well-hydrated on long road trips. Bring plenty of water with you, as you never know when you’ll have a chance to stop and refill on supply.
Throw some canned sparkling water in the cooler, and stock up on True Wildberry Lemonade to make it a little more fun! Often the only beverage options on the road are loaded with sugar, and it’s a great alternative from sodas, sports drinks, or other sugary beverages.
Coffee may be a temptation when trying to stay awake and focused, but the strong bitterness of the gas station stuff might make you want to add white sugar or the sweet flavored cream packets. If you know you can’t have it black, bring a natural sweetener like honey in the car with you. Alternately, green tea and yerba mate are wonderful lower caffeine options to pre-make beforehand to perk yourself up.