We all want to look our best when we’re out by the pool or at the beach this summer. As vacation season rolls in, the fun of a road trip becomes more and more appealing. The simple idea of exploration is exciting. Even with a destination in mind, it’s always fun to stop and explore certain areas as you pass through, but it can be hard to eat according to your fitness goals. It’s important to eat healthy road trip foods when traveling. Here’s why…
When we break out of our daily routine of healthy meals, it can be hard to make good choices when traveling on the road. Fast food and gas stations are at every highway exit for convenience and then there’s good ol’ comfort food at classic mom and pop diners (my favorite).
It’s always fun to find new places. At the same time, you want to be sure you make a good choice when it comes to your diet.
I assume you know what your calories are. If you’re driving for most of the day, remember you’ll be sedentary for most of the time, so calculate accordingly.
If you’re stopping somewhere, chances are you’ll see something new that will excite you. It’s okay to have a little fun on your trip and eat some cheat meals. It’s the rest of the trip, when you’re driving, that matters. If you eat potato chips and candy all day, it will throw off your chances of reaching your fitness goals. It’s easy to lose sight of it all when you do it for 7 days straight.
Here are some quick things you can eat on the road that won’t cause you to freak out.
- Beef Jerky
This is a great source of protein. It’s easy to get 10-12 grams of protein per serving. Most bags have 3 servings, but I probably only get 2 out of them. I can easily eat one bag in one sitting. But because they’re costly, I like to split them apart.
I suggest stocking up in this beforehand. It’s pretty pricey at a gas station ($6-$9 per bag). At grocery stores, it’s much more common to see deals, such as buy 1 get 1 free. You can always order from Amazon as well.
Also, watch out for the sugar content. A whole bag can have upwards of 20 grams of sugar! There’s another reason why it’s good to separate the servings.
- Yogurt or Cheese sticks
These are other good sources of protein. You can pick these up gas stations or buy them beforehand and store them in coolers. You also get the probiotic benefits from them too.
- Protein Bars
Gas stations are stocking up with these more and more now. So it’s great that you can find these almost anywhere you go.
Look for lower sugar varieties. Quest bars are great. If you like something with a little more flavor, you can go with PowerCrunch or ThinkThin bars.
There is a lot of negativity around the protein bar world selling bars that aren’t “nutritious”. Yes, protein bars have tons of fillers and blah blah blah. But what’s better, a Quest bar or a Snickers bar when it comes to your overall health?
- Protein Shakes
These are pretty self-explanatory. You can bring your own powder and shaker bottle, buy some water when you’re out and just make a shake. I suggest Optimum Nutrition, Dymatize Elite, or Bodytech Whey 24.
Gas stations also sell protein shakes now. Muscle Milk hass been around for a while but you can see some new varieties in there as well. Don’t be fooled though, stay away from Chocolate Milk disguised as a protein shake.
- Nuts and Almonds
I’m allergic to nuts, but I’m always envious of those who can walk into a gas station and grab a pack of peanuts or other nut variety and just snack away. They’re relatively cheap, filling, and have good protein and fat in them.
Gas stations are serving up some seriously good sandwiches now. Most of them are already prepared, but in certain gas stations like Wawa, you can obviously get something freshly made by ordering.
Aim for high protein options such as chicken, turkey, roast beef, etc. And fill up on veggies to keep you feeling full.
Understand that not all of this is cheaper than a bag of cookies or potato chips. You just want to make the best choice possible for your health. You could throw off your entire day’s health goals with a few bad choices. Or you can make a ton of good choices throughout the day and chow down on something new at a restaurant.
I always love trying new desserts or popular local burgers/bbq in random places around the USA, so I plan my day’s calories around them when I’m traveling.
BONUS: Fast Food
Fast Food isn’t actually that difficult. You just have to make the conscious decision to eat somewhat healthier. The difference between a burger and a grilled chicken sandwich can be an entire 30 grams of fat. That can seriously ruin your goals.
I do my best to opt for the following:
- Grilled Chicken sandwiches or nuggets
- Chicken Salad
- Burgers with no cheese or mayo
- Grilled fish sandwiches
There are actually plenty of more healthy road trip foods out there. I’m just scratching the surface. The goal is to look for high fiber, high protein alternatives that fit your daily calorie goals. You’ll start to see things that will stand out and be a great option for you.
Here’s to summer!
If you need any help figuring out foods, feel free to email me ([email protected]) or find me on social media!
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