When you think of summer weekends away, what food come to mind? When you think of eating on the road, what do you think of? I am looking forward to tomorrow’s road trip to Lake Placid to train the Ironman Lake Placid course over Memorial Day weekend. Making nutritious food choices will have a positive impact on how I perform and how I feel overall. Healthy food and hydration sustain your energy levels, fuel your muscles, help you recover quickly, and just make you feel so much better. With all of the training I intend to get in this weekend I’ll probably indulge at one dinner this weekend but for the most part I will be mindful with my choices. Even though it won’t be as easy as eating at home I know that I have options.
Here are some basic tips to help you eat healthy while you’re traveling on the road this summer. I’ve just packed some food above for the road trip and the weekend. l will make this quick because it’s already 10pm, I need to pack and I’d love to be in bed by midnight so I’m up for my 5am run before we hit the road.
1) Make a commitment to yourself. When you know you’ll be traveling make the commitment to yourself before you depart. Think about the impact it will have. Commit to making healthy choices while you are on the road. You can make excuses “I don’t have time to prepare snacks for the road” or make the decision to commit.
2) Healthy eating starts where you stop. If you’re on the road and stop at a fast-food joint, your food choices will be limited to fast food. But if you stop at a grocery store that offers whole or healthy foods—fruits, veggies, nuts, hummus, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, and so on you expand your choices and reduce junk food temptations. Better yet, plan…
3) Plan your snacks. There’s something about being in a car that makes some of us want to eat lots of snacks. Often when we’re traveling, we don’t have access to food at regular intervals. Or worse, we skip meals and once we hit a rest stop we over indulge. And when do you ever remember a rest stop meal that was even that good? You’re also miles away from your kitchen, and you can drive for hours without seeing anything more nutritious than gas station food. So plan for the trip. Make a list a few days before you depart for the trip. Take a trip to the store the day before you leave. Measure out snacks into containers or bags to avoid eating the entire bag as you drive. With just a little smart packing and a good plan, you can eat almost as healthy on the road as you do at home.
4) Eat frequently, and in smaller amounts. So you like those snacks you prepared for your road trip, right? Eating small amounts of healthy foods throughout the trip will keep you satisfied and sustain your energy level throughout the long trip. Eating too much at one time will make you feel sluggish and sleepy. So keep on eating throughout the trip, bit by bit.
5) Drink lots of water. Yes, lots. You may be hesitant to drink water on the road because that could mean more stops to use the bathroom. How long does your average rest stop bathroom break really take though? It’s good to get out of the car to stretch…do some yoga while you are at it for bonus points. Seriously, a little yoga may reset you. Do those few extra minutes really matter? Probably not. Drinking plenty of water will also help curb junk food road trip cravings. Many of the unhealthy cravings we experience on the road can be satisfied with a refreshing drink of pure water.