Sunday, June 11, 2017

Healthy Eating on a Road Trip

I recently drove from south Texas to Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, and back home to San Antonio in a trip that lasted over two weeks. We had to skip out of the school year a little early after ok'ing it with the kid's school so we could get to his older brother's graduation, so our major summer road trip is already over. But it took some major planning because we were not only attending a graduation, but visiting my parents, planning a backpacking trip and a trip to Virginia Beach, alongside visiting my daughter in Virginia. I was packing for several different scenarios. Plus, I was determined that we not eat out or grab junk to snack on at the gas station while driving from destination to destination. It turns out that the weather sidelined our backpacking and beach plans much to our disappointment. I also didn't plan for enough food on the return trip, especially with my oldest son joining us in Kentucky. But we made it from Texas to Ohio and on to Virginia without eating unhealthy. On our home trip we stopped twice for fast food, but only because my planning fell short when prepping food for one extra person.

Proud Momma moment. 

Summer is here, and many people will be heading out on the road to visit family or head to vacation destinations. It's so easy to rely on the drive through for a quick bite on the run, especially if you are in a hurry to get to your destination, but with a little planning it is possible to eat healthy on the road.

I ordered a set of meal prep containers from Groupon and used them to prepackage meals for lunch and dinner. Our breakfast menu consisted of boiled eggs, peeled ahead of time, bagels with cream cheese, and fresh fruit. Dinner number one was lemon chicken over brown rice and spinach salad. Dinner number two was a Mediterranean salad with chicken, feta cheese, black olives, garbanzo beans, and fresh red pepper slices with whole grain pita bread. I also prepared fruit on the bottom yogurt cups in jelly jars for an easy snack. Lunch our first day was peanut butter banana tortilla wraps using low carb tortillas. I made sure to have a healthy assortment of snacks handy like dried fruit, protein bars, hard cheeses, fresh berries, and nut mixes. I have two coolers, a large one I put our main meals in and a smaller one I kept within reach so we could have easy access to the coconut water, mineral water, and protein drinks I packed. We also had water bottles well within reach.

Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt
Breakfasts were eaten in the hotel, while dinners were either eaten at a roadside rest area or at the hotel. (By the way, Texas has some awesome rest areas with mini history museums, modern playgrounds, and clean restrooms.)

One of the best things I purchased for this trip was a Bodum travel coffee press. I packed premeasured coffee grounds so all I had to do was add hot water and press. I don't use sugar or creamer in my coffee, but I do like to dilute it with a little milk, so I brought a little container of milk, too. If you are a coffee aficionado I highly recommend you pick one up instead of relying on hotel or truck stop coffee.

Are you heading out on the road alone or with friends or family this summer? I challenge you to healthy eating on the road. No fast food and no Starbucks. It only takes a little planning. If you are already meal prepping for your work week, it will be easy peasy.

Ready, set....go!

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