Healthy Road Trips Tricks
It's summertime! For many of you that means hitting the road on a family road trip, driving to or from college or hopping into the car to get outside on these beautiful summer days. Hopefully somewhere fun. No matter how long you're trapped in the car you have to eat at some point. When I was a kid and we hopped into the car my mom always packed snacks and cooler. I always hated it. I wanted the GOOD stuff. Today, I am grateful she instilled some of these healthy habits for the long hours in the car. Here are a few words of healthy road trip wisdom from my family to yours....
Hydration is Key: First off make sure that you're actually hungry. I find that sometimes I want a snack when I've been in the car for multiple hours I'm not even hungry. I'm bored or thirsty. Drink up my friends and find an interesting podcast or audible book for that wondering mind. When you're trapped in a hot car it's hard to get your water to stay cold. If you don't have room for a cooler I recommend buying cold water from the gas station. In my opinion, there's no need to stock up expensive name brands for water. Water is water. Especially if you are not being active sitting in a car. I know I personally drink a lot of water so I try to grab at least two of the biggest bottles available. On my latest and greatest road trip (25 hours across the country) driving through hot 101 degrees I still had about 3 to 4 hours of cool refreshing water.
Snacks, Snacks, SNACKS: Getting healthy foods at a gas station can be challenging. I recommend packing snacks ahead of time you'll save a lot more money buying at the grocery store and then you'll have a variety of healthy options. I just drove from the great rocky mountains of Colorado to the warm seashores of Virginia. For this I brought oatmeal, banana chips, pumpkin seeds, hummus almonds, tortillas, tomato, peanut butter and mustard.
If you don't have time to pack snacks or maybe you just want to switch it up after being on the road for so long you can be selective at gas stations. I always look for the bigger truck-stop-gas-stations like WaWa or Loves. I can usually find hard boiled eggs, apples and bananas. Sometimes smaller gas stations don't carry the fruit or eggs or hey maybe that doesn't sound too appealing to you. If that's the case I try to look for something that is a single serving. Rather than buying a big bag of chips that'll scarf down mindlessly I'd look for a small pack of peanut butter crackers or a single cookie to satisfy my sweet tooth.
Breakfast--- The most important meal of the day: I learned this being a Flight Attendant and always staying at random hotels. Do yourself a favor and skip the continental breakfast. I always feel like continental breakfast is have fake eggs and plastic cheese with a side of flimsy pancakes. To me none of this stuff tastes good and it won't provide good energy for me the rest of the day. I typically skip the free breakfast and eat either oatmeal that I brought (you can use the coffee pot to heat up water for the oatmeal) or I bring protein powder and add some water shake it up real nice. You can also make Vegan Protein Balls in a sandwich baggy. Its not a ball but its the same ingredients/nutrients.
Eat Your Fruits and Veggies: Yes, it is possible to bring these items along. I love crunching on celery, radishes and baby carrots. If you do bring veggies or fruit try to eat those bad boys within the first day or two. Even if you have the option of a mini fridge at your hotel they typically don't do a great job preserving the food and there's nothing less appetizing then quilting sad lettuce. If bringing fresh fruits and veggies isn't in the cards you can always bring dried fruit. My personal favorite is dried mango.
Caffeine Fiends: If you're like me long road trips require caffeine. As much as I enjoy my double shot can Starbucks they are pretty high in calories and in sugar. When I need caffeine pick me up and its warm outside I recommend drinking Honest Tea. Its not a huge amount a caffeine but it usually gets me by. If you are not a tea drinker try 5-hour energy shots. I enjoy the 5-Hour because it makes me feel focus and not jittery. Plus, they typically have a lot of good vitamins added .
Stretch Baby: Make some space to do some yoga in your hotel room. It doesn't have to be a 60 Minute power Vinyasa class. Even a good 20 minutes Sun salutation can go a long ways.
I highly recommend activating your glutes after a long day sitting in your car. Holding a bridge pose or Chair pose is a great way to wake up that booty. Online yoga is fantastic for a quick hotel yoga sesh.
Whether you are driving 5 hours, 8 hours or 12 hours in a day it is possible to make your travels healthy with simple choices every step of the way. I hope this has inspired some fun and different ways to approach road tripping. I'd love to hear what tips you do to keep your trips healthy and what helps you thrive on the road!