I’m back!

Thank you so much again for being patient with me during our travels.  It is going to be a crazy start to the month, but I have today and tomorrow to catch up and then get ready to head to Chicago this weekend.

The views were beautiful driving back yesterday.

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I love fall and the changing leaves. They make the drive a little more bearable.

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I drove a majority of the way so that Wes could get some good studying in for his upcoming Medical Board exam.

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I hope you enjoyed Megan’s guest post yesterday. She is one of the awesome people I have had the privilege of meeting through blogging!

I decided to focus my post today on eating healthy while traveling.

My husband and I have made many trips back and forth between here and North Carolina as well to various cities for marathons. It is always such a great time, but I always struggle with healthy eating.

I don’t know what it is, but long car rides just make me want to eat anything and everything in sight.

I have over the years developed a few healthy tricks that I use when eating on the road or eating out.

1. Pack foods to take with you.

I have only started doing this the last few trips, and I cannot tell you how much this helps!

On our most recent trip back home I packed:

Homemade protein balls

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Bananas and apples

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Kashi and Clif Bars

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Almonds

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Have you ever tried the Honey Dijon Almonds? My husband loves them!

None of these are really fancy foods, but when the craving hits in the car after 6 hours of driving I know I have some quick, easy, and healthy items to turn to.

This also saves a bunch of money as we are not spending money on snacks every time we stop. We actually made the drive down to North Carolina and back with only two stops each. That is record time for us!

2. Try to plan out your stops ahead of time.

The good thing about most of the trips that we go on, is that we have done them before (if not several times).

This allows us to know when and where to stop along the way. We try to have a tentative plan and an idea of which stops we are going to take, so that if we do need to stop for food that we aren’t surprised by what is there.

If you are traveling on a turnpike, for instance the West Virginia Turnpike we traveled on back home, you can actually look up eat travel plaza along the way and what they offer.

WV Travel Plazas

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We use this to make sure there is something healthier we can order and it helps us plan out our stops ahead.

Beckley Travel Plaza

(source)

I know some people hate planning, but I can’t tell you how much benefit it offers when you are trying to stick to healthy eating on the road.

3. If all else fails, you CAN find healthy options on fast food menus.

The husband and I try to avoid fast food as much as possible. Usually we can avoid it, but sometimes it is inevitable depending on where you are traveling.

When we do eat fast-food we try to stick to healthier places like Subway.

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We were starving after our trip yesterday and were trying to make good time so we hadn’t stopped for dinner until right before we got home. I opted for a turkey sub (no cheese), tomatoes, lettuce, banana peppers, and pickles on whole wheat. I got a 12 inch because of the price and saved the other half for later.

When we do find ourselves having to visit a McDonalds, Burger King, or other fast food restarauant I usually do one of two things:

-I select a salad (dressing on the side)

-I order a grilled chicken sandwich and often will take the chicken out of the bun (or tell them to leave off the bun).

I use the sides I brought with me, such as an apple or banana, instead of ordering fries.

Again, they aren’t optimal but there are ways to eat “healthier” fast food.

4. Never feel bad about asking for things made a certain way.

I used to always be scared to ask for restaurants to make my food a certain way. I figured that if I changed anything from how the meal comes it will make them upset. Not anymore!

My husband and I always make fun of each other because I don’t think there is ever a time when we don’t customize a meal.

Here is an example:

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This is a dish I get at a local restaurant.

The normal dish is grilled tilapia on a bed of white rice with potatoes on the side. 

Every time I get this dish I asked that it be fixed without rice and instead of potatoes steamed broccoli.

If you wanted to make it even healthier you could also request the meal be made with less oil or butter, but I didn’t feel the need to on this dish.

The point is don’t be scared to ask for food to be made the way you want it! You will be surprised how most restaurants are more than willing to make it the way you ask. 

This also works with fast food while traveling, don’t be afraid to ask for grilled chicken without the bun or to make a sandwich in a healthier way. If they can’t do it, they will tell you!

5. Drink water. Lots of it.

I always bring a couple bottles of water in the car with me as well. This keeps me from grabbing a soda at every gas station we stop at.

Water does so many amazing things for your body besides hydration, and cannot be stressed ENOUGH!

 

Well that’s it! Those are my healthy tips for traveling and eating while on the road. There is no magic solution, but if you take the right steps you will find it is much easier to stick to healthy eating!

What are your tricks to eating healthy on the road?

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