Spring is coming and this means more travel, vacations, and time away from home. Keeping to a healthy lifestyle can be difficult when you’re traveling or on the road for work. Here are some healthier alternatives you can look for on the road when your kitchen is not within reach.
Depending on where you are, you might find a few good options. Many convenience stores stock fresh fruit and some offer chopped, fresh vegetables. You can often find raw, and roasted nuts- avoid the flavored and heavily salted varieties. Choose flavored seltzers, unsweetened teas, or plain, instant oatmeal- you can add your own light sweetener or cinnamon at the coffee station.
Surprisingly, many of these are near freeway exits, but we often don’t think of them for quick stops to grab a meal. Many supermarkets have salad bars and delis, and some even have seating areas. There are plenty of options for fresh-cut veggies and fruits. The bulk sections also offer great options for snacks that you can buy in smaller quantities.
Evolution juices. These cold-pressed juices are not pasteurized, meaning they have not been heated and instead have maintained their nutrients. Most Starbucks locations are now selling these.
Oatmeal– choose the plain oatmeal with fresh blueberries and nuts. Decline the brown sugar and dried fruit packs.
Some Starbucks stores now carry brown rice bowls and green salads as a fresher option.
If I have no other option, I know there will at least be a McDonalds within a mile of me. Representing some of the worst “food” available, there are a couple of items you could choose without damaging your health.
Fruit and walnut salad– though the nuts are sweetened, and the yogurt is less than real, this is a good option for when you’re on the go and need a good combination of fiber and protein.
Green side salad– some McDonalds sell a version of this with some pretty solid leafy greens and tomatoes. These are close to $1, so buy a few for a big salad.
If you’re on the road often, get yourself a small cooler with some ice packs that you can fill with cut veggies and greens to toss together a quick salad. You can also make smoothies in advance and store them in the cooler. Fresh veggies are the toughest to find on the road, so packing some of these ahead of time will help you balance your blood sugar and provide you with healthy fiber. You can also make ahead grains like quinoa and brown rice, along with chicken or turkey to keep close while traveling. Grabbing a few pieces of fruit will also be a great option to get you through a long ride before healthier options are available. Make your own trail mix combining nuts, seeds, dried fruit, coconut, dark chocolate.
It’s vacation- indulge a little, and get back on track when you’re home.
Vacations are a time to rest, relax, and rid yourself of worries and anxiety- even around your healthy lifestyle. Enjoy the local food at your destination and be free of worries about what you’re eating. You can get back on track when you’re home and back to your routine. A healthy lifestyle is intended to help you enjoy your life more- not to make you feel deprived or guilty. When on the beach in Thailand, enjoy a banana pancake- or two!
Photos: Germany 2007 (above), Philippines 2007 (below)