Pack your bags – we’re going on a road trip! It’s summer and time to go exploring. Whether you’re looking for an adventure with some friends or off to discover new cities with your family, road trips are often synonymous with unhealthy food (hello, cool ranch Doritos?), cramped spaces, and someone who inevitably needs to use the bathroom when there’s no rest stop for another 30 miles! This summer, try some of our tips for a healthier road trip:
- Pack Smart Snacks: Let’s start with the basics – you will need a cooler and some ice packs to keep the cold foods cold. No one wants to end up with food poisoning while cramped in a car. Into the cooler goes small containers of Greek or Icelandic (we like siggi’s) yogurt, baggies of washed organic berries and cut-up veggies, a tub of hummus, hard boiled eggs, and some sliced turkey. Every snack should be a combination of some kind of protein and a fruit or veggies. In a separate bag, pack all of the non-perishable snacks, such as turkey jerky (we love Krave and Perky Jerky), raw/unsalted nuts, seaweed snacks (check out these new seaweed crisps from Annie Chun’s – they ROCK!), fruit and nut energy bars (check out Curate), and homemade granola. Try our delicious grain-free granola that was featured in the April 2016 issue of Oxygen Magazine.
- Hydrate: Sure, no one wants to hear the words, “I’ve gotta go!” every 30 minutes, but intentionally withholding liquids to reduce bathroom stops is a recipe for crankiness, headaches, and low energy. Fill up at least 2 BPA-free bottles per person with water and make sure to sip something every 15 minutes. Skip the soda, iced tea, and coffee drinks, which are loaded with sugar and caffeine and will lead to dehydration.
- Stretch your legs: You might be in a hurry to get there already, but plan on making a stop once every hour so you can stretch your legs, shoulders, and aching necks. Use the bathroom and walk around for 5 minutes to get the blood circulating throughout your body. Sitting for too long, especially in a car, train, or airplane, will leave you sore, tight, and can even cause blood clots. Consider making a stop near a hiking trail and breaking up your day with a short hike.
- Meal time dilemma: Out on the open road, it seems like your only options for meals are fast food joints. Here’s the good news – many of these places actually have some clean choices. They may not be organic and hormone-free, but a grilled chicken breast beats chicken nuggets any day. Places like El Pollo Loco and Chipotle are well-known for healthy meal options. A bowl with black beans, grilled, chicken, salsa, and guacamole is actually one of your best choices! Your other option is to find the local supermarket, where you can make a salad from the salad bar or have a sandwich made to order. Plus, many of the markets now have healthier options in the prepared foods (a.k.a, deli case) area. We’ve seen kale salads, roasted veggies, roasted chicken, grilled salmon, and fresh fruit salad in many of the major supermarkets.
- BYOE: A road trip is the perfect time to take a break from the gym. The great outdoors is nature’s answer for exercise. All you need is a pair of running shoes and exercise-appropriate clothes so you can get out and move your body. Research shows that spending time outdoors, in nature, reduces depression and anxiety. And make sure to use the great outdoors to help shape your body. A fallen log can act like a bench or box for step-ups or push-ups. Rock out some triceps dips on a big rock. Sprint from one oak to the next. And most of all, have fun!
One of the best parts of a road trip is to look outside the window (hint, not playing on your phone). There’s a whole world out there waiting to be discovered. So grab a snack and enjoy the view!
Here’s some of our favorite snacks to pack for your trip. Look for them in your local supermarket.