There is a lot that goes into planning and executing a successful road trip. However, when your version of success includes staying healthy, the experience becomes even more challenging. Road trips are often associated with unhealthy petrol station snacks and fast food stops. How can you avoid the consequences of unhealthy eating on the road which could include weight gain, fatigue and sickness? The following might help:
One of the biggest reasons people end up eating poorly on their road trips is that they do not prepare well. They spend hours preparing their suitcases but forget to spend adequate time preparing food. They may rationalise that they can find something on the road, however, once you put your meals in the hands of road-trip fate, your options become extremely limited. Even if you do not think you will get hungry, stock up on healthy snacks. There is something about being in a car for long periods of time that just tends to incite a need to snack.
It’s also worthwhile to research places where you can eat a healthy option, on the road. Plan out where you will stop and when. If you have never made the trip before, use the Internet to help you figure out the best places to stop. This should be true of your final destination as well. Research restaurants that can offer healthy meals, but will still be fun and exciting to visit—after all, what good is a holiday if you don’t enjoy yourself?
Experts agree that the most important meal of the day is breakfast. There is nothing that gets your metabolism going better than a good meal in the morning. Since most people prefer to start their road trips early, a healthy breakfast is absolutely essential. Unfortunately, many of the brekkie options available in fast food restaurants are far from healthy. They are usually high in fats and calories and especially low in nutritional value. They may be filling, but will make you feel even more tired in the long run. Instead, choose something that will give you energy for long periods of time. A good choice may include bananas, bagels, or granola.
Do your best to avoid buying snacks at petrol stations. Even walking through the convenience store can lead to impulsive buying. Make it a goal when travelling not to use your petrol stops as an excuse to fill up on munchies. If you do run out of food and find the convenience store the only option to satisfy your cravings, choose foods with an expiration date. Those that can sit on the shelf for years are full of unhealthy preservatives.
It is also smart to avoid fast food restaurants. While it is fast and easy to go through the drive-through, it can be extremely difficult to find something healthy. However, if you find yourself in a bind, it is important to know what healthy options are generally still available, even among fast food. For example, some of the healthier choices may include salads, chicken sandwiches (without any mayonnaise), or even a fruit smoothie.
There are plenty of easy and healthy options for road travel. For example, bring along an esky and stock it with slices of fruits and vegetables. Sandwiches are also a great option. Use whole grain breads and lean meat such as chicken and turkey instead of ham or beef. Nuts are also a better option than crisps. Certain nuts such as almonds and cashews have a lot of healthy fats and will keep you full for a long time. If you simply can’t stay away from chips, choose ones that are baked rather than fried
There’s more at stake than gaining a few extra kilos when you eat poorly on a road trip. Driving long distances requires concentration and effort. By ingesting large amounts of sugar, you will experience short energy spikes followed by long periods of drowsiness and fatigue. This becomes incredibly dangerous if you are driving. You may find yourself having to continually pull over to just keep yourself from falling asleep on the road. This will add significant road time and will also affect the time you get to spend at your final destination.
Finally, eating poorly can lead to illness. Travelling itself can cause stress and fatigue, which weakens the immune system. By eating poorly you are only increasing the chances of getting sick. And, as anyone who who’s ever been ill on holiday can attest, that’s not a chance that you should be willing to take.