Summer is the prime time of year for hitting the road in search of fun-filled vacation venues, amazing vistas, and much needed rest and relaxation. It is also the one time of year, besides holidays, that your healthy lifestyle may take a dive. Between being away from our routines, and convenient fast food stops, we often take on an “I can eat whatever I want” mentality.
This is often the hardest part of keeping the commitment to a healthy lifestyle – whether that means eating healthy, exercising, or both. The results? A vacation pudge that lasts far longer than we’d like. The good news is that you don’t have to lose your healthy habits at the next exit. Let’s examine some fail proof methods to ensure you’re eating healthy while on the road.
Fail Proof Methods for Eating Healthy
Fail Proof Method #1: Bring Your Own
Let’s face it: fast food and healthy lifestyles just don’t mix! By far, the best choice is to BYO. With a little advance preparation, you can avoid damaging your diet, and your budget. Plan to choose nutrient- and protein-rich foods – and don’t forget the cooler. Don’t have time to pack ahead of time? Hit up your local grocer and find several healthy choices ready-made.
Your best bets include:
- Beef jerky
- Trail mix
- String cheese
- Hardboiled eggs
- Protein bars/shakes
- Cut veggies with yogurt/hummus dip
- Fresh or dried fruit (choose firm options)
- Oatmeal-to-Go (no added sugar is preferable)
- Homemade “Lunchables” – whole grain crackers, deli meat, and cheese
Fool Proof Method #2: Stay Hydrated
The body needs water for virtually all of its functions. Drinking half your body weight in water each day will flush your body of harmful toxins, keep your skin looking fresh, and help you eliminate a false feeling of hunger. Believe it or not, many of the unhealthy cravings we experience while on the road, can be satisfied with a refreshing drink of water.
Fool Proof Method #3: Healthy Eating Starts Where You Stop
If you’re on the road, and find that you have no other choice than to hit the fast food circuit – although not ideal, you can still make some decent choices. Stopping at a fast food chain that offers whole or healthy food options is definitely your best bet. Consider these choices from popular restaurants anytime you find yourself hitting the fast food circuit:
- Salads with protein and apple slices
- 6″ flatbread sandwich loaded with fresh vegetables and protein
- Southwestern grilled chicken salad
- Chicken sandwich (not fried/without the bun), side salad or apples, and water
- Burrito bowl loaded with protein and vegetables (without the rice)
- Panera Bread/Paradise Bakery
- Salads with protein
- Flatbread sandwiches
Fool Proof Method #4: Don’t Skimp on Breakfast
Breakfast provides the body and brain with fuel after fasting all night – without it you’re effectively running on empty. Get your day started right with hunger-taming, quality protein, found on most menus. Protein pancakes travel well, and can help you stay on track, as well as curb your sweet tooth. Plan on packing two per day, for the course of your travels. Recipe:
- 1/3 cup oats
- 1/2-3/4 scoop plain protein powder
- 4 egg whites
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk (or water)
Directions: Mix all ingredients and cook on stove as you would a normal pancake. Make a large batch so you have multiple meals ready to go. Perfect for quick to-go breakfasts and snacks. Enjoy!