Much of my life is spent on the road which makes the concept of sensible eating an oxymoron. I am certain you have experienced the havoc that a vacation or even a few days of travel can wreak on your waistline and your spirit.
Road kill? What a horrible name! Yet the foods we eat when traveling often leave us half dead, devoid of energy, and way off track in our efforts to live fully alive. Bad eating habits on the road can destroy the joy of a trip and leave us feeling sluggish and guilty.
Here are five tips to help you stay fully alive as you travel.
1. Know where you will stop. Plan ahead where you are going to eat, and avoid fast food places. The only thing fast about fast food is how quickly it can move through your body and how fast it can knock the energy from you. Fast food doesn’t even move. It just lies under a heat lamp until we are foolish enough to move it.
Often the fast foods we crave the most are the quickest to leave us feeling the worst. Can you say “French fries”? Plan ahead to stop at sensible places that have healthy options. I admit that some fast food places offer healthy options, but you are surrounded by temptation. Unless you are committed and know what you are eating, skip past fast!
2. Know how often you will eat. Stop to eat your regular meals. Avoid the temptation to skip meals or drive an extra two hours and delay eating. This may save time, but it will also convince your body it is starving.
A body so convinced will want store up what you eat next for the coming famine. That storage place is called FAT! Start with a good breakfast, bring healthy snacks of nuts, vegetables, berries, and other fruit and enjoy a reasonable snack between each main meal. You will feel much more energy and burn calories more efficiently than if you wait too long between meals.
3. Know what you should eat. Getting enough protein is the secret to maintaining energy, staying focused and being strong. Google the foods listed under “lean protein” and focus on eating them as you travel. By the way, actual “road kill” is filled with protein but I don’t recommend it.
4. Know what you shouldn’t eat. Here’s a couple of tips that have helped me.
- If is comes in a box, it could possibly put you in one.
- If it tastes good but makes you feel bad, you can be assured it’s not good.
- If it’s loaded with sugar it will lift you up and drop you like a rock.
If it’s loaded with chemicals and preservatives, steer clear.
5. Know how much to eat. Forget the admonitions of your mother. “Eat everything on you plate.” Most restaurants load a single plate with enough food to feed half the third world.
Here’s another bad piece of advice…. “eat until you’re not hungry.” Sugar, salt and added flavors can trick you into thinking you want more long after you’ve had enough. Know what you are eating, know the amount you should eat, eat that much and stop!
Don’t let poor habits kill the energy and joy of your next road trip.
This is not an exhaustive list of ideas you can find more details at these sites: Men’s Fitness Wiki How about.com NUTRITION
[reminder]Other than leaving the children home, do you have some good advice about eating while on the road? [/reminder]
If you can, take food you prepare at home with you. My kids travel for swimming and I cook meals beforehand that can be heated up at the hotel. It saves money and keeps us from eating junk!
We often do this. It help you control what you eat.
Great tips. I use the LIVESTRONG app to help me identify what to/not to eat on a particular menu.
Me too Pat. Great suggestion.
I put healthy snacks like pretzels, nuts or fruit in ziplock bags and have it with me as I travel. I make sure there are several bottles of water so I don’t stop for a soda. If I stop, I know I am tempted to grab chocolate or caffeine. By having alternatives, I give myself a choice to eat better and smarter.
Hydration is so important. IF done properly it actually curbs the hunger pangs. I am trying so hard to wean myself from soda. Even diet soda is bad.
My husband’s not quite on board with eating healthy (he likes the thought, just not the practice 🙂 ), but I pack it in for the kids and myself when we travel anyway. He generally ends up appreciating it, and at least I can help curb our temptations somewhat.
My family is into organic. Translation…. brown and tastless. I am giving it a try though. If it doesn’t work, I may start a commune with your husband.
He’d be all for it!
I struggle the most with breakfast when I am travelling. The motel restaurants are often very expensive so I usually opt for McDonalds or something equally energy draining and makes me feel sluggish before the day begins.
I love eggs for breakfast. Most of my hotels serve them free even though they sometimes resemble hockey pucks. I have occasionally eaten an egg mcmuffin, minus the muffin, without feeling any bad effects. French fries, diet soda, and white bread sap me of energy.
My husband and I used to be sure we start with a big breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage and toast. We actually feel better if we just put strawberries, fresh or frozen with a banana or two and blend. You may add a bit of sugar or vanilla or milk if you’d like. We feel much better all morning and not all that bloated weight on us.
I’ve found another “secret” that most won’t like, but if you are in the habit of drinking a lot of coffee or tea every day, try omitting it altogether for four days. lf it makes you sick, or headache, or stomach cramps or similar discomfort to stop, you may have a sensitivity to it (not necessarily the caffeine) built up from over use. If so, the discomfort will go away within a day or so…but if you start again with more that three cups or so, you’ll go through the same discomforts getting back on it. If this turns out to be the case, consider stopping altogether.
That would definately fall under the category of “If it makes you feel bad don’t eat it.” Great suggestion as to how to discover if it makes you feel bad. Can’t wait to see you again this summer.
My husband is an OTR truck driver and here’s a few. We only hope they are healthy. Homemade beef or turkey jerkey, leftovers from home frozen, reheated in his pot in truck, yogurt with granola kept in frig, grapefruit cups, lots of water, hummus with salsa, peanut butter, fresh fruit, boiled eggs.
For our weight loss group we have done a few experiments, and we have found the results to be mind blowing. First let me say that I heard a cardiologist say,”if it don’t decay, don’t eat it.” My assistant and I went to local restaurants and bought regular cheese burgers, chicken sandwiches and French fries. Our first experiment was back in 2012. That summer we decided to spice things up a bit, what better place to do our experiment but in the back of my teenaged daughter’s jeep(the whole summer) lol (love that girl, she is momma’s girl), with some temps over 90 plus degrees. Ok, pretty gross, right! Let me say I still to this day have that cheese burger and fries, and each year we show it and prove it never decayed, even out in the summer heat!! Needless to say, I nor my family eats fast food anymore.
before getting your fruits and veggies know what you can take across the state line. so they the border inspectors don’t take them.