Planning a road trip in the near future? One of the big rules of clean eating is to ALWAYS bring food with you if you’re going to be away from home and in the car for awhile. But are there any acceptable quick car food type snacks that won’t wreck your waistline? Here are some places to get relatively healthy meals and snacks while on the road:
- Gas stations: Surprisingly, you CAN find relatively clean food at gas stations. You can almost always find some sort of fresh fruit at the register. Beef jerky, nuts, dried fruit and trail mix are all acceptable snacks. I’ve even occasionally even found decent protein bars at gas stations!
- Grocery stores: Going to the store doesn’t tend to cross your mind when thinking of a quick meal. However, all of them are have a section with fresh produce and fruits. Places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods often have ready-made sandwiches and salads that you can grab on-the-go with nutrition information attached. This is my favorite thing to do when I travel, because most grocery stores now are carrying organic products.
- Fast food: Fast food places are an absolute last resort. Having said that, there are a few rules to follow if this is truly your only option. First, select meat that is grilled, not fried. A grilled chicken salad (dressing on the side) is usually a pretty safe option. Watch out for condiments! Fast food condiments can add a lot of fat and calories — like mayonnaise and oil based sauces. Use a little ketchup, mustard, marinara, or BBQ sauce instead of creamy sauces and spreads. Half a packet of BBQ sauce or honey-mustard sauce from most fast-food chains, for example, will add about 23 calories, no fat grams, and about 80 milligrams of sodium. Another thing to watch out for is side items. Avoid french fries and onion rings! If you need something to keep your entree company, look for fresh fruit cups or side salads. One last point about fast food places is to avoid drinking your calories. Sodas, sweetened tea, lemonade, and fruit drinks all give you calories with absolutely no nutrients.
Eating on the go doesn’t have to be an unhealthy situation. Choose wisely and you’ll look and feel better all summer long!