Summer is here and it’s time for the All-American road trip. There is no better way to escape the daily grind than to hit the open road. Since most of us don’t have the luxury of long summer vacations, we rely on short road trips to refresh the mind, body and spirit. By immersing ourselves in different locations, we often discover new solutions to old problems and return home feeling refreshed and better equipped to deal with life’s everyday pressures.
But before you break out the cooler and hit the open road, there are a few dietary issues to consider so you don’t return home feeling bloated, lethargic and in need of another vacation. First and foremost—eating on the road can be hazardous to the waistline. We often find ourselves pulling into fast food restaurants and convenience stores and eating foods high in calories, fat and sugar. Fast food often lacks the essential nutrients needed for good health and can lead to blood sugar crashes despite a temporary spike in energy. Dips in blood sugar levels can lead to overeating. Before we know it, we’ve racked up more pounds than miles on the trip.
To avoid gaining weight while traveling and to maximize your energy during a road trip, it is important to plan ahead. By leaving sodas, chips, and cookies out of the cooler and replacing them with healthy snacks, you are helping to ensure increased energy and stamina during your trip. It is also a good idea to take along a few dietary supplements to minimize travel stress. Bringing along a multivitamin is a good way to ensure you receive all the vitamins and minerals necessary for overall health. A well-balanced B-Complex supplement is recommended to ensure an adequate amounts of these key nutrients to help maintain your energy levels.
To avoid the temptations of fast food restaurants and convenience stores, below are some healthy snacks to include in your cooler. Be sure to pack your cooler with fresh ice each day or refreeze cooler packs as directed. Always pack single serving sizes to avoid overeating.
Healthy Travel Snacks:
• Bottled Water—Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated.
• Celery and Baby Carrots—Bring along hummus for dipping.
• Fresh Berries—Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are excellent antioxidant sources.
• Healthy Sandwiches-Choose low fat cheeses, lean meats and whole grain bread. Avoid mayonnaise, eggs and other foods that require refrigeration.
• Apple Slices— A great healthy snack that provides fiber to help you feel full longer.
• Pretzels—Choose a low calorie/low sodium brand.
• Oatmeal cookies--Select a high fiber/ low sugar brand.
• Whole Grain Crackers—Great with peanut butter for a tasty snack.
Have a safe trip!