How to Eat Healthy on the Road: Tricks, Tips & Road Trip Snacks

Traveling in and of itself, even if it is to an exciting destination, is hard on the body. When we are on the road, we are sitting for long periods, we get dehydrated to avoid bathroom breaks, and we usually ‘treat’ ourselves with sugary foods and caffeine to break up the monotony. All of these habits leave us feeling depleted, bloated and tired by the time we reach our destination. Well not anymore! Learn to nourish yourself and arrive revived using these simple hacks!

First, make a mental note that you will want sugar/salty snacks because you are not staying hydrated. Your body’s calling for electrolytes to replace those lost from the physical stress of your trip. When we travel, we are particularly susceptible to dehydration for a number of reasons. First, our routines are broken up, so we may not instinctively drink enough water or eat foods that would normally keep us hydrated.

Second, humidity levels inside planes, cars and trains are very low, which is naturally dehydrating. Finally, if your trip includes outdoor activity, such as hiking or water sports, you’ll lose water and electrolytes through sweat. In addition to sipping on your Alkagizer, pack water that has lemon wedges, mint leaves, a bit of honey, or a pinch of salt. Spring water that is ‘alive’ with mineral drops, salt sticks, stainless steel mineral rock stick or these added flavours will keep you feeling good, and you’ll actually have less bathroom breaks than by drinking plain distilled water!

You may tend to get sleepy on the road and start thinking a jumbo flavoured coffee or energy drink will help you out. Keep in mind that you are really getting tired because your blood is pooling, and you aren’t getting enough fresh oxygen. Deep breathing exercises- like our WildFit 5-5-5 breath, and dancing in your seat as you cruise along will really help you stay alert. Get in the habit of taking a 5 minute invigoration break when you stop for fuel or the washroom, in which you stretch out your large muscle groups, run on the spot for a minute- getting your blood flowing is the best cure to a ‘driving/flight hangover’.

When you need energy for a long hike, a long drive, or a day at the beach, fuel your body with a high-quality, lean protein meal before you go! Eggs and sauteed greens are a great start, as are spinach and protein pancakes or a green leaf wrap. (Check out this month’s recipe for a little inspiration!) This combo of veg, protein and healthy fats will keep your blood sugar stable for longer, so you will be less tempted to get a less than healthy confection when you get hungry later.  

Keep yourself from getting tempted. Often when we’re traveling, we don’t have access to food at regular intervals. We plan to grab something quickly at a pit stop, or we skip meals so we can ‘afford’ to eat a bag of chips, huge muffin, or bag of cookies when we get hungry. Many of us who are already Living WildFit struggle to find foods at pit stops, because these shops need to pack lots of sugar, hydrogenated fats and chemicals into even the ‘fresh’ food that they supply to ensure they have less waste and turn a profit.

Be a smart traveler and prevent yourself from getting to this frustrating point. Keep your mind and body humming by packing healthy snacks in your car or backpack. Some simple examples are salted almonds, raw vegetables and veg dip, kale chips, grain free crackers or cookies, berries, grapes, hard-boiled eggs and all natural, grass fed jerky. Pack a cooler with a variety of snacks. You can also try our WildFit roadside wraps. In addition to not feeling groggy and blah from a less than stellar choice, you will feel great about being organized and staying on track with your health goals!

Invest in your new way of life. By purchasing a stainless steel hydro flask, travel cooler, ice packs, food containers and resealable food pouches- you will have all the gear you need to make healthy eating on-the-go a habit. Think of all the money you will save on take away, the contribution you are making to the planet by cutting back on waste, and the insurance you are taking out on your health- as most of our unhealthy meal choices come from being unprepared.

If you forget your cooler or just did not save time to prepare this time around- no stress! You still have control- because where you choose to stop is where you will refuel. Plan ahead, using your GPS to plan pit stops at grocery stores or markets with fueling stations close by. Plan to use the washrooms there if possible, and pay at the fuel pump so you are not tempted to go back to old snacks.

Sometimes it can feel like being prepared for healthy eating on the road is just ‘one more thing’ to pack and worry about. It is easy to forget about that queasy, blah feeling we will get from going back to conventional travel food, and how regretful we will feel later for letting a trip take us off our healthy eating course. Sometimes we make these choices to be unprepared unconsciously. If that is the case, WildFitters know it’s time to tune in to their dialogue. Try it by asking yourself “If I am having hesitations or resistance about eating well on the road by being prepared, where is it coming from? What were road trips like for me as a kid?” Chances are that you may identify that fun trips when you were a child may have been centered around pit stops at particular restaurants, convenience shops or diners. You may still pick up those same packaged convenience foods and stop at the same places- and never even thought about why. Now ask yourself this: “Is this behaviour or experience still serving my best self?” If the answer is no, consider starting a new tradition of having a tailgate picnic at a roadside park and incorporating more fresh-air time in your trips. You will be surprised how little time it takes to embrace these new memories and form healthier habits.

We hope these ideas will help you embrace your summer experiences from an energized and rejuvenated place. Happy travels!

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Ariel Richards

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