How to Eat Well on the Road

Out of the house and back on the road?

For the past few months, your #1 food issue was probably that you walked past your fridge or pantry and grabbed a snack 25 times a day (approximately, of course). Now, depending on who and where you are, you may find yourself travelling again to see family you’ve missed, to make up for the missed vacation, or simply to get the heck out of your house. 

Eating well at home is usually a matter of buying the right things and planning well. It’s simpler in many ways because you control the choices you have and the time you set aside to make food. On the road or in the home of others, though, we have less control and that can leave us feeling like good nutrition is simply out of reach when we aren’t in our normal routines. 

On the Road

Restaurants and rest areas – what’s the theme? Convenience food. Often fried, usually fatty, and only satisfying for the moment you are eating it. 

We have always found that our first hack for food while traveling, particularly by car, is groceries. Packing a cooler of meats, cheeses, and fruits can ensure that you save yourself money and calories -along with the car-ride stomach ache that accompanies copious amounts of sugar, fat, and salt. Bring along snacks like jerky, nuts, and seeds to satisfy your snack-cravings while avoiding french fries and chips. 

Instead of stopping at restaurants when you need more to eat, stop at grocery stores.Your wallet will thank you for this one too. For $50 our family of 4 can barely eat burgers and fries these days, but it can get us a day or so of snacks and grab-and-go style meals for the road. 

Water. Water. Water. Yes, it means more potty breaks, but it also means less bloating, swelling, and snacking. Those long days of sitting and the increased intake of sugar and fat (if not following the tips above) can lead to an overall feeling of ick. Fight it off with your body’s best ally – water. 

At Someone’s Home

No one wants to be the person with the pickiness and demands, so how can you be a gracious guest and stick with foods that fuel you? 

Making the best choices you can with what you’ve been offered is your rule of thumb here. Choose the eggs over the muffins at breakfast and eat just enough dessert to be gracious – you don’t have to finish the pie to show you enjoyed it. 

You could also hit the grocery store and keep some nutritious snacks close at hand so that you won’t be famished and ready to gorge at shared mealtimes. 

Offer to cook! If you want to show off your skills and healthy food habits, I’m sure your host will be glad to hand over the spatula for a meal or two and let you whip them up something delicious and nutritious. 

General Rules for Eating on the Go

To wrap it all up, here are our seasoned-travelers-tips for visiting family or places far and wide: 

  1. Try to eat at the times of the day you normally would. (Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean you need a second dinner at 10:00 pm.)

  2. Groceries over restaurants for most meals of the day

  3. Check your alcohol intake – the sugar and calories are doing more damage than you think. (Plus vacation really is more fun without a hangover.)

  4. Fill your plate with half veggies before snagging anything else off of a family-style meal.

  5. Water. Seriously. Drink water. 

If you love travelling as much as we do, you are probably itching to get back to exploring and adventure, or seeing the ones you love and have missed for the past few months. All is not lost on the road! Use the tips above to keep your health, mood, and energy high and to prevent the return to “normal” life after vacation from being such a task. 

If you need education, planning, or accountability related to nutrition at home or anywhere, use the form below to contact us and schedule a free, 15-minute Nutrition Chat.