Don’t let a road trip or vacation this summer completely derail your hard work. Use my simple tips to stay on track during a road trip and still enjoy some indulgences!
IT’S SUMMER! Wherever I look on social media these days, someone is off on a vacation or at a reunion somewhere. It makes me happy to see so much family togetherness. But if you have been eating clean and working out, then a vacation can spell disaster for your routine. It’s hard to cook on the road, in a hotel, or in someone else’s kitchen.
I have been healthy most of my life. But I haven’t always traveled that way! In our early years of marriage my husband and I stopped at the gas stations and loaded up — powdered donuts & chocolate milk, chips, chocolate, etc. Whatever looked good at the time, we ate it while driving (mostly up to Canada to visit my family).
When we arrived, we bought and ate whatever we wanted to that we normally wouldn’t have eaten. All candy and chocolate is better in Canada. Don’t argue with me on that. You won’t win. Even if I have to send you some to prove my point. Oreos are better, the chocolate is more creamy and delicious, the potato chips can’t be beat, and the ice cream just tastes better! Even my husband agrees, so I am not biased . . . so we went a little crazy, every time. And purchased trunk-loads of goodies to bring home with us, thinking they would last us MONTHS. But we would just gorge ourselves for days and in a few weeks it would all be gone, we would be sick and miserable, and have to begin again with healthy eating.
Only in the last few years have we really tried to make a big change in the way we travel, because we have seen how hard it is to get back on track after a free-for-all vacation! I have posted some of my tips before on my instagram account (follow me there if you aren’t already). I figured they needed a permanent home on my blog.
Tips for staying on track with healthy eating during a road trip:
- my biggest and best tip is to stop at grocery stores along the way. It doesn’t take much longer than a regular gas station stop, and will pay off big time. Not only is it cheaper, but there are more options! My favorite items to get at a grocery store during a road trip:
- jerky or meat sticks (READ YOUR LABELS)
- veggie trays
- cut up apples
- cheese sticks
- gluten free animal crackers/cookies
- lemonade/mamma chia drinks — my kids love these
- kombucha/fresh pressed juices
- natural deli meat (my kids love honey ham rolled up as a snack)
- PLAN AHEAD. I always pack a cooler or bag with snacks. These typically include:
- apple sauce pouches
- lara or rxbars
- raisin boxes
- trail mix/nuts (we love pistachios on road trips)
- freeze dried fruit pouches
- nut butter packets
- Bring napkins, wipes, and plastic cups for dispensing snacks in individual portions.
- Try to bring or buy protein and healthy fats as part of your snacks. These will fill you up (and your kids) and keep you satisfied longer. This helps a lot when there are four tiny people asking for food for 10 hours straight . . .
When you reach your destination:
- If those you are staying with don’t eat like you do, offer to pick up some groceries and help with meals. Even buying some fresh fruits and veggies to snack on while you are there will help. You can always hide nuts and other goodies in your room too!
- If staying in a hotel, most will have a mini fridge and microwave, which can make all the difference! I hit up the grocery store and stock that fridge immediately so we don’t hit the vending machines instead. All of the above ideas go into the fridge: veggies already cut up and ready, fruit that can be left out at room temp, cheese and meat for the fridge, some bread or rolls for sandwiches, etc.
- I always look for hotels with complimentary breakfasts and probably break all the rules by stocking up. I grab extra bananas, oranges, and apples for the room because I know my kids will be hungry an hour later if they had cereal or a muffin. I look for hard boiled eggs which are usually included in such breakfasts, and that is what I eat along with a piece of fruit or maybe some oatmeal sweetened with honey and some tea. I also grab an extra tea bag for later . . . shhhh.
That being said, YOU ARE ON VACATION. Of course there are going to be indulgences, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Every time I go to Canada I have to have some Poutine and some Tiger Tiger ice cream (orange ice cream with black licorice swirled through it — nectar of the Gods, I tell you). There are certain things I look forward to all year long and they are worth every zit they create!
When you are visiting a new place, go out and find some tasty treats to try. Let your kids experience the joy of new experiences that they wouldn’t get at home. Our kids know when they go to grandma’s house they get certain treats they are never allowed at home. I love seeing them light up over it. You can let them indulge while still setting some guidelines. For example, I still stick to my “no red candy” rule, but they don’t mind one bit — there is a lot of chocolate and other goodies to choose from! They get treats and ice cream with their cousins and couldn’t be happier.
We try to stick to one big treat a day for them, and keep the rest of the day health/real food oriented! My kids fare much better on a good solid breakfast and lunch than cereal and fast food. So if it fits into our schedule, we try and stick to that!
What am I missing?
What are your travel tips for staying healthy on the road?