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Road Trip Essentials

Jun 26, 2014


Road trips are about as great as you can make them. Depending on your company, your adventures and what you eat along the way, it can be a memorable journey or a nightmare. The key to any successful road trip is plenty of healthy snacks. I’ve made the mistake many times of eating junk food along the way, but don’t do it. Junk food can make you sluggish, grouchy, irritable, and just plain uncomfortable. Then, not only do you have to recover from the long drive, you have to recover from the junk food. Here are 7 ways to have a memorable and feel-good trip.

1)   Snack Bars: They just make things easy. You can find a recipe you enjoy or purchase one of the many options out there. Lucky for us, bars are increasing in quality and taste. Here are a few of the healthier options: GoMacro, Kit’s Organic (a part of Clif Bar), and Thunderbird Energetica. For those that are Paleo and looking for organic and grass fed protein, EPIC Bars (Thunderbird Energetica’s sister company) are a decent option.

2)   Fresh Vegetables: Never underestimate the power of celery sticks or carrots dipped in tasty hummus. Celery especially provides a good amount of water to keep you hydrated and fed during your trip. Make sure you bring a small cooler to keep your snacks chilled and ready to eat!

3)   Fresh Fruits: Slice up some fresh fruit the night before your trip so you’ll have something refreshing and sweet to eat along the way. Some good choices are watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, or tangerines. If you want easy no-slice options apples, strawberries, and blueberries are perfect. As always, choose seasonal, organic produce.

4)   Bring Lunch: If you are traveling with a sophisticated crowd you might want to consider making Mason jar salads. Leave extra room at the top so you can mix them up without needing a bowl, but don’t forget to pack a fork. Here are some of our favorite salad in jars recipes.

5)   Containers: Packing food can be a bit of a challenge these days, we can’t quite depend on Tupperware like we used to with all of the toxic chemicals in plastics. Plastics harbor endocrine disrupting compounds that are bad for our health. They are also very bad for the environment, but luckily there are eco-friendly alternatives. Stainless steel is always a good option and EcoLunchbox has a nice set-up and size. Or, you can try reusable snack or sandwich bags made by Lunchskins. They are BPA, phthalate and lead free, and dishwasher safe!

6)   Entertainment: A long road trip can be challenging, especially if you have kids. Try to have fun games for them to play, some books to read, and some drawing utensils. Car time doesn’t have to be boring. If they are starting to get antsy, try singing along to some of their favorite songs or engage them with the scenery passing by. Have them on the lookout for hawks, owls, squirrels, deer, and any other critter that might show up. If road conditions allow, taking short breaks in nature can be a nice relief from being cramped up in the car. Everyone can stretch their legs, run around for a few minutes, breathe some fresh air and soak in some sunshine. Yoga poses are also a good way to ease your back and legs from sitting.

7)   Drink Up: Nobody wants to stop a car trip every 5 minutes for someone to use the restroom, but it’s crucial to stay hydrated. Bottles of water are a must, but some other great drinks to bring are:

  1. Coconut Water: rich in electrolytes and magnesium, this sweet treat is hydrating, relaxing and yummy!

  2. Iced Green Tea: this tea has been touted for its health benefits, and can be used as a milder substitute for coffee. You can steep it the day before and refrigerate overnight!

  3. Chamomile Tea: this tea has a mild sedative effect to it, making it handy to have when your child is struggling to fall asleep for the night or a nap. Skip if there is any allergy to ragweed.

Whether it’s a long trip or a short one its important to take care of yourself and your family. Sitting in a car for any length of time is wholly unnatural. Take breaks if you need them, hydrate, eat good food, stretch your body out and most importantly, enjoy your trip!

Contributed by: Heather DiMambro, CNC

Heather provides nutritional guidance to individuals looking to improve their health with the power of nutrition. If you are interested in one on one counseling with Heather you can make an appointment for your free 20-minute intro phone call by clicking hereConnect on Facebook

Photo of Death Valley courtesy of Mary Ellen Piro