Road Trips and healthy eating can sometimes seems incompatible. After a long day of driving the last thing I often feel like doing is cooking. Here are a few techniques I’ve found that help overcome these struggles and keep us on track.
1. Start with a simple breakfast.
I know we tend to be in a rush to hit the road, but eating a simple breakfast helps start the day off right. Something as easy as a bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit or an egg white and veggie breakfast burrito can go a long way without taking more than a few minutes of your time to prepare.
2. Pre-portion snacks to avoid overeating.
Over snacking is one habit a lot of people get into when driving. Even worse is choosing unhealthy snacks at the gas station. However, you can still easily lose track of how many calories you are consuming even when avoiding junk food. The best way to overcome this problem is to pre-portion your snacks. By putting a small portion of fruit, nuts, or crackers in a reusable bowl or zip lock baggie I’m prepared when the need for a snack arises.
These Peanut Butter and Jelly Energy Balls are the perfect snack to eat on the go.
3. Pack a lunch.
While you’re packing your snacks, go ahead and pack a lunch too. While we can pull over and prepare a full lunch from scratch, we’re often tempted to stay on the road and eat fast food instead. If I prepare our lunch in advance, I’ve found we’re much less likely to indulge in unhealthy choices. We like to have sandwiches or wraps and a small salad for lunch on travel days. I go ahead and chop up all the veggies the night before so it is easy to prepare during our lunch stops. Then we look for a scenic overlook along our way to break up the drive and get a little fresh air while we enjoy our lunch.
People like to drink coffee while driving to keep themselves energized, but I’ve found that drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated actually helps me feel better. It also helps the waist line because it quenches thirst without unwanted calories. So go ahead and have a cup of coffee, but then drink plenty of water.
5. Meal Plan & Pre-Prep.
The biggest danger for us is always dinner on travel day. Even when I have the best of intentions, after we arrive at our destination and set up, I’m always tempted to go out to eat. One thing that I’ve found that helps is to plan our meal in advance and do as much prep as I can beforehand.
If you are looking for more recipes, a camping meal plan, and a shopping list check out my Cooking at the Campground cookbook.
If you’re looking for more ideas, I love the $5 Meal Plan. For only $5 a month you get pre-made weekly meal plans with a shopping list. Planning your meals and grocery shopping in advance not not only saves space but saves money as well by reducing waste.
One of our favorite travel day dinners is bean & rice tacos. The night before I chop veggies and make a batch of beans & rice in the Instant Pot. When we arrive at our destination, all I have to do is heat them over the propane stovetop (a great option if we’re boondocking too), and serve with tortillas and veggies. Here’s a great recipe for slow cooker or Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos.
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