My family and I are planning a road trip to our family reunion this summer to the fried food capital of the world, you guessed right, the South! I won’t name the city, but the family reunion will be in a place that we visited a few years ago, and we enjoyed it immensely with our family. We dined at one of the local favorites, and it’s a favorite for good reasons. The food was good. Unfortunately, everything on the menu was fried! I ordered the salmon thinking, well, this has to be safe. Wrong! It was fried! Who fries salmon?! This was the first time I ever ate fried salmon! It was good, but let me repeat myself, it was fried!
I am so looking forward to this family reunion but this time, I’m going prepared. I’m researching all the eateries before the trip and scouting out my options. If this doesn’t work out, I’m calling ahead to the hotel to check to see if they offer mini frigs. If so, sister girl will be taking some precooked meals. I can’t afford to spend my entire vacation weekend eating fried food! My waist line can’t handle that! That’s a sabotage to anyone’s diet plan. Here’s some things that I plan on doing to ensure that my healthy eating continues, even on vacation, and I hope they’ll be helpful to you.
To repeat an old phrase, where there’s a will, there’s a way! So here’s a game plan:
Plan ahead. Scout out the local eateries before you take your trip so you can pre-plan where you can find healthy menus.
Take your meals with you. Find a hotel that offers mini refrigerators. Usually they come with the room, and if not, you can order one for an additional fee. Usually the charge is not that bad.
Make sure the hotel has an exercise room so you can keep your exercise regimen intact while you’re vacationing.
For the road trip, take your healthy meals and snack foods with you. Especially if you’re traveling more than 4 hours. Nothing sabotages your nutritional goals more than eating fast food and even sit down restaurant food. Here are a few suggestions for a nutritionally successful road trip:
Load up that cooler with your favorite fruits, veggies, and yogurt. Be careful of the sugar content of some yogurts-usually Greek yogurt is the way to go. I find that Fage yogurt has less sugar than most. It’s usually my go-to yogurt.
Sauté some chicken tenders for lean protein that is healthy and satisfying, and toss them in a Ziploc bag.
Make your own burgers to take with. Rinse some lettuce and tomatoes and toss them into a Ziploc bag to have ready to assemble your burger.
Prepare for the munchies! You want to pre-plan because it never fails; a road trip just seems to bring out the munchies. No sooner do your feet hit the gas pedal and you turn the corner, you’re grabbing for the snacks. I can’t explain it, it just happens. I guess it breaks up the monotony of the road. Whatever the reason, if you’re going to snack, snack healthy! And the only way to do that is to take healthy snacks with you.
Choose raw, unsalted nuts and make a trail mix for when you get the munchies. Toss in some dry cherries. Usually additional sugar is added to dry cranberries, and the last thing we need is additional sugar added to anything, so I typically go with the dried cherries. You can also add some raisins. I would be careful with the raisins as they can be pretty sweet, so add in moderation.
Slice some apples, place them in a Ziploc bag or container and squeeze some lemon juice over them. The lemon juice will prevent browning and adds a wonderful and refreshing flavor to the apples. Also, you ca pre-peel some oranges, separate the wedges and toss them in a Ziploc bag for easy eating.
Take some organic peanut butter and healthy crackers. Assemble beforehand so all you have to do is reach for them. Buy a cup of joe to sip on while you eat, and you’ll have yourself a really satisfying and healthy treat.
Last but not least, load up a cooler with lots of bottled water to quince your thirst. Avoid the sodas and “fruit juice” beverages that line the walls of gas stations. They are loaded with sugar and they have very little juice in them. If you want to drink something refreshing, add some lemon or lime slices or even cucumber slices to your water or some of your favorite fruit. Toss your favorite tea bag in your bottle of water and sip on some wonderful tea as you cruise down the road.
Stay committed to your health goals! Don’t let one summer vacation undo all of your hard work.
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