Article by Lauren Arnett, RDN, LD
Functional Medicine Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at KanodiaMD
Did someone say road trip? You may feel nervous about the challenges that come along with traveling and sticking to your eating routine. Between the temptations, celebrations, and having less control in various situations, it can be tough! Here are my top tips:
Whether you are going on a road trip, flying out of town, or going to a social gathering, planning ahead is key! First, it is important to understand what you are walking into. Where are you staying? Will you have a kitchen? Fridge? Microwave? Blender? Cooler? Will you be going out to restaurants or in the middle of the sticks where home cooking is the go-to? Backpacking? Camping? Maybe you will be cooking with others.
Having an understanding of the situation at hand will help you plan for success!
Action step: Jot down what grocery stores and supplies you will have access to. Figure out how many days you will need to prepare for. Let’s get planning!
Download the Yelp App
If you don’t use the Yelp app, I highly recommend it! This not only helps me find places that fit my dietary preferences, but it has also allowed me to try places in new areas that I may have never known about. This app supported me on multiple road trips across the country—it's super helpful (and free)! Try search terms such as “farm to table,” “paleo,” “grass-fed,” “gluten free,” “vegan,” etc. to help narrow down top places in the area that provide tasty meals that fit your dietary lifestyle.
Action step: Download the Yelp app and do a few searches in your current area to get a feel for what search terms work best for you.
Pack Food, and Make Sure it Tastes Good!
Driving? Instead of relying on gas stations, make sure you stock up on snacks, and if it’s a long trip, don’t forget heartier options.
Pack a cooler with…
- Filtered and sparkling water (Spindrift is my favorite)
- Wraps—try a Siete tortilla, collard green or nori wrap filled with turkey or chicken, mustard, and other fillers of choice. Wrap them up in parchment paper for an easy meal time option.
- Avocados—simply slice them open and use a spoon!
- Add some crunch with chopped veggies or almond crackers (I like Simple Mills) paired with mini guacamole cups or hummus.
- Hard boiled eggs
- Pre-chopped mixed fruit
Flying? Same concept—don’t wait to see what the airline will provide. You want something that is going to satisfy your hunger and your taste buds. Pack a meal for long flights … yes, this is a normal thing that people do! And fill a gallon-sized bag with on-the-go snacks.
A few fan favorites for driving or flying:
- CHOMPS jerky sticks, raw mixed nuts, olives (single packets) and dried mango (no additives)
- Dark chocolate—try Evolved Keto Cups or Hu Kitchen chocolate squares & gems
- Vital Proteins collagen packets to add to coffee or tea
- Tea packets—ask for hot water from a local shop or on the plane.
- Shaker bottle for water and to mix protein powder packets if desired
Action step: Find what products work for YOU and get packing!
Make a Grocery Store Run When You Arrive
Right when you get to your destination, find a grocery store to stock up on essentials. You can also “skip the line,” and pre-order food for pick-up. Check out Thrive Market for a grocery delivery straight to your door.
Focus on foods that are a normal part of your routine—the foods that you eat regularly at home. Keep it simple. If you won’t have access to a full kitchen, you can find pre-made Vital Farms hard boiled eggs, pre-chopped veggies, Applegate deli turkey meat, a naked rotisserie chicken, and canned fish (Vital Choice is a great brand that tests mercury levels). Don’t forget to replenish on the “fan favorites” from the list above!
Action step: Assess the situation before you leave. Are you familiar with the stores or markets in the area that you are going? Are they small town shops that may not have what you need? Decide if you are going to place an order for delivery. Make use of YELP for local markets or stores. Create a quick shopping list before you go.
Water, Water, Water…
The number one goal to commit to each day for your health is staying hydrated. About 60% of the human body is made up of water! Hydration is incredibly important for our bodies especially when we are traveling.
Additionally, consuming water can help you curb cravings. Check in with your body when you have a craving. Have you had enough water today? Commit to 32-40 oz. of water each day, and assess your thirst levels.
Action step: Start your day with 8 oz. of water before any other beverages.
Bonus: Purchase a water bottle! I encourage you to get one that you are comfortable carrying around. Stick with glass vs. plastic, and check out options that have fill lines or time-of-day lines for reference (and accountability).
Wishing every safe and healthy travels this summer and beyond!
As always, we’re happy to discuss your health needs. Just contact our office to set up an appointment or visit our Kitchen Page for info on nutrition and our class offerings . Check out our snack-sized, healthy cooking tutorials filmed straight out of our state-of-the-art teaching kitchen called “The Nourishing Plate.”