|Eat well no matter where the road may lead you.|
1. How are you traveling-plane, car, train, boat, in a group, or by yourself?
2. How long will you be gone-6 hours, 2 days, 3 weeks?
3. How much room do you have to pack food- lunch box, suit case, trunk of car?
4. When you get to the destination what food will be available- gas station, 5 star restaurants, grocery store, or a family member's pantry?
Since most trips start in an automobile this post will discuss foods that travel well and can be eaten while driving.
Driving and eating can get a little treacherous. Granted, it's best to avoid it by having a snack or meal prior to buckling up, but sometimes it cant be avoided. In these instances it's best to have easy to handle foods around. PB&J, turkey Sandwiches with lettuce, or hummus with cucumber slices work well. These combinations are less likely to fall apart and drip messy gooo on your lap. Make sure to use whole wheat bread for a boost of fiber; traveling can cause constipation. Chicken, tuna, and egg salad have a tendency to mush out the corners and this can cause problems. Not to mention that eating a tuna salad in the car will leave a fishy odor for several days. Pack your sandwich in a small ziplock bag, as you eat pull just enough sandwich out to take a few bites. This will help prevent crumbs from sprinkling themselves all over your seat. For longer trips don't be afraid to pack a cooler with lots of sandwich fixings. Stopping at a rest area and making sandwiches gives you time to stand up and move around. This will save money and calories when compared to puttering through a Wendy's or McDonalds. It's also a great time for kids to run around and burn off some energy, making them much more pleasant travelers. An added benefit is that many rest stops these days have walking paths and are sometimes at very scenic locations.
Before leaving, cut up red and orange bell peppers and celery. Pack these in a tupperware along with some baby carrots and cherry tomatoes. These vegetables are easy to grab and munch on while driving and contain lots of vitamins/minerals/antioxidants/ and fiber. In another tupperware store some grapes and cumquats or just throw an apple and banana in the seat next to you. Avoid peaches and nectarines since you will end up with juice running down your hands and chin.
Chips, pretzels, and candy might be popular snacks, but remember they are highly processed foods and will probably leave you craving more. Try making your own travel mix by combining almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, or any combination of nuts together with some dried fruit such as cherries, cranberries, pineapple, papaya, and banana. Many grocery stores these days sell nuts and dried fruits in bulk bins so it's easy to make a combination with your favorites. It may cost more up front than buying a 1# bag of trail mix($4-7), buy buying in bulk allows you to control how many chocolate covered candies there are, as well as limit the amount of added salt and sugar found in most traditional trail mixes.
Be sure to keep your water bottle handy. Sipping on h2o will keep you full, hydrated, and less likely to purchase a large soda at a gas station. If you need caffeine, stick with regular coffee and add 1-2 flavored creamers if needed. The cappuccino machines and energy drinks are just flavored sugar water, so definitely avoid these if you are watching your weight or have diabetes. Eating well while traveling doesn't have to be difficult, but it does take a little planning. However, the reward is reaching your destination and not feeling bloated and exhausted from a bacon hamburger and large coke sugar rush.