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Road trips are one of my most beloved forms of travel and thankfully I have a list of healthy restaurants to choose from on my travels. I just completed my monthly 4-hour road trip to South Carolina tonight (thus this late post) since I will be working 3 days in the office this week instead of from home. Though it’s not a pleasure trip, sometimes I enjoy having some time to reflect and take the country roads instead of the interstate. I have my preferred gas station that I always stop at for a halfway point; the bathrooms are always clean, it’s never too busy and they have plenty of snacks. Mmm, snacks. It’s always difficult to resist the tremendous amount of junk food options at pit stops, and oftentimes, I don’t resist. I never feel good when I overindulge in things like chips and candy though, so I’ve been trying to make better choices at my stops these days. I try to bring some of my own snacks from home when I can, but when I don’t have time to plan, it’s good to have a general idea of what the healthiest gas station options will be.
Sometimes you’ll hit the jackpot and find a gas station that actually sells bananas, apples and the like. Stations like Sheetz and Wawa generally have a decent amount of unprocessed options if you have those near you. If not, here are a few healthy swaps that have helped me on my last few journeys. In general, try to look for the snacks with the fewest ingredients, highest protein content and lowest sugar content. A lot of protein bars (CLIF for example) are marketed as “healthy” but contain a TON of processed junk. Make sure to read your labels if the nutritional value of your food is important to you.
Instead of carb heavy snacks like chips and crackers, try…
- Jerky. It does typically have some sugar, but if you’re like most people, your diet is probably already too high in simple carbs like bread and chips, so try getting some protein instead. If you want something that tastes like jerky without the refined sugar, try Biltong!
- Hard-boiled eggs – One egg contains 7g of protein, so this will help keep you satiated.
- Dry roasted nuts or trail mix.
- Some gas stations are also starting to carry hummus and guacamole, so you could try that with some cut up veggies as well.
Instead of candy, try…
- Dark chocolate with lower sugar content or chocolate covered nuts to get some healthy fats, fiber and protein in.
- That’s It fruit bars are great in that they ONLY contain fruit, no other artificial ingredients
- Larabars are generally made with only fruit and nuts, so they’re also a good option.
Instead of fruit juice (57g of sugar in a Mighty Mango Naked Juice), try…
- V8 (6g of sugar) or Coconut water (16g of sugar). Of course, regular water is always a good option, but sometimes you just need a little more flavor, right?
- Kevita sparkling probiotic drink (1g of sugar). I’m seeing more and more of these probiotic options at larger gas stations these days. They are sweetened with stevia and contain gut-healthy bacteria.
Hopefully, this gives you a few healthy ideas for the next time your cravings hit while on the road.
Before you go, you might also enjoy: How To Eat Healthy On A Budget
Thanks for reading.