Lets face it. Road trips and flights across the country don’t exactly offer the best in food choices to fuel your journey. Fast food chains and convenient stores filled with jelly donuts and candy bars line the US highways. The lack of convenient, healthy foods in gas stations is one of the major reasons we created Bearded Brothers. When I (Caleb) was traveling for rock climbing trips, gas stations never offered the healthy choices I desired. Chris, being a frequent flyer had the same struggle with airports.
The problem still exists today, although it’s starting to get better, with some gas stations offering small selections of better-for-you foods, and some airports even have small kiosks with salads and other healthy options. So, what can one do when traveling and healthy options are lacking? Here are some tips that help my family and I when we are traveling.
- Pack your snacks: Before heading off to a trip to the grandparents or for a weekend at the crag make sure you stock up on healthy snacks at your local grocery store. Your options for healthy selections far outweigh that of a convenient store or airport kiosk. Some great snack ideas are: nuts (our favorite is the seasoned and salted varieties), dried fruit, squeeze packs (kids love these, and there are even adult versions of these now with more ingredients and calories per serving). Packing your own food is going to be crucial to avoiding the temptation to grab sugary comfort foods throughout your journey.
- Pack your lunch: For longer trips lasting over 3 or 4 hours, be sure to pack a healthy lunch to avoid pits tops at fast food chains. We usually like to keep it simple by packing peanut butter and jelly with some bread, or other convenient food items that are easy to make. Pair this with veggie straws (a kid favorite) or some corn chips and you have lunch!
- Drink your water: this might mean more pit stops, but drinking water not only keeps you hydrated, but it helps curb hunger by keeping you satiated. For flights make sure to bring a water bottle with you, but don’t forget to cross the TSA checkpoint with the water bottle empty. Most airports have water bottle filling stations now, so you can easily refuel when you get inside.
- When you just can’t help it: Lets face it, there are going to be times when you just have to stop somewhere fast, or you are just so hungry you need to get something in your belly, and maybe you didn’t plan well this trip and don’t have lunch packed. This will likely be the case in airports since flying with a packed lunch is a bit more difficult. In situations like this, opt for the lesser of evils. Most sit down restaurants in airports will have salad options, and at least one or two plant based options. Even some fast food chains will have a few “healthier” options of the menu. Just do your best to not let yourself gorge on comfort foods, you will feel better for the rest of your journey as a result.