by Isabella Broggini
Spring is right around the corner, which means…Road trip season!!!
Road trips can be a ton of fun and a great way to destress and go on an adventure with friends or partners, but they do pose a big challenge for fit bodies: how do you keep healthy on the road?? No need to panic – Complete Body is here to save the day! We have compiled a list of the healthiest snacks that you can buy on the road (at gas stations or rest stops) so that you no longer have to worry about losing your gains during your road trip.
1. If There is Fresh Fruit, Buy a Load of It!
If you happen to stumble upon a gas station or rest stop that offers fresh fruit, stock up on it! You should take advantage of every opportunity you can get to buy unprocessed food, as this type of food is especially lacking at the typical stops on the road. Fruit is an excellent supplier of vitamins and a great source of fiber, which will keep you full for longer during your drive. Typical fruits found at gas stations include: bananas, a great source of potassium that will keep you hydrated; oranges, the OG source of vitamin C which will keep your immune system strong when you’re dealing with more bacteria than you’re used to on the road; and apples, that are jam-packed with fiber (to keep you full) and are also a natural source of healthy sugar that will help you keep your eyes open during a long drive.
2.Mixed Nuts (preferably unsalted!)
Next time you stop to refuel on the road, rather than grabbing the saltiest bag of chips that you can find, grab a packet of mixed nuts (preferably of the unsalted variety) for a more nutritious, heart-healthy snack. Nuts (especially almonds and walnuts) offer healthy unsaturated fats, antioxidants (that can help prevent free radicals from damaging your cells), and anti-inflammatory properties (that could help reduce a headache). Plus, they are delicious and will keep you feeling full for longer than your regular go-to salt & vinegar chips (basically empty calories). The healthy fat and fiber content found in nuts will keep you from overeating and also allow you to make fewer stops for food along the road!
Yogurt may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about road trip snacks, but if you look in the refrigerated food section of many gas stations you will be surprised to find they often offer greek yogurt. These little containers of yogurt are great on-the-road breakfast options because they are relatively low in calories while still containing an abundant amount of protein: a serving size of Chobani greek yogurt contains 22 grams of protein and only 120 calories (combine it with a banana for a balanced meal!). When it comes to selecting this dairy delight, make sure that you choose the unflavored varieties: just six ounces of flavored yogurt can contain up to 33 grams of sugar! Not to mention a bunch of hard-to-pronounce ingredients that you definitely DO NOT want to be putting into your body.
Although I would not recommend beef jerky as a regular source of protein intake for an everyday healthy diet, due to its high sodium and saturated fat content, when you are on the road and need to maintain protein intake while still keeping your calorie intake in check, beef jerky can be an ideal option. Beef jerky is loaded with protein and packs 31.1 grams of it into one serving with only 150 calories! Eating adequate amounts of protein each day (0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight) is essential to aid your body in building and repairing its tissues.
5.Protein Bars With The Simplest Ingredients
Consuming protein bars can be a practical way to keep full on the road without having to use utensils or dealing with food spillage in your car, but remember that not all protein bars are created equal. Some are loaded with unnatural ingredients and additives, or fake sugar that will promote sweet-tooth cravings later on. When choosing your protein bars during a snack pit stop while you’re on the road, try to stick with the ones that have ingredients that you are familiar with and can actually pronounce. RX bars, made with natural sweeteners (such as dates) and healthy protein (such as egg whites) are a great choice, as they usually have no more than seven ingredients. Compare these with the popular KIND bars that are advertised as being “healthy” and “natural” and you’ll find that some varieties contain as many as 20 ingredients including the likes of soy lecithin and citrus pectin (sounds appetizing, right?).
6.Ready-To-Eat Hard Boiled Eggs
Many gas stations have started offering ready-to-eat hard boiled eggs in their refrigerated section. This is great news for healthy eaters looking to eat unprocessed food while on the road, something which is very hard to come by. Hard boiled eggs are a great source of protein and can be enjoyed by both vegetarians and meat eaters alike: one large egg contains 6 grams of protein and only 78 calories.
Eggs also contain a good amount of healthy fats, which will keep you feeling full for longer and will help you avoid binging on twinkies or cookies later on during your drive.
Now that you’re equipped with a go-to shopping list for your next road trip, you can focus on having fun on the road, resting assured that you will be able to find healthy options that won’t ruin the hard work that you put in at the gym.