Having recently taken a road trip to Alabama, I found it an interesting challenge to keep myself, as well as my family, in check when it came to how far down the reservation we would travel away from our daily healthy diets. At home for the past couple months my snacks have consisted of almonds, yogurt, and fruits; but how could I incorporate those things into a nine hour drive way out to Alabama? Surely I would have to get fast food at some point?
You’re right, I did have to get fast food…but there’s a difference between getting any fast food and then being smart about it. Before we get to my fast food stop, let’s just talk about how you can avoid such stops if that is your goal. Taking time to prepare is the key player in this game. Strawberries, blueberries, and cherries have been on sale for weeks now and will continue to be as summer goes on; they’re also a painless snack to eat in the car when prepared correctly. Blueberries are simple, just wash them and you’re good to go; as far as the cherries and strawberries go, they require a bit more effort to take out the seeds and stems. For me, I bought a cherry pitter at Target (link below) for about ten bucks and it worked like a charm! Then there’s a neat trick for strawberries, I simply took a chopstick, stuck it into the strawberry from the bottom until the stem popped out at the top so that I could take it off. Having done all this to 2 pints of blueberries, a 2 pound bag of cherries, and a big container of strawberries, I already had half of my snacks ready to go into the cooler. The best thing about it, everything is seeded and ready to eat without a hassle.I also used the berries to make a breakfast smoothie, something that kept me full for a few hours as a breakfast on the go; the ingredients are captioned under the picture (guided link below).
Fruits can only get you so far, so why not pack a couple bags of almonds and avocados (with the seeds taken out) as well? When I got the urge for something crunchy, almonds were there waiting for me; high in protein and it kept me full for the time being. Now you may say: “Nicole, those are fine as far as snacks go, but what about REAL food?”. There is always an option of packing sandwiches or wraps ahead of time but this is where my fast food stop snaked it’s way in. As we pulled up, I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich on a multi-grain bun with an unsweetened iced tea. Choices. We all have choices; on the way back from Alabama, it was decided that we needed to stop at Wendy’s, who did not have the same options, but it was the only stop we were making for the next 200 miles. I still opted for the Chicken Cesar Salad, and I had water in the car.
I am no saint when it comes to what I eat, sometimes I do eat unhealthily, but I am also very aware of what I eat when I do. There are times on road trips where choices are extremely limited. If I need to get a burger from McDonald’s or eat a bag of chips then so be it, I won’t die if I eat them, BUT I will die if I starve myself and refuse to eat any type of unhealthy foods (figuratively and literally). I am human after all. But for foods that I may have the slightest possibility of controlling, I absolutely will take the time to prepare them for myself and my family because it’s important to me. Like most great meals and foods, taking the time to prepare is what makes or breaks the taste and quality of whatever it is that is being created.
Target’s Cherry Pitter: http://www.target.com/p/oxo-softworks-cherry-pitter/-/A-16965148
A breakfast smoothie recipe that can be used as a guide: http://lecremedelacrumb.com/2015/02/berry-oat-breakfast-smoothie.html