It seems like the entire year is a big holiday season. With holiday seasons, people travel a lot. What does that mean? That means that most people are going to eat WAY more junk and fast foods than they typically would or should. I travel a lot so I know the struggle of trying to stay somewhat on a plan when you’re not at home.
It’s so hard to do right when everywhere you look, there’s a McDonald’s, a Wendy’s, a Burger King, and everything else fried. It also doesn’t help that when you stop to get gas, there are Snickers, Doritos, Skittles, and honey buns all over. You tell yourself that you need that good stuff to stay awake on the road so you buy it. Not only do you buy it, you SMASH it! It tastes sooooo good, too. And then it settles in- Eater’s Remorse. Damn! Did you really just eat that? Yep!
So, how do we avoid that? Here are some of my go-tos when it’s time to hit the road.
1- Protein Bar
Protein bars are great replacements for candy bars. They may have the same number of calories but the nutritional value is better. Look for the low-carb and low-sugar ones. I found this particular brand at Wal-Mart but also love Quest bars. Disclaimer: They are not like your regular protein bars that are flaking and crispy. The texture is more chewy like a taffy bar.
2- Rice Cakes
Gone are the days of bland rice cakes. They come in a number of flavors so you can play around with them. They are better for you than chips and popcorn. Plus, I like to spread PB2 (#9 in the picture) on them for a snack that includes carbs and protein.
A serving size is only six crackers and that sounds crazy. The reason why you only need six at a time is because they are so fibrous. They remind me of shredded wheat because you have to work to chew them. They also come in some really good flavors. My favorite are Sweet Potato & Sea Salt and Roasted Sweet Onion. The box provides topping suggestions but I eat them plain.
4- Fiber Bars
Let’s keep it real. Eating all that crap on the road can block you up. Keep the pipes moving by drinking as much water as possible and adding a little extra fiber to your diet. You’ll see that I have the Wal-Mart brand and not Fiber One. I actually think the Wal-Mart brand is MUCH better than Fiber One. They are more chewy and flavorful. In my opinion, Fiber One is dry. No matter the brand, I always stick to the 90-calorie bar. And since they are so good, I double these as my “dessert” sometimes.
5- Dry Roasted Edamame
My husband hates these and says they taste like cardboard but I like them a lot. They are a great substitution to nuts because they pack a lot of protein but don’t have all of the fat that nuts have. Plus, you have to work to chew them (sounds bad, huh? -lol) so you’re not going to eat as many. They also come in flavors but I stick to the raw or lightly salted ones.
This is a staple in my home. As long as there is oatmeal, we’re good. I take this with me because it serves as a good breakfast and can be made at any time as long as you have hot water. I’ve even made it in my hotel by using the in-room coffee pot to heat the water, pouring oatmeal in the hot water, and stirring. I use the regular flavor because I don’t like a lot of extra sugar. To sweeten it, I’ll either add a few raisins, cut up a banana, or simply put a packet of Splenda in it. I’ve also started adding a few teaspoons of protein powder (#8 in the picture) to it. Since it’s flavored, it adds a little sweetness and it has the benefit of adding that protein. Bonus!
7- Breakfast Bars
I don’t eat these often at all because I would prefer to eat oatmeal. However, there are times when you just can’t eat a bowl (or cup) of oatmeal while you’re driving. This is a great alternative. Just be sure to check the labels (as always) and monitor the carbs and sugars in whatever one you choose to get.
8- Protein Powder
As I already discussed in #6, this is taken with me so I can add it to my oatmeal. I’m not a huge fan of protein shakes but having it gives me the option of drinking one if I need it. Sometimes, you really just can’t get to a meal. To avoid making a bad decision and eating crap, you can just make a quick shake. All you need is water.
If you don’t know already, I LOVE me some PB2!!! I eat it by itself. I put it in my oatmeal. I make sandwiches with it. I dip my fruit and vegetables in it. My friend keeps telling me that it’s even good on baked sweet potatoes. I haven’t tried that yet but I will soon! Anyhoo, I love it because it’s soooo much healthier than regular peanut butter. Although regular peanut (all natural, of course) has good fats in it, PB2 is a great alternative if you’re watching your fat intake or managing your micros. To run the quick numbers, you eat 17 grams of fat in two tablespoons in regular peanut butter but only 4.5 grams of fat with the same amount of PB2. There are also only 45 calories in it as opposed to up to 210 calories. There is also a chocolate flavored one but I prefer the regular one. Disclaimer: Since it’s powdered you have to make it by mixing it with water. It may take you a few tries to get it to the consistency you like.
10- Pre-workout Powder
Since I schedule my workouts into my trips, I have to make sure I take my pre-workout. I usually workout early in the morning and it can be difficult to wake up with the energy needed. Being able to drink this when I wake up allows me to have a great workout.
11- Recovery Supplement
To make sure my muscles get what they need to recover and rebuild, I bring my Amino Fuel. This helps to alleviate some of the soreness.
NOTE: I don’t take all of these big boxes and containers with me. Snack-size bags are my friends so I portion out the things that come in bulk (Triscuits, PB2, protein, etc.). This way, I can leave what I don’t need at home and I can make sure I don’t munch too much at once. It’s very easy to mindlessly eat a whole box of something when you’re driving or just out.