By Julie Cornelius, MS
I get a lot of questions from a lot of athletes about how to maintain a healthy diet on while traveling. It can be difficult, especially on road trips where the only options are gas stations and fast food. Here are my top five tips for eating healthy while traveling:
- Bring a cooler
This applies if you are driving to your destination. Stock your cooler with healthy snacks. Cut up vegetables and bring your favorite hummus, pack your favorite fruit that’s in season, bring cups of Greek yogurt, and stock up with things to make sandwiches along the way. The key is having things that are readily available to grab and snack on. If you bring something that needs some kind of prep work, you are more likely to grab something less healthy in the convenience store along the way. Do all the prep work at home, have plenty to snack on along the way.
- Look for healthier options at fast food stops.
Yes, healthier options can be found at fast food. Look for a grilled chicken sandwich, a salad, or even a baked potato. Just hold the fries, high calorie salad dressings and soda.
- Find a smoothie shop.
Google makes it easy these days to figure out what is in the nearest town or around the area you are staying. Find a smoothie place for post ride, or for a healthy breakfast or snack.
- Pack lots of snacks.
Stock up on fresh and dried fruit, trail mix and healthy bars before your trip. Choose things that will pack well and not get crushed or messy.
- Choose wisely at restaurants.
When your only option is to eat out, making good choices is key. Avoid anything fried, breaded, or covered in cheese. Choose things that are grilled, steamed, or stir-fried. Order a side of vegetables or a side salad instead of fries. Salads can be healthy options, just order the dressing on the side and avoid excess toppings like cheese, croutons or tortilla strips.
Julie Cornelius, MS is Co-founder of Potential Energy Training & Nutrition. She has an extensive background in nutrition and graduated from the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ with both her Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science in Nutrition. She has worked in fitness studios helping clients achieve their nutrition goals, spent two years teaching college nutrition courses, and was the founder of Julie Bar, an energy bar company. Julie is a long time cyclist and mountain biker who loves being outdoors. Julie helps individuals to meet their nutrition goals, whether it is eating to win an endurance mountain bike race, losing weight, or just eating to be healthier.