I recently went on a road trip. Before traveling I always think about packing a cooler with healthy snacks and think about how great it will be to not have to stop for food and to avoid gas station snacks. But let’s be real…this doesn’t always happen. Not only did I have no time to pack healthy snacks I didn’t have any at home and there was no way of making it to the grocery store. So here are some quick tips of how to make better choices with your foods even at a gas station!
I really like this infographic from Precision Nutrition. It gives a TON of practical ideas of what to try to eat more of at a gas station and which ones to eat less. When having to grab some grub at a convenience store think about “how can I make this a little better?”
Depending on the place, some of these options may or may not be available. For example rather than getting a Snickers bar to curb your sweet tooth, one way of making that a “little better” would be to get a Kind Bar or a good nut bar or even a bag of mixed nuts/trail mix. Practicing this often will help you to feel better while traveling and to make sure you are not over indulging on foods that you probably don’t actually care about.
When making gas station meals try to reach for veggies and fruit first. Shoot for 1 to 2 veggies/fruits (carrots, apple, celery, salad), 1 to 2 protein sources (eggs, lunch meat, string cheese etc,) and 1 to 2 fats (nuts, seed, nut butter). And tada! you have a decent meal. Again, it doesn’t have to be “perfect” but you can always make a choice to make your food “a little better.” I encourage you to apply this same philosophy while eating out at restaurants, eating on a plane and even from a hotel vending machine.