One of the biggest challenges when attacking a healthy diet is how to eat healthily when on the road. I have for the past four years driven roughly 35k a year travelling through Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas. Throughout this time I have always trained for triathlon. I travel with a bike, running gear, sometimes a wetsuit, a bike trainer, TRX training, and an small cooler for food. I have over 5 years of travel, only eaten fast food twice (2 grilled Chicken sandwiches @ Chik fil a, when travelling with a boss). It has been challenging to say the least, but with a small amount of planning, it is very doable. Here are some of my tricks.
1. First and foremost, it helps to know what is available along the route and at your destination. For instance, on my Baton Rouge to Birmingham route there is a Newk’s in Hattiesburg, a Chipotle in Tuscaloosa and plenty of options in Birmingham. I plan my days accordingly and will wait it out to get something decent.
2. Pack for success. I travel with a small cooler and will bring fruit along with me. Also, if I am in a town where there is a Whole Foods or Fresh Market, I will buy sushi, fruit, nuts etc. and pack it in the cooler. You can also pack a couple water bottles and buy a gallon to refill with at a gas station.This also comes in handy for dry counties in Arkansas as I will buy a beer or two for when I arrive. I also recommend and pack Justin’s Nut Butter in single serving packs, as well as nuts, Clif Bars, Clif Builders Bars, etc. You choose what you like and make sure you have it.
3. Control where you eat. You will still have a lot of times where you have to go eat places. I won’t go into how to eat out healthy in this post as that is a post in and of itself. I will however say, do all you can to dictate where you go. I always suggest places ahead of anyone else as I want to make sure I get what I need. Selfish? Sure, but think of it this way. You are doing them a favor by making them eat somewhere better.
4. Ok, on the above-Here is a short list of places in the deep south that I eat at frequently that you can get a healthy choice that also tastes great. Jason’s Deli, Newk’s, Chipotle, Izzo’s, Subway (I hate Subway, but if given the choice btw this and McD’s..),ZaZa’s Pizza and Salads, and of course FRESHJUNKIE.
A small amount of planning can make a healthy eating plan on the road both easy and doable. Get some.