When my New Yorker brother makes the trip to California each summer to visit the family, there’s nothing we look forward to more than piling in the car and visiting a new town together. Our trips have taken us anywhere from Portland, Oregon to Big Sur, California. These trips are planned around the attractions but actually end up being all about the food. We haven’t even had the final bite of our breakfast when we are already thinking about what’s in store for lunch. Needless to say, it’s the experience of eating that truly brings us together.
The food we choose is not the typical diner and gas station chips and snacks that you would normally see Americans nosh on when on a road trip. With everyone in the family being vegetarian and very conscious about GMOs and pesticides, we take a few extra steps so that the food that we eat is up to the standard of the fresh organic fare that we enjoy at home. Here are insider tips from our healthy road trips that you can take on your next trip:
- Bring a cooler and stock it up with simple wholesome food for when you get snacky on the road. Include: washed organic fruit, raw almonds or walnuts, mini carrots or cucumbers, a small container of organic hummus or a healthy protein bar.
- Bring your own personalized water bottle from home filled with filtered water. When buying bottled water on the road, choose brands of spring water instead of filtered water. Good brands are Fiji, Volvic and Evian. Also plan for extra restroom stops.
- To make the most of restroom stops, use this time to follow billboards that will lead you to the local flavors of the town “Free Chocolate Samples This Way” or “Cheese and Nut Samples Ahead” is a good invitation to get a nibble and use a clean bathroom. Also use this time to stretch your body before getting back in the car.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and use that extra time to make unplanned stops at places that look enticing. A roadside farm stand to restock the cooler or a scenic view to snap a few pictures are always a good bet.
- Research local restaurants with any of the following descriptions: slow food, organic food or farm to table. You’ll be sure to find restaurants with menus that have healthy and nutritious food that will fuel the rest of your trip instead of putting you into a food coma.
- When you arrive, plan some walking or biking tours. These are usually a great way to see a city and be active at the same time.
If all your planning fails or you find yourself in an area that offers nothing but greasy diner fare, talk to the server and see if they can make something special for you. Most servers are very accommodating and will put something together that you can enjoy and feel good about. Don’t be shy to ask!
If you have any tips on how to feel your best when you’re on the road, please share them below. Id love to hear from you!