Now that you’re all set up with your 7 tips to fit movement into long road trips, you’ve gotta eat, right? Long car trips can be an “excuse” to overload on fast food, unhealthy snack food, and sugar-laden coffee drinks or sodas. We munch so we can stay awake, out of boredom, or just because we “can.”
The very best way to stay healthy while traveling is just to be prepared! You should have seen the two huge bags of food that I packed for my trip – it was far more than I truly needed, but I always like having options. If I pack celery sticks to munch on but just don’t feel like celery sticks at the time, then I wind up with whatever the nearest convenience store carries. And if your convenience store looks like this one (one of the stops on my trip), it probably won’t carry the healthiest options!
So instead, I am sure to pack a variety of snacks. Here are 7 Healthy Snacks for Long Road Trips … and if you need more, check out my previous post with 7 Healthy Travel Snacks!
7 Healthy Snacks for Long Road Trips
- Fresh veggie sticks and fruit. The ultimate road trip snack, in my opinion, because you can crunch on and on without worrying. I packed sliced cucumbers, red peppers, and tons of jicama, plus a bag full of carrot sticks, and pre-washed apples and plums. Bonus – I had extras, which made for great snacks while I was on my own in Keystone!
- Protein smoothies. Smoothies are great ways to pack in protein, flavor, hydration, and maybe even some veggies. I almost always start my road trips with a super-frozen smoothie, so I can sip on it as it defrosts and feel like I have a long-lasting snack. My smoothie had clean protein powder (I like Vega One, NuMedica Vegan, and Tera’s Whey!), greens from my garden, cucumber, strawberries, 1/2 a banana, some nut milk, and ice. If you need more smoothie recipes, try this one or this one!I also packed this Svelte shake for the second day (it’s really hard to find pre-made smoothies with no whey, casein, almond, coconut, rice, or other things I’m avoiding due to food intolerances, so I was thrilled to find this one!). It tasted delicious and is flavored by stevia, gluten-free, dairy-free, organic, has 5g fiber, 11g protein, and only 6g sugar. I always prefer to make my own to cram in real foods, but for a packaged option, I was pretty impressed by this one! (I also like CocoLibre shakes and Orgain shakes, if you’re looking for more!)
- Nuts. I am all about healthy fats (almost everyone could use more!), but nuts are one thing that can add up, so you want to be somewhat careful here. I’m pretty sure I could eat 10 servings of cashews without thinking, and even healthy things should be consumed in moderation, so be sure you’re moderating your intake. That said, nuts are a great option for a satiating snack! I packed pumpkin seeds, cashews, and trail mix (note that even though this says “healthy,” it could be a lot better, since the cranberries are sweetened! But again, it’s tough to find trail mixes without almonds!)
- Dry roasted edamame. This has been one of my favorite snacks recently – I love the crunch and healthy protein from dry roasted edamame! I had the wasabi version (in a 200-calorie pack), and also brought along the lightly salted kind.
- Jerky. While I don’t actually love the flavor of jerky, it’s a great way to get in some lean protein in a shelf-stable, easy-to-carry package. The Turkey Jerky that I have here was pretty good and has great nutritional stats, although I would personally prefer organic meats. One of my favorite podcast hosts, Ben Greenfield, always recommends the jerky from US Wellness Meats, and I also like Tanka bars, which are hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and 100% natural. You can also see my “Boom Chicka Pop” in this picture, which isn’t one of my top 7, but was good for a munchy snack. Its only ingredients are popcorn, sunflower oil, and sea salt, so it’s a cleaner option than many out there.
- Kombucha. Kombucha is packed with healthy probiotics that help heal your gut and have multiple other health benefits, plus it has a uniquely addictive taste (most people, including me, don’t like it on their first try, so keep at it!). Yes, it has some sugar, but I’m OK with some sugar when it comes with these health benefits. Check out Lindsay‘s guest post on the benefits of kombucha here – I want to try brewing my own one of these days!
- Water. Of course, we weren’t going to get through an entire health tips post without talking about water! You know how important it is, so drink up! Plus, it’s a great way to ensure you get more movement in your travel day! I recommend reusable bottles, of course, but once I went through my first two, I had to switch over to plastic.
Here’s a bonus tip! For meals, always look for a way to fit in veggies! Sometimes, I just snack through meals, using the healthy snacks I have planned, but when you stop for a meal, just do the best you can! I stopped at a grocery store for this salad, which was a whole lot better than fast food, and I packed some leftover roasted veggies with a packet of tuna for my dinner when I arrived at the hotel late on Sunday night. (I hate wasting food, so I always roast up any veggies I have and pack them up when I’m leaving!)
Once I got to my hotel in Keystone, I made a quick trip to the grocery store to load up on veggies and other healthy items, so I’d be prepared for all of my meals while I was there. It saved me a ton of money, ensured I would have food I was excited about, and was lots of fun! If your room doesn’t already have a mini-fridge, just ask, like I did!
I also loaded up on the water … the hotel staff refilled this nice glass bottle with delicious, fresh spring water every day, plus I crushed a one gallon, and over half of a 2.5-gallon jug in 2.5 days!
So tell me in the comments … What is your favorite road trip snack? Which of the ones I mentioned are your favorite?