Real Food on the Go (Road Trip Edition)

Station wagon loaded and on the road

One of the biggest challenges our clients face while eating PFC balanced is knowing how to sustain this way of life while traveling. We’ve all experienced life getting a bit hectic at times, sometimes food choices are limited, and time spent in the kitchen is practically nonexistent. The answer to this challenge is not to cancel your road trip plans due to your fear of having to compromise the balance you’ve attained from your PFC ways! I’m here to remind you that balanced eating with whole foods doesn’t have to get thrown out the window when you are on the go…it can be SIMPLE. :) The first ticket to successful traveling is planning. Whether it is a lack of pre-packed snacks or low blood sugar due to too much time passing since you last ate, many of us don’t make smart food choices when we’re caught in “desperation mode”! That’s the moment when the fast food in the airport terminal or the candy bar aisle in the gas station all of a sudden calls your name. It is possible to tune them out! It takes some proper planning, but if you are prepared, you can avoid the blood sugar roller coaster and staying on the right track will become manageable. The second ticket to success….a little more planning! These six steps will help you devise your plan of attack when it comes to getting ready:
  1. Decide how many days you will be gone
  2. Plan for 3 meals and 3 snacks for each of those days
  3. Multiply that for how many mouths you will have to feed.
  4. Subtract a meal or two (write them on the calendar!) when you know you will be eating out.
  5. Obtain the right foods to meet the needs of #2-3 ☺
  6. Check out this post for more PFC ideas and portion sizes.
The third ticket to success: obtain the “must haves” which I’ve outlined in this section: Proper Hardware:
  • Get a cute lunchbox with space for an ice pack. You won’t always need to keep your food cool, but when you’re eating fresh food frequently, it’s useful to have a convenient carrying case to bring your favorites and stash leftovers. Consider how much space and padding it has (for instance, will you be using glass or stainless steel containers inside of it?) without getting too bulky. Bonus: Get a lunchbox that fits in your child’s diaper bag for extra convenience!
  • Supplement your lunchbox with appropriate containers. To cut back on wasting plastic sandwich bags, buy BPA free plastic or glass storage containers with tightly fitting lids. I recommend testing them out to make sure they are leak proof! These work well for salad dressings, coconut milk, heavy cream, yogurt, berries and olives.
  • BPA free plastic or glass water bottles. Straws are a bonus for when you’re driving!
Now that we have discussed how you’ll be packing your food for when you’re on the road, we can move on to our recommendations for what foods you should be packing. Protein: Pack your cooler with:
  • Grilled chicken breasts (bake chicken breasts or other meats in bulk earlier in your week so they’re ready in a pinch). You can eat them cold when on the road!
  • Tuna salad and/or Chicken salad
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Nitrate and MSG free deli meat
  • Full fat cottage cheese
  • Full fat plain yogurt (add protein powder in here if it doesn’t have at least 10 grams per serving!)
Fat:
  • Nuts and seeds. (Put in small baggies or little containers for portion control—it’s too easy to mindlessly eat while in the car!)
  • Individual nut butter packets
  • Olives (you can find small packs of these in grocery stores now too!)
  • Cheese (our favorite is the Kerrygold brand cut into little cubes!)
  • Your own homemade healthy vinaigrettes (small mason jars fit into lunch bags and purses well too!)
Pack your cooler with:
  • Avocado and/or guacamole
  • Hummus or veggie dip made with unrefined mayo
  • Full fat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt
Carbohydrate:
  • Fresh fruit (this one’s simple, right?)
  • Dried fruits and veggies. (Have you tried the freeze dried varieties yet?)
  • Since the cooler size may be limited, rice crackers and organic corn chips can be an option as well. Of course we still recommend fruits and veggies as the #1 choice for your carbs but no one said we were perfect either!
Pack your cooler with:
  • Chopped assorted veggies (lots of color! bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, celery, cauliflower, etc)
  • Romaine lettuce leaves to eat your lunch meat or chicken, tuna or salmon salad in style
Remember, perfection isn’t the goal but being flexible, motivated and maintaining a good attitude is essential! Eating healthy while traveling can still be SIMPLE as long as you put some time into planning. Do your best and forget the rest (well, maybe remember your swim suit…and your toothbrush ☺).

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