Author: Sorting Last Post on Top Message:
BAPSANN Posts: 1,448
2/20/14 9:00 A

I enjoy road trips with planned picnics so that I can stay within my food choices.

HISARTIST SparkPoints: (110,485)
Fitness Minutes: (151,321)
Posts: 4,037
2/20/14 8:52 A

I must say that I really enjoy going grocery shopping on trips. Sounds kind of strange, but the variety of grocery options out there is wonderful. When my husband was stationed in Washington, D.C., I enjoyed going to the Harris Teeter near his apartment...they had some very interesting produce choices that I hadn't experienced in our small town in Ohio. The small roadside vendors were fun too. I say be adventurous! You never know what you might find that will turn you on to a new cuisine choice. Eat local!

JIBBIE49 Posts: 71,634
2/19/14 9:12 A

I've traveled all over the country and never had a problem, since I just go to a grocery store. We call it "Alabama Take-out" and make a joke of it. I am to frugal to waste money eating at a lot of restaurants. We have a "cooler" in the car and keep food in there. We have gone on trips to Disney World and even there gotten the tram and gone back to the parking lot to our car so we could eat, as I'm not paying the high prices they want for food inside the park.

JAZZERME SparkPoints: (81)
Fitness Minutes: (150)
Posts: 1
2/19/14 7:36 A

We do a lot of traveling so we have it down to a science. The first thing we do when we arrive is go to the grocery store. Whether we're driving or flying I'll make my list during travel time, which helps time go faster too! As a family we decide what we're going to eat for each meal then make the list from there. Depending on how long we're going to be gone we allow ourselves one, maybe two meals out then eat in the rest. When possible we stay in a place that has at least a kitchenette so I can cook.When we hit the grocery we buy a throw away cooler. In the morning before we head out (usually hiking) I'll pack lunches for the day, pbj, tuna, chicken breast sandwiches, (depending on how available ice is), raw veggies, fruit, granola bars and lots of bottled water. This not only saves us on calories but also money. When we do eat out we feel it's okay to splurge a little bit, it is vacation after all! And since our vacations are centered around hiking we'll burn it off anyway.

MRSP90X Posts: 3,486
2/19/14 2:00 A

For my road trip, I am making salads in a jar. I have half gallon Mason jars and layer the ingredients. I am keeping them in a cooler while in the road. With a long enough fork, I can eat it out of the jar. Someone told me about and I thought to pass it on. It really is great way to make sure I get a salad my way.

HOLALOLA SparkPoints: (32,688)
Fitness Minutes: (91,516)
Posts: 280
2/18/14 2:57 P

That's a challenge! But luckily, on the West Coast you will have more healthy options than in places like the Midwest, for instance. Denny's and Chili's have "healthy" menus with better choices. You might want to check their menus before you go and also check maps to see what kinds of places are along your route of travel. Anywhere you go, ask what comes on the food and ask for it without butter, salt, or whatever.

Try places like Subway, Baja Fresh, Chipotle, Jamba Juice, Tender Greens, Fresh Brothers. These tend to focus on healthier choices. You can also try grocery stores for pre-made salads and in the deli you might be able to get sandwiches on some kind of wheat-free "bread." I'm not familiar with those options but maybe you could buy low-salt deli meat and eat in on the appropriate kind of cracker or pita or lettuce wrap that is available at grocery stores. Try Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Sprouts/Henry's/Sunflower Market (owned by the same company.) You might need to buy your meals like this and have them ready when your family wants to stop at McDonalds. Bring a cooler and and ice pack and use the hotel ice to keep things cool. Good luck!

2/18/14 9:17 A

Such good choices! We pretty much do the same. Haven't tried Lara Bars but plan to pick some up on my next shopping trip.

OWLVR54 Posts: 4,152
2/17/14 8:30 A

It is difficult finding good choices of food to eat when on a road trip. I went on one with a friend a few years back and went to Walmart and bought fruits and healthy snacks that we could eat so we would not stop at a fast food restaurant and order something quick but not healthy. I would recommend not buying too much though cause we had to throw away some that we could not carry on the plane home. But, it worked for us and when we did dine out, we chose healthy foods from the salad bar, etc.

INCH_BY_INCH SparkPoints: (260,635)
Fitness Minutes: (160,154)
Posts: 7,897
2/16/14 2:31 P

I try to pack food choices that will not upset my stomach. Sometimes when I eat out the way the cook prepares it can trigger an attack from the grease or whatever. I hate to be on a road trip and feel yucky. So when faced with food choices on the road them I eat mostly fruits and veggies in their normal natural state.

JSTETSER SparkPoints: (267,580)
Fitness Minutes: (172,236)
Posts: 9,279
2/16/14 6:49 A

Fill a lunch bag every morning,
Keep a picnic basket with my favorite staples like peanut butter and tune to go on top of a salad

HCORNETTO SparkPoints: (18,404)
Fitness Minutes: (29,674)
Posts: 145
2/16/14 12:10 A

I have celiac disease, so I can fully understand and relate to your fears. There are a couple of things that I do when traveling.

1) Internet research. Look for restaurants that offer a gluten free menu, or list nutrition/allergen facts on their webpages. There are several webpages devoted to pointing people (celiacs in particular) to gluten free restaurants.

2) When in doubt, salads and omelets are your friend. You can ask when you order for them to hold the salt, but most omelets you can customize with whatever you want in them, and eggs are awesome!

3) Print out dietary restriction cards and present them to the server. I have a card which says something to the effect of:

"Hi, I have celiac disease, which means I cannot eat foods which contain wheat, barley, rye, or oats, or I will have a severe reaction. Could you please ensure that my food is prepared in a clean area, and that precautions are taken so that my food is not contaminated with anything containing these allergens? Thank you!"

You could customize your own card, and present it to the server and ask them to pass it along to the chef.

KIM--POSSIBLE Posts: 3,200
2/15/14 8:33 P

DH always gets frustrated with me, but I always pack a bag with non-perishable snacks (lara bars, apples bananas, etc.) and a cooler with drinks, veggies, and healthy options. I'll hard boil some eggs, peel them, and keep in a container to make egg salad for lunch to go with a salad. I pack a jar of a nut butter in with it to allow for healthy fat/protein.

I don't know what restaurants are available where you are going, but I can usually find a salad and a baked potato at Wendy's and if there is a Red Robin, they are wonderful about accommodating special dietary needs (ask for their allergen free menu) and offer all of their burgers with a lettuce wrap in place of the bun.

2/13/14 1:49 P

I have used a well packed cooler with great results in the past. Another idea that works is searching out restaurants / hotels in advance that have known nutritional info or you can be sure will cook to your needs. I find that the money spent on a hotel with a good chef is well worth the piece of mind to get something like your own home cooking methods you can't do while travelling. Dont' be afraid to be assertive with restaurants / hotels about getting food cooked the way you require.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,701
2/13/14 12:52 P

You can pack a travel cooler with snacks and there is always a healthy option even in the travel plazas. The fast food restaurants have salads or grilled chicken (that won't help with the salt). You could also pre-cook some chicken and put that in your cooler but if you want something warm, that may not work.

OUATEONE2 SparkPoints: (24,812)
Fitness Minutes: (11,024)
Posts: 669
2/13/14 11:44 A

I am typically on the road in other countries for 1-3 weeks at a time and half the time, it is developing countries in which what we consider healthy food is more difficult to come by. I have been traveling like this for 12 of the past 20 years and this is what works for me:

1. All the things in the Spark Coach video today (2/13) are true
2. Unfortunately, language and/or technology deficiencies preclude advance research on restaurants in many countries, not so much in the U.S.
3. Gotta use a hotel with a decent fitness facility or find a nearby facility, this is a must unless you are a runner and just need a safe place to run
4. Spark will not agree with this but I often only eat 2 full meals a day when on the road; a very large, healthy breakfast and a lighter healthier dinner with an apple and/or protein bar or plain yogurt during the middle of the day, if possible.
5. If you happen to be somewhere with access to a grocery store, that is nirvana because then you can "eat in" sometimes by buying baked chicken and pre-made salads on some nights and having them in your room. Again, yogurt and fruits are helpful too.

ULLI54 SparkPoints: (2,449)
Fitness Minutes: (220)
Posts: 1
2/13/14 7:04 A

If you have a smart phone, use it to google eateries along the way and look at their menus for nutritional information. Many will have this information posted online. Interestingly, some of the choices we thought were healthy, were not, and likewise, some of the eateries we usually stay away from had healthier options. We never eat fast food at home, but McD's, for example, has a grilled chicken sandwich which is actually healthy and tastes good.

KILYGE70 Posts: 48
2/12/14 2:21 P

I always pack some protein bars, protein powder, individual self packaged sacks of unsalted almonds--about ten each, microwave popcorn which is low salt/light, fruit, and my magic bullet. I will make a protein smoothy at the hotel instead of eating a large breakfast because it controls my calories and also is much lighter on my stomach while driving. I also chew gum while drinking a lot of water. I still journal what I eat and make sure I stick to my daily calorie allowance. If there is a subway or other type of sandwich place, I order a low calorie option and take the top off so it becomes an open face sandwich. If I have to eat in a traditional restaurant, I split a meal with husband. The bonus in all of my planning is not only do I usually avoid binge eating or completely feeling like I've got to start over, I also save a lot of money...
I also mentally plan on one treat along the trip. It might be desert or a small amount of sweet potato fries--whatever it is I don't fret because it was planned. When I deviate, I don't use it as a free pass to give up on my goals. Enjoy your trip :)

2/11/14 7:33 P

On my 2000 mile roadtrip, I took a big bag of sweet, crunchy peas (1 calorie each), and a bag of carrots and apples in a cooler. I was driving, so I used that as my "stay awake" food, and went for super light in the restaurants. Some burger kings have a veggie burger. I take it off the bun and ask for extra lettuce and tomato. Same with any chicken-type burger, if you eat meat. Get the grilled one. Remove the bun, and have it on a salad with NO dressing. Remember how gross you used to feel after you ate ______ (fill in the blank), when you're sitting next to people eating it. You're going to do GREAT! Let us know how it went, afterward!

2/11/14 12:10 P

Great ideas! Traveling in a few weeks and gave me some great ideas! Thank you all

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,109)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,753
2/11/14 9:40 A

What about bunless sandwiches (from anywhere), roasted chicken (from most chicken places), and chef salads? Denny's, IHOP, Perkins, etc will meet your breakfast requests.

OUTDOORGAL1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (24,502)
Posts: 73
2/11/14 9:23 A

Agree with everyone who said a cooler with items from grocery stores. That's really the healthiest way.

WEWRTFO Posts: 189
2/11/14 8:09 A

All your comments & suggestions were very helpful. Very much appreciated!

I am glad I asked. Thanks to Ranata and Jamirblaze, I forgot about my unused nu-wave cook-top sitting out on shelf in garage. We can put this too good use at hotels and National Parks we visit. Starting out each day with a hot egg breakfast & some fruit will make the rest of the day very manageable.

Thanks for all great fast food, restaurant & grocery recommendations, strategy, advice & suggestions. I will put these too good use. I will probably give myself some slack when needed in regards to wheat & starch. Fruit and oatmeal, or chicken snack wrap with no sauce are two favorites of mine at McDonald's I will use when needed. I agree with non chain restaurants being good options, and should have no problem finding health choices at gas stations. As with some other post, I agree, plenty of water(its all I drink) along with all the vegetables and fruit to have in car all times. It should not be too difficult to motivate my two teenage daughters to eat healthy.

It's an eight day road trip by car starting in March from WI to Seattle, going down west coast to north of LA,ending in Las Vegas. Hope for good weather then. After my family fly's back home I will be in Las Vegas and Arizona another two and half weeks before driving back home with my cousin. 4 week road trip LOL. My goal is too continue to loose at least 3 pounds per week this trip and come back 12 or more pounds lighter.

Edited by: WEWRTFO at: 2/11/2014 (08:14)
VUKELK Posts: 623
2/9/14 10:57 A

I make 4 hour trips to SD and find that packing a cooler works best. The cooler stays in the back seat so I'm not snacking the whole way out of boredom. I make sure I have good music with me to keep my mind off food. When stopping for gas or bathroom breaks, I try not to go near the junk sections and grab a healthy snack from my cooler for the next part of my journey. Water is my choice of beverage.

2/9/14 10:23 A

Even restaurants seem to have a shortage of veggies on the menu.

Will you be staying in motels/hotels at night? Shopping at a grocery and carrying your own small microwave might be an answer as you can always find WW or Lean Cuisine meals and nuke them. I know, processed foods, but when traveling sometimes you just have to make choices.

I tend to do McDonald's and try for the healthier meals - mind that you don't use all the dressings on the salads. My mother used to do McD's and bought the kids meals because they are smaller. I have been told they now have what is called a senior meal, same as kids but without the toy.

Good Luck and have a safe journey!

ACACIA21 SparkPoints: (83,380)
Fitness Minutes: (21,255)
Posts: 2,207
2/9/14 8:51 A

grocery and an ice chest. Otherwise it is too expensive and since I have some food intolerances, eating out makes me sick a lot. That is a sure way to keep me out of restaurants, I assure you!

SKIMBRO SparkPoints: (110,365)
Fitness Minutes: (14,725)
Posts: 3,480
2/8/14 7:55 P

We tend to do what most people do...use the grocery store. I do allow the kids to have their $1 menu items, but I stick with fruits, veggie trays, granola bars, etc.

ARDISSA SparkPoints: (12,524)
Fitness Minutes: (2,010)
Posts: 272
2/8/14 7:14 P

When travelling, my husband and I will stop at a grocery stores along the way to pick up some fresh (non-messy) fruit, a couple slices of lean turkey and whole grain buns, and a pre-made salad, then drive to a nice spot to stop for lunch. I carry cold water and cans of V8 in a cooler bag. For snacks I bring or pick up trail mix nuts and seeds. Restaurants and fast food places are danger spots for me so it's best I stay clear. Plus it's not only healthier to eat from grocery stores, it save us money for more important parts of the trip like souvenirs.

Edited by: ARDISSA at: 2/8/2014 (19:17)
CARRIENIGN SparkPoints: (99,127)
Fitness Minutes: (81,568)
Posts: 493
2/8/14 12:48 P

I traveled that much in the first couple weeks of January, so I feel your pain. I rely heavily on certain chain gas stations (like SHeetz and QT, but I know some of these are regional) that I know carry cut up fresh fruit and veggie options in individual serving size containers. They also always have yogurt. Another alternative for a low cal snack in the car could be popcorn. The only problem I've found with that, is that it's hard to find not covered in cheese or something else that really bumps the calorie content. As far as fast food goes, I always fall back on the reliable grilled chicken sandwich without mayo and do not get fries. At certain places, there option such as potatos or side salads in place of the fries, but if not, I just don't get a side at all.

LOVEISMUSIC24 SparkPoints: (2,394)
Fitness Minutes: (4,703)
Posts: 61
2/8/14 10:45 A

I would plan to pack plenty of healthy snacks! Baby carrots, hummus, broccoli, cheese sticks, apples, unsalted nuts, unbutter popcorn, granola bars etc. Try to eat every a very small snack 1-2 hours so that your keeping your metabolism active on the trip - that way, when you do stop at McDonalds or whatever, you can pick something really small (you shouldn't be as hungry for a full meal) you could just have a snack wrap or a grilled chicken sandwich. Also keep a HUGE bottle of water with you and keep drinking that to curb your appetite. When you have to pull over - you won't be as hungry for the bad stuff! :-)

THINKINMARQ SparkPoints: (8,636)
Fitness Minutes: (19,478)
Posts: 50
2/8/14 6:45 A

Remember to check the nutrition facts before you order anything! When in doubt, get a salad with grilled chicken and a vinaigrette dressing.

CRGARDNER1 Posts: 855
2/8/14 5:48 A

There are several fast food chains with healthier options on the West Coast... you can also check out Panera Bread, Chipotle, Baja Fresh, El Pollo Loco, Carl's Jr., Habit Burgers, Jamba Juice, Subway

Starbucks has a ton of healthy options also.

Edited by: CRGARDNER1 at: 2/8/2014 (05:50)
KRILL14 SparkPoints: (52,899)
Fitness Minutes: (3,999)
Posts: 368
2/7/14 10:41 P

I like going to local grocery stores and look out for food products I might not find where I live. I found things in Florida like jelly and fruit that would have cost me a lot more at a tourist stand. It's fun to make up recipes using new foods.

GZELLEFRO SparkPoints: (87,571)
Fitness Minutes: (71,814)
Posts: 4,898
2/7/14 8:57 P

We freeze bottled water and use it instead of ice to keep drinks, etc cold. I make sandwiches ahead of time without condiments so they don't get soggy and store them on top of all the other food we take so they don't get smashed. We can make enough sandwiches for two days and store them in the bread bags so there's less trash to mess up the car. When the bottled water melts, we have cold water. Usually the hotel we stay at has fridge/freezer so if we want to refreeze anything, we can.

Baby carrots and pretzel sticks are a good healthy snack for kids and not too messy.

Inevitably we have to stop to go to the bathroom though and the cleanest restrooms are, alas, at McDonalds, so we sometimes get something little or apple bites or something like that.

I wash all fruit and vegies beforehand so we don't have to mess with that. I take paper towels and wet some and store them in a ziploc so we can clean up too.

Hope this helps. emoticon

2/7/14 8:14 P

I would go online ahead of time and look up the menus for the restaurants you're most likely to land at with your family. Then you can be prepared. I hardly ever eat fast food, so when I walk into one of those places, everything tempts me, it's sensory overload. It would be great to have an idea of what you're going to order before you get out of the car.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
2/7/14 2:53 P

Convenience stores -- Many at least in my part of the country are starting to offer a kind of kiosk in the center of the store with various not-quite-so-nasty food items as the places are known for. Often you can find hummus to go with your fresh veggies, yogurt (though it probably *will* have added sugar, you have the option to get rid of most of it by buying fruit on the bottom types and just eating the yogurt part), and occasionally other things. They're hit or miss, though, especially with your restrictions, so using a cooler and hitting up a grocery store once a day for these things (and better ones) might be more practical.

Meals -- My family has a lot of dietary restrictions, too, though they're different ones (due to vegetarianism and allergies). We pretty much do not eat out when on the road. If possible we'll get motel rooms with a kitchenette; if not, we'll smuggle in a hot plate and a couple pots and utensils, plus food we've brought along in a cooler and can shove in the mini-fridge for the night. You can do some pretty good cooking with just a hot plate and a pot!

Otherwise, I second the idea that fast food is almost never going to have what you're looking for. Places like Cracker Barrel ... maybe? You'll have to play it by ear as to the state of their base ingredients and how far corporate policy is willing to bend. Non-chain restaurants are going to be your best best in terms of flexibility, but from experience they don't have any more clues about the actual execution of your request than the chain places have, and are just as likely to muff it up. Sadly, probably the more expensive the place, the more likely they'll be able to do what you want.

Which brings me back to why we almost always cook.

Best of luck to you.

CAROLLYNNH007 SparkPoints: (3,196)
Fitness Minutes: (641)
Posts: 39
2/7/14 12:48 P

sorry bout that, I have issues with going off on a tangent and forgetting my point. ROFFLMAO

I have never found issue with buying (SAFE) cooked meats in a prepared meal. Even at a fast food place they will totally oblige and omit the bread, or have something without breading.

I agree with going for diners or cafeterias or café rather than renown chains. For most will always make alterations on menu selections without additional charges. The few that wont, well paying extra for a blue moon road trip .... just track not to go there again. LOL

And places like cracker barrel, golden corral, sizzlers, and shoney's has prepared plates just for low/no carb diets anyway with 6oz protein and 3 or 4 parts allowed veggies.

JAMIRBLAZE Posts: 1,771
2/7/14 12:45 P

Most sit down and even drive through places will be willing to accommodate you. That may mean ordering 2 side orders of bacon, 3 eggs and a side of fruit which may cost more, but will be more to your preferences. They may make substitutions. One chain that I have had good luck with is Cracker Barrel for accommodating my preferences (though not all locations are consistently edible, and service varies widely), and they have a wide variety of items. And even if they don't have it on the menu, most fast food places, especially if you go inside to order and are pleasant, will be happy to sell you a couple of meat patties, etc. that you'd be able to supplement with your fruits/veggies or a plain salad. Depending on whether you are hauling a cooler or not, you may also consider some hard boiled eggs to have on hand in a pinch, nut butters, your own dressing, tuna pouches, etc.

I'd recommend taking a look at the menus of places that you think you may stop (chains) and write down a short list of what will work for you at each place. Be creative and not afraid to ask for what you want.

You didn't mention how you are traveling, but I drove over 6000 miles round trip a couple of years ago. Sometimes, road food was okay. Other times, we pulled out the propane stove, set them up on a tailgate/picnic table and whipped something up. You could easily whip up some eggs and bacon, fry some ham, etc. in 15 minutes with a bit of prep. Rinse the dishes and bag them up until you stop for the night and can wash them. Give me a cooler, propane stove, a large saute pan with a lid and utensils, and I would never need to stop anywhere but a grocery store.

CAROLLYNNH007 SparkPoints: (3,196)
Fitness Minutes: (641)
Posts: 39
2/7/14 12:40 P

I quite agree with you that eliminating sugars, (and/or greatly reducing) carbs keeps me from having CRAVINGS. No starchy foods at all and I don't get tempted by seeing or smelling it. After the doing it for 7-14 days, Its not just that a processed sweet and refined white flour puree pastry is unhealthy, if I eat it - it tastes like wax.

If and when I do just get buggered down nutzo twitching with faux hunger, and getting stuffed on celery or straight MEAT doesn't change the fact, I can eat something high in fiber and low in carb (just no AS low) to do the trick... like a cup of popcorn dipped in sugar free pudding.
Even a whole bag of air popped kernels is around 9.5 cups and only 35 carbs.
Green leafy vegetables with higher fiber than carbs can actually subtract the damage I did, while the whole time my body stays in ketosis and I feel well sated with an extremely nutrient packed diet.

Its just most people cant jump into a diet like that cold turkey and stick to it. But for those who NEED it, and can do it, yeah its big results in shorter time.

ANARIE Posts: 13,179
2/7/14 12:02 P

Well, if you're looking for custom-cooked meat and eggs, go to small-town greasy spoons and truck stops. That's actually a lot of fun-- drive past the golden arches and look for a place with a sign that says "Cafe" or better yet just "Eat", with semis and pickup trucks in the lot. They'll definitely do you a high-fat egg plate, and they'll probably happily sub an extra egg for the potatoes or toast.

You might look at That's a site by two long-time restaurant writers who've made a career out of finding non-chain, "sleeves-up" local cafes and diners off of major highways. They're not diet-friendly by any means, but you can get a really good idea of places that go the high-fat, low-carb route. And most of the places are fun because they're not full of tourists. I would never recommend Roadfood to somebody watching their weight in a more conventional way, but it might just work for you and keep your family happy as well.

WEWRTFO Posts: 189
2/7/14 11:40 A

Thanks for all the suggestions.

As I mentioned in my original post Eating plenty of vegetables, fruit, nuts and water is not an issue when traveling. Meaning I had already planned on snacking on lots of raw vegetables and whole fruit throughout the day and stopping at local grocery stores when I run out.

My diet is high is saturated fats, from eggs, butter and meat and do not consider no sugar, low salt, no wheat, grains or starch, limiting processed foods much of a restriction. I am not choosing to eat this way due to health restrictions, I'm as healthy as can be. I choose to eat this way because it eliminates all my hunger issues and cravings towards food. Where my new eating habits are now preferred over my old eating habits these past seven weeks loosing 41 pounds.

My daily calorie intake is right around 2500 each day, loosing about 4 pounds a week. While about 1200 of it will come from vegetables and fruit I prefer any meat or egg choice that is hot and fresh over more cold food items when traveling. Which is why a couple of cheeseburgers with fried onions and no salt wrapped in lettuce at an in/out burger is what I consider a perfect choice for me to complement all the cold vegetables and fruit I will be eating. I prefer finding places for breakfast as my largest meal of the day. Ideally find places that serve up a 3-4 over egg breakfast with bacon along with choice of vegetables or fruit.

My family eats healthy for the most part, just likes to indulge when traveling. There very supportive so no issues there. When I mention low sodium, that is in reference to my former self. I limit salt intake between 1500-3500 mg per day. May seem high but I am also taking in 2500 calories per day. These levels are far less than the 10,000 mg per day I consumed with my old eating habits.

Thanks again for any advice or suggestions you add to the discussion.

MINDAA Posts: 10
2/7/14 11:21 A

Check out Pita Pit, PeiWei and Pita Jungle for some healthier southwest restaurant chains and BurgerVille in the northwest.

Also, upscale grocery stores like Whole Foods have amazing food/salad bars, with enough variety to please most tastes.

I agree it can be difficult when travelling with family. My husband and I are happy microwaving soup in the hotel, but when traveling with my parents - they don't seem to feel like they are on vacation unless they are eating at restaurants.

Edited by: MINDAA at: 2/7/2014 (11:24)
ANARIE Posts: 13,179
2/7/14 9:56 A

I agree with the grocery store suggestion. Any town big enough for a McDonald's is going to have a grocery store nearby. Then you can just buy whatever foods you would buy on a normal day that don't need cooking.

Have you talked to your traveling companions about this yet? If you discuss it before you go, reminding them that you have health issues that restrict what you can eat, you might be surprised at how cooperative they'll be. Nobody really wants to eat fast food for 8 days straight. Besides the health aspects, using the grocery store in place of fast food can cut their trip expenses by 25% or so.

If they're not open to a lot of discussion and change, then just think of it as being at different spots on the spectrum. They're going to be getting their main meals at restaurants and relying on the cooler and quick grocery stops for snacks, while you'll be taking your main meals from the cooler and just getting snacks at the restaurants to be sociable. Virtually every fast food place has some sort of salad and fruit options, for example.

And remember that every travel plaza, 90% of convenience stores, the vast majority of motels, and a non-trivial percentage of large grocery stores have microwaves for customers to use. If there's a shelf-stable soup or any sort of frozen or shelf-stable meal that fits your sodium guidelines, you'll be able to heat one of those at almost any rest stop you make. That proliferation of microwaves really makes travel easier. When I'm traveling, I don't feel funny about taking my mug of soup into a 7-11 to zap it even if I don't buy anything else. I'm never going to see the clerk again, so I don't care if they think I'm weird or something. (Just be sure to cover it, because soup has an unfortunate tendency to explode spectacularly if you heat it a few seconds too long without stirring.) Using their microwave is just like using their restroom-- you do what you have to when you're on the road.

KENDILYNN SparkPoints: (22,924)
Fitness Minutes: (24,670)
Posts: 2,738
2/7/14 9:50 A

I always do the grocery store thing. Some stores I would recommend searching for are Trader Joe's, Fresh & Easy and Sprouts, as they have really good pre-packaged options. I don't have any of these stores near me, so I get excited when I go on vacation! Buy two or three days worth and pull them out of the cooler for yourself when the family wants to do fast food.

2/7/14 9:48 A

Subway is nice, but don't forget the salad bars at places like Shoney's or Ryans.

My wife and I carry a small cook set regularly out on the bikes. As has been suggested, we stop at a grocery store typically every evening. You might not necessarilly agree with our menu, but you may get some ideas that you can use.

Here's a link to a write up I done sometime back.

TWINMOM555 Posts: 130
2/7/14 9:35 A

I went on a 10 day road trip with my kids and inlaws and we switched hotels pretty much every single night--big family reunion event. I packed some power bars, granola and a few things that I knew would help me in a pinch and I bought fruit whenever I could at rest stops. I agree with stopping at a grocery store--and take your own small cooler with things you like. If there's a Subway, see if you can get your other relatives to stop there or find a way to go there if they would rather hit the McD's next door.

I would make sure that you also have enough protein with this trip so you stay satiated and not tempted. Finally, you may also have to be patient and a bit flexible. If you're traveling with other people who don't care about what they're eating, you aren't going to be able to control every situation, but you can insert your need to stop someplace like a grocery store. Most important, have a great time! Don't let the stress of being perfect in your eating ruin this trip.

Edited by: TWINMOM555 at: 2/7/2014 (09:35)
JENNA3 SparkPoints: (74,616)
Fitness Minutes: (52,406)
Posts: 2,704
2/7/14 9:06 A

With the restrictions in your diet, you need to find a grocery store in your overnight stops. There's no easy way to do this by stopping at the travel plazas and gas stations. You can't know what's available in advance. So take your GPS with you or a laptop or some way of reaching a map app or site. Or plan in advance exactly which towns you will stop at and where you will stay. This will enable you to find the nearest real grocery store. Find a motel with a fridge/freezer in the room. Freeze bottles of water to keep your food cold each day and to drink.

At the grocery store-get what you can eat for the day that's perishable. Do this the night before or just as you're leaving town-but do it. The extra fifteen minutes of running into the store will save you tons of stress later.

2/7/14 8:58 A

Whenever I visit my family in Michigan I drive. From Georgia. It is a very long trip, anywhere from 12 to 18 hours or even more if I decide to stop and sleep in a hotel. I aways stop at gas stations that trucks are parked in because they usualy have better food choices - it sounds weird but works for me.
I always get bananas, granola bars- very picky with this- water, iced green tea, and if I am in the mood for rewarding myself I get either jerky, Sunchips, or gum.
It doesn't sound like much but I drive until I reach a rest stop with a Subway and buy a footlong and ask if they can cut it into fours and wrap separately, that way I can eat in smaller sections.
It may not work for everyone but it works for me and I love it- and the beautiful scenery.

KELLYFIT123 Posts: 1,312
2/7/14 8:34 A

You'll be on the road, so you could stop at the grocery store and buy fruits/veggies, make or buy sandwiches, etc. I think that 7-11 has healthy options nowadays -- hard-boiled eggs, fruit cups, etc. It might take an extra stop or two but you can make it work if the people you're with are flexible/understanding.

Of course you could always get the salads from McDonalds or Subway and forgo the dressing. Or have your own olive oil and vinegar on hand.

Good luck and have fun!

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (244,426)
Fitness Minutes: (41,134)
Posts: 26,642
2/7/14 2:32 A

I can't give you suggestions on where to buy, but CAN give you some examples of what my hubby and I did.

I packed a good lunch - sandwiches etc., and snacks, and had frozen bottles of water in a chilly bin to keep the lunch and snacks cool, and provide cool drinking water as it melts. We stayed in a motel, and I would refreeze the water over night in the fridge/freezer. I also included milk with the trip, but in smaller UHT cartons. It only needed cooling once opened. I had lots of fruit with us. I also included dried fruit and nuts, cans of fruit in juice rather than syrup, and canned salmon and lean meats - the ones lowest in sodium and fats that I could find. I would just buy what I needed, when I needed it from a supermarket. is there any reason why you can't do that? That way you don't need to rely so much on fast food etc. other than as a treat/change.

When you DO eat out, ask them to hold the salt and dressings etc.


WEWRTFO Posts: 189
2/7/14 1:08 A

With my changed eating habits it could prove challenging when traveling on a long road trip with my family. In about a month I will be driving 3500 miles over eight days and having to rely mainly on fast food & travel plazas. While the rest of my family will have no issues with there food choices, I am concerned having enough good food choices available for myself. Please keep in mind I have grown accustomed to low salt, no sugar except from fruits & vegetables, no artificial sweeteners, no wheat, grain or starch. As little as possible processed foods. I prefer to keep it that way when traveling.

Eating plenty of vegetables, fruit, nuts and water is not an issue when traveling. It's my other half of daily food intake my staple of organic and no added salt to fried eggs, butter, onions, mushroom, seafood, soup, roast beef , chicken and pork.

Any suggestions or advice for best fast food restaurants, or food to buy at convince store chains when fueling would be greatly appreciated. This will be primary a west coast trip. I hope to order no salt protein style burgers and in/out and looking for other fast food chains on west coast that would cook to order.

Keep in mind no sugar, low salt, no wheat or starch for me. Traveling with 3 family members who do not care about what they eat and prefer fast food on the go. I'm sure there is some great advice and options I'm not considering?

Edited by: WEWRTFO at: 2/7/2014 (02:48)
Page: 1 of (1)   1

Other Diet and Nutrition Topics:

Topics: Last Post:
I work late nights - any suggestions? 6/9/2016 2:07:56 PM
Vegetarian Meal Prep? 1/27/2017 10:51:49 AM
Poor Mans Chicken 9/29/2016 7:30:28 PM
Carb Fasting? 9/7/2016 6:27:16 PM
Do you plan cheat days with calorie limits?. 8/14/2016 4:39:46 PM