Thanks for the suggestions. I have a couple of lunchbox sized coolers that I'm taking with me. I have 2 individual sized things of Chobani that will be in the cooler, along with a 7.5 ounce can of coke. I am particular about my fruits, but the suggestion about fruits, reminded me to pick up at least 2 Granny Smith Apples (which could be eaten with some peanut butter). I forgot about packets of crackers. That is a good idea. I think that if I snack on these foods during the trip (including a break for lunch), then I shouldn't be too exhausted when I get to my parents house. I'll even have some kitty treats with me to give my cat a treat or two while traveling.
I always park far away from the buildings at the rest areas so that I get the extra steps. I'm traveling with my cat, so I can't spend too much time away from the car. I stop every hour and a half to 2 hours for a bathroom break (which usually means I'm at a rest area or gas station).
If you are stopping by the store pick up sandwich things (you can keep sandwiches with meat and cheese cold in a small cooler). When we were doing long road trips as a family we had turkey or ham sandwiches, fruits and carrots or celery to snack on and some small servings of crackers. Do stop for lunch (rest stop or a park) and eat and walk around, the activity will help keep you alert and stretch your legs.
If you wanted to stop, Chik-fil-a has some great salads.
Is there any way that you can bring a small cooler and ice-pack with you? That would definitely expand your choices.
I've found over many years of 12-17 hour drives that the last thing that I want / need is an actual "meal" during the drive. I do much, much better with lots of snacky finger foods. I try to stop for 10 minutes every 1-1/2 to 2 hours to get a bit of movement in, nibble at something, and then get back on my way. I portion everything in to measured servings, so that they are quick and easy (and make a list of what all I brought, so that I can just check them off when I go to track them later).
Some of my standard "car" foods are:
- raw veggies (carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower) with a dip made with plain yogurt, onion, and dill - meat slices (chicken, steak, ham, pork roast - whatever left-overs I have) - sliced cheese - baby dill pickles - whole fruits and berries - dried figs - whole almonds - plain yogurt, that I've mixed with some almonds or berries - hard-boiled eggs - quinoa salad (usually with spinach and almonds and cheese) - home-made muffins and / or protein bars (high fibre, higher protein, and about 150 cals each) - strips of beef jerky - squares of dark chocolate - a ton of water and a thermos full of coffee
This looks like a huge list, but since I bring only a serving or two of each, it all fits quite nicely in to a small cooler. If I'm driving through back-country, or if the weather is iffy, then I'll make sure that I have enough for 3 days with me (which means my larger cooler bag). I keep a stash of plastic forks and spoons in the outside pocket of the cooler, along with bags containing wet and dry towels so that I can at least wipe my hands off.
I personally have found that sandwiches don't work that well for me, unless I cut them in to quarters. Even a half sandwich all at once seems to sit like a ball of lead and make me feel tired. You may be okay with them, but it's just something to consider.
I also find that carbonated drinks are not a good thing for me. I dehydrate really quickly in a car, and those seem to just make me drier. I generally go through a minimum of 1 cup of water per hour, with coffee on top of that (yes - those frequent stops I make are quite often at a restroom - but I figure that the run to the toilet is good to get my blood moving!).
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I'm leaving early in the morning for a 13 hour drive (to visit my parents). I already know what I'm going to do about breakfast and a snack. By the time lunch rolls around, I'll be in an area that has several choices, but none are all that healthy (i.e. McDonald's, Chic-fil-A, etc.). As it is, I'm taking a 7.5 ounce can of coke with me. I gave up drinking sugary drinks this past summer, but will drink one on occasion. I find that a little bit of sugar will help me get through the long drive.
If I make a pb&j sandwich, I'll have to pick up some bread and pb&j when I leave in the morning (there's a 24 hour WalMart a couple miles from my house). Do you guys have any suggestions for lunch other than pb&j sandwiches (which I don't mind eating)?
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