I used to road trip to Arnold, CA with my family all the time before I moved away for college. It was always a smooth ride until we had to agree on 2 things: bathroom breaks and where to get food. I was vegetarian at the time and my options were pretty limited. So here’s what we would usually do: we would stop at this little center in the middle of nowhere, I think it was Manteca (spelling?). My Dad would get a burger at Burger King, my sister would want Panda Express, my mom would settle on In-N-Out and I would go to Chipotle and get a vegetarian bowl. This was the routine every time. It was utterly ridiculous and the closest I could get them to being healthy, was to come to Chipotle with me. Flash forward 6 years and now my Mom eats paleo half the time, my Dad eats whatever she feeds him and my sister still wants Panda Express…obviously I still have some convincing to do.
Anyways, my point is, it’s hard to find reliable, healthy food while traveling. I’ve been flying and driving a lot in the last couple years and I can tell you, I definitely don’t make a million stops to eat anymore. Being gluten free, dairy free and Paleo most of the time, it can be hard to find places to eat. So I’ve come up with a few tips and my fav road trip snacks. Here we go! Are we there yet!?
1. Map all the Whole Foods markets along your drive, they usually have gluten free or Paleo options when you need to eat. Plus it’s a nice place to stop.
2. Pack a cooler! It’s easy, you use up the rest of the food in your fridge before leaving and you know what you’re eating is healthy and fits your diet.
3. If desperate, find a Chipotle and get a bowl without rice, beans or dairy. For me, I can’t really eat Chipotle; whatever oil they cook their meat in gives me a stomach ache but my boyfriend eats it without any problems.
4. Pack a thermos of coffee! This sounds weird but every time I’ve done it, I’ve been so happy I did. Starbucks doesn’t have almond milk, or any reliable non-dairy options for that matter, and you’re going to want coffee on a long drive. Plus who doesn’t love portable coffee?
5. Always pack hand wipes, napkins and utensils. My amazing Mom taught me this, she literally is prepared for anything at all times. Seriously though, if you spill something or eat on the road, you’re going to want hand wipes.
6. Invest in good to go containers, ice packs and a cooler/lunch box, it’ll be worth it if you do pack food. I’ve used some cheap containers before and had food leak everywhere! I also hate using plastic bags because all that plastic just goes to the landfill.
7. If you’re driving, and plan to stop for a meal, plan ahead and find a cute place to stop like a park or viewpoint and eat there! It’s a great way to see new places along your drive.
8. Don’t forget water! Water is super important while driving because you can get dehydrated. Just don’t wait to pee and end up peeing on the side of the road like me… it happens though, no judgements here 😉
9. Have a good driving playlist, it helps pass the time faster and you don’t have to fumble with your phone to find a song while driving. This is especially if you’re driving alone, you want some music to keep you awake and alert so prepare a fun playlist! If you’re flying, bring headphones!
10. If you’re traveling with a pet, pack water, treats and a bone for them to chew on. Chances are they are going to get antsy, agro or annoying after a long drive… or all three if we’re talking about my dog. Having something for them to chew on along the way really helps distract them.
That’s it for tips, now on to…
My favorite paleo snacks:
Primal kitchen bars! Duh, I work for them.
Half an Avocado with salt and pepper
Steve’s Paleo Goods granola or bars
Pumpkin seeds / Sunflower seeds
New Primal Jerky
Honey Mama’s chocolate
Happy, safe traveling everyone!
(photo used is mine from a road trip to Montana)