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Eating Right on the Road
By Rita Miller-Huey
Remember the good old days when you
and your companions could go traveling and not worry
about what, when or where you were going to eat? Over
the years our bodies and our needs change, and we must
pay closer attention to the food we eat, as well as when
we eat. With some simple pre-planning for meals and
snacks, you can still enjoy a trip away from home.
Paying attention to what and when you eat can give you
some important information related to how you feel. If
you're not feeling well now, think about what you ate in
the last 12 to 24 hours. Headache? Heart burn? High acid
foods may cause indigestion, a rich dessert may cause
fatigue, and going too long between meals may leave you
feeling anxious or cranky. Who wants any of that while
on vacation or even doing errands? Answering these
questions will help you plan to meet your needs:
What are your dietary requirements?
How long will you be in the car or away from home doing
How often do you want to eat?
Are you familiar with the route and destination or are
Are there conveniently spaced towns or rest stops 40 to
50 miles apart?
Do you know any restaurants along the way that can meet
your dietary requirements? Who may know?
Steps to make eating when traveling, easier:
Do what you know works for you. When you are away from
home you want to feel your best, so it's the time to
stick as close as possible to your normal eating
patterns (even though the temptation to cheat is great).
Call ahead to your hotel or hosts. Ask about the
restaurants in the area. Put your mind at ease.
Pack plenty of your favorite snacks.
Think about the mess factor when eating in the car.
Non-perishable items last longest and need the least
fuss: whole grain crackers, nuts or sunflower seeds,
snack bars, fresh fruit or cereal.
A thermal bag and an ice pack make perishable items
easy, too: cheese (pre-sliced or sliced before you go),
no fat lunch meat, pudding or yogurt cups, sliced
vegetables: peppers, carrots or celery.
Plenty of water and/or fruit juices will keep you from
Traveling may not be quite as spontaneous, but it
can still be enjoyable for you and those who are
depending on you.