It’s been just over three weeks since we left Sydney and, after roadtripping across America, we’ve just arrived in Boston, our home for the next six months. Because we wanted to cover as much ground as we could during our trip, we stayed in a different place almost every night; and it was often challenging to eat well on the road. We couldn’t prepare our own meals, apart from snacks, and ate out every day… sometimes in local markets, sometimes in roadside diners. America gets a bad wrap for healthy food, and for good reason when you consider the prevalence of high-fructose corn syrup, the abundance of processed foods (that are SO cheap), super-sized meals, etc.
However, there are also plenty of good food and healthy options around that aren’t hard to find (well, ok, they are sometimes). Here are some of my tips for eating well and staying healthy when you’re on the road.
We carried a stash of easily transportable snack foods in the car so that there was always something tasty to grab and/or throw in the bag when we’re out for a hike or walk around town. This ensured we got a decent balance of nutrients, even on those days when the food choices weren’t great. I’m also eating much more than usual while I’m breastfeeding my roly-poly baby, so having food at hand was (and is!) essential. We replenished our stash every few days so that fresh fruit wouldn’t go bad (learnt the hard way after diving into a bag of cherries that had turned to liquid after a day too long in the hot car) and also so we could enjoy some of the local treats from areas we passed through.
Keep up the water
We carried a couple of big gallon bottles of water with us in the car so that we always had water while we were driving and to fill our drink bottles when we were out. This was important because 1) it’s been really hot, so we need to stay hydrated, and 2) keeping up our water intake stopped us reaching for all the other crazy-flavoured drink options packed with high-fructose corn syrup (it’s in EVERYthing here!), sugar, colours and flavourings.
Also, like eating good food often, staying hydrated is particularly important while I’m breastfeeding Molly, as she literally sucks the fluids out of me. Little parasite… adorable parasite 🙂 Particularly in the hot and humid weather we’ve been experiencing, as both her and I need more water than usual.
Frankie says relax
While both Jon and I feel strongly about eating well, including balanced sustainable local fresh season foods, we also accept that sometimes the available choices won’t tick all – or any – of those boxes. So be it!
We travelled through some pretty wild areas and sometimes the food options weren’t many and they weren’t great… oh well, we made the best choices we could and enjoyed the experience. To my mind, it’s not worth stressing about. Neither of have allergies or intolerances, so we aren’t limited as some folks are to foods that can and can’t be eaten (though we have preferences obviously).
Health is more than just what you eat and obessing about what you ‘should’ be having over what you can get your hands on is an unhealthy practice in itself. Just eat the cheeseburger man, it won’t kill you.
Now. Little Molly and I are about to head off to Italy for my best friend’s wedding (poor Jon has to stay here and start his new job!) I’m sure the food choices will be different again over there… I am very much looking forward to finding out! What I am a little nervous about is solo long-haul international travel with a small baby. So, wish me luck!