Feel Better When You Get There

Thruway rest stops, airport bars, fast food–for some people, these are guilty pleasures of the road. If you’re traveling a long way for the holidays, make sure you don’t succumb to those temptations. If you plan ahead and eat well on the way, you’ll feel much better when you get there and have a better time with your friends and family.

If you’re flying, I’m assuming you bought your ticket weeks or even months ahead of time, so that should give you plenty of time to pack a lunch. I am a real stickler for clean, raw food. I also eat organic whenever possible. When I’m traveling, I make sure to pack raw food energy bars, and that’s mostly what I eat when I’m in transit–on the plane, at the airport, whatever.

The food that’s served on planes and in airports is almost always loaded with preservatives, salt, and additives. It’s also often high in fat and sugar, but I’m mostly concerned with the quality of food more than its specific macronutrient profile. Sugar is okay if you’re getting it from organic fruit, fat is fine if you’re getting it from extra-virgin olive oil, but at an airport you’re pretty much stuck with burgers, wings, fried odds and ends, and melted cheese on bread in one form or another. If you must, must eat something from an airport restaurant, get a salad with a simple oil and vinegar dressing. Your body will thank you later.

If you’re driving to your destination, pack a cooler with healthy food, along with fruit, nuts, and filtered water to keep your energy up on the road. Do not eat junk food at highway rest stops. Sometimes if you’re lucky you can get a salad or a yogurt parfait, but you really can’t be sure what has been added to that food to make it shelf stable. If you have to, you should go that route, but ideally you should eat healthy food from home whose ingredients you recognize.

When I arrive at my destination, I find the closest grocery store–preferably a Whole Foods or other natural food store, and stock up from there. You will enjoy your trip more if you actually feel good and have the energy to do the things you want to do.

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