Advice | May 12, 2016 9:00 am

The Rules of Eating Healthy When You’re on the Road

It’s easy as pie. Vegetable pie, that is.

Jack Kerouac’s favorite meal In On the Road? Apple pies. His reason? They’re full of fruit; therefore, they must be healthy.

We know a little better now. So let’s keep the fuel on premium, eh?

Chances are you’ll be doing some travel this summer. That typically leads to more unhealthy eating.

But it doesn’t have to. Here are some guidelines to live by when you’re on the go.

On short trips and long drives, restaurants are inevitable

… but by outlining (and heeding) a few simple rules, you can limit the damage.

  1. Limit your beef intake. Burgers will happen. Don’t have more than two servings in a week.
  2. Ask for sauce on the side. Same goes for salad dressing.
  3. Portion control. Splitting a couple apps instead of eating a three-course meal every night. If you do get an entree, cut your meal in half, ask for a doggy-bag and save the rest for later.
  4. Stick to chicken. You can tell how good a chef is by how they cook chicken. And you’ll also be surprised how many chefs are kicking chicken in the pants.
  5. Mind the sides. If it’s a lot of cheesy stuff (risotto) or straight carbs (potatoes), consider something else, or ask for a substitution.
  6. Avoid sandwiches whenever possible. But do eat salads.

If you’re gone longer than three days, get an apartment or a hotel with a kitchenette

One reason food in restaurants tastes so good? They cook with butter, and they’re liberal with salt. Neither of those things is good for you. So if you’re gone longer than three days, get a place with a kitchen. This will let you prepare as many meals as possible.

Shop wisely. Pick out a gourmet store (Whole Foods et al.) before you hit the road. As for the shopping list, try going paleo:

  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Kale, spinach and seasonal veggies
  • Coconut oil (to use for sauteeing; makes kale taste way better, and farro)
  • Berries (low sugar compared to most fruits)
  • Eggs
  • Farro
  • Nuts for snacking

Here’s an example of a day’s worth of meals using the above:

Breakfast: Fried eggs, sauteed greens in oil, berries
Lunch: Tossed greens, shredded chicken and farro with some hot sauce
Dinner: Stir fry with veggies and chicken

Minimize snacking. Most of us snack too much during the day. There are several ways to manage this. First, drink tea or coffee in lieu of snacks. If you’re famished, stick to a handful of nuts or some chia (available at most health stores).

Get some exercise. Every day. No excuses.