Traveling This Holiday Season? Foods Finds for Healthy FuelPosted: December 18, 2014 | |
Like your car, you need fuel when traveling, and not just any fuel will do if you want to function at your best. We know sometimes packing up your lunchbox just isn’t going to happen, so we’re bringing you our top food finds to be found on-the-road.
Let’s make that next pitstop a healthy stop. Below, find an array of just-as-convenient, but better-for-you-than-junk-food options to reach for on your next trip.
When traveling, it can be easy to wake-up and neglect breakfast in favor of quickly moving onward. However, your morning meal is important for charging you up. Skip it, and it becomes much more likely that you’ll reach for that bag of chips or that doughnut on your mid-morning gas break. Instead, start off with one of these healthier choices you can find at common spots along your journey.
Starbucks: Pair your java with the Whole Grain Oatmeal, an option that’ll fill you up without loads of fat, but with spoonfuls of fiber instead. As with your coffee, pass on stirring in any sugar, as well as the dried-fruit topping (also loaded with sugar – 22 grams – and 100 calories, too), and instead reach for the chopped nuts. They’ll add a portioned package of heart healthy fats, with protein that’ll keep you satisfied until lunch.
Cosi: Start off the day like Popeye would – strong and spinach-packed. Cosi’s Spinach Florentine Breakfast Wrap lets you sneak some greens into your breakfast, along with 24 grams of protein. While egg yolks are a good source of vitamin B-12, essential for metabolic function and health, choose the egg white option in you wrap if heavier foods are in store for later in the day. It’ll cut down on both fat and cholesterol.
Dunkin’ Donuts: Dunkin’ Donuts offers more than its name reveals, with other options on its menu that you can choose to avoid a sugar crash in your car. If your craving something meaty, go for the Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich. It’ll serve you up 23 grams of protein, something in which that Chocolate-Frosted Doughnut cannot even come close to claiming.
The bagel shop: While the chain may change dependent on your location, if you pass a bagel shop, here’s what to choose: the nova lox on a whole wheat bagel. Less salty than most smoked salmon, nova lox will add some healthy omega-3’s to your plate, along with a boost of sustaining protein. Opt for the light cream cheese, and load on the veggie toppings, like sliced tomato, if available.
For Lunch and Dinner:
Starbucks: If you’re going in for round 2 on the coffee, first off, make sure to keep it black, and consider making it a half-caf (half decaf/half regular). Then, if you’re looking for lunch, reach for the Protein Bistro Box or the Hearty Veggie & Brown Rice Salad Bowl. Each are a good bang for your buck and belly, and include a hearty whole grain.
Chipotle: When grabbing Mexican, pass by the burrito and go straight for the bowl option. This can be applied to Chipotle, or any similar establishment. Whether you choose to load up on salad, or reach for a base of rice (make sure to choose brown rice), both will automatically eliminate the 300 calories that the flour tortilla brings with it. Choose your protein, then load up on toppings. The more veggies the merrier, and go light on the cheese.
Subway: If you make the right choices, Subway can make grabbing a quick, healthy sandwich easy. For the a lean, and lowest-in-sodium option, go for the roast beef, and put it on a whole grain 6-inch roll. It’ll bring 16 grams of protein to the table, and just 2.5 grams of fat. To dress it up, swap mayo for mustard, forget about leaving room for cheese, and pile on the veggies till that sandwich is about to topple.
Chick-fil-A: Chick-fil-A uses all white meat, which helps keep down its sandwich’s calorie count. Go for the Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich with 360 calories and 29 grams of protein. Bonus: Make it an open-faced sandwich and ditch the top half of the bun, which offers little else but empty carbs.
Overall tips and smart swaps:
- WW > w: Whole Wheat is a wiser choice than white bread and contains fiber to keep you feeling full for longer.
- Go “naked”: Turn your meal into a salad or a whole grain bowl whenever and throw that wrap to the side.
- Say ‘no cheese, please’: Skip the cheese and you’ll save yourself both fat and calories (around 100 cals/slice).
- Make water your wingmate: When traveling, it’s important to stay hydrated. Dehydration can cause fatigue and for you to lose alertness – not good on the road! Choose water over soda, juices, and other sugary beverages for optimal energy.
- Choose chicken, get it grilled: If nothing else is around but a traditional fast food joint, the chicken generally beats the beef burger in terms of your health. However, beware of add-ons like bacon, which can be both high in sodium and fat, and also cooking methods like frying. This can quickly make the chicken sandwich an inferior choice.