road fuel: what to eat during your road trip

COVID-19 has certainly changed the way we live and travel this summer.  How so? Well according to reports, road trips make up to 97% of summer travel plans now and RV makers are seeing surging demands as people are trying to get away safely.

But as road trips are up, quality road fuel options are down (and the likelihood of stopping at outside restaurants is slim) making packing smart foods that can fuel your body & feed your muscles important.  

First, consider a solid cooler.  Before our road trip this summer we got two – the OtterBox Venture 65 Hard Cooler – for it’s larger capacity and ability to keep foods cold for the long haul & the OtterBox Trooper LT30 Soft Cooler, for when we got there to keep our foods cold on the beach.  

Now that you have your food storage in mind, you need to consider what to actually pack.  And I’ve got you covered with 7 different quality fuel options that are portable and loaded with nutrition.

  1. Hardboiled Eggs.  Love me some hardboiled eggs.  With each whole egg offering 7 grams of quality protein, along with vitamins E, D, choline among others, these should certainly be part of the road fuel. Outside of the nutrition they provide, the convenience, taste and low cost make them a definite go to in my mind.  And of course with the cooler in tow, you’re all set to keep them chilled for the long haul and fuel those muscles (and also fill you up, since protein is satiating), for the trip.

  2. Pistachios. While these don’t need to hang in the cooler, they’re perfectly portable, filling and loaded with the nutrition you need to keep you going. And, added bonus - they offer six grams of plant-based protein per serving, help fuel your body with essential amino acids and nearly 90% of the fats found in pistachios are the better-for-you mono and polyunsaturated type. Add that protein and fat, along with being a good source of fiber as well, and you’ve got a trio that may help keep you fuller longer. One of the lowest calorie, lowest fat snack nuts, pistachios offer more nuts per serving than most– about 49 pistachios, so you get a solid serving compared to so many other nuts.  A healthy, crave-able snack, pistachios are a smart snack you can feel good about anytime. Wonderful Pistachios No Shells are perfect road fuel – healthy, convenient plant protein on-the-go with no fuss. Do yourself a favor and pick up the Wonderful Chili Roasted ones for your next road trip.

  3. Beef Jerky. When thinking about portable road fuel, beef jerky is clearly at the top of the list.  It’s portable, pretty much pure protein and certainly durable.  With the options on the market now, it also offers a nice, savory flavor to mix things up when on the go.  To add to the list of benefits, a serving of jerky provides about 15 grams of complete protein, which is a great snack option to keep those muscles flooded with the amino acids needed.

  4. Prunes.  While these may not have been at the top of your list, there’s a good reason they’ve made mine. Road trips & travel can leave a lot to be desired when it comes to, ahem, regularity.  And while that’s not the only reason at all to enjoy California Prunes, they are a healthy snack that count as a full serving of fruit, are shelf-stable and require no prep – perfect for enjoying on-the-go. A serving of 4-5 California Prunes packs a powerful punch of important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Together, these nutrients form a web of vital functions that support overall health. A serving of California Prunes has less than 100 calories, zero added sugar and are sodium, fat and cholesterol-free – they would actually complement the pistachios above very well, for a tasty homemade trail mix.  Gut effective and bone protective: prunes are a convenient and delicious way to add more fiber to the daily diet.

  5. String Cheese. You’ve got your cooler to keep these cold, so now stock up on string cheeses for a little protein boost that can be enjoyed by itself or paired with fruit or veggies.  

  6. Veggies. Most are durable, but some favorites include carrot sticks (or baby carrots), celery sticks, chopped cauliflower or broccoli.  Of course the nutrition provided And then all work great alone or dipped in a bit of hummus.

  7. Hummus. Pick up the individual cups of hummus you can find in most stores (or with delivery) to use as a dip for the veggies you’ll be packing as well (see #6). The base of hummus is usually chickpeas, but could also be other beans – all are great – and is then mixed with olive oil, some spices and lots of nutrition.   

There you have it.  Not only do you need fuel for the tank of your car, but you need fuel for your body to keep you going just the same. Of course none of these snacks will magically appear in your cooler, so there has to be some prep work to provide you (and your family) the best options for the road.

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