🚐 Remember the last road trip you took with the kids and how healthy you ate? 🤔🥗
LOL... I know, RIGHT?! You don't. 🚫
Because you didn't. 🚫
No judgment here --
Today, I'm giving you ways that we find to eat healthy on the road, that will also help you as you prep for your next road trip (with or without kids) so that you can feel good about it and not come back home regretting the decisions made.
Look - as a busy working mom, you don't have tons of hours to prep or make everyone in the family happy, BUT do you have to choose to feed your family garbage, or is there a way to cut through the hours of planning and preparation to make meals-time simple, delicious, AND (dare I say it) healthy?
📈 Are you ready to up-level your next travel adventure in the nutrition department??
Learn our "Good, Better, Best" Rating System
PREP is Key!
What about eating out?
When it comes to eating healthy, what is your biggest challenge?
As we talk about healthy eating it's always good to get an idea what we're talking about. I remember growing up, my idea of healthy eating was low-fat foods made with things like margarine. But as we've moved along we started to realize that low fat wasn't necessarily healthier, it was just... well, it had less fat in it. (plus a bunch of chemicals no one can pronounce)
Today as we approach the idea of healthy eating I want us to be on the same page. As Jim's friend used to say, it's time for a DTR - Define The Relationship.
When we talk about foods there are certain things that are no-go. Any food that has dyes in it, or genetically modified foods, or food that has lots of added sugar. Many restaurants also fall into this group as well. These are the kinds of things we try to avoid. Now, I say, "try" because there are some times you can't help but fudge a little bit. Actually, fudge is a good word for that. But the vast majority of the time we're going to eat food that is good, better, or best.
Good food, in our rating scale, starts off as Organic and Non-GMO. For our family, we also work to eat foods that are gluten-free because we've got some intolerances to gluten. But now that we're on the subject, I'm going to guess that you've got people in your family with gluten sensitivity too, but maybe you just don't know it. This kind of food is GOOD.
Better food comes from local farmers and vendors. This is the kind of stuff you'll find at a local farmers market. If you don't have a farmers market in your area, then move. Just kidding. Sort of. Farmers markets are great for two reasons. One, the food is top notch, healthy, usually organic, and fresh. The second reason, though, is that it means you're supporting a small business owner. These options are BETTER.
The best food is the stuff we grow, or make ourselves. Our kombucha, our herbs, our sourdough, our eggs, our veggies. Our food. Because of our station in life, this is a harder thing to accomplish right now. But our goal, ultimately, is to have a garden, some chickens, and a way to feed ourselves. THIS is the BEST option.
So that's our Good, Better, Best Rating System. You may have noticed that we leave out words like, "Diet," or even, "Healthy." When we talk about food, it's important to recognize that everything you put in your mouth is either feeding health or feeding sickness. But we also recognize the need for balance.
What do you think about our "Good, Better, Best" rating system? Let me know if you think that's something you might adopt in your own home.
Now let's talk a little about prep. This part of our conversation reminds me of the old saying, "Failure to plan is planning to fail." In the Miller home, we take meal planning pretty seriously because it has a big impact on our food choices, but it also has a big impact on our budget. Planning meals means that you are less inclined to eat out, and it also means you're going to do a better job-saving money at the grocery store.
We use something called Plan to Eat to help us with planning out our meals, but also with our shopping. It's a friendly program that you can use on your computer, your tablet, and your phone. It allows us to schedule meals out, shop for the ingredients then helps us with the recipe when it's time to cook.
But planning is also about thinking through details of your travel time. If you're shopping for snacks at a grocery store or in the airport, you're far more likely to lower your standards. So plan out your snacks before you leave. Honestly, Costco has some great, inexpensive snacks that are easy to carry with you. One of our favorites is this little gem - Aussie Bites. When you order them online they come in these individual serving wrappers, but in the store, they just come in a big container. Either way, you can throw a few of these in a ziplock bag and pull them out when you need a little pick me up.
With kids, you can always be sure you will run into a situation with candy or sweet treats being offered. Again, you can pre-make your own with gummy bears or dirt balls. You can even grab some Unreal candy from Thrive Market with no dyes and ingredients you can pronounce.
But let's not forget one of the other foundations of your health - your supplements. Jim and I have a couple of handy ways to keep track of supplements on the road. First, we use a granny pill case while we're at home. On the road, we sometimes use a traveling pill case that we got from doTERRA. However, it's also pretty easy to carry our granny pill case with us because each day comes off the case so you can carry it around. But just like with your food choices, you have to plan to bring those supplements with you. You have to plan on when you're going to fit them into your daily routine, and it has to be a priority.
What about you -- what is your favorite portable snack?
You've seen our "Good, Better, Best" Rating system, and we've talked about planning out meals, but most people don't want to cook EVERY meal, especially when you're traveling.
For those times that we're going to eat out, a little planning goes a long way. When we're going to go to a new town I like to spend some time researching healthy places to eat. Now, it would be nice to just type in "healthy food" and get a list of restaurants that use clean ingredients and even some organic options, but that isn't usually the case. When it's crunch time and the kids are whining about getting some food it's easy to settle for less than the best. But if you've done the research before then you can make food decisions based on a shortlist that you came up with before the trip. In any case, when you're eating out remember our Good, Better, Best rating system and try to apply that to the places you're eating out.
Some of our favorite chains are places like Jason's Deli (simple ingredients with gluten-free and healthy options), Chipotle (simple ingredients, non-GMO, natural and organic ingredients), BurgerFi (Green Style burger is wrapped in lettuce), Elevation Burger (true grass-fed burgers and fries cooked in olive oil), Mod Pizza (gluten-free crust and dairy-free cheese options), Zoe's Kitchen (Mediterranean and Whole30 approved menu), True Foods Kitchen (organic, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options), Whole Foods kitchen, and, if you're in Utah -- Blue Lemon, CoreLifeEatery! When you're in Arizona, you'll be in heaven with TONS of choices - Pita Jungle and Picazzo's, Diablo Burger, Berry Divine Acai Bowls are just a few of our favorites.
Finally, let's talk about budget.
If you haven't really made decisions about good, better, and best for your family, then start with that. What are you willing to skimp on, and what are some non-negotiables. From there you can begin to look more closely at your budget and see areas you can splurge, as well as other areas you can save a dollar here and there. But ultimately you're going to need to find ways to only buy groceries you need for the recipes you plan on cooking. THAT is the best budgeting advice I can give.
What about you - what tricks do you have to help you save money?
If you're like me, you may be sitting here thinking - this all sounds good, but you aren't quite sure where to begin. If you want a bit more support when it comes to planning your next trip, find us on our sister site, XploretheUnseen.com. You can schedule a quick chat with us and we'll help you find the next best steps for you and your family. We'll help you make that next travel adventure the best yet!
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