Hit The Road, Snack

… and don’t you come pack

on pounds, on pounds, on pounds on pounds.

Hit the road, snack,

and don’t you come pack on pounds.

What you say?

So you might have guessed by my silly singing that I am on the road again.  (Cue Willie Nelson now.)  If you are reading this on Thursday, I am probably sitting in the car somewhere on I-70.  Maybe Missouri.  Or Illinois.  Or Indiana.  Or Ohio.  If you are reading this on Friday, I am either still in the car, or in eastern Pennsylvania with my son, helping him find an apartment for when he graduates in May.  And Sunday and Monday it will be back in the car again.  Eighteen (boring, snack inducing, eyelid drooping) hours each way.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this trip.  (Those of you already familiar with my over-thinking over-planning ways should not be surprised.)  And not all of it was food related!  (Yes, I have a list of bed-bug-free, inexpensive hotels spaced out every hour or so between home and destination.)  But, a great deal of thought was given to food.  Top on that list:  healthy car snacks.  Next on the list:  healthy meals, packed or purchased.  And not to be left out:  packable healthy breakfasts.  Are you sensing a trend?  Healthy.  Healthy, healthy, healthy.  Food, food, food.

I’d love to say my goal on this trip is to eat “on plan” and to not overeat.  That’s a great goal, actually.  But given my past road trip debacle, I’m aiming a bit lower.  Progress, not perfection.  My goal is to keep all snacks on plan.  And to not veer too far off plan for meals.  I’d love to be more specific than that but it’s hard to do so without knowing where and when I’ll be eating.  And this trip is further complicated by the continuing disharmony between my eating plan and that of my husband, aka my travel companion.  He’ll want to stop where he can find a vegetarian meal.  I’ll want to stop where I can find a grain-free meal.  He’ll want a sandwich; I won’t.  I’ll want a salad with protein on top; he won’t.  I’ll want to eat fast.  Okay, maybe we’ll be in sync on this one:)

We’ll be traveling with a cooler.  Or two or three.  One for water.  And maybe some soda for my husband.  One for easy-to-reach snacks that need to stay cool, like cut peppers and snap peas and string cheese.  One for longer-term “refrigeration” of meals, like yogurt for breakfast and some “easy to eat, no need to heat” meals for the car.  Other snacks:  assorted jerky.  Grape tomatoes.  Nuts in pre-portioned baggies.  Fruit (which doesn’t go in the cooler since my teeth are sensitive to cold so I like it at room car temperature.)

What you won’t find in my snack stash:  protein bars, cereal, crackers.  All foods that I have taken on past road trips for their easy packability and snackability.  All foods that can set me off on a binge.  All foods that I am tempted to eat when I am not hungry.

See!?  I can learn from my past mistakes:)

I’ll only have limited internet access and computer time so you may not see me much in cyberspace for several days.  Not sure when I’ll have time to get my next post published either.  But, just like Arnold Schwarzenegger, I’ll be back.  And, fingers crossed, feeling nothing but tired and pleased with myself.

What’s your favorite road trip snack?  Do you sing in the car?  Do you like to get there fast or stop a lot along the way?  Anyone know a great apartment for rent in Bethlehem, PA?

Photo credit: [Friscocali]





Filed under vacation

25 responses to “Hit The Road, Snack

  1. Karen I so rarely go anywhere by car and when I do I drive… so no snacks needed. But, am on holidays now with the family and haven’t been ‘great’ on the food front. Meals out are okay, but we’re often in between places etc, so today I’ve eaten rice cakes for a late lunch after a late breakfast. (Which would be fine if I hadn’t eaten the whole packet!)


  2. I hope you brought TONS of gum!!! 🙂

  3. No one has ever accused us of getting anywhere fast…we’ve been known to take a full day to drive 150 miles. And fortunately, we also never developed the habit of eating or snacking in the car. It’s just something we don’t do. Yes, we always have food, but it’s usually in the trunk so if, or when, we get hungry, we find a place to stop for a break. I never realized until I started blogging, how much of a problem eating in the car or traveling was for other people.

  4. I always bring a cooler on road trips full of snacks like yogurt with fruit and granola and of course a salad with protein and maybe some crackers. Inevitable Glenn stops and buys candy bars and of course the kids love it and I have to steal a bite.

  5. I keep my snacks in the trunk of the car so they’re not accessible from the front seat. If I want a snack, I have to stop the car, get out, pull out the plastic container of choice, put it all back together and in the bag, and then get myself all situated and on the road again.

    All that said, favorite road snack: almonds! I can go a hundred miles on 7-8 almonds. I used to pack yogurt and all sorts of must-be-cooled foods, but now I just find a grocery store and buy on an as-needed basis.

    Safe travels! I do know someone in Bethlehem, but I think they live in a McMansion.

  6. Hope you’ve got open roads & no speed traps today!

    We’re taking a 2,000 mile (each way) road trip this summer, with the dogs. I’m a little freaked out about eating on the road. I’ll definitely pack a cooler, but I’m also going to figure out where we can stop at actual grocery stores along the route, as they’ll be more likely to have Greek yogurt than your average roadside convenience store.

    We eat a fair amount of bbq on the road – I’d be in trouble if my husband were a vegetarian! I supplement with raw veggies.

    We once sang along with the song Shout Shout (Knock Yourself Out) by Ernie Moresca for at least an hour on a road trip. Possibly 90 minutes of the same song. Now, we have satellite radio, which my husband likes to keep on the oldies station, while I always beg for at least a little bit of time for the New Wave/80s station.

  7. Larabars and bananas are my Road Foods.

    As you drive through Ohio on 70, you’ll be just about seven miles from where I lived.

  8. Funny but crazy true story — My mom used to work with a woman who knew some slightly crazy couple in Bethlehem, PA who were actually named Mary and Joseph. And yes, these people named their son Jesus. I promise you I am not kidding. I thought it just as insane!!!

  9. When we go on roadtrips, I really try to pack some healthy snacks like mini babybel cheese, almonds, fruit, etc. However, my husband says its no “fun” and prefers to stop. I’d like to stop more at sandwich places, but he’s not a big sandwich fan. So more often than not, we pick up some snacks at the gas station. You can find jerky, bananas, hard boiled eggs, cheese and such there. But it’s cheaper if I plan ahead and bring them. 😉

    We like to make as few stops as possible to get to our destination more quickly. But sometimes my bladder has more control of that. 😉

  10. Jan

    Hope you are having a great adventure!

    With our camping van we have access to a fridge (and a potty!), but we still stop to grab fresh salads on a long day of driving – or not. I am so with you about no protein bars. The are like crack for me.

    My PA experience goes no farther than Philly and the Lancaster area.

  11. Karen, hope the whole trip went well & you survive the hubby food differences! 😉 I know all about that BUT I always tend to bring my own food anyway when we travel – not much in the past few years due to money. AND, not many road trips… so I don’t have much experience with that. I most likely would fill a cooler with my homemade protein bats/muffins, almonds & other things I could take & then maybe hope for he best with supermarkets! 😉

    Wishing you no tummy probs! That is always my issue cause I can’t eat like I normally do & I don’t drink water too much cause with age, I always have to hit the bathroom! 😉

  12. It sounds like a great time, I love road trips! We always take a plug in cooler – no ice needed and pack it full of veggies, fruit, yogurt and fixins for healthy sandwiches. It’s so easy to over do the snacking while in the car. Baby carrots and red pepper strips help me a lot.

    I know you will do well this time around! Have fun and safe travels.

  13. So exciting that you have a soon to be college grad who already has a job!! Congrats to him and to you.

    Don’t ask for my favorite road snacks – I don’t want to sully your pristene blog with food porn. However, for the healthy stuff, much of what you’re taking would be on my lost. I’m finding jerky really keeps the hunger pangs away. Must be all that protein. Cheese sticks, too. Cereal can get me into trouble. But the vegetables cut up are great – totally guilt free.

    I hope you have a great time and find the perfect abode for #1 son.

  14. First – how great are you two going and doing the apartment hunting? My gosh you two are freaking dream parents.

    OK that out of the way. Ahem.

    I think your plan is a good one. A little bit of everything. Can you bring boiled eggs or is that just too revolting a smell for a car? Maybe this was brought up last time. Fruit leather? I would gobble it, but maybe you wouldn’t. Splendid idea not bringing the cereal. It is just too munchie.

    I am getting ready for a month long road trip. Gulp. I will be taking my cues from you. Hubby would be on his own if he went veggie.

    Sometimes I like a piece of lunch meat to shut the growling stomach up. Hummus and carrots? Both of you can nosh on that!

    Good luck with the apartment hunting. Remember he is young so down where it is happening is preferred! Don’t put him out in the burbs with the rocking chair crowd. LOL Have fun!

  15. I sing in the car when I’m alone.. when with company I try to spare them…. :p I usually have grapes and water with me, that’s my road snack!

    I like your plan!!

  16. I pack a few things and then do what Cammy suggested: buy the desired food at a local grocery store once I/we have arrived at our destination. Happy road-tripping!

  17. KarenJ

    My two new travel foods are Kind Bars and GoPicnic meals. My husband and I travel by plane at least once a year, and if they feed you at all I usually can’t eat the food, so this has saved me from starvation. GoPicnic has several gluten free varieties. They remind me of Lunchables for kids!

  18. Sounds like you’re working on that healthy relationship with food. I’m totally failing this week, particularly today. All I want is junk food!

  19. MO

    Wow – lots of driving, but you have the snack pack ready to go and with the several coolers – so awesome, I will for sure take a tip from you for my next road trip. When I used to travel an hour from home to work I would take with me a sucker from time to time, kept my mind alert and it was a nice treat…but only for a treat – sugar free is the key, too.


  20. Miz

    I miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiss me some Pennsylvania and am a horrible roadtrip snacker.
    MEH not horrible but voluminous? 🙂
    I adore it.
    the chats with the husband
    the music
    the scenery
    the snacks
    the chats with the husband.

  21. Karen, hope you are having a great road trip! My favorite snack is Trader Joe’s “just a handful of roasted, unsalted almonds” because of the portion control. When I get a bigger bag or the kind that includes chocolate in it, that’s when I overeat. While we don’t sing on road trips due to the fact that I’m so off-tune it might crack the windshield, we download audio books for longer trips to pass the time. Best one we’ve heard lately was Rob Lowe’s autobiography. Have fun!

  22. My favorite car snacks are fresh fruit (apples and grapes) and lately a yogurt smoothie that I make. Yum and healthy.

    Travel safely!

  23. Have a great trip!!
    I can’t remember… is there a reason you guys don’t fly?

  24. Lots of luck with the road trip pitfalls. I went 4800 miles on the latest road trip and several times ended up throwing food out the window because I knew I’ d eat the whole thing if I didn’t. I try not to have food in the car when it’s 6 hours or less in the car, but I had a lot of 12 to 14 hour days.

  25. When I’ve had to take long road trips, other than a dinner meal, I’ve found that stopping at supermarkets along the way usually has an available meal or product that will satisfy everybody.

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