Whether you’re a long-haul driver or just someone who’s stopped along the highway on a family road trip, you know how overwhelming it can be to try and find something healthy to eat in a truck stop. I’ve been so several, and they all have similar options, including some healthy ones!
If you know what you’re looking for, it makes the decision making a lot easier, so go in with a plan, and you’ll be set up for success.
First, head to the convenience section. Here you’ll find the chips, chocolate, and soda…but that’s not what we’re getting. Take a look around and you’ll find:
– Granola & protein bars – give the label a quick read to find ones that have fewest ingredients and the lowest amount of sugar.
– Nuts, including walnuts, almonds, and cashews. Go for unsalted and raw if available.
– Beef jerky – no, it’s not the healthiest, but it can be a great way to get some protein in a pinch. Get the low-sodium if you can, and try not to have it too often.
– Canned salmon and tuna – full of protein and healthy fats, and can be used many different ways as a snack or part of a meal.
– Fresh fruit & veggies, usually pre-cut up – the quality can vary, but they’re almost always available and are worth checking out. They are sometimes a little pricey, but likely not as much as you’d think, and the more produce you can get into your diet on the road, the better!
– Finally, grab a big jug of water to keep in the truck! Drink, drink, drink!
Once you’ve picked up some snacks, head to the restaurant area if you need more food.
– First, find some veggies! This can be tough in fast-food style restaurants, but even they usually carry salads. Buffets and regular menus will (almost always) have a choice of vegetables as well, but it’s up to you to actually choose and eat them! They may be hidden on the menu, so be sure to ask! If you focus on getting your veggies first, you won’t forget them.
– Next, pick your protein. Quality over quantity here. You don’t need a huge serving of meatloaf or fried chicken, just choose a minimally processed type of meat (ie. not lunch meat) to have as part of your meal.
– When it comes to sides, a small serving of potatoes or rice is a good idea, but stay away from French fries. Cut back on bread as well – if it’s part of a sandwich or burger consider removing part of it, and stay away from dinner rolls which add unnecessary carbs to an already complete meal.
Eating well in a truck stop doesn’t come easy, but there are more healthy options available than you may think. Look around, ask some questions, and use all the willpower you have and you’ll be fine! Don’t forget to stock your truck with healthy foods from the grocery store as often as you can to prevent unexpected unhealthy meals!