Eating healthy is hard. Doing so while on a motorcycle road trip is even harder. So, are you doomed to a poor diet while traveling? It depends on how you approach it.
You could choose to seek out restaurants that serve healthy meals. It’s an option, but it might be difficult depending on where you are. Additionally, it might not be the quickest method of getting a meal, since you might have to look around for a bit to find something that meets your needs. That’s usually why healthy eating goes out the window on a road trip. We’re looking to make time and put miles behind us. The last thing anyone wants to do is spend time looking for a place to grab a bite.
Another option is to stop at a grocery store. Pick up something easy to make or grab some fruit to hold you over. There’s usually a salad bar too, if you’re into that kind of thing. Many grocery stores also have food already prepared, where you can find something that won’t kill your diet. It’s quick and convenient, and it’s usually pretty good too.
If you’re travelling near friends/family, you could stop in and grab a home-cooked meal. It’s a great way to take a break from the road and catch up. You might even be able to take it a step further and use this time to do some bike maintenance and knock out some laundry.
But, do you really need to make special arrangements to get something at least somewhat healthy? You can actually find something that isn’t too bad for you nearly anywhere. Fruit is readily available and makes a great snack. Most convenience stores and gas stations will have some type of fruit available. If you’re not going to settle for some fruit to get you by, even fast-food restaurants offer choices that are healthier than their usual fare. The key here is to keep an eye out for hidden items that will destroy your efforts. Salad is good but watch the dressing and other add-ons!
I take a different approach to eating on the road. Generally, my regular diet is pretty healthy. I exercise often and keep my weight in check. It’s not really a chore, it’s just how I’ve always done things. During a road trip, however, my goal is to try things I wouldn’t normally eat and stop at places that don’t exist in my corner of the world and eat like a teenager who’s living on his own for the first time!
I also like fast-food — and not just a little. I don’t eat it often, but I would be happy to exist with a steady diet of McDonald’s, Taco Bell, KFC, etc. Road trips are a perfect time for me to put aside my regular diet, get my fill of junk, and not worry about the consequences. A couple weeks of unhealthy eating shouldn’t do too much damage, right? I’m not a nutritionist, so I have no idea if the science backs it up, but that’s what I’m going with!
After a few days of acting like a 10-year-old kid with no supervision, the appeal of my junk-food-only diet starts to diminish. It’s not something I plan. It might be because the novelty of eating nothing but fast food wears off, or maybe because I tend not to be food motivated. I’ll just grab whatever strikes my mood at the time. Sometimes it’ll be a large meal at a diner, too many tacos at Taco Bell, or maybe I’ll stop at Whole Foods and grab a healthy prepared meal — but don’t judge me for having ice cream for breakfast! Maybe I’ll get dinner at a steak house, while other times I’ll just pick up a salad and call it a day. I’ll still stop and try new things, but it becomes less important as my trip goes on. There are just too many things to see and do to be bothered with food, and eating almost becomes an afterthought.
I manage to get my fill of junk food, but when I get home, I realize I’ve not eaten nearly as poorly as I’d planned. I usually manage to lose a few pounds too.
What’s your plan for eating during a road trip? Do you try to keep it healthy, sample all the local cuisine, live off fast food and gas station offerings, or is it something you even consider?