Staying Healthy on the Road

Jennifer O'Donnell-Giles | March 27, 2018

Let’s face it – we are all in the same “super busy” boat these days. We find ourselves eating on the go far more often than we would like. We spend so much time away from home and end up eating in our cars, grabbing snacks at gas stations, and even visiting the fast-food drive-thru. When we’re trying to keep up with our busy lifestyles, it can be difficult to stay on a healthy track. I’m going to break it all down for you and share some tips to make it a little easier to eat healthy while on the go!

The good news is that there are often nutritious options available. Since more people are grasping ahold of a healthy lifestyle nowadays, more healthy options are becoming more accessible. Still, eating healthy is not always easy. Sometimes, you will need to plan ahead and pack a meal or snack for the road. In other situations, you can find what you need as long as you know where to find it.

Pack-it-with-You Snacks

  • Trail mix (homemade or high protein, low sugar store-bought varieties)
  • Dried fruit and nut mixture
  • Nuts (i.e. 15 to 20 almonds in a small container)
  • Sliced apples and peanut butter (or other nut butters)
  • Whole-grain pretzels and hummus (small hummus packets are great for travel)
  • Instant oatmeal packets (add sliced almonds and dried fruit)
  • Snack bars (high protein and all-natural ingredients)

Airport Snacks

  • Cheese stick
  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich with veggies and mustard
  • Mixed Salad with chicken
  • Broth-based soups (vegetable soup, lentil soup or chicken noodle)
  • Fat-free latte
  • Seasonal mixed fruit cup
  • Pre-cut veggies and hummus
  • Pretzels and hummus

Road Trip!

Pack a cooler in your car and you can bring almost anything!

  • Greek yogurt cups
  • Cheese stick
  • Fresh fruit (apples, bananas, peaches, plums, berries, etc…)
  • Chicken sandwich
  • Quinoa salad with diced chicken, onions, spinach, red bell peppers, and olive oil dressing

Mini Marts and Gas Station Pit Stops

  • Pretzels
  • Dark chocolate squares
  • Pre-cut vegetables and hummus
  • Greek yogurt
  • Whole fruit

Drive-thrus and Chain Restaurants.

  • Grilled chicken or fish (they will almost always take special requests)
  • Salad with chicken, shrimp or tuna with an olive oil-based dressing on the side
  • Broth-based soups
  • Oatmeal
  • Eggs with whole-grain bread

Hotel Food

Do a grocery store run and load up on healthy items to store in your mini-fridge.

  • Fruit
  • Mini bagels and light cream cheese
  • Peanut butter and whole-grain crackers
  • Instant oatmeal (use your coffee makes to heat up water)
  • Popcorn
  • Salad with chicken
  • Kefir (drinkable yogurt beverage)
  • Greek yogurt

By implementing healthy travel habits and knowing where to find healthy options on the go, you will never have to put your health goals on hold during your busy schedule. Learning to eat healthy no matter where you are the true secret to a long-term healthy lifestyle!


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Jennifer O'Donnell-Giles

Jenn Giles, R.D., C.S.S.D. is all about health and wellness. She has over 15 years’ experience, including a dual master’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Columbia University. She is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD). She supplements all of this with her spin instructor certification and USATriathlon Level I Coach Certification.

Jennifer is passionate about (actually, obsessed with) the sport of triathlon. She has been personally participating in triathlons since 2000 and running road races since 1992. She is a two-time Ironman finisher and has completed countless numerous marathons. She has been a member of Power Bar Team Elite since 2006 and competed as a member of the 2006 Aquaphor/Active.com Sponsored Athlete Team. She was ranked as USAT All American Honorable mention in 2006 and 2011. Jennifer does all of this along side of her husband, Patrick, who is an equally accomplished triathlete and runner. They try as hard as they can to do all of their training and racing together.

She will tell you, however, that her most important, most rewarding and most challenging job is as a mother of four. She knows first hand the challenges of maintaining optimal fitness, overall good health and achieving goals while raising a family - of which good nutrition is the cornerstone.

Most importantly, she knows how to motivate, inspire and challenge athletes based on their own abilities, strengths and everyday lifestyles. She believes there is an athlete in everyone - no matter what their abilities are – and if those abilities are manifold, then there is an even better athlete in there!

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