How to Eat Healthy on the Road

Satisfy your appetite well while you appease a healthy need for adventure.

Stay Fresh

The upside to modern adventuring is that almost everything can be found in preserved form. The downside of modern adventuring is the same. Grocery stores and outdoor retailers abound in assortments of dehydrated meals and quick foods that can be carried nearly everywhere without refrigeration. This oh-so-convenient form of food can often be as much of a blessing as it can be a curse. Its easy to opt for something pre-prepared and package when you’re out on the road, but it’s also important to value fresh food over the convenience factor. The best way to buck the urge to grab another long-shelf-life snack, is to recognize the adventure in food-finding itself. Farm stands, local farmers markets, roadside stops and doorsteps selling everything from fresh eggs, to homemade pies – make any road trip even more memorable. Add in the opportunity to familiarize yourself with local fare and meet some new faces, and your experience of adventure is enhanced more than it ever would be by biting into another protein bar. 


Beware The Snack Attack

Snacks - they get us every time. And a long drive combined with basically sitting inside a kitchen (for those of you with RVs or camper vans) makes for a hopeless combination. Packing your cooler, fridge, or daypack with fresh fruit, veggies and healthy low-calorie munchies helps curb your urge to fill-up on fatty snacks. Wanna step it up a notch? Try your hand at dehydrating your favorites, or pre-pack snack plates using a variety of dried fruit, grain-packed crackers, and hard cheeses – sometimes the time spent plating these pickings can be as satisfying as it feels to scarf them down. 

Spice It Up

Bored of your go-to staples? Add some adventure by increasing your spice assortment. Basics like chicken, rice and veggies can be renewed by the addition of Cardamom or Chipotle. Stir-fries and scrambles can be brought back to life by the simple addition of Coriander or Chinese five-spice. And condiments like mayo or salad dressing can be livened up by mixing in some Cumin or Curry. Challenge yourself by buying a new spice and finding new ways to use it – get extra points by purchasing locally foraged or farmed herbs, and immersing yourself in ingredients endemic to the people and cultures inhabiting the places you’re visiting.


Always Be Eating Al Fresco

It’s easy to think of healthy eating as a literal matter. But often we forget about the way we eat our food – and how it contributes to overall wellness. It’s easy to eat hastily and without much mindfulness, when we’re on the road or on the trail – and regardless of what we’re chewing on, we often end up missing the magic of the meal. Making mealtime less of an afterthought, and more of an additional means of enjoying the outdoors, is a good way to keep the adventure alive. Walk your wraps down to the riverside, eat your scrambled eggs on your rooftop, or chow down on your chili on top of the highest rock in sight. John Muir once wrote, "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread." So why not strive for both? 

Published: June 26, 2018

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Noel Russell

Oakland

I work at a homeless shelter and I sleep around a lot.