After finals, it was time to hit the road again and make my way back to Tennessee. I promised the people I coach, that I would maintain a healthy balance while driving cross-country—keeping track of calories and choosing healthy options, while not wimping out on fun food experiences—and keep them posted on enjoying all aspects of an adventure like this one, while not gaining 10 pounds in the process! The only thing I forgot to think about, was the fact that I would not have very good signal in most places we drove through.
So, my brother from another mother and I left on a Wednesday morning, leaving behind cool, sunny Southern California, for our first stop—Albuquerque. I really wanted to go to Albuquerque, because last year on this same route, I drove with my dear friend Jakey, and we could not find it. We drove through Albuquerque, and could not find it—hilariously ridiculous! We were both so confused. So anyways, this year I was determined to find Albuquerque. And we did! Go figure, it would take a soldier to help me find Albuquerque. Anyways, this post is about healthy traveling, so first thing…snacks! I packed us some raw almonds, Larabars, and Shakeology packets—you know, I don’t go anywhere without my shakes! Andy brought a healthy choice of almond rice sticks, and some bread rolls from his parents bakery. They make the most delicious bread that contains none of the nasty processed stuff in a lot of breads you find elsewhere. Plus, their bread brings back happy childhood memories J. The two of us have known each other for literally half our lives. But, I digress—so, back to snacks. It’s important to keep snacks with you, and to keep healthy snacks with you; because 1) you don’t want to starve, and 2) you don’t want to succumb to buying terrible gas station poison. So, healthy snacks—check!
By the time we got hungry for a meal, our choices were rather limited, as you can imagine they would be on the road; so our first food stop was Subway—exciting, I know ;). Thanks to my willpower, My Fitness Pal, and a helpful tip about eating at Subway from “Eat This, Not That,” I had a deliciously low calorie turkey sandwich on 6” of their 9-grain wheat bread—no mayo, just a little olive oil. Come dinner time, we had crossed the New Mexican border, and found ourselves at a cute little place called Ranch Kitchen in Gallup, NM. They had an interesting menu that consisted of Native American, Mexican, and Italian food. Italian was a no-no—too many carbs to consume then go sit in a car for a few more hours. I decided on a Native taco. I didn’t want something too heavy, but I wanted to experience some local eats. In my head, I imagined a small little concoction wrapped in a corn tortilla or something—boy, was I wrong! My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw what the waitress brought over. It was not so much a taco, but more like a HUGE pizza with taco toppings. The base of this taco pizza was like naan, but fried. It was delicious, nonetheless, but HUMUNGO and not exactly the light meal I had imagined. Needless to say, I did not even finish half of it. That Native Taco owned me!
Don’t ask me why, but our next stop was Memphis—15 hours. In the morning, I made a shake…yes, I brought my blender into the hotel with me. Then we went to the concierge, and sipped on that and ate some fruit. I was tempted to grab a muffin or some bacon, or something; but I resisted. Yay me! I had to be good, because today was the day we were going to eat at Cracker Barrel. I have a silly goal to stop at a Cracker Barrel in every state that there is one, and I hadn’t been to one in Oklahoma or Arkansas. Plus, I love their pancakes. So as we made our way through Texas, we stopped at Alanreed. It’s a small little town I accidentally stumbled upon last year and it’s so adorable I wanted Andy to see it. We picked up some beef jerky there. It’s not the best snack, because it’s so salty, but I feel like having really (relatively) local good beef jerky on a road trip is a must. So, finally at Cracker Barrel I got my two blueberry pancakes, but no more. It was amazing.
The next morning we woke up in Memphis, and I had a delicious omelet with a side of grits. So, I have three tips when traveling on the road and trying to be good to your body without killing the fun:
1) Pack healthy snacks.
2) Keep track of your calorie intake, because while it is hard to keep an entirely clean diet on the road, you can at least prevent total damage to your body by not accidentally overeating.
3) Pick one meal a day while on the road, where you can allow yourself to indulge a little.