Yes there is even healthy food on the Jersey Turnpike.

So my first experiment is done. I traveled with my family on vacation and did my best to eat healthy on the road while not being a pain in the butt to them as well. It went pretty well honestly. I was mildly surprised at the health choices in odd places.

Can you travel and eat healthy? I think so. It might take just a tad of extra work but it is possible.

If your renting a house or condo to stay in explore the local grocery stores and check to see if they have local farms. You’d be surprised where farms are tucked away. If you check out the site Sustainable Table you can find local produce, meats near where your going. Not staying any place with a kitchen you cook your meals at? No worried same site offers a restaurant list and more that use local produce. There’s even a trip planner guide. How easy is that?

I confess we were really lucky to be next to some great seafood/bait stores. Ok that sounds nuts, well it did to me, but who else is better to sell you the days local catch then the local fishermen? I felt spoiled having such great seafood. Thank goodness our local fish monger returned to a local spot here in town when we returned cause I missed him and being in NC really made that clear to me.

My sunset view on vacation

Ok so your looking and you can’t find anything in the areas or the route your traveling. What now? Well before you shove a Big Mac down your throat, stop and look for healthier alternatives. Subway would be better than the fast place run by a clown. No Subway or you got out voted where to eat and are hostage to fast food menu? Well see what you can find on a menu. We went to Taco Bell. I avoided the beef in anything based on the low quality of beef you get in those places (not just for recent scandals of is it beef or not) and I avoided the chicken for the same reason. They offered a “fresco” menu that claimed to be healthier. Not to sure on the truth of that but what I saw was a bean and rice burrito with tomatoes with no cheese. I went for it but sadly my ordered was messed up and I got a load of cheese and no tomatoes. I tried.

We ate at other places that were chain restaurants and it was a matter of picking through the menu and just knowing what was right for me. Some other local places were beyond wonderful and severed the local fresh catch of the day. So good. I am no saint. At a BBQ place we went I just went for what sounded good. I ate till I got my fill and enjoyed this treat.

Some hotels offer a free breakfast. We took advantage of it. Yes there was danish , mystery meat corned beef and all kinds of junk offered but to my shock and surprise there was a “healthy” section with fresh fruit (whole oranges, apples and bananas) , oatmeal, yogurt, granola and hard boiled eggs. Did I mention this was free? Ok I am sure it’s worked into the price of your room so why not take advantage of it. Better than pancake sausage sandwich that is more calories and fat and sodium than you need in one day.

The biggest surprise came on the Jersey Turnpike. I was going to take a picture to prove there were fresh fruit bowls, cut veggies, and an assortment of Naked Juices among other things. When you consider that right next to that was soda, candy, chips and meat stick products it’s a little shocking. Besides this is a rest stop. I don’t know how long they have been offering this stuff but I know in January of 2010 I didn’t see it. I saw the same stuff in Maryland’s rest stop as well, just it was not in the main store and was next to the Starbucks like’s it own little healthy private island.

So there are some options it just takes looking around. It might take you off the beaten path and you get to meet folks you never would otherwise and see things you never would have.

In the end I realized there’s no place like home or my own kitchen.

Till next time!

Slainte!

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