Eating healthily in the car

Eating healthily in the car

You might be making excuses for why you don’t have a healthy diet particularly if you spend a lot of time driving with a busy schedule. You may find yourself rushing meals to get back on the road, eating junk food throughout the day and snacking on goodies from the petrol station in the afternoon. Poor nutrition can leave us feeling tired, stressed and overwhelmed. However, with a little knowledge and organisation, eating healthily on the go is easy. Whether you’re feeling inspired by those embarking on their Operation Transformation journey or are simply tired of feeling sluggish on a daily basis, we’ve gathered our top tips below to kickstart your new regime.

Breakfast

It’s important to always start your day with a nutritious breakfast. While it may seem easiest to grab a coffee and pastry at the petrol station, it’s not the most health conscious choice. Instead, try taking a nutritious breakfast with you in the car or making a healthier choice on the move.

Smoothies are a great way to pack in essential vitamins and minerals and they’re easy to drink while stuck in traffic, just like a coffee. You can prep your fruit the night before to save time in the morning. Squeeze a little lemon juice over chopped or peeled fruit to stop it from turning brown overnight. Investing in a sturdy beaker to reduce the chance of spills in the car is essential.

Some cars even have a built-in refrigerated glove box. This might be something to look out for if you spend a lot of time in your car each day.

If have to get your breakfast from a petrol station or convenience shop, make a health conscious choice by opting for fruit, a pre-packaged smoothie, juice or an on-the-go pot of porridge at the service station.

Snacking

Making your own snacks and healthy treats to take with you in the car will reduce your tendency to pick up fast food and unhealthy snacks at the garage shop. Why not whip up a batch of flapjacks with porridge oats, raisins and pecans at the weekend to take with you each day. Nutritious homemade snacks are easy to nibble on when stuck in traffic and are more economical than buying snacks throughout the day.

You can still make healthier choices if you are forced to eat at a petrol station. Instead of opting for crisps, chocolate and fizzy drinks, try picking up a piece of fruit, a cereal or protein bar, juice or water. Trail mix and other nuts, seeds and dried fruits are also great to keep at hand to snack on. Most service stations will have a stand with a great selection of packs. They’re nutritious and easy to eat while driving and on the move.

Lunch

A packed lunch can be eaten in the car, once you’ve pulled in or before you set off on a journey that is. It’s a great way to use up leftovers from dinner and to keep you from buying fast food throughout the day. Tasty salads are great. Try rocket leaves with grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and pesto or spinach leaves with baked sweet potato, feta, beetroot and toasted pumpkin seeds. Don’t forget to pack a fork and napkin to avoid making a mess in your car.

Prepping meals may not be your thing, particularly if you’re stuck for time at home in the evenings. Instead of grabbing a chicken roll at lunch, go for a wrap, whole meal sandwich or salad box. You’ll feel a lot less sluggish in the afternoon after a lighter, healthier lunch.

Hydrate

It’s important to make sure to drink enough water throughout the day. Fill a bottle with fresh water each morning and take it with you in the car. You can even add a little freshly squeezed lemon, lime or grapefruit juice for flavour and added vitamins.

For the colder mornings, use a flask and try hot water with the fruit juice. Add honey and cloves if you’re feeling a little under the weather. If you happen to run out in the morning without your bottle, pick one up at the garage during the day. Keep your bottle in the cup holder to make sipping in the car easy.

Stress

Driving in traffic can be stressful. Instead of reaching for chocolate and other sweet things, try eating satisfyingly crunchy foods like an apple, carrot or celery sticks. There's no food that will erase frustration, but you can get a little stress relief by exercising and including more crunchy foods in your diet.

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