Healthy Gas Station Snacks
A few weeks ago I took a tip home to Atlanta. I know I should have packed a snack for the road but I was rushing to beat that horrid Atlanta traffic and slipped out the door without it. On the way I had to stop for gas and since I was in a hurry, I figured I’d pick up a snack while I was there. Looking over the options, I realized there were more healthy snacks available than I thought. Just as I’m sure many of you do, I categorized items into “Unwise, Better and Best” and tried to make a good option. Hope you find this list useful. Feel free to add items in the comments section!
- Candy bar
- Honey Bun
- Hot dog
- Potato Chips: Have you ever noticed that you can eat an entire bag of chips and be hungry an hour later? Although addicting, chips do very little to decrease hunger. They also tend to be high in fat.
- Dark chocolate or low fat, low sugar candies like Twizzlers
- Hot breakfast sandwich: Choose a sandwich made on an English Muffin or Whole Wheat Tortilla (Breakfast Burrito) if you have the option. If the gas station doesn’t offer pre-made sandwiches, go to the ‘Best’ option below.
- Trail Mix: Although trial mix is packed with nuts, it can also be packed with lots of sugar. Chose the mix that is mostly nuts and dried fruit and not the mix with lots of candy.
- Iced Coffee: Only use half the flavored syrup and look for a sugar-free or fat-free option.
- Baked Whole Grain Crackers
- Sports Drink: Sports drinks give you energy and come in a variety of flavors so I think they’re a great option. Beware, though, because they can be high in sugar so choose the low calorie option.
- Fruit Snacks: Fruit snacks are sweet and unlike candy bars, they’re not gone in one bite. Be sure to check that your snack is made with real fruit.
- Energy/Kashi Bar: Pair your bar with a bottle of skim milk and you’ve got a filling breakfast. Just be sure it’s made with lots of whole grain, real fruit and nuts.
- Deli Sandwich: If you don’t have time to pack your own, many gas stations offer pre-made deli sandwiches. Load your sandwich with veggies and opt for mustard over mayonnaise.
- Smoothie: If those 50 cent big gulp slushies call your name when you walk into a gas station, try going for a bottled real fruit smoothie instead.
- Single-Serve Cereal: Eating any single-serve, whole grain cereal gives you that crunch you’re craving and is already portioned out for you so you don’t have to worry about overeating.
- Water: Water is usually the cheapest drink at the gas station and quenches thirst like non-other. Staying hydrated also gives you more energy so you are awake during your drive.
Other Road Trip Tips:
- If you can, pack your own meals and lunch before you leave. This will save you time, money and calories. When we’re really hungry, we tend to make food choices impulsively. Keep a few healthy options on you, and you’re not only more energized throughout the trip but you’re also staying on track with your healthy lifestyle goals. In fact, many gas stations have microwaves available to take advantage of what’s available.
- Plan ahead. If you know you’re going to have to stop to eat at some point, plan ahead. Keep a list of restaurants that have options you know you like so you don’t have to guess when the time comes.
- Make time for Metabo! If you have an energy drink habit, try switching to fruit instead. Nutritious snacks such as fruit and nuts will give you that natural burst of energy you’re looking for–drink plenty of water as well.
- Notice that you feel sluggish and grumpy when you put lots of junk in your body. Instead of arriving to your destination feeling tired, get there energized and feeling great by making smart choices!