Bring Your Own: Eating Healthy on the Road Part 1

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It’s no secret that EMTs and Paramedics have quite a challenge finding healthy and tasty food choices while on the road. Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can easily employ to stop trading nutritional value for convenience, and make eating healthy on the road simple and fun.

Know Your Schedule

By schedule, I don’t mean work schedule, but rather your hunger schedule. Understanding when your body craves food is the key to creating a healthy eating plan. Many people wait until they are starving to eat, and then turn to the most convenient food – which is not always the healthiest option.

Start a one-week food journal tracking what time your body feels hungry each day. You’ll start to notice a pattern and then can plan accordingly to fulfill that hunger by packing nutritious snacks or planning a stop at a restaurant with healthier options.

Choose Foods that Travel Well

When you’re in a vehicle most of the day it can be tricky to choose healthy foods that aren’t messy. Invest in a lunch cooler, which will expand your food options and also allow you keep bottled water cold. An insulated thermos is also a good choice to pack broth-based, drinkable soups like tomato.

Keep a snack pack in your vehicle to avoid quickie stops at convenience stores and gas stations for chips or candy. Some of my favorite snack pack items include:

  • Trader Joe’s individually packed dried almonds (you can also purchase a bag of almonds and ration out a serving size into a small bag)
  • Carrot sticks
  • Apple or pear slices
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Grapes
  • Trail mix
  • Raisins
  • String cheese
  • Whole grain pretzels
  • Reduced fat Wheat Thins
  • Dried fruit

In “Eating Healthy on the Road Part 2” Everyday EMS Tips guest blogger Melissa Caserra will explain how to survive the inevitable stops at fast food joints. Melissa is a nationally-syndicated Wellness Expert covering the latest in healthy living advice for media outlets and audiences across the country! Melissa speaks to national audiences on wellness and nutrition topics and serves as a spokesperson for various corporate and non-profit brands. She blogs regularly about healthy living at www.melissacassera.com