5 Healthy Road-Trip Meals
Here's a list of nutritious meals you can find at typical roadside restaurants. Menu items may change or vary by region, so use this as a general guide.
McDonald's: The fast-food giant's salads are low in calories, fat, carb, and sodium as long as you don't add chicken—grilled or fried, it can more than triple the sodium content. Opt for Newman's Own Low-Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette instead of a creamy alternative and apple slices over fries.
Subway: Choose from the "6 Grams of Fat or Less" menu. The Veggie Delite is lower in sodium and carbohydrate than any other sub, and the Oven-Roasted Chicken Salad provides protein without too much salt. Another tip: Though it may seem like a better choice, the flatbread has a similar amount of calories, fat, sodium, and carb to the rolls. (And pay attention. Some sandwiches are as unhealthy as burgers, such as the Chicken and Bacon Ranch Melt or the Philly Cheesesteak.)
Starbucks: Most rest stops aren't complete without the ubiquitous coffee shop, and that's good news for you. The chain sells boxes of cheese and fruit, chicken and hummus, veggies and cheese, chicken wraps, turkey sandwiches, Greek yogurt with fruit, and steel-cut oats for breakfast (though skip the sugary toppings and opt for fruit).
Gas Station: That's right, there's healthy eating at the gas station, provided you bypass the aisles of junk. Most gas stations and rest stop convenience stores sell nuts, seeds, fruit, and sometimes containers of ready-to-eat veggies or slices of low-fat cheese.
Cracker Barrel: The sit-down restaurant is a roadside fixture where, if you know how to order correctly, you can find a healthy meal or carryout order. (Though consider yourself warned: The unhealthy options, and there are many, can be worse for you than fast-food fare.) The Country Vegetable Plate is a good choice, but order without butter. Salads can be healthy, but avoid those topped with fried chicken, loaded with cheese, and covered in creamy dressing. Or make a meal out of sides such as a baked sweet potato, fresh fruit, veggies, or beans.