It’s not so hard getting five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day when you eat at home and can prepare your own fruit and veggie meals and snacks. But it’s more challenging when you’re out on the road. Most restaurants and fast food establishments offer little in the way of fresh fruits and vegetables. The good news? You can still get your daily five if you’re resourceful. Here’s how to eat more fruits and veggies when you’re traveling and can’t eat at home.
Traveling: Eat Lunch at a Grocery Store or Natural Food Market
Look no further than the nearest natural food market for your fruit and veggie fix. Many natural food markets such as Whole Foods have a full, organic salad bar and a hot bar that offers a wide selection of fruits and vegetables. You can buy hot veggies and cold fruits by the pound and enjoy them for lunch or dinner. If you’re in an area that doesn’t have a Whole Foods, look for other local natural food markets and co-ops that offer a hot or cold bar with healthy fruit and veggie options
If you don’t have access to a natural food market, find a grocery store that has a salad bar when traveling. Once you get there, make a salad and stack it high with colorful fruits and vegetables, but go light on the croutons, cheese and salad dressing.
Traveling: Research Restaurants Before You Go
Look at the menus of restaurants online in areas where you’ll be traveling to see what vegetable side-dishes they have. More restaurants offer vegetable side-dishes for their more health-conscious clients these days, but it pays to know what they have before going. If you’re in a hurry and have to eat at a fast food restaurant, look for a Subway. Order a salad and a half sub sandwich with extra veggies. Most fast-food restaurants offer some type of salad if you’re experiencing a time crunch and have to eat fast.
Traveling: Dine at Ethnic Restaurants on the Road
Ethnic restaurants, especially Chinese and Indian restaurants, are more likely to have vegetables on their menu than American restaurants. At Chinese restaurants, you can select from dishes that contain broccoli, bok choy, green beans or asparagus to get your daily five. Indian restaurants usually offer entrees made with cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli or spinach. Ask them to go light on the sauce. Many Indian dishes are made with ghee, a clarified form of butter that’s high in fat and calories.
Traveling: Bring Along a Cooler
Pack a cooler filled with chopped vegetables and fruits to enjoy while you’re traveling. Even if you’re forced to eat in restaurants that don’t offer fruits and vegetables, you’ll still get your daily five. Bring along a tasty dip for dipping slices of celery, carrots, peppers and other antioxidant-rich vegetables. You can always stop at a grocery store on your trip to stock up on fresh produce to snack on. It beats munching on candy bars and potato chips! If you’re staying at a hotel, fill the refrigerator up with fruit and veggie munchies for snacking.
The Bottom Line?
It’s more challenging to get your fruits and veggies when you’re on the road, but with a little planning, you can still enjoy the benefits of getting five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Do it for your health.