Navigating Rest Stops & Gas Stations

Let’s be honest – it’s not always feasible to plan ahead.  I would love to scout out restaurants and pack healthy snacks for every road trip and vacation to make sure my meals are healthy, clean, and nutritious.  But, emergencies and last minute plans happen.  They have us throwing essentials in a bag and hitting the road in record time…and food is often an afterthought in these situations.

This happened to me recently, and I found myself pulled over on the NJ Turnpike with more than just an empty gas tank.  The food options were disgraceful (sorry Cinnabon, you smell great but not happening!) and I needed something to fill me fast and keep me going.  The best thing I could find, after quite a while (a while that I didn’t exactly have), was a fresh fruit cup and a single serving of hummus and pretzels…not my first choice but definitely not my last, either.

I’m sure many of you have been or will be in similar situations, so I created a cheat sheet that you can hopefully use next time you’re in need of a quick, but healthy, fix and don’t have any other options.


Let’s be honest for a second…you will probably pay 6 times as much as you normally would for a simple granola bar or a fruit cup. It might even be tempting to grab a dollar menu burger and call it a day…but as what cost to your health?  While it might seem expensive for what it is, but consider it an investment in your health and a nutrient dense meal for your money, when all options are considered, at least.

You can also think about the yellow light options.  Just be sure to double check the ingredients.  The salad dressings, especially, are full of unwanted chemical additives, but you might find a viable option in a salad if you skip the dressing altogether.  Since we’re looking for options at rest stops and gas stations, the options aren’t necessarily made fresh, so take care in reading ingredients to ensure your options aren’t full of toxic preservatives.

Avoid the red options altogether; I can’t even begin to list all of the ingredients and you definitely don’t want to subject yourself to these toxic foods.  My husband actually opted for one of these during out recent trip, and immediately felt the effects halfway through.  It wasn’t worth it, and I’m extremely glad I stuck to my safe choices.

On a side note, make sure you drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.  It might be tempting to pump your body full of caffeine, but you will have to pull over more often for the bathroom and you will wear your self out sooner than you think.  Water hydration is key to keeping yourself going on long trips!

Please bookmark or save this page.  Planning ahead isn’t always feasible, but we don’t have to sacrifice our health, either!




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