3,056.6 miles of road travel in 4 days and I don't feel completely awful, my digestion is still working and I can move my body.
Going into this cross-country move, I did not think I'd do so well. Packing up our entire place in Massachusetts was a lot for my body to handle and then to sit in the car for 12-13 hours/day for 4 straight days on our way to Southern California?
I imagined it would knock me down a lot more, but just a few simple things throughout the trip made all the difference in the world and today I am sharing them with you. If these tips could work for the insane amount of car time we had, I'm sure they will work for your (hopefully less extreme) road travel.
We ate breakfast in our hotel room. Car travel makes so much possible! Bring a cooler with you as well as a tote bag filled with any pots/pans/utensils you need. We used a hot plate each morning. I warmed up some filtered water to have my lemon water, Gideon made eggs, and on day 2 when I still had some bone broth left from my fridge, I warmed that up as well and put it into a jar to enjoy in the car. We used this small pan for eggs and this 1 quart pot for water and broth.
We ate lunch in the car. It is so tempting to want to munch on chips and other snacky foods while driving, especially when that fatigue and/or boredom sets in, but you're going to feel more and more tired if you go that route. Eating fresh food while sitting in a car for hours on end really helped create some balance for both of us that we noted constantly. Whole Foods was the best thing ever for our trip! I hit our local Whole Foods in Hadley, MA before we left, WF in Cleveland on Day 1, WF in Tulsa on Day 2 and WF in Santa Fe on Day 3. Each day I got some goodies for us to have for breakfast and lunch the next day. Given how much driving we wanted to do each day, we didn't want to take the time (or spend the money) to eat three meals out. First we hit the produce section to pick up a ripe avocado and a few pieces of fruit. Then onto the dairy section for yogurt, kefir, a Chia Pod or whatever struck my fancy. We'd then hit up the prepared foods section to get sliced turkey and a few prepared salads. We had a travel knife with us and rolled up pieces of avocado into the turkey for delicious and filling roll-ups along with our fresh salads.
During lunch we also each ate a few fork-fulls of kimchi from Real Pickles, a Western Mass-based company (taste of home!). Naturally fermented foods help with digestion and assimilation big time. They are great to have on hand all the time, but especially when digestion tends to be sluggish.
Yes, we did eat snacks. Bananas, apples and pears are all great with nut butter, which we had with us. We had a bar of Alter Eco Blackout chocolate (currently my favorite not-so-expesive bar) and a jar full of trail mix (walnuts, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, mulberries and more). I enjoyed a few pieces of dried mango every day as well.
We ate dinner out. This was the only meal we ate out and it was nice to look forward to a meal, check into our hotel, shower and go to bed early. This also helped keep the costs down for the trip.
We drank lots of water. I also brought my own tea bags with me and asked for hot water at rest stops (always free). Yes, this also meant we needed to stop for bathroom breaks often, but that was essential in keeping our bodies moving and not sitting on our pancake butts for too long.
Speaking of movement, we made sure to stretch every day. The body is not made for sitting and certainly not for sitting in a car all day long day after day. Yes, I was the THAT girl amongst the trucker crew and biker clubs in middle-of-nowhere Texas doing yoga postures, but my body is thankful. I'd take just 2-3 minutes after each bathroom break to open up my hips, stretch my back, reach to the sky, etc. At night and each morning, I did a more thorough stretching session. Using The Miracle Ball on my hips and back was heavenly!! Keep one of these in your suitcase from now on.
- Keep things moving with some extra magnesium. Sitting all day can bring on constipation for the most regular of bathroom goers. I brought Natural Calm with me and it helped me get a restful nights sleep and kept me regular on this trip.
- Listen to pod casts, audio books, stand-up comedy on Pandora and anything else that will keep you engaged. You see, if you're tired or bored, eating is an easy go-to and often it's going to be something that will occupy you rather than something you need to satisfy hunger. Boredom and fatigue are 2 of the most common reasons people overeat and whether you're sitting on the couch half-watching TV or driving down Interstate 40, you will feel the same not too long after a bingey snack session; bloated, more tired and unhappy. If you can keep your mind engaged, you will be less likely to snack on chips or candy.
- Switch off drivers on a regular interval. If you can share the driving with someone, do it. We often feel like we have more in us and we can keep going, but it's always better to take a break and let someone else take over for a while. Gideon and I switched off every 15-200 miles, which was the perfect amount of time to refill gas and to take a bathroom break. I always thought I could go a little more, but once I got out of the car and into the passenger seat, I realized how much of a break I really needed. Taking care of YOU is a fundamental piece to your health and wellbeing.