The holidays are round the bend, and though many of us hop on planes to hang with the in-laws, there are still a bakers dozen or so that pack up the car and make a road trip out of it.

Holiday season is bad enough for packing on the pounds. The average American gains between 7-10 pounds over November through New Years, and let’s be real, there’s something about being in the car and are-we-there-yet-boredom that makes us want to chow down on unhealthy everything.

Pit stops–gas stations and the abundance of fast food joints along the highway–don’t make the journey any easier. If you’re going to drive to turkey, don’t get caught eating all the bad stuff before the feast has even begun.

Skip the Chips

Everyone knows that it’s easy to grab something crunchy and finger-licking scrump at the gas station! But there ARE options that won’t leave you bemoaning your decision. Plus foods that are nutritionally empty, fill us temporarily, and leave us wanting more. That’s why you end up pulling off at the first McDonald’s you see 60 miles later. Nuts like almonds, are always available. They are full of protein and filling. Most gas stations also now offer yogurt and fruit options. String cheese is another goodie.

Pack a Cooler

Slice up apples (or fruits that are easy to eat while driving), and add a squeeze of lime juice to prevent them from browning. If you have to peel it, leave it behind. Larabar’s are a great, all-natural, gluten-free and filling snack. Single servings of crunchy cut veggies satisfy the need to much.

Look for a Small Town

If you really need a meal, find a small town, and you are likely to find a market.  Stick the perimeter– it will have plenty of healthy options.

-Arianna Schioldager

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