From time to time, the editors at Fathom answer letters from travelers in need of trip-planning advice. Fathom editorial director Jeralyn Gerba steers you away from road trip junk food.
Dear Fathom: I travel a lot for business and find it impossible to keep a healthy lifestyle on the road. When most of my time is spent driving on highways in the middle of nowhere, I can go days without seeing a non-chain restaurant, nevermind a juice bar. How do I keep from turning into a fluorescent orange cheese curl?
Rest-stop fro-yo and French fries for breakfast? I've been there. Recently. Long hours on the road plus back-to-back meetings may leave little room in your schedule/brain to think about lunch. But pack in advance and you'll be prepared for the worst.
Invest in a portable, smushy cooler that packs flat in your suitcase. Once you settle into your rental car, fill the cooler with ice, bottled water, fruit, yogurt, nuts, peanut butter, hummus and raw, snackable vegetables. The key is whole foods with ingredients you can recognize (no thanks, disodium guanylate).
This is also as good a time as any to up the ante on your vitamins and minerals. My colleague Crystal recommends Dr. Lipman's Daily Dose, single serving powder packets of superfoods, antioxidants and omega 3 fish oils, that can be mixed into an eight-ounce glass of water. Stash probiotic capsules, B-12 chewables and organic wheat grass packets in your glove compartment for a quick pick-me-up.
Make time to do more than stretch your legs. Not every hotel has a great gym, but Fathom contributor Hilary Bass Rifkin offers an efficient, 20-minute workout that you can do in a hotel room with no special equipment. Extra bonus: You can do it in your pajamas. There are several great workout apps that can lead you to a sweating session: Fitist, MapMyRun, YogaGlo and GainFitness.
Other things to keep handy: Elemental Superfood Superseed Bars snacks and BB Cream for all-around moisturizing, brightening and energizing. Pavia won't leave home without her neti pot to clear nasal congestion -- the stale air in conference rooms can be brutal -- and T Spheres aromatherapy massage balls for stress relief. A few hand wipes can save you from spreading highly pathogenic viruses. Well, maybe not. But it may keep you from a sinus congestion souvenir.
Featured photo: Abhisek Sarda / Flickr