Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Power foods on the Road: nutrition to keep you healthy when you travel

Or how not to puke while on Vacation.

This post is part of the #AmWellMD campaign. Check below to enter to win some great prizes and find out more about healthy travel. All statements and opinions in this post are my own. UPDATE There is a second giveaway! See below for how to enter!



This past summer we logged thousands of miles moving kids to college, attending weddings, visiting relatives and just general commuting.

The word "diet" was not even allowed this summer.

It was hard enough to keep up with the calendar of events let alone think about what to eat or not to eat. But when you have a family to think about (several people with several different food preferences and allergies) you have to think about power foods to keep you energized through every adventure.

Here are 5 tips I learned from our summer on the road to keep yourself healthy


Planning ahead can really help you keep it simple. I have had a love affair with zip lock bags for traveling for years. With a little planning and a few ziplock bags you can keep your travels much simpler.

If you have young kids take their favorite cereal and portion out one cup snack size ziplock bags with Cheerios, Fruit Loops, or some other simple cereal snack. The little O's are easy to handle and take a while to eat. This will not only serve as a little snack but also as an excellent distraction. Cheerio crumbs are also much easier to vacuum out than other sticky snacks.

And on the subject of clean up you can make your travels simpler by preventing messes before they happen. My top tip is only allow clear drinks in the car. No matter how much your kids plead and no matter how tired you are NEVER EVER give them a milk product drink while on a road trip. This applies particularly to pink milk products. Those drinks are so tasty that your kid can drink them too quickly. Of course Murphy's Law says that if your kid is ever going to get car sick it will be shortly after consuming a pink milk product while you are on a stretch of road where there are no places to pull over.

Keep it simple. Pack your snacks before you leave with in mind that you are going to have to clean up your car later.

(Pro Tip: Orange juice in snack cup containers can be a challenge to open in a moving car...as you can see in this video below)


When we are on road trips it is always tempting to me to try the local delicacy. I love trying new foods and exploring new cultures. But when I am on a road trip and there is an itinerary that needs to be kept up with it is better for me to keep with what I know. I'll go ahead and sample new things but never make them the full meal.

You know that if you give a baby broccoli you are just asking for some massively stinky farts. It's a known. Stay with what you know your body responds to positively on road trips. Your family will thank you. And of course, otherwise just blame it on a skunk.


When you are on a long road trip you don't burn up alot of calories sitting in the car. Even if you do some calisthenics at road stops you are still not burning the calories you do on a regular day. Being mindful of a balance between calories expended and calorie intake will make you feel alot better at the end of the day. It is tempting to stop at a fast food restaurant and get a big fast greasy burger and get back on the road. A good example of easy energy food:

  • Peanut butter crackers
  • whole wheat bagels
  • apple slices
  • raisins (loose raisins can get nasty if stuck between the seats - so it's worth a quick road trip clean up after you get home)
  • AND the one that works THE best for me individual serving string cheese

The key to this is that trading out these energy foods, instead of filling up on fast foods, will make you feel energized instead of sleepy.


Talk with your kids about the food choices that you are making on your road trip. When my kids were little we talked about how to read the labels on foods and how to make better food decisions. Now my kiddos are older and they are teaching me things.


Food is an important part of our every day life. We can't stress out about it too much. When we make it a fun part of our day then our kids are more likely to grow up with healthy eating habits and are less likely to have food / body issues. Using different apps it is easier to find healthy options when your traveling. We use apps to look for healthy options in regards to where we stay and where we eat. We found a number of donut shops that offer Vegan donuts (those are healthy right!?)

We had a great twitter party on Sept 28 #AmwellMD  sharing stories of healthy travel. Check out the hashtag to see some of the lively conversation.

There is still time to win some of the great prizes from Amwell. Enter to win below and read more on Travelingmom.com.


#TMOM & #AmWellMD Travel Well Sweepstakes

This post was sponsored by American Well http://bit.ly/AmWellMD


All opinions and statements in this post are my own

* Station wagon seen at the beginning of the post is not our actual car but a representation of the family roadster - picture taken from the public domain

Monday, August 24, 2015

Where did the time go?

It seems like just a short time ago these 4 were building their totem pole picture. Now they are all out and about taking on the world.

When I was younger, women (who I thought were REALLY old) told me that this time would go by in the blink of an eye. There were times that I got distracted by the world but in general I am happy for the time that we did have all together. I remember one night when my oldest had just turned 15 and I thought to myself "I still need more time". But time only goes slow when it's painful. Time freezes when you don't necessarily want it to. Any other day of the week it flies by.

Now it is time to shift gears. When they were at home I could look at them and get a sense for what they needed. I would know that if they were grumpy it was because they either needed more sleep or they were hungry. And I would know which one it was.

Now I can only go on what they tell me, what they tell the world (social media), and what I know about them. How do I help them continue to grow into the amazing people that they have become.

It's bittersweet.

I guess only time will tell.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Travel Season with Ricardo

* sponsored post: All comments are my own. I did receive a complimentary carry on roller bag from Ricardo luggage earlier this spring to test out and report back to you. This is not the only Ricardo suitcase in my travel supply collection. 

Get Ready to Roll this summer with Ricardo

Confucius say "Wherever you go, go with all your heart." But I would add "Travel with all your heart but leave most of your junk at home". Great travel adventures begin with a small suitcase and big plans.

Summer is the perfect time to take off and travel and explore new places. Since our kids were little we had them pack their own bags (I did check to make sure there was more than just a single change of underwear and a bagful of beanie babies) and they had to carry at least something. Now that the kids are older they are great travelers.

One of the things that has made travel more fun for us was traveling light. When we are going on roadtrips is was necessary to travel light because with 4 kids in the car we had to keep the suitcases to a minimum or else there wouldn't be room for the people. When we are flying we rarely check bags and opt for just taking one carry on bag. When you only have a carry on you have the ability to move quickly - if your flight is overbooked it is easier to take the airline's offer of a bump. And there are lots of other great reasons to just go with a carry on but right now I want to get back to the carry on.

There are some great tips on packing light. My best tip is to pack things in large gallon sized ziplock bags. That way if your bag is inspected by TSA your delicates are not handled by those indelicate blue gloved hands that have been touching who knows what else all day long. The ziplocks also keep dirty close separated from the rest of your stuff while traveling which can really help keep your clean clothes in better shape. ETC.

I just love how easily my Ricardo rolls (which makes it super easy for young kids to manage all by themselves) and it is super lightweight. This might not seem like a big deal at the beginning of your travel day but after a long day of schlepping your carry on and one personal item all around it makes a huge difference. It also makes a huge difference when you are pulling your bag back out of the overhead compartment after a long flight. Your suitcase might be heavy but it won't be because of the suitcase itself - it will be everything else you managed to pack in there.

Another reason I love my Ricardo carry ons is that they are super sturdy and my original Ricardo which is now over 5 years old still looks like new ( even though it has traveled around the world and has logged a ton of miles).

So you can imagine how excited I was to see that Ricardo is a trusted brand at Costco.  I love shopping at Costco* and they are selling Ricardo suitcase sets for an amazing price. It is worth getting the larger bag in the set.

Again you don't have to trust me, or even Costco, you can check it out yourself.

Follow Ricardo on Instagram

Check out their website

Yes! I love my Ricardo. It makes travel adventures easier and lighter.

For more great travel ideas visit my friends at Travelingmom.com.

Happy Travels!

* Costco did not sponsor this post - I just love shopping at Costco.