September 1, 2010

Yosemite Road Trip

So, we had a highly successful road trip to Yosemite National Park in California. If you haven’t ever been, I highly suggest a trip down. Because it is so far from Seattle, we spent 3 nights and 2 days there, but it was completely worth it. We spent our time in Tuolumne Meadows and hiking throughout the high country. We hiked Sunset Dome, Glen Aulin trail, Cathedral Lakes, and Lembert Dome. And, the good news is that we were completely successful on our mission to eating healthy throughout the road trip!

For starters, Cindy found a brand at Target called “Archer Farms” that had surprisingly healthy and accessible snacks. She brought some fruit leathers made with fruit only (no added sugars or oils), and huge packages of dried fruit and nuts that were perfect to take on the trails.

We also hit up Starbucks on the way down. Not feeling like getting a pastry or 500 calorie banana bread, I chose a “protein pack” complete with a boiled egg, peanut butter, apple, grapes, and cheese. I like this pack because the portion sizes are small, and it is a filling and balanced snack when you’re traveling.

We had dinner at Applebee’s one night because they have a lot of low-calorie options on their menu and no matter where you go, you can always find one. All three of us chose from the “5 under 500” menu option. For anyone that follows Weight Watchers, I noticed that they list point values next to their menu options as well. Though we seemed to be the only ones in the restaurant not eating fried mozzarella sticks or nachos as an appetizer, we enjoyed our dinners: chicken wrap, steak with potatoes, shrimp with rice.

On the way home, before we left California, we felt that we needed to give the famous “In-N-Out Burger” because everyone at the park had been raving about it. I typically do not eat fries, but when I saw them chopping up whole potatoes in the back, I thought I’d try them. I also got a “veggie burger” and was expecting some sort of vegetarian patty, but amazingly – there was nothing! The “burger” I had was just a bun with sauce, lettuce, and tomato, but it was actually very delicious. I’m glad I gave it a try and it is a satisfying non-meat option. They claim their buns have no preservatives, their lettuce is handpicked, and their meat has never been frozen. I would go to In-N-Out again definitely.

I know it seems like we were relying on a lot of grab-and-go foods on our trip; I thought so, too! I had high ambitions to avoid these types of establishments, but this was a great wake up call for me – it’s not that easy. Many Americans rely on fast food and now I understand that in some geographic locations, options are severely limited. Not everyone can pop down to Whole Foods for fresh, local, organic fare. Also, when you’re driving 18 hours straight, you don’t have a lot of time to stop and search around. The important lesson we learned is that anywhere you go, you have options. It always comes down to a choice and some are wiser than others when it comes to food. If you are at a restaurant that lists calorie content – pay attention! If you’re unsure, choose a small portion and skip choices you know are high in calories or unhealthy fats: fries, sauces, deep-fried anything, soda. Travel safe and smart….


  1. Ginger,
    You make a great point that eating healthy while traveling is very difficult! While I was traveling in airports this summer, I hit up Starbucks for breakfast and got their oatmeal! Although it is instant, it is still whole grain, and comes with nuts and dried fruit for toppings. Much better option that the coffee cake! I wonder how we will do on our trip to Houston! Can't wait!! :)

  2. Great to hear your travels are going so good! If you are on the road and have time, make a fire and cook some stew! Fresh veggies from the store, some salt and pepper, an hour of boiling, and you got it!

  3. Awesome suggestions! Garth's stew is reminiscent of camping as a kid...