Summer has cashed in on her save-the-date announcement and she is ready to dance.
For many of us, summer means summer road trips, trips to the lake, the beach, the pond, or simply the backyard. Lightning bugs are working feverishly and their presence reminds us how special this time of year is. Let’s make sure we take the time to really embrace summer and all that it offers us.
Perhaps you are planning a summer adventure that includes exploring all that Arkansas has to offer from the Northwest, down to the South, and finally over to the East. While friends may battle their budgets to jet off to exotic places, we know that we only have to explore our backyards. Arkansas is a rich and diverse state!
If your exploration includes a road trip, perhaps it is time to upgrade your travel snacks. Quick, what is the first thing you think off when you want to snack while on a road trip? Was your answer healthy, yummy, fresh, refreshing, balanced, and fun foods? Or, was your first thought fast, greasy, unhealthy, and junk foods? No worries if your answer was the latter, because some of that is what makes a summer road trip so much fun. If your answer was the latter because that is all you usually eat, well, maybe it is time to mix things up a little.
What makes a well-rounded travel snack?
Variety does not mean pack everything and the kitchen sink. It also does not mean you break the bank. Variety means thinking through the different tastes such as sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.
Convenience stores are not in the business of fresh and healthy. They are in the business of high margin and profit. Be sure to pack fresh fruits and vegetables that stand on their own as well as with healthy dips such as hummus and peanut butters. Lettuce wraps are a gold mine and often will hit-the-spot when you want something a bit more than a nibble.
If you want to skip the dum-dum suckers, plan ahead. Now is the time to slip in that new local chocolate or trail mix you’ve wanted to splurge on. Believe me, the cost of candy bars and slurpees from a truck stop add up much quicker than one well thought-out dark chocolate bar.
Vacations often mean splurges. Splurges means sugar. Sugar means more sugar. Nuts, cheeses, or bean dips like hummus help with that surging sugar rush. And crying kiddos.
Road food is most often cold food. Or, at the very least, room temperature food. If you are like me, fast foods are tempting because they offer a nice break via a warm meal. I like to pack a thermos or container that keeps food hot for hours by heating up soup, casserole, or hot pasta just before heading out on the road. It is amazing how a little thing like nibbling on something hot can make for a great experience.
So, there you have it. Now all you have to do is roll down your car windows, let the breeze flow through your hair, and sing at the top of your lungs. It’s summer! It’s summer! It’s summer!
Eat well, my friends.