After reading a post over at Spoonfed about kid's meals in restaurants last week, I had an idea. Why not take a look over at our favorite restaurant and see what the nutritional information is? We DO eat there every time we're on a road trip, and typically we do lunches and dinners out for the whole 3 weeks we're gone.
Ignorance, my friends, really is BLISS. Oh my GOD.
Want your entire calorie intake for a day in one sandwich? How about the sodium? Not just that, but while you are sitting on your BUTT in a car for the whole day?
(granted, Mimi's does offer a Fresh and Fit Menu where the items are 650 calories or less. But they are deceptive..the veggie burger has a whopping 1536 mg of sodium, and the veggie flatbread 843 mg. )
Hubs and I almost fell over in shock. We have toyed with the idea of visiting grocery stores and packing our own lunches, but this discovery nailed it home. Not only will it be cheaper, but we just don't want to eat like that anymore.
Food Revolution on the Road? This could get interesting.
The Challenge: an 8000+ km, 2 1/2 week, 8 state road trip. Some hotels don't have a fridge.(Hampton I love you, but in southern Utah where 104 is the normal temp, you need to get with it) Some days of 12+ hrs of driving. Days packed with off roading, white water rafting, rock hounding, and sight seeing. A border that doesn't allow us to bring fruit, veggies, dairy or meat products across. Unfamiliar brands and stores that beckon with items that we have never seen before.
An entirely different food culture where serving sizes are 3 times that of what we are used to, even at Safeway's deli. (last time we bought a sandwich, ate 1/2 for lunch, 1/2 for dinner)
The Contestants: highly picky type 2 diabetic, some who are sensitive to tree nuts various fresh fruits, red food dye, corn, and soy. One who is Lactose intolerant. Would like to avoid high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, and MSG. Teenager who is a bottomless PIT.
The Plan: Buy a cooler. Bring stuff to assist with brown bagging our lunches, like ziplock bags, a small cutting board, knife, and a smallish soft sided cooler. Pack a kick ass food bag with healthy-ish items that we are allowed to take across the border, like bottled water, hummus, crackers, single sized tuna, peanut butter, bread, cereal, etc. Supplement with some processed items that are not too terrible, and we can live with for just a couple weeks. Make use of the hotel microwave.
Ask the hotel where there's no fridge to allow us to store some items in one of their fridges, since we have people with special diets in our family and think it's ridiculous to pay $30 a night more for a stupid fridge.
Stop at a grocery store once over the border and load up on fruit, veggies, and things to make sandwiches with.
So my friends, this is where I am asking for your help. Have any really good packed lunch ideas that require almost no prep? What do you pack for the road? If you live in the USA, can you tell me brands of some packaged food that are the LEAST unhealthy? This doesn't mean I want all organic, health food store type stuff, just middle of the road.
Fire away in the comments!