Finding Healthy Food On the Freeway!

I have a hard enough time compromising on “where/what to eat” with my two boys and husband when we are standing in the middle of the fifth largest city in the US, brimming with options.

We may have our four differing opinions on what we want to eat, but we all agree that good, tasty, healthy food trumps everything else.

So it comes as no surprise that road trips add another degree of difficulty to the process.

Road trip food blues

We left for a nine-hour drive to Toronto, traveling state turnpikes and thruways littered with the same reoccurring fast food chains that all quite literally repulsed us at every turn.

What are self-proclaimed “healthy, whole foods” parents to do when faced with unending miles of cheap, fatty, greasy, processed convenience junk?

You follow a Wegman’s truck.

Wegman’s or bust

Yep, that’s what we did. Well, almost. It was past noon, we had been driving for hours, and my husband refused to admit defeat when we couldn’t find a single acceptable restaurant on any of those royal blue Food/Lodging signs.

And then he spotted it.

“Look, there’s a Wegman’s truck! If we follow it, it’ll take us to a Wegman’s! With a Wegman’s food court! In-house roasted rotisserie chicken! And grilled veggies! And sushi! Ooo, and a smoothie bar!”

“Honey, I think that’s a bit of a stretch…” (But then I looked at his adorable pleading eyes and sullen face.) “Oh, OK, let’s have an adventure.”

So we pulled out the trusty cell phone, plugged in the Wegman’s website, tapped Store Locator with GPS map and voila:  Wegman’s in Canandaigua, NY. Lovely.

We may have traveled 20 miles south, spent twice as much, happened upon one of the Finger Lakes, and added 1.5 hours onto our trip, but taking control of our caloric/fat/sugar/salt intake was well worth it.

On the reverse trip, we had the same issue but with a bit more foresight and some extremely good luck.

Whole foods on the road

Knowing we were approaching the city of Binghamton, NY, for dinnertime, my husband pulled out his phone and simply using Google, quickly narrowed our independently-owned restaurant choices down to a quaint place called, Whole in the Wall.

Using only organic, locally-farmed, sustainable ingredients Whole in the Wall offered us all of the natural goodness we could possibly ask for from a “roadside” restaurant!

Homemade whole-grain breads and herb butters, rich and flavorful miso soup, crisp baby lettuce salads, free-range chicken, fresh fish broiled to perfection, organic wine from a local winery, and live entertainment by a local masquerading as a piano player… Yum!

Who knew with a little investigation, you could find fresh food utopia within 10 minutes of an exit ramp!

This entire experience reminded me that I need to do a little advance research for restaurant options during the travel portion of our vacation so we are never left in the dregs of food doldrums again. My family’s health, wellness and taste buds are entirely worth it.

Enjoy all of your summer adventures!

Meet Christa Sywulak-Herr
Christa is a green mom raising two boys with her husband in the suburbs of Philadelphia. A teacher by trade and an activist by heart, she volunteers her time to bettering the local community by promoting education, sustainability, and health and wellness. Christa enjoys nature hikes with her family, quality time with friends, shopping for treasures at the thrift shop, and cooking delicious meals from locally grown ingredients. A self-proclaimed “Reduce-Reuse-Recycler” since she was a child, Christa is eager to share all the eco-friendly tips she’s learned over the years and explore green living with readers.

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