Denver to DC: The journey begins

Denver to DC: One RD’s quest to find good food on the road

Day 1: Denver, CO to Hot Springs, SD

Piled into the SUV, we hit the wide open road today (four hours later than planned). And by “we” I mean dad (in search of quirky Americana en route to his new DC-based job), baby (9.5 months), dog (stubborn Wheaten terrier) and me (mom and registered dietitian).

When we decided to drive from Denver to our new life in Vienna, VA, I pondered the likelihood of finding fresh, nutritious foods on our week-long road trip. While I teach others about healthy eating on the go, I wondered… Just how feasible is it to eat healthfully on the road for a week?

We made a mid-afternoon stop at McDonald’s somewhere in CO for a small nonfat latte. An evening dinner stop in Lusk, WY left me no room to make a choice… It was Subway or a local sit-down pizza place. In the interest of time, we opted for Subway. Craving something veggie, I chose a 6″ Veggie Delite sub (230 calories and 3 grams of fat (1 gram saturated)), a bottle of water and a package of apple slices (35 calories, no fat). (Okay, I admit: I fought the urge to buy chips and opted instead for a package of apple slices.) Not too bad until I decided to eat a not-so-small chocolate chip cookie (140 calories, 7 grams of fat) that my husband had purchased earlier in the day. (Thanks, honey.)

All in all, about 400 calories and 10 grams of fat spent on my dinner on the road. Doesn’t sound like much, but that’s 40% of calories coming from fat, which is higher than the rule of thumb 30% or less of calories from fat per food.

Tomorrow… Mt. Rushmore, Badlands and a full day of eating in the car. Stay tuned…