Arizona Photolog: My Healthy Road Trip Days 1-3

Arizona Photolog: My Healthy Road Trip Days 1-3

Today I’m sharing photos from the first part of my 6-week North American road trip. I’ll show you how I stayed healthy while in Arizona, including meals and fitness. I’m a Plant Ecologist, so hopefully you will see the beauty of the desert through my photos.

Starting out from Las Vegas, Jay and I began our North American road trip last Friday. It doesn’t take long to reach the Arizona border, just over the Hoover Dam.

Getting Food Packed and Ready in Vegas

One easy, no hassle thing we did for our road trip was bring a couple of boxes of bananas – each at different stages of ripeness. If that doesn’t label us 80-10-10ers, I don’t know what will! These have been great for Jay, both for grabbing snacks as he drives and blending smoothies when we stay at hotels and with friends or family (yes, we brought our Vitamix). At our current stop (Fort Collins, CO), I made some banana ice cream for the friend we are staying with and introduced her to a whole new world! One hint – plan ahead and blend your breakfast smoothie the evening before if you plan on waking up at 5am! Or you might get kicked out by sleepy neighbors…

Traveling with banana boxes
Our two banana boxes for the first week of the road trip. Hey – they are mostly for Jay! I’d look more like an apple than a banana if I ate all these.

We also took most of our fridge with us. This included several cobs of fresh (non-GMO) corn, a few heads romaine lettuce, some cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, celery, and a few containers of cooked quinoa, black beans, and lentils. We brought it in two coolers. This was a great, cheap way to start our trip as we used these leftovers over the next several days and didn’t have to spend any money on food.

1. Nevada fridge to take
Most everything in this fridge came with us when we left Vegas. Except the beer! This is my parents’ garage fridge where they store their beer…

Drive from Vegas to Phoenix

1. Arizona Nevada border Colorado river Mojave desert
The view of the Colorado River after coming over the Hoover Dam bypass bridge right along the Nevada/ Arizona border. This is one of the many faces of the Mojave Desert – open expanses of creosote bush scrub and exposed rock mountains.

The best way to stretch your legs and keep feeling good when in the car all day is to get out and hike! Every couple hours, pull over on a random road in the middle of nowhere, preferably somewhere beautiful where you can walk along a dirt road or trail (that doesn’t have a no-trespassing sign!). We also did some stretching and must have looked pretty strange to cars passing…

1. Arizona Wickiup PJ yuccas
East of Wikieup, AZ – beautiful area with gorgeous flowering nolinas and agaves.
1. Arizona Wickiup PJ boulders with Adria
Took a break to stretch and hike away from the road. This is one of my favorite areas. Love the contrast of the granite rocks with the green juniper.
1. Arizona saguaro road 2
Lots of saguaro cacti. Definitely in Sonoran desert.

Staying healthy in Phoenix

A fridge is useful (but not absolutely necessary) for eating healthy on the road. When we arrived in Scottsdale (part of the Greater Phoenix area), we found our room had an unexpected kitchen, and we unloaded all our leftover food into our hotel fridge. We could have left it in the coolers no problem, but took advantage of the amenities. Well, honestly, we only took advantage of the fridge, sink, and counter space!

1. AZ Scottsdale portable kitchen setup fridge
My portable travel-kitchen setup. All it requires is a cooler and a picnic bench (camping style), but we got this awesome little kitchen in our Scottsdale hotel room.

Keeping up your workouts is so important on an extended road trip like ours! It’s so easy to get lazy when you’re out of your routine on the road. One great way to keep up your fitness is to establish a routine independent of your location and do it every morning. For example, right after you wake up every morning, go for a run no matter your location. Or do an interval training series like I shared in my healthy travel game plan article.

2. AZ Scottsdale gym
Took advantage of a satellite gym location of the membership I belong to so I could get my regular workout class in. Score!
2. AZ Scottsdale Adria gym BodyPump class
Yay BodyPump! A personal best for my lift weight. I know it’s only a competition with myself, but I by far out-lifted everyone else (even all the men, except for my husband, of course). Not bad for while traveling…

Drive from Phoenix to Santa Fe, New Mexico

3. AZ Payson jojoba with road
Once again, we took a break from driving to pull over and take a nice hike through the b-e-a-utiful desert. Found some jojoba (aka jojoba oil) in it’s native habitat – it’s the two shrubs in the foreground.
Car snacks - romaine and salsa
Eating romaine dipped in salsa in the car. Gourmet, healthy road trip food. Best for when you are a passenger.
3. AZ Payson prickley pear with fruit
Prickly pear fruits.
3. AZ Payson saguaros
More Sonoran Desert beauty.
AZ driving bananas
Leaving Arizona. You don’t lose any time to pull over when you eat bananas for lunch as you drive!

Next stop New Mexico! In the next post in this series, I’ll share photos of my New Mexico trip with some scenery and how I stayed healthy in a Santa Fe hostel. Then I’ll drive north to Colorado and Fort Collins.

Now your turn. Got any upcoming road trips? How do you plan to stay healthy?

This is another What I Ate Wednesday.

More Unforgettable Insight

12 Responses to Arizona Photolog: My Healthy Road Trip Days 1-3

    • Heather, thanks. I know – that part of my trip made it so simple to stay healthy. I’ll be posting the other parts of my travels soon… I’ve just been away from a computer and spending lots of family time!

    • Heather, thanks. I know – that part of my trip made it so simple to stay healthy. I’ll be posting the other parts of my travels soon… I’ve just been away from a computer and spending lots of family time!

  1. Wow! Awesome pictures! How beautiful is the desert, I had no idea! Congratulations on the healthy eating. By the way
    Sweet corn is in full harvest here so I tried it raw, fantastic! Great recommendation! Be safe!

    • Thanks! I’m so glad you see the beauty of the desert. It’s actually my favorite ecosystem – though I’m totally biased having done my thesis research in the Mojave Desert. I’ll have to sneak some desert-lovin’ propaganda into other posts – I love opening people’s eyes to it! 🙂

      Yay for corn season! I’m glad you liked it raw. Now I rarely cook it, and it’s become my easiest to-go snack to bring on picnics. I just bring a bag and shuck it right before eating.

  2. Wow! Awesome pictures! How beautiful is the desert, I had no idea! Congratulations on the healthy eating. By the way
    Sweet corn is in full harvest here so I tried it raw, fantastic! Great recommendation! Be safe!

    • Thanks! I’m so glad you see the beauty of the desert. It’s actually my favorite ecosystem – though I’m totally biased having done my thesis research in the Mojave Desert. I’ll have to sneak some desert-lovin’ propaganda into other posts – I love opening people’s eyes to it! 🙂

      Yay for corn season! I’m glad you liked it raw. Now I rarely cook it, and it’s become my easiest to-go snack to bring on picnics. I just bring a bag and shuck it right before eating.

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