What you can find in the shops and restaurants along Europe's motorway is not just unhealthy but appalling.
Petrol stationsDoes not matter the petrol station chain, their shops provide all the same really. Customers are bombarded by sweets, chocolate bars and crisps everywhere. Okay, there are sandwiches, but they are disappointing in taste and quality too. There are no unsalted nuts or yoghurt or fresh fruit. The maximum freshness what you can find is locally baked Danish pastry (from frozen) ...
Service stationsAt first glance these provide some alternatives and healthy options but when you have a close look you find the same: fried fast food, pizza slices, donuts, chips, hamburgers and sandwiches. These are not the best choices when you spend your day sitting in your car, hard to digest and make you sleepy. After a heavy meal it is hard to concentrate on driving. Probably that's way these places are leader in coffee selling too.
This was the biggest disappointment for me. Restaurants along the motorway offer mainly fast food again. I was happy to see soup of the day on the menu in Belgium once but it wasn't freshly made soup. It must have been made from some kind of soup powder or canned soup or something like this. Anyway it was I inedible. I also found a salad bar in a German restaurant, which looked promising but it offered mainly mayo-base salads or pickles and just a really boring iceberg salad mix. This was the top finding during our journey. Some caution is needed in Germany anyway as they love those instant sauces made from "only-add-water" packets. I found food in Germany very salty too.
I am happy that we packed nutritious, healthy snacks for the journey because we were not tempted to buy any of these foods above. But to be honest some nice warm meal would have been good. I understand that everyone is in rush and want to eat something quickly, but eating a nice bowl of soup takes so much more time than eating a hamburger with chips? I used to think that fast food is called fast food because we can eat them quickly - even on the go,- but I have just realised that they are fast food because fast to prepare them.
Well, if you want to put some kind of quality food into your tummy and you do not have time searching for good restaurants on unfamiliar terrain, then prepare some healthy food for the journey.