Man diets at gas stations, proves healthy food is everywhere

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DES MOINES. Iowa (KCCI) -- An Ankeny man set out on a journey to prove you can eat healthy anywhere.

For 30 days last summer, 31-year-old Frank Beard only ate at gas stations, and now he’s traveling across the country sharing his story.

Beard started his journey by changing his lifestyle five years ago when he lost 80 pounds.

“I’ve watched for years as people feel like they're failures because they forgot a prep meal and bring it to the office and they feel bad that they go to fast food or a gas station,” Beard said.

“They seem to automatically think it means you have to go for a greasy burger or something you don’t want to eat,” he said.

Beard documented his nine-state journey on Instagram.

“Some people are working two jobs, long hours, nontraditional hours,” he said. “It makes sense to eat out for a lot of people, so I wanted to show them they could do that and still make healthy choices.”

In the morning, he tries to stick with a low-calorie breakfast sandwich and a piece of fruit. For lunch, he looks for salads and for dinner, he sticks to a made-to-order option.

One of his favorite convenience stores for meals is Kum and Go because he said it has many healthy options and has recently made a push to bring healthy options front and center in their Go Fresh Markets.

“People will always want pizza. They'll always want roller grill. They'll always want candy bars. But a lot of people also want healthier items,” said Kum and Go manager Erin Butler. “So we started bringing in fresh fruit, cut-up fruit and vegetables, fresh sandwiches and salads that we make in our stores every day.”

Beard's advice is, no matter where you find yourself stopping when you're hungry, make healthy choices. “Look for the cooler. Most convenience stores now have an open air cooler and that's where they put things like fresh-cut fruit, vegetables, yogurts,” he said.