If Obama's bus tour this week is anything like his past campaign road trips, a cornucopia of calories awaits the president as he swings through America's heartland.
In the past month, President Obama has taken campaign detours for ice cream sundaes and cheese-covered chilidogs. But his GOP rival Mitt Romney is no poster child for healthy eating either, having made recent pit stops for cherry pie and a whipped cream-covered peanut butter sundae.
These fried, fatty and seriously sugary lunch spots and snack shops are a diversion from the healthy diets the two presidential candidates purport to live by.
Michelle Obama is one of the most vocal advocates for healthy eating in the country, yet despite the "Let's Move" campaign the first family more often steers their unscheduled food stops towards sundaes and hot dogs.
But as the campaign gets nastier, the presidential candidates' diets don't have to follow suit. Here are a few healthier options in each swing state that Obama and Romney could swap in for their typically calorie-clogged campaign meals on their march to November.
|Whole World Natural Restaurant|
After a Fourth of July filled with hot dogs and frozen treats, Obama may want to take a detour down to Columbus for some wholesome goodness on the first leg of his bus tour at Whole World Natural Restaurant.
The preservative-free restaurant, which opened in 1978, bills itself as Columbus' oldest vegetarian restaurant. The Eggplant Meatball Sub offers a meat-free take on a classic sandwich, topping a whole wheat sub bun with meatballs made from eggplant, tofu, wheat flour, onions and spices and garnished with tomato sauce, smoked provolone and alfalfa sprouts. All for under $8.
Pennsylvania maybe known for its fearsomely fatty cheese steaks, but when the Romney and Obama campaigns stop for a bite in the Keystone State they want to tone it down with the a paninis, wraps or salads at Fuel in Philadelphia.
Everything on this deli's menu comes in at less than 500 calories, is 100 percent organic and under $10. And for dessert, instead of the calorie-packed peanut butter sundae Romney snacked on earlier this month, the candidates could still pack in the protein with Fuel's 290-calorie Protein Buster smoothie.
|Wooglin's Deli & Cafe|
Last time President Obama mingled with voters at a Colorado campus-area hotspot, he ate a six-topping pizza and one over-excited woman spilled yogurt on his trousers.
Next time around Obama may want to go for less grub and more goodness, switching out that pepperoni, sausage, green pepper, black olives and onion pizza for a Black Bean wrap from Wooglin's Deli in Colorado Springs.
Wooglin's, a locally-owned "overstuffed sandwich" joint, is a prime location to meet young voters, located right next to Colorado College and was voted the best of Colorado Springs by the Colorado Springs Independent four years in a row.
What more could a candidate want from a campaign lunch stop than a name like Granny Feelgood's? And with menu items like whole wheat pasta and fat-free soups, this Miami restaurant is a far cry from the chili cheese hot dogs that creep into a candidate's lunch menu.
Since both Romney and Obama have proven they have a soft spot for sweets, Granny Feelgood's also has an array of sugar-free desserts, including carrot cake and apple pie. And what's more American tha apple pie?
But when Romney and Obama head back to Iowa for their general election showdown, they could swap the deep-fried treats for some low-cal fro-yo. The Des Moines Register reported in June that at least six frozen yogurt shops have opened in central Iowa over the past year.
The candidates could opt for a local treat at Yo2Go in Urbandale and cut their snack time calories to about 100 per serving.
For a potentially picky presidential candidate like Mitt Romney, who reportedly pulls the cheese off of his pizza, self-serve may be his best bet for a scrumptious, yet health-conscious meal.
At Plum Good in Reno, Romney can get creative with a build-it-yourself salad or stick to the basics with a homemade soup. He could even round out the meal with a self-serve frozen yogurt or fruit sorbet.
Whichever cities the two candidates chose to schmooze in New Hampshire, there's pretty good odds they can stop at the Flatbread Company for a wholesome meal. The restaurant's ten locations throughout the state offer up a healthy alternative to pizza, organic flatbreads topped with locally-grown vegetables and locally-produced sauces and cheeses.
Their Jimmy's Free Range Chicken - Oven roasted free-range chicken, black beans, organic cilantro tomatoes, roasted corn, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, sour crème lime drizzle - could make a health-conscious alternative to a greasy slice of pizza.
|Neomonde Deli and Bakery|
Forget cheeseburgers, when Obama and Romney scoot through North Carolina, homemade pita pockets await. At Neomonde Deli and Bakery in Raleigh the candidates could go for a Spinach pie which stuffs spinach, onion, feta cheese and garlic into a freshly-made pita bread crust.
Neomonde's, a family-owned restaurant with three locations, was voted the best Mediterranean food in "The Triangle" cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill four times by Independent Weekly magazine.
Even when Obama is sticking around the White House, he often breaks away for a quick bite around the district. But next time the president's in the mood for a meal outside the White House, instead of snagging a pile of barbeque ribs, he may want to try some Baja Fish Tacos at the Silver Diner in nearby Clarendon, Virginia.
The locally owned and operated diner uses ingredients primarily from local farms and boasts an entire menu dedicated to meals under 600 calories such as Lemon Rosemary Chicken and healthier desserts like the Low Fat Strawberry Angel Cake.