I love everything about traveling. Except maybe the traveling part. I like planning and packing and arriving, but I could really do without the planes, trains and automobiles in between. One way to make the whole ordeal more pleasant, homey even, is to bring your own healthy travel snacks. There are a couple of issues with relying on the likes of airplanes and airports to keep you fed along your journey. If you’re trying to eat healthy, require a special diet or prefer vegetarian or vegan food, you’ll be faced with limited options. If you do find something that meets your nutrition criteria, you can expect it might taste just a step above terrible. Before my trip to San Francisco last month, I was inspired by three bloggers who’ve given some real thought to prepping for mobile munchies:
- Recipes and Tips for Healthy Travel at My New Roots
- 7 Portable Travel Snack Ideas at Oh She Glows
- Healthy Eating While Traveling at 101 Cookbooks
The day before I left, I did a little shopping at my local Food Co-op and ended up with a nice variety of small items. Though most foods are a mixture of nutrients, I’ve put them in little groups of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Protein Picks
1. Wilderness Poets Raw Pecan Butter with Cashews: I was delighted to find this handy single-serve portion. I ended up spreading it on a bagel for breakfast the morning after I arrived.
2. Cheese Nub: If you’ve noticed, some grocery stores are starting to keep the bits of cheese leftover from cutting the bigger portions. They’re wrapping them up and selling them for cheap, probably guessing that people will sample a tiny bite and buy a bigger slab the next time if they like it. Well, they also happen make a perfect portable single serving of cheese, in this case white cheddar.
3. Tamari Almonds: These beauties from the bulk section are salty and a little addictive.
4. Justin’s Honey Almond Butter: A 2 tablespoon serving has 6 grams of protein and goes well with crackers or an apple. (Justin also makes a another spread I really like, which you can read about in this post: A Nutrition Review of Nutella and Other Chocolate-Hazelnut Spreads.)
1. Back to Nature Crispy Wheat Crackers: A nice accompaniment to my little block of cheese.
2. Dried cherries: Another bulk find that made for a delicious salty-sweet combo with the tamari almonds.
3. Pasta salad: I picked an already-made favorite from the Co-op deli, knowing I could get a single serving and it would be in a sturdy travel container.
4. Whole wheat bagel: This held up well in my backpack. No smushing, squishing or breaking.
1. Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew Kind Plus Bar: High calorie ingredients, for sure, but in a reasonable portion size.
2. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabar: My favorite bar of all time; dates, peanuts, chocolate chips and sea salt.
3. Trail Mix: This is from the bulk bins as well. Dried fruit, nuts and Sunspire SunDrops. For candy coated chocolate pieces, they’ve got a respectable ingredient list.
4. Judy’s Candy Company Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patties: I could not resist. That’s all I have to say.
Refrigeration was a concern for the cheese and pasta salad, so I ate those first, but you could bring a small ice pack, too, to buy yourself some time. Also, something I’d recommend but didn’t include in the photos is water. Lots of water.
While I was pulling this post together, I realized that while I’ve got cherries and raisins for fruit, vegetables are sort of missing. I definitely made up for it by eating in San Francisco’s finest vegetarian restaurants while I was there, but you could easily throw in some (indestructible) sugar snap peas, jicama sticks or green pepper slices to round out the food groups.
You can tell I’ve got a sweet tooth but I tried to reign in my cravings and arm myself with smarter choices before I left so I wouldn’t get into trouble on the road. I also clearly over-packed rations for half day of traveling, but if you bring a bounty you’ll have the option of sharing with your fellow travelers…if you’re feeling generous, that is. I ended up relying on the extras during several snacky moments in my hotel room.
It does take some forethought to prep food for a trip, but when you’re tempted by little sacks of salty snacks and bottles of soda you can be safe in the knowledge that you’ve got way better nibbles nestled in your carry-on.
My next trip is much closer to home. I’m headed to Seattle for the International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC), which is just 90 miles away. I’m sure I’ll come home with an abundance of edibles, but I’m also sure there will be some traffic back-ups along the way, so BYOCS might be in order on the way down. Bring Your Own Car Snacks.
What’s your favorite item to munch on at 30,000 feet or at 70 mph?
Disclaimer: Even though it seems like I’m pushing lots of products here, they’re just personal recommendations. I paid for all the snacks myself and don’t have any relationship with their companies. However, I am mentioning IFBC to take advantage of a discounted registration fee for the conference.