Healthy Traveling Series Part 1: Snacks

Hey Friends, sorry for the lack of posts these past few weeks! Jamison and I have had a jam-packed October, which involved traveling for Baltimore and New York Comic Cons, surprising my dad in Minneapolis for his 70th, and preparing for 30 days on the road for work! 

For the next month I (along with the Army Field Band) will be traveling by bus from Maryland all the way to the southern tip of Florida and back. As many of you know, it can be tough to eat clean, stay fit, and feel great while on the road. Fast food, doughnuts and over-caffeinated, sugary beverages are so tempting when you are tired, cranky, and "hangry" especially when there are so few healthy alternatives. Because of this, I am going to help you battle the fast food blues by sharing some of my health and fitness tips in this "Healthy Traveling Series" which will document my experiences of staying fit, healthy and happy on the road! 

In Part 1 of this series, I am going to focus on my favorite snacks for when I am traveling--or when life is just too hectic to fit in a full meal. I am not much of a snacker when I am at home, however, when I am on the road, I am always ravenous, so I always make sure I am prepared when hunger strikes. All of these snacks work perfectly (and support a healthy lifestyle) whether you are on the road, at the airport, or just really busy. I will be grouping the snacks into 3 categories: protein, carbohydrates and fats, so feel free to mix and match from each group to make an on-the-go meal. So long as you hit all of your nutritional macros, you can create a full, nutrient-dense meal even if it is comprised totally of HEALTHY snack foods!

The key to success here is to BE PREPARED! There have been way too many times I have been at the airport or middle of nowhere gas station with nothing but crap-filled protein bars, potato chips, and week old pre-packaged salads and sandwiches. Not only do these foods taste horrible, but they make you feel even worse after you eat them! BUT, with a little planning and insight you can set yourself up for travel eating success--and fear not, you are not in this alone, for the Strong as Stone community is here to help!

Protein:

  •  Deli meats (preservative, nitrate, and gluten-free)- Applegate Farms meat can be found at most grocery stores. 
  •  Hard-boiled eggs (look for cage-free)
  •  Canned tuna/salmon/sardines (look for wild caught)- Avoid eating this in a packed car/bus/airplane unless you want to make enemies with your neighbors ; )
  • Jerky (look for no added nitrates)- Oberto, Krave, and Duke's are in most grocery stores, gas stations and airports
  • Protein bars (gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free)- see post
  • Protein powders (look for organic and GMO-free)- Tera's Whey, Sun Warrior, Onnit, and Reserveage Organics are a few of my favorites
  • Greek yogurt (Look for full fat and no added sugar)- Fage Total is available at most grocers.

Carbs:

  • Plantain chips- Inka Chips (you will ALWAYS see me with a bag of these!)
  • Sweet potatoes- poke some holes, microwave for 5 minutes on each side, and slather with some coconut oil
  • Dates, figs- best when dipped in almond butter!
  • Any fruits or veggies that are easy to travel with- bananas, apples, oranges, mini bell peppers, carrots, jicama etc.

Fats:

  • Guacamole- I love these mini individual packs
  • Nuts- Trader Joe's has the best prices and selection. I love their "handfuls" snack packs.
  • Nut butters- make sure there is no added sugar! 
  • Coconut oil/butter- you can find individual packs for on-the-go
  • Olives- You can find them in small, travel-friendly cups
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil- I put mine in a mini travel-size bottle for a portable salad dressing 
  • Mayo- Sir Kensington's is my favorite (and tastes delicious when mixed with canned fish), and comes in small containers

Did I miss out any travel snack food essentials? Please share your experiences and tips below! We are all in this together and never stop learning. Some of my very best and innovative health food hacks have been suggestions from friends/readers, so please don't be shy and share some of your favorite healthy snack foods and travel hacks in the comments below! If it works for you, it will most certainly work for others, too! Thanks and enjoy your travels with a full belly and a clear head!