Thursday, April 7, 2016

On-The-Road Snacking



Travel much?

If so, do you bring along your own snacks, or do you play Russian Roulette with buying stuff on the road?

It is oh-so-easy (and oh-so-tempting) to just pull  up to a drive-thru window or grab a bag of "stuff" from a convenience store. I know I'm guilty. I have been there and done that a time or two (or several).

Did you know it's just as easy to take your own snacks along with you? It's usually a lot less expensive, too.

Now, first things first, let me emphasize that I do NOT eat 100%  lean, clean, or green all the time. I'm not gluten-free, nor vegan. And, I do not have any specialized training, education or certification in nutrition.

I do have common sense, though.

Here are some of the options I take along with me on road trips:

First and foremost, nuts. I've never been much of a peanut butter fan (unless it comes in a Reese's wrapper), but I do like peanuts for snacking. I also like cashews, mixed nuts, and almonds (my favorite!). All of these nut products are rich in protein, which is a vital nutrient for muscle strength and endurance.
A word of caution, though, you need to be mindful of portion size. Nuts also are a "fatty" snack. Though it's a good kind of fat, you need to consume it in moderation. My trick? Instead of slamming a handful of nuts in my mouth all at once, I eat them one-by-one. It takes longer, and actually allows you more time to enjoy the process of eating (yes! Eating should be enjoyable!). The protein will also make you feel full longer, ideally preventing a hunger crash before your next real meal.


Another favorite snack is dried fruit, particularly raisins. I have a horrendous sweet tooth, and raisins give me that "sweet fix"  with a little bit of nutrition on the side. Mixing raisins with peanuts really enhances the flavor of each. Also, adding a little bit of granola will sweeten up the mix.

The last snack option I usually bring along with me is trail mix. You can buy the pre-packaged bags at a grocery store or you can easily make your own. If you make your own mix, you have the bonus of picking YOUR favorite ingredients. Some of my favorite (and convenient) ingredients are nuts, raisins, dark chocolate chips, and granola. It's best to mix it in a bowl and then divide into individually-sized portions (in zip-lock bags). If I'm given a big bowl (or bag) of the stuff, I'll keep mindlessly eating and munching; if I'm given a proper-sized individual serving, I'll stop when the portion is gone.
Like any snack, these are not meant to replace an actual meal. They will, however, help take the edge off of any in-between-meal hunger. You may notice there isn't any fresh fruit (or vegetables) mentioned....that's because they're not very "travel-friendly," especially if you're the driver (in my humble opinion). If we were hanging out at a table (with easy access to a garbage can), that would be a different story.

What do you do for on-the-road snacking?

I'm linking up for the Thursday Throwdown, hosted by Tamieka at Fit Balling Mom , Sarah at Cardigan Sarah , and Lex at Flecks of Lex .This week's theme is "spring cleaning."  I have been working on cleaning up my snacks (on the road and otherwise). I invite you to head over and checkout the hosts, as well as all the other bloggers who are "cleaning up" this week.


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24 comments:

  1. I could live off of nut butter. Seriously! Somehow it leaves me fuller than just nuts (maybe because nuts seem like such a small portion size). And while I love dried fruit, sugar is very addicting to me, so again, that's something I reserve for my home made protein bar.

    I like to snack on home made protein balls, string cheese, fruit, jerky. I do do nuts sometimes too.

    And I always travel with food. ALWAYS.

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    1. I have yet to try almond butter.....that's my next "new" food purchase ;-)

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    2. Before my run today, I had almond butter on my waffle with sliced bananas. I could eat AB and PB every day!

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  2. I am the official curator and carrier of the snack bag when we travel. And I'm way too cheap to spill for airport junk. I typically carry apples (love how the load is instantly lightened as soon as I serve those up) nuts/trail mix and fruit snacks for the kids.

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    1. I love apples, but I prefer them right out of the refrigerator...cold & crisp. They are bulky, and heavy (as you mentioned), so I typically don't take them along on the road.

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  3. When I'm traveling, nuts (usually almonds) are my go-to. Actually, I also eat them at work when I need a boost! They are filling and keep me going until my next meal.

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    1. I have a bag of them in my desk at work, too!

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  4. I love nuts & trail mix. I usually snack on energy bars and fruit. I am addicted to sugar...can't help myself when I see a donut or pastry.

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    1. I also like granola bars, but I know they are loaded with sugar (which is why I like them!). I need to find an energy bar that doesn't taste like cardboard...any suggestions?

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  5. I always say (as I am buying trail mi from the store)...I could totally make this myself!

    Portion control is my biggest issue but I can totally see how the snack bag size can really help with that!

    Thank you so much for joining our link up today! I really appreciate your support!

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    1. I look forward to following your link-up! It's been so much fun getting to know you ;-)

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  6. I love a good trail mix and this could not come at a better time to remind me to pack healthy snacks for our numerous road trips! I also love pretzels. The mini's go well in a trail mix too! :)

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    1. I forgot to mention pretzels! Those are favorites, too!

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  7. Thanks for linking up with us, Kim! These are great snacking tips! Since you're a Reese's lover like I am, have you ever had trail mix that has dark chocolate chips and peanut butter chips sprinkled in with dried fruit and nuts? AMAZING! I've been thinking about making my own to take with me to snack on in the car.

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    1. Are the peanut butter chips coated with chocolate (LOL)? I'd have to try to it, but I usually need chocolate immediately with peanut butter (high-maintenance, I know). I scored recently, and found the LAST package of Reese's Easter eggs at the store...but I've only eaten one of them (so far). ;-)

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  8. I have a ton of food allergies, so I always have snacks in my purse in case I find myself in a situation where I can't eat anything available. When I travel, I usually bring a whole bag of allergy-friendly eats just in case. Trail mix is one of my faves, too - but like you said, the portion size can really get ya!

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    1. The portion size is really tricky! If I don't eat it piece-by-piece, I have it gone licketly-split-quick

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  9. I always make / bring my own snacks. Any kind of nut + I add in some cranberries or raisins, possibly some chocolate chips.

    Dried prunes make for a good and easy snack to bring along too.

    If I don't bring something, I am way too tempted to buy crappy food !

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    1. I love dried prunes, too. Have you tried the lemon or orange essence ones? Delish!!

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  10. Great post! I do travel a lot, and we do play Russian roulette with our snacks more often than not! It's almost road trip tradition to eat junk...but I always feel horrible after :(

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    1. The "junk" is hard to pass-up because it's so readily available and cheap. I still buy it from time to time, but I'm a lot more mindful of it (and am buying it less).

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  11. I love nuts for snacks but I think you need some choc chips in there!

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  12. When I started ultrarunning I had to make my own snacks. You can only take so much gu. Ha!

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  13. I always try to carry my own snacks with me. My go to snack are granola bars.

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