If you’ve been following me on my Facebook or Instagram profiles, you know that I’m on a month-long road trip in France, which has led to us talking a lot about maintaining your health while traveling.
A big part of my health maintenance while on the road is my travel snacks! However, eating on the road can be very challenging because, well, a girl gets hangry...
I want to share with you some of the yummy things that we consider to be staples while on the road. When it comes to your diet, the worst thing you can do on the road is to not bring anything with you. This can lead to hunger, which then leads to desperate eating of anything you find.
Want to see, live and in person, the exact brands I use? Head over and watch my video “My Favorite Travel Snacks!”
My #1 travel food that I carry with me is nut butters. Some of my favorites are actually not made from nuts - they’re made from sunflower seeds! Two of my favorite brands are Wild Friends and Once Again - they taste really good! They do have a little bit of added sugar, but they’re basically just sunflower seed butter. Some brands do use coconut sugar, so be sure you check the labels if that’s something you watch out for. The best part is that they come in these individual packets that are perfect for travel because you don’t need any silverware. You just open them up, squeeze on an apple or some celery, or just eat them straight from the packet (#guilty!).
I love sunflower seed butter for travel because I find it to be a little lighter and a little tastier, but you can get a whole array of nut butters that are really fantastic, too. I like walnut butter, cashew butter, and almond butter. If you’re sensitive to nuts or seeds, be sure to look for coconut butter. It’s basically raw coconut meat and a little bit of coconut oil. You can buy them in small packets, too, and they’re delicious. I like the coconut butter from Artisana Organics - it has no added sugar or added anything - it’s just raw, organic coconut.
These are my #1 travel snack that I always carry with me. They’re a great topping for other snacks, and they give you healthy fats and proteins while you’re traveling.
I also like to bring jam with me, or I’ll buy some wherever I’m traveling. Local jams are often the most delicious and are usually easy to find. We found two jams that I really like - one is cassis, which is like a black currant or blackberry, and I really liked pear with vanilla.
Another snack secret is to stock up at the hotel breakfast or brunch! They will have often really good jams that are snack-sized, so if you just grab a couple of those and save them for when you're traveling. They’re perfect!
My favorite thing to do with the sunflower seed butter and jam is to make mini versions of gluten-free, dairy-free peanut butter jelly sandwiches. I buy the gluten-free organic rice crackers and spread the nut butter and jam on them to make this fun snack. The fun part is finding the perfect nut butter/jam ratio. One of my favorite brands of rice crackers is Le Pain des fleurs, which I get at Whole Foods in the States. It’s made with a base of non-GMO corn and rice, and they’re quite tasty!
If you like savory snacks, the organic rice crackers are also the perfect pairing with sardines, cod liver, tuna, or any wild fish you can find in packets or cans. They’re really easy to travel with and require no refrigeration. Le Pain des fleurs, the rice crackers I like from Whole Foods, actually has an onion-flavored cracker, which goes really well with the sardines.
Another great addition to this is tapenade or olives if you can find these when you travel. It’s great on the rice crackers, too, so it makes a nice little savory snack that gives you healthy fats and protein with a little crispy crunch!
We also picked up some organic eggs while we're here in France at a wonderful little organic grocery store. If you hard-boil your eggs and leave them in the fridge, they're super easy to take on a road trip. This is a great thing to do before you leave home - grab a few when you go to the airport and just take them on the plane with you and they're a great way to get in your protein!
Getting in protein when traveling can sometimes be a challenge, so we’re always sure to carry nuts with us as quick snack foods. I really prefer walnuts, and if we have time, we always try to soak them overnight, as it helps release some of the acid and enzymes in the nuts themselves and takes away a little bit of the bitterness.
Almonds, cashews, pistachios, or just about any other nut makes a great, portable, protein-packed snack!
Fruit Snacks and Sauces
We also love dried fruit snacks and as well as fruit sauces in squeezable bottles. If your grocery store doesn't have a big extensive travel snack section, you can actually find these in the baby food section. The important thing is to look at the ingredients for products that contain only fruit and not a lot of preservatives or artificial additives.
Another great one is organic fruit snacks. This is kind of a grown-up version of Fruit Roll-ups or Gushers that we ate back in the 90s as kids! I also love fruit leathers made of just dried fruit. They’re delicious and easy on-the-go - just throw them in your bag, and if you feel your blood sugar start to drop, you can grab them as a little pick-me-up.
My husband and I also like to find great-tasting granola bars, especially if they’re gluten-free. Many of them use gluten-free oats, nuts, or even coconut. I love Nana Joe’s, which I think are local to Northern California, but I’m sure you can find this kind of thing wherever you are. What’s great about granola bars is that they are readily available in airports and even gas stations. Just need to be sure to read the labels to find the healthiest version possible.
I’ve discovered coconut rolls. I’ve found them at Sprouts, Costco, and a number of different grocery stores in the States. They’re made with coconut milk, coconut sugar, rice flour, eggs, and sesame, so they’re very simple, but they’re really delicious! They’re like a cookie, so they make a nice crispy dessert to have with tea or coffee on the road.
Finally, we always travel with some dark chocolate. I really like the Enjoy Life chips because they’re easy to eat - I put them in a Ziplock bag and grab a handful when I need a pick-me-up. My husband also likes to grab specialty chocolate bars here and there. I get Enjoy Life chocolate chips at Whole Foods, Sprouts, Safeway, and probably on Amazon. It’s a great national brand that’s allergen-friendly.
Along with my savory, sweet, and protein-rich snacks, I always carry my Berkey Sports Bottle with me. This bottle actually has a built-in Berkey water filter in the bottle. The perfect thing about this is that as we're traveling I don't worry about where I'm getting my water from. I can fill it up in a kitchen or bathroom sink in any country and know that I’ll be drinking extremely pure, filtered water. We even took them to Haiti on a service trip and filled them with hose water from the street!
This particular sports bottle filters with the same efficacy as my Berkey at home, so I even use it for cooking while on the road as well as hygienic hand washing.
My Travel Snack Formula
I have a bit of a formula when building a healthy snack. I start with the healthy fats and healthy proteins (nuts, sardines, nut butters), and then I mix-and-match them with some naturally processed fruits and veggies. Then I add a few carbs to help balance everything out, like rice crackers, coconut-based snacks, or granola!
I’d love to hear about your favorite travel snacks - head over to the video on our Facebook page and drop your faves in the comments!
Dr. Natasha F