Apparently in my life one month of constant travel equals no time for writing. Not a good excuse I know. I have to admit that during this Fall season, full of benefit galas, weddings, an anniversary trip and a relaxing week in Maine, I was constantly reminded of how difficult it is to eat healthy and on a budget when traveling. Rest stops and airports are full of snacks and energy drinks masked as health food. After hours of traveling it’s easy to let your hunger make the decision and you purchase a bag of trail mix and a sugar-free red bull (fake health food) instead of something that will actually give you energy and sustain hunger.
But I have found that even in these sugar stations one can find a glimmer of nutrition and tastiness. Plus it takes literally no time to grab something in your own kitchen before running out the door – and no, I’m not recommending you take a bag of baby carrots because seriously who wants to eat those after being on the road for 6 hours?
There are three essential things your body needs when it’s tired and hungry; protein, carbohydrates and hydration.
Get Your Protein On. Try Think Thin… the name itself is intriguing; I mean who doesn’t want to think thin? This protein bar contains only 240 calories, is low fat and low sugar and yet it retains 20 grams of protein. Extra bonus – it doesn’t taste like chalk. You can buy it for about $2.50 at Whole Foods and some convenient stores. It’s the perfect yummy snack that fits in a purse and makes it through security.
Eat Carbs, Get Energy. But stay away from crackers and cookies because it’s likely those are also full of sugar (the bad carb). Most rest stops, Starbucks and even airline snack packs include bananas and pretzels. Both are great options that contain about 100 calories per serving of good carbohydrates.
Can’t Get Enough Water. It’s true, it’s extremely difficult and rare that the average human drinks too much water. In fact most Americans don’t even get half the daily amount they should. Not only that, but traveling is very dehydrating, so you should actually be drinking more water than the recommended amount. So stay away from the energy drinks and sugar-filled juices and grab a bottle of water. Shoot for at least four bottles of 24oz each per day.
Take these snacks on your holiday travels and you won’t be tempted to grab unhealthy options. Besides don’t you want to save your calories for homemade holiday cookies?