Eating on the go is often thought of as an unhealthy habit, or a stressful one, but if you know which foods to grab on the go, it can actually be as healthy as eating at home in your own kitchen. With a few pieces of healthy knowledge, eating on the go doesn’t have to be unhealthy, and it doesn’t mean you need to resort to stopping by a fast food restaurant just to fill your belly. Check out some healthy foods to grab on the go and pick up one of these next time you find yourself hungry on the road.
1. Greek Yogurt
One of my mainstay foods to grab on the go is Greek yogurt. It may seem weird, but I actually keep a couple plastic spoons in my purse should I ever need them, along with a little container of cinnamon and stevia packets. You can stop by any grocer, convenient store, most drugstores, and superstores to find Greek yogurt as a perfect snack. One of my tips if you’re at work and have to run errands is to stop while you’re out and pick up a container if you get a hankering for something sweet. Don’t drive through a fast food joint or get a sugary coffee drink to tide you over through the afternoon. Just pick up a plain Greek yogurt, and sweeten with cinnamon and stevia instead! The protein is great to tide you over, raise metabolism, and halt hunger. Greek yogurt is also available at most airports if you’re traveling.
Never underestimate the wonderful simplicity of a plain pack of almonds. I love almonds for those times I’m hungry, stressed, and want to eat a healthy, filling snack. I buy the 100 calorie packs of Blue Diamond Natural Almonds, which you can find at any grocery store for about $2.50 for 7 packs. I keep them in the car or in my purse, if I ever get the munchies. Or, you can buy any brand of natural almonds, and even find them on the baking aisle for about $1.50 per pack as well. They’re available at any grocery store, superstore, most all convenient stores, and airports. If you can’t find the kind I mentioned, just buy a big bag, portion them out ¼ cup servings into Ziploc baggies, and keep them in your fridge to grab on the go. I like to keep a bag in my purse at all times when a craving hits!
3. Baby Carrots
If you want something sweet and crunchy, go for a packet of baby carrots! They’re one of my favorite foods to eat on the go, especially paired with almonds. One cup only has about 40 calories, plus 6 grams of fiber, no fat, tons of Vitamin A, and Vitamin C, plus magnesium to calm your nerves. The fiber really helps fill you up, and carrots are one of the easiest veggies to digest, making them perfect to eat on the run. I usually grab a pack out of the fridge before I leave my house, and they’re fine in your purse for around 4-5 hours without going bad. If you don’t have any with you, stop by any superstore, grocer, or convenient store, walk to the produce section, and pick up a bag. It’s the perfect alternative to fast food snacks, and one I always go to. Plus, carrots ease stress, the natural sugars are great for your metabolism, to give you energy, and the fiber stabilizes your blood sugar.
I actually like to make my own version of Larabars at home and keep them for on the go convenience, since they're really easy to make. However, if this isn’t an option for you or you don’t have time for food prep, just pick up a Larabar instead! These healthy fruit and nut bars are as natural as you can get, and though they don’t have a lot of protein, they are less processed than protein bars, which have all kinds of scary ingredients. You can usually find these at any superstore, grocer, and some convenient stores for around $1.25. Clif Bars and Kind Bars make a good alternative, and though they are higher in sugar, they’re pretty clean overall.
5. Oatmeal Packets
Another great tip I have for eating on the go is to carry, or find, plain oatmeal packets for on the go oats. You can buy these plain packets (without sugar) at any supermarket, or find some at convenient stores. Most all airports and hotels have them too. Or, make your own mix before you leave home, with ½ cup plain oats, and put them into a Ziploc baggie. Add stevia or cinnamon if you need some sweetness. You can pack these with you and just mix with water anytime you need something easy and filling to eat. Quinoa flakes are a good alternative to make these packets with as well.
6. Trail Mix
Not all trail mixes are innocent, so you have to be careful. Look for unsalted mixes and varieties that aren’t roasted in oils if you can find them. I also like making these at home and keeping them in baggies for on the go travel, but almost all superstores, markets, and grocers, along with some convenient stores and airports carry healthy trail mix options. If you can’t find them with the snacks in stores, check the bulk foods section. Whole Foods, Walmart, and Target all carry plain trail mix varieties they usually call diet-friendly or diet mixes. They’re simply a mix of almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pecans, and raisins. They’re really tasty and so great to munch when you get hungry.
7. Apples & NUT BUTTER Packs
Another great option is to simply keep an apple with you, or grab one while you’re out. Almost all convenient stores have apples, and all grocers, superstores, and airports have apples available too. I like to keep the individual packets of peanut butter (natural, unsalted) or almond butter (also natural and unsalted) in my purse for on the go travel ease. You can spread these on apples, or just eat them out of the packs with apples. This makes for a hydrating snack that is great to eat for something nutritious and filling. If you’re at a fast food restaurant, ask if they have apple slices you can have in a cup, or any other fruit options they might have. Most restaurants actually have items like these, though they don’t make for their own menu item.
8. Dark Chocolate
Perhaps one of my favorite foods to keep on the go, or buy while I’m out, is dark chocolate. Just one or two squares make for the perfect snack that stabilizes blood sugar, boosts your energy, and takes away cravings. I like the 100% baking bar varieties, but anything above 85% cacao is a great, lower sugar option. Just avoid the sugary stuff like M&Ms, and all the other unhealthy candy bars out there. Most convenient stores don’t have these bars, but drugstores, superstores, grocers, and some markets do, so if you see one of those, stop by there instead.
Don’t underestimate the humble banana, ladies! It’s the perfect travel food! Put one in your purse before you leave home, or stop anywhere on the road and you’re likely to see a banana as an option. You’ll probably pay more at convenient stores and airports than a grocer or supermarket, so try to be frugal if you're looking to save money. Bananas are great paired with some nuts, yogurt, nut butter, or even some dark chocolate! Their fiber content keeps you full and the potassium helps beat bloat. Bananas also have Vitamin B6 to stabilize your mood and provide energy.
Almost any fruit or veggie you can find on the go is a safe bet for a perfect travel snack. It’s best to pair it with something filling like almonds, or another nut, a packet of nut butter, or some Greek yogurt, hard boiled eggs, etc. if you can find them. I like keeping protein packets with me on the go too. As you can see, I usually leave home with a couple snacks in my purse, but it keeps my blood sugar stable and saves me a ton of money and calories from buying food out. What's your favorite on the go snack?