Last week I went into a really nice convenient store and was shocked at all the weight friendly foods available today. I think the last time I actually paid attention to food in a convenient store was three years ago, when I spent 12 hours on the road moving to New York, and again when I moved back home months later to SC. I previously had no great options in convenient stores if I got hungry, so I brought plenty of healthy snacks with me. Yet, the other day, I saw that I could travel worry-free now, and have tons of foods available to me if I got hungry on the road. I think it’s great that businesses like convenient stores are becoming aware that health is a concern for many people, and are noticing that Slim Jims and M&Ms shouldn’t be the only available options for a snack. Check out my favorite weight friendly foods you can find at many convenient stores. If you find yourself in a pinch, just grab one of these!
I’ve always seen peanuts at convenient stores, or heavily roasted, salted nut mixes, but I was pleasantly surprised to see one of the best weight friendly foods at convenient stores most recently, which is almonds! The particular store I was in had unsalted plain almonds, which are perfect for a nice crunch and protein-rich snack. You can also find natural almonds at drugstores, by the way, if a convenient store doesn’t offer them.
I almost passed out when I saw plain Chobani yogurt at the convenient store. I’ve always seen sugar-laden Yoplait and other brands at stores, but never the protein-rich Greek yogurts Chobani and Fage. Both have made appearances in many convenient stores nationwide, and it’s so nice to see a healthy option in the yogurt department. Yogurt is a great snack full of satiating protein, low glycemic carbs if you buy plain, and has calcium to help calm your nerves, plus B vitamins to energize you. If you’re traveling it’s perfect, since our stomachs can become offset by the travel routine and sitting too long, leading to digestion issues. Yogurt’s probiotics and potassium help combat those issues, along with bloating. Top it with some of those almonds above, and you’re good to go!
3. Raw Veggies
Seriously, I saw a small veggie tray at the convenient store, and had to do a double take. It was filled with raw celery, broccoli, carrots and cauliflower, just like many grocery stores sell. It came with a tub of processed ranch dressing, but I would just get rid of that and eat the yogurt to keep it healthy!
4. Green Juice
Who knew convenient stores carried green juice these days? Guess what? They do! I saw Naked brand green juice, along with Sambazon acai juice. Some of these can be high in sugar, so be choosey about which ones you buy, but they are a much better option than soda if you get a low-glycemic version.
Finally! Larabars have made it to convenient stores! You can find Clif Bars at most stores too. I couldn’t be happier about this, and though most stores don’t have a huge variety, these bars make a great snack to pick up on the road.
Canned tuna is usually always available at many convenient stores, and I know some of you may not like it, but if you’re in a pinch, it makes a good on the go food to choose for a simple, high protein option. You can empty the can into a cup, and either mix it with a packet of mustard from the food stand at the store, or even Greek yogurt as a replacement to mayonnaise, add some pepper, and maybe some of those raw veggies above for a complete healthy meal in minutes.
Another great find I saw at the convenient store I was in was oats! Not the sugary instant kind either, but a small canister of oats, and individual cups of plain oats you could mix with water were both available. All you’d have to do is add some hot water you could get from the coffee station, and some sweetener of your choice. I do recommend keeping a few things in your purse for items like oats, to avoid artificial sweeteners or sugar packs. I keep a container of cinnamon and stevia packets in my purse all the time. I use them in foods like yogurt on the go, oats on the go, and even when I visit Starbucks and get a coffee I don’t want sweetened with sugar.
It really isn’t impossible to eat healthy on the road if you know what to look for. Always look for low glycemic foods, which keep you fuller longer, and easy to digest foods that have either protein or fiber. Healthy fats like almonds are also a good bet, but just don’t eat too much or you might get a little car sick. Also be sure to drink plain water for best digestion, instead of all those sugary sodas or high sugar cappuccino drinks. If you have a favorite healthy food that you buy at convenient stores, share it! What’s your favorite healthy travel food?