Health Bytes

On-the-Go Snacking Options

Traveling? On the run a lot? Getting together with friends at an eating place that doesn’t have options for your food sensitivities? It can be challenging when you have food sensitivities, or just want to make healthier food choices, when your life and schedule are so-o-o full. Healthy snacks help to curb hunger and to resist temptation from partaking of foods that will disturb your balance.

I have two basic snacking strategies:

  • Homemade snack packs of nutritious real foods
  • Retail packaged processed foods

I haven’t organized my life enough to have a steady or long-lasting supply of the homemade foods. I supplement with retail snacks that I think of as healthy emergency rations. You don’t need to have enough food for a meal – just enough to stave off hunger or temptation.

The homemade snacks are for an anticipated hectic day or week, and depend on my frozen or dried reserves and baking sprees. They can be carried in my purse or briefcase for the day, or be refrigerated at work for several days. The second category of retail packaged snack foods are stocked in my purse, in my desk drawer, in my briefcase, in the car, in the suitcase.… for emergencies, travel and conferences. 

The “homemade” snacks include fresh foods or homemade goodies stored in silicone or plastic baggies, or small glass snack containers. These don’t store for more than a day of travel:

  • raw vegetables such as pea shoots, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, radishes, young turnips, jicama, celery
  • small fresh fruits such as blueberries, cherries, pineapple chunks, pear
  • home sprouted nuts or seeds such as walnuts, almonds, pecans
  • fresh coconut chunks or chips
  • roasted beans such as garbanzos or peas
  • dried fruits such as apricots, pineapple, figs, plantain chips, apples
  • protein-rich, low-sugar muffins and cookies (look on HealthInSyncs.com for some recipes!) 

For out-of-town events and on the road, or even weekends of just too many errands to stop and eat – I cheat. Not by eating foods that are detrimental to my health – life is too precious for me to waste it like that! But I raid the retail snack foods, that are in my purse, in my briefcase, in the suitcase.…

These retail packaged snacks require NO refrigeration, NO cooking, stirring, or shaking. The ingredients are all or mostly organic, certainly non-GMO. Most have shelf lives of about 12 months. I look at the protein/sugar ration as an “easy” screen; to get a significant protein serving without too much sugar. I want it to be as unprocessed as possible – as close to Real Food as portability allows.

Here’s what I might find when I dive in to my snack hiding places (some of my current favorites). All are free of gluten, dairy, soy, MSG, corn, artificial sweeteners:

Jerky et al.- Grass fed meats as jerky, pemmican, or other packaged meat products

  • Lamb Currant-Mint Bar – Epic brand. Grass fed lamb, sesame seeds, spices and herbs yield 10g protein/9g sugar
  • Nick’s Sticks Grass-Fed Beef Snack Sticks – grass-fed beef and spices, 10g protein
  • Paleo Stix – by Steves Paleo. Nothing but grass-fed beef and spices with 7g of protein.
  • Tanka Bar – A Native American enterprise!  Buffalo, cranberry, and spices with 7g protein/6g sugar

Fruit & nut bars – Note:  Some sugar is OK, high-sugar is not! High sugar:protein ratios feed cravings, not you.

  • Cherry Walnut – Evo Hemp brand. Raw, vegan Paleo mix of fruit, nuts, seeds, alfalfa for 7g protein/8g sugar
  • Chocolate Coconut Bliss – Raw Revolution brand. Raw, vegan, organic fruit, nut, and chocolate for 7g protein/12 sugar
  • Heavenly Hazelnut Chocolate – Raw Revolution brand. Raw, vegan, organic fruit, nut, and chocolate for 7g protein/12g sugar
  • Mango Macadamia – Evo Hemp brand. Raw, cold-pressed vegan Paleo mix of fruit, nuts, seeds, yerba mate for 7g protein/9g sugar
  • Vegan Bar – Organic Food Bar brand. Raw, cold-pressed vegan mix of nuts, seeds, pea protein, sprouts, quinoa combined for 11g protein/20g sugar

Other protein snacks 

  • Crispy Crunchy Organic Chickpeas – The Good Bean brand. Organic chickpeas soaked and roasted, 5g protein/1g sugar
  • Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds – Go Raw brand. Raw, sprouted organic pumpkin seeds 7g protein
  • Sprouted Sunflower Seeds – Go Raw brand. Raw, sprouted organic sunflower seeds 6g protein

This is where I have found them (retail offerings change a lot). There are certainly other retail and online sources.

Most websites provide nutritional and ingredient information for each product, so you can choose for your specific ingredient preferences.

It’s tempting to think of these good-tasting, portable foods as meal substitutes; but that’s an abuse of the convenience. The great value of these “healthier” snacks is to stave off blood sugar drops, and to defeat the temptation of junk snack foods that offer counterfeit energy and negative nutrition.

So stock up wisely for emergencies and temptations!