Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Road Trip Essentials

Snacking is unashamedly a favorite activity of mine and seemingly appropriate for passing the time on road trips.  Before having loaded both myself and my bags into the car, I make sure to have my snacking essentials in order.

Here’s what I pack in an ice chest:

Veggie Sticks- washed, cut, and ready to eat raw, veggie sticks are nutrient dense and full of fiber and water. A crisp and colorful assortment of bell peppers, carrots, and celery looks like edible crayons stashed away in my bag and reminds me of the antioxidant benefits they have to offer. 

Guacamole- my “mmm can’t get enough of this!” favorite for dipping with veggie sticks. I like to buy the 100 calorie snack packs from Wholly Guacamole because the convenient little pouches portion the guacamole for me while keeping it fresh.  Another snack with a hefty fiber content, guac also contains monounsaturated fatty acids, a very beneficial and healthy fat needed by the body. It’s a pretty good idea to consume a healthy fat with veggies because some vitamins in veggies are absorbed best when fat is present and are therefore known as fat-soluble vitamins. Word of caution: don’t dip and drive! 

Coconut Water- chocolate coconut water, that is.  I prefer drinking ZICO coconut water in the chocolate flavor when the sweet tooth begins to roar.  Benefits of this chocolately treat include potassium, an important mineral, and several electrolytes. A satisfying way to stay hydrated, nourish the body, and calm the sweet tooth. Score.

Trail Mix- what would a road trip be without the old classic mix of nuts? Although there are many varieties to select from in stores, I prefer to toss together my own mix to avoid unwanted amounts of added sugar and salt. Mixes of mine include any of the following: dried cranberries, raw pumpkin seeds, roasted unsalted almonds, raw cashews, plain walnut halves, dried unsweetened coconut flakes, and roasted unsalted peanuts.  Healthy fats? Check. Minerals? Check. Protein? Check. Satiating? Absolutely!  

Frozen Blueberries- a popsicle-like treat but without the food dyes, artificial sweeteners, and insulin spike. Frozen blueberries are simply washed and dried berries that have been popped in the freezer. The fiber content of the fruit slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream so that insulin levels do not leave you with a sugar high and a moment later crave for more sugar.  The rich color of blueberries comes from the antioxidant properties they have to offer, and the fiber and water content will help to fill you up. 

Water- boring? Maybe, but important? Definitely! Staying hydrated is necessary to stay awake and sharp while traveling on the road.  I pack a 1 liter water bottle with me so I have plenty to hold me over until reaching a convenience store or arriving at my destination.  Sometimes I’ll even add a squeeze of lemon juice to my water if I’m in the mood for something with flavor. 

Having my own snacks packed for a road trip saves me from resorting to fast food when hunger (or boredom) strikes.  These are snacks I feel good about gobbling down, and I know the nutrients are what my body needs.  What are some of your favorite snacks on road trips? 

1 comment:

  1. Love the frozen blueberry idea! What a fun way way to break up the monotony of the highway miles!