In November, I flew cross-country to spend Thanksgiving with my boyfriend’s family in California. Traveling is fun, but it can often throw us all off our normal eating patterns, especially when our food options are limited to airports or highway rest-stops. These options are usually poor, ranging from sugar-loaded cinnamon rolls to greasy sandwiches and fries. Some airports offer better options than others, but with a little planning and preparation ahead of time, you can avoid the pitfalls of travel and make healthy nutrition choices when you’re on-the-go.
So, what was in my bag when I flew to California? Let’s take a look…
- Epic Bars
My favorite go-to for keeping in my bag or backpack at all times – whether there’s a flight involved or not – is an Epic bar (link to https://epicbar.com/). Epic bars are made from grass-fed / pastured organic meat; I can best describe them as a “fancy jerky”. They are free from preservatives and contain dried meat (and often nuts, seasoning, or dried fruit). My favorites are bison-bacon-cranberry and lamb-currant-mint. You can find them at Whole Foods, some Giant Eagle stores, or online at Amazon.com or Thrivemarket.com. I like these bars because they’re high in quality protein and have no added sugar, and keep me feeling satisfied.
- KIND bars
KIND bars are another staple when I’m traveling. KIND prides itself on making energy bars that have ingredients you can “see and pronounce”. The sugar content of the bars vary by flavor, so I recommend checking the labels to find the varieties that have lower sugar content. Caramel Almond & Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Mocha, Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan, Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt or Madagascar Vanilla Almond are among the flavors with 5g of sugar or less. KIND bars are available at most grocery stores, Target, drug stores, Amazon.com and various other retailers.
- Hard-boiled eggs
In addition to my store-bought snacks, I also stocked my carry-on with hard-boiled eggs (pre-peeled, for added convenience). Since my flight was early in the morning, I ate the eggs for breakfast while waiting to board the plane.
- Fresh fruit
I packed an apple to take with me on this trip, and bananas are also a good travel option because they’re easy to peel and eat on-the-go. Berries can be easily smushed, so you may want to put them in a plastic container to take with you. Other fruit that require some peeling (oranges) may be easier if peeled in advance, too.
Other options that are good for taking on a trip include cut-up veggie sticks, yogurt (better for car trips than flying), nuts, olives, and individually-wrapped cheese (such as Babybel).
What’s YOUR favorite travel-friendly health food?