A whole bunch of us will be traveling this weekend. It’s always fun to spend time with friends and family, but the trips to get there are often filled with crappy eating.
After having traveled a couple weekends ago and just letting it all hang out, I was determined this time around to make my traveling be completely slow-carb friendly.
I realized that traveling is like Pavlov’s bell for me. If I’m in a car on a long trip, my flesh wants candy and cookies. To fight that, I’ve been making a list for a few days, trying to plan out my schedule and what I’ll eat. I really want to prove to myself that I can actually not eat crap on a trip.
That also prompted me to ask around and gather a list of slow-carb friendly snacks that can be taken on a trip. Many of these are also useful as your second lunch.
My go to: natural peanut butter
Whenever I’m starting to feel a bit hungry, I will have a tablespoon or maybe two of natural peanut butter. This is different from “regular” peanut butter, so don’t be confused. If the ingredient list has more than just peanuts and salt, find a different jar. PB almost always curbs my cravings when accompanied by a glass of water.
Some may need to be careful with this. Tim Ferriss says hummus is one of his domino foods, but he never says why it’s not great to eat a bunch. I still can’t tell why, based on looking at the ingredients, but I also am able to put it away after a few tablespoons.
There are a few things I love with hummus: celery, cucumber, peppers (this one can make me eat more than a few tablespoons since it also makes a really good scoop), and turkey breast always go well in my opinion with some good hummus.
I haven’t come across any with sugar in it yet, but I’d still check labels until you settle on a brand that you are loyal to.
Seeds and nuts
Most trail mixes have chocolate and dried fruit in them, so I wouldn’t buy them as a slow-carb food. You can, however, put your own mix together. A a handful of sunflower seeds will take care of any masticatory desires. I’ve never tried them, but you can also find pumpkin and other kinds of seeds as well.
As for nuts, I’d stick to almonds, but other kinds won’t be a disaster. Be careful with the almonds, though. A normal-sized jar will have over 1000 calories, so it could quickly turn into a “refeed” day if you’re not paying attention. My recommendation is to buy them in the sleeve packets. Each one will have 1 or 2 servings, and finishing the bag will give your brain the satisfaction of having eaten enough (at least mine does). You can also try making your own spiced nuts mix.
We all know how much of a staple eggs are in our slow-carb lifestyle, so it only makes sense that we can snack on them too. I’ll probably hard boil 3 or 4 and take them with me.
When I go to the grocery store after work, I’m often hungry. I used to get a donut, but I’ve changed my ways. Now I usually grab a couple of those single-serve packets of lunch meat. They’re under $1 and get the job done.
Another snack that makes a great second lunch is turkey breast lettuce wraps. I eat it with either mustard or a bit of hummus. I’m going to prepare at least a package of turkey breast to take with me on Friday.
Non-starchy chips and such
Now I have yet to eat these, but I fully plan on finding a bag of kale chips before my trip. I’ve learned that I love kale as cooked green, and I’ve heard very good things about kale chips.
I also remember once seeing a recipe for cucumber chips. I can’t remember where it was, but when I find it again I’ll be sure to post a link here. I like cucumbers, and I imagine that with a bit of salt and pepper they make quite a tasty snack. Can’t be that hard to make either; I imagine it’s basically just baking them until crispy.
@Brainmaker and at least one other mentioned on Twitter that sprouted lentils are really great as well. I’ve never seen those, but I’m going to keep an eye out for taking some to work.
So as we all head out to the lake, river, or wherever Grandma’s place is these days, I hope we’ll make good travel food decisions. That’ll help build our confidence of “I really can sustain this” as well as extend the time our bodies have to burn fat before we kill it at the 4th of July barbecue.
What are your favorite snacks/second lunches that would work well for travel?