What to Eat: Slow-Carb Snacks on 4HB


Not slow carb diet snacks...

A typical spread at work - I recommend against these

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

STOP & SHOP Deluxe Mixed Nuts
Creative Commons License photo credit: s58y

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.

Deli meats

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

Kale Chips
Creative Commons License photo credit: Laurel Fan

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?


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  1. Dude, you missed my absolute favorite low-carb snack: Jerky. And not that wimpy “soft chew” stuff. I mean the kind that looks like shoe leather and takes five minutes to chew each bite.

    A close second is beef smokies. The problem with these is it’s too easy to turn them into a meal instead of just a snack.

    • The only reason I didn’t is because I haven’t found a beef jerky without sugar!! I’m going to look again today though.

      Justin, I totally forgot to put seaweed! While I was proofing, I thought about it and just forgot by the time I hit publish! Doh…


      • I know, you’d think they wouldn’t need it. I just checked the buffalo jerky I liked so much, and now it’s got 8 grams of carbs per ounce of jerky. So a medium 4-ounce bag would be 32 carbs. For a snack. No, sorry … got to go find a new brand.

        • I saw some at the store just now that had as few as 4 per serving. I have to check how many servings are in it.

          Maybe I should figure out how to make my own! 🙂


          • Now you’re getting it… make your own! 🙂

            Jerky is my go to snack, and I do make my own. Pro tip: make it from ground beef (I use 98%), a dry spice mix, and a jerky gun. You end up with tender, chewy beef sticks, much like the the store bought sticks, but without all the sugar and salt. I ended up perfecting my own spice mix.

            Shoot, now I have to walk down to the fridge and get a couple sticks!

          • Jerky recipe
            Roast slice thin
            1/4 cup olive oil
            1tablespoon red pepper flakes
            1tablespoon garlic powder
            1tablespoon cracked pepper
            1teaspoon sea salt
            1teaspoon seasoning salt (meat)
            1 teaspoon mrs dash any kind

          • Oooh, that looks good. Thank you! 🙂


  2. We make kale chips at home a few times a week, it is dead simple and only takes 20 mins.

    Other snacks I would add.
    Beef Jerky
    Pork Rinds
    Baked Salmon Skin (LOL)

  3. How about some fresh veggies to snack on like celery, red or yellow strips or carrots (obviously don’t go too crazy with the carrots because of the sugar/carbs). Or add some hummus to that (again not too crazy – 1/4-1/2 a cup is more than enough since it’s pretty high in carbs too thanks to the chickpeas). But it’s definitely tasty.

    I use bell peppers or carrots to curb my sweet tooth cravings….but I’m definitely going to mix up some sort of nuts I think since I’m a bit bored with my food options lately.

    • I do indeed love me some celery w/ hummus, peppers, cucumbers, and the occasional carrot. Hey, I’ll even eat raw broccoli! 🙂


  4. Stephanie says

    These are awesome but I do love crunchiness of chips with my hummus. I have found a work around.- crispy chickpeas! Once out of the oven and cooled I simply toss them in a bowl with olive oil, paprika, lime or lemon, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Viola! Crunchy hummus!

  5. I’ve seen bean chips at my grocery store, has anyone tried or seen them? I’m curious if they would be a good snack and help with the crunch I crave of chips!

    • Erica, I haven’t seen bean chips. I’d check them out – make sure the ingredients on the back only has things like beans, oil, salt. Stay away from vegetable and canola oils as much as you can (ie, if you want chips, just eat chips on your free day). If you’re really after a crunch, we’ve been making kale chips here periodically, and they’re great! Just cut up some kale, brush on a light amount of oil (no dripping from the chips), and add some sea salt, curry, or any seasoning you’d like. So good! Also tasty are nori chips! They taste like sushi. 🙂

      • Thanks Jason! I did a little research, they are called Beanito chips. They have black bean, pinto bean and white bean flavors and the ingredients are listed as INGREDIENTS: Whole Black Beans, Whole Grain Long Brown Rice and/or Long Grain White Rice, Pure Sunflower and/or Safflower Oil, Guar Bean Gum, Sea Salt.

        I’m thinking no because of the rice. Ill just stick to good old lays on my cheat day!

        • How about eating poppadoms in place of chips? They’re made with ground lentils, aka urad flour.

          Here’s a recipe I might try later this week:

          I could hunt down true urad flour if I tried, but I will probably just use Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo Flour.

          • The two problems I see with these types of things is that it’s super easy to overeat them, and by grinding the lentils you’re making them faster to digest. I think that’s why hummus is also considered a domino food. The recipe (which looks super yummy, by the way), has all technically slow-carb friendly ingredients, but it’s not something I’d make all the time. But I might as a treat.


  6. Good hummus can be made from both white beans and black beans.

  7. For lunch a great option is a tuna wrap (in a lettuce wrap). Tuna on its own is not my favorite thing so I usually add a teaspoon of mayonnaise and chopped celery or peppers and mix it all together. With a little bit of Lowensenf (medium) mustard, it’s to die for!

  8. I think these stats will show you why other beans are a better option compared to garbanzo beans. One slight difference between the two is Dietary Fiber, and if this is a daily meal option, that will make a difference over time.

    To put in short, the example I use here – black beans – beat garbanzo beans(chickpeas) in a few ways. This is the optimization Tim Ferriss is always talking about. Choosing the best option so that you do not have to work harder to get the results you want.

    Also, the garbanzo beans are higher in fat, and lower in protein.

    Garbanzo Beans –

    Black Beans –

  9. Just tried roast beef wraps with cottage cheese, red bell pepper, rucola and sunflower seeds. Delicious.

    olives in oil – more filling than just veggies.

  10. I like unsweetened, fresh or dried coconut. Pretty much all the carbs in there are fiber, so there’s no need to worry about glucose/insulin spiking.

  11. Prepare enough chicken and/or steak for your trip the day before you leave. Debone (so it takes less room). Put one day’s worth in a quart freezer bag. Bring enough bags to get you through the trip. Put them all in an insulated lunchbox with an ice pack. When you get to your destination, refrigerate two days worth, freeze the rest. Take a frozen bag each day and refrigerate it so that it is defrosted and ready to eat two days later.

    I try to always have two bags of cooked meat in my freezer at all times. For a trip, I’ll use those frozen bags for Day 3 and 4 of my trip. Additional advantages are that the frozen food helps keep the ice pack from defrosting as fast and the frozen food helps keep the other foods cold.

    When you need to eat during travel, hold the bag and push the top of a slice of food up and eat like you used to eat a partially wrapped popsicle. Your fingers will stay clean. You might look like a caveman, but who really cares? 🙂

  12. One of my favorites is green bean chips. Not sure what they’re actually called or a better name, but they are basically dried green beans, salted. They’re crunchy and tasty!

    • Hey Bis! Be careful with those. I’ve seen something similar that LOOKS like a dried green bean, but it’s really potato starch shaped like a green bean. I had a boss who thought he had found a cheat for his basically Ketogenic diet until I showed him the bag. So do check the ingredients and make sure that it’s actually green beans. 🙂 And if they really are, let us know what they are so we can find some too!


  13. I thought deli meats – like chorizo and salami, etc, were not allowed?

    • As far as I know they’re OK. Maybe some people don’t like them, but as long as they’re only fat and protein you’ll be fine.

      • But I didn’t think a lot of fat was good, hence the meat is supposed to be meat, limiting bacon, limiting mayo, and the like.

        • The only reason the book talks about lean meats is because the fat is where conventionally raised animals will have the stuff that people who choose grass-fed are trying to avoid. SCD isn’t a low-fat diet.

  14. Interesting, thank you!

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