Author: Chloe Davenport
It’s vacation season! Vacations are for relaxing and….EATING! I’m currently at home with my family in Arkansas where the tea is sugary sweet, the vegetables are fried, and dessert comes with every meal. There’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence and enjoying yourself while on vacation but don’t let a week off completely derail your goals. I used to always use vacation, especially when I would come home to AR, be an excuse to eat all the foods I didn’t normally eat and I would gorge myself for the week and swear I’d get back on track after I got back. (It was always soooooo much harder to get back on track though.) I would come back home feeling blah, bloated, moody, and with breakouts. Now that I realize the importance of food and the affects it has on my mood, skin, and gut health, it’s much easier to plan ahead and make sure that I’ve at least got some healthy options to keep me fueled up and feeling good.
I drove to Arkansas so packing snacks and food was easy because I had a cooler in the front seat. But some of the below list can work if you’re flying, too.
Eat before you go- This will be helpful if you run into delays in the airport line or find limited options while driving.
Eat frequently- Even if it’s a handful of nuts or piece of fruit. You don’t want your blood sugar to drop to the point of choosing a gas station burrito or a $6 bag of M & M’s at the airport.
Bring a refillable water bottle- hunger masquerades as thirst and staying hydrated will help fight off fatigue
Arm yourself with healthy snacks for the car or plane so that you’re not stuck with limited options at a gas station or airport. Look for nutrient dense, non-perishable items (unless you have a cooler of some sort or access to a fridge) with sustaining calories. It’s also a generally good idea to keep a few things like this in your car, purse or bag for when you’re in a pinch.
-Pre-cook sliced chicken breasts- It’s an easy protein to eat alone or throw in a salad you pick up at the airport or fast food joint when it’s late and everything semi-healthy is already closed.
-Beef jerky- good source of protein, doesn’t take up much room and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. I like brands like Epic and Tanka.
-Pre cut veggies- carrots, peppers, celery, and jicama
-Individual nut butter packets- almond, peanut, cashew, coconut
-Hummus/guacamole/yogurt- I can’t get enough of CoYo coconut milk yogurt. If you’re dairy-free like me, it’s the best and most satisfying yogurt alternative I’ve found. The probiotics in yogurt also help with digestive issues that sometimes occur when traveling.
-Fruit- sliced, whole, dried, in a cup; however you like it. Eat dried fruit more as a condiment, say mixed with nuts or as a topping, due to its high sugar content.
-Nuts/seeds-good source of healthy fats. Fats are satiating and keep you full longer and help stabilize blood sugar
-Individual protein powder packets-or you can make your own by putting scoops of protein powder in little baggies –mix with water in your refillable water bottle when you’re in crunch and need something to tide you over.
-Tuna/salmon/sardines- my current food obsession is sardines. Seriously. They’re salty, satisfying, portable, a good source of protein and full of Omega-3’s, which support brain, heart and skin health. I ate two cans while floating the Buffalo River the other day.
-Hard-boiled eggs- good source of protein and high in vitamins and minerals
-Protein bars- homemade is the best (not to mention cheapest) because you know what’s in them. But if you’re not a Betty Crocker, there are tons of good options for purchase. Just check the ingredients and make sure the carbs and sugar don’t equal that of a snickers bar. I like Quest, RX Bars, and Vega.
-Individual packets of “greens”- freeze dried vegetables and super foods that are nutrient dense and a good boost of energy. Just mix with water or in a smoothie. (I realized as I was typing out “freeze dried vegetables” that they don’t sound super appealing but they’ll make you feel good and they’re good for you. They also come in flavors like chocolate and orange dreamsicle). I like Garden of Life or Amazing Grass
Where are you vacationing this summer and what snacks are you packing? We want to know!