The first time my car broke down was in the dead center of a four way intersection in high school. It was a whole thing and I’ll spare you the details but the truth is I ran out of gas.
When I moved to New York City I delightfully traded my car for the subway, forgoing paying for gas and insurance for a good six years. Then I left, got myself a new ride, oh and then got myself into car trouble again. Left a light on for like three days, so, yeah that’ll do it. I called AAA and thought about how hungry I was.
When the AAA guy showed up hours later, he told me I probably needed a new battery. Otherwise, making it the two hours home was “a crapshoot,” which is not a word you really want to hear when dealing with transportation. So Lucy and I stuck it out a few more minutes for a new battery and by this time my hunger was sort of like Jaws: completely ungovernable.
When he went to get the paperwork from his truck, he reemerged with dog treats for her, and even though I was happy for her all I could think was god I wish I ate dog treats.
It was at this point I decided to start stocking my car with snacks. Which I’m actually surprised I didn’t do sooner, because every single time I have to make a long drive for work I inevitably pull over to a crappy rest stop when I can’t take the need to pee or my hunger much longer. I end up with either a handful of sugary protein bars or McDonald’s fries, neither of which make me feel awesome for the rest of the drive.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good preflight airport cocktail, and airline pretzels. But when you drive regularly for work, I’ve learned it really helps to keep the trunk loaded up with a bunch of healthy snacks. Say what you will about a trunk full of nonperishables, but I’m never scrambling anymore so it’s all good in my book.
- TJ’s Kale Chips or Broccoli Florets
Trader Joe’s reigns King in quick meals and snacks, and while some of them are loaded with sugar or sodium, others are pretty rad. My personal faves are the kale chips and crispy, crunchy broccoli florets, both of which have chill ingredient lists aka no sweeteners, weird chemicals or other bullshit added. Both actually taste good too, so up against gas station chips I’d call that a win.
Nothing new to see here. Nuts or trail mix packs are go-to travel snacks and for good reason. They’re easy to store and a handful goes a long way. Fiber, energy, protein. Boom. Justin’s also makes individual almond butter packs which are not only adorable but also filling and satisfy a sweet tooth.
Not all that necessary in addition to plain nuts, but I also keep granola around if I’m in the mood for something a little jazzier. Most rest stops or pharmacies and even some gas stations have yogurt, so I’ll grab one and eat it with my granola. Also good for grabbing a handful straight outta the bag if I’m being honest. My fave brand is Purely Elizabeth (sold online, at all health food stores and most big grocery stores now), and I try to keep the yogurt plain, unsweetened and made with whole milk/full fat to avoid blood sugar crashes and absorb the vitamins.
- Energy/protein bars
Most protein bars are garbage. They’ll spike your insulin with the amount of sugar per bar (some more than a candy bar), contain soy protein which is tough to digest, plus most taste pretty horrible. Big grocery stores and even most rest stops/gas stations/airports have Larabars, goMacro bars, which are your best bet on the road, but if you can stock up ahead of time, Rx Bars are great options.
- Super green powder
Okay this one is weird but sister needs her greens, and they’re not exactly keeping the kale stocked at gas stations you know? So I keep a bag of Sunburst Superfoods Greenpower Blend Powder nearby, and just add a tablespoon to water when I’m on the road. Full disclosure, the company is a client of mine, but their products are awesome and I use them all the time. I love this one because they blend 14 different fruits and vegetables, so you’re getting antioxidant support, an energy boost, protein, and vitamins in one shot.
And there you have it! My little pantry on wheels. What’s your go-to healthy travel snack? Tell me below, I’m always up for new suggestions.