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When I travel I usually find it harder to maintain a healthy diet than when I stay in one place for a while. Because I move around a lot, I don’t always get the chance to exercise, I can’t make my green smoothies and watch my vitamin intake as closely, and sometimes I am also not careful with my calorie intake, especially on travel days, when it is tempting to just grab unhealthy snacks like chips, cookies and chocolate bars in gas stations or little road side stalls.
Over the years, I’ve become better with preparing for travel days like this though, and travel in general. These days, I always carry snacks with me that are healthier than the empty calorie snacks on the side of the road or offered by vendors on the bus.
Here are my top five travel snacks:
Luckily I travel mostly in places that have great fruit (read: the tropics), and I pick up mangoes, bananas, tangerines and apples whenever I can. Since I often travel in places where you can’t drink the tap water, I prefer fruits that you have to peel, simply because it is safer to eat them. I also carry a small pocket knife with me so that I can cut dragon fruits, mangoes or papaya.
Freeze dried fruit
If I don’t have the chance to pick up fresh fruit, I rely on freeze-dried fruit which are perfect for travel: they are incredibly light-weight and don’t take up a lot of space. I particularly love slices which I can mix in my yogurt and eat with muesli in the morning. I always carry a bag of seeds mix with me, by the way, which I add to my yogurt or muesli. It has chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds and almond slices.
I have to admit that when I started traveling, I didn’t eat nuts! Now I think that’s actually nuts! Luckily, somebody turned me into a nut eater, and I can’t believe what I was missing out on before, especially when it comes to vitamins and minerals like fiber, magnesium, protein and antioxidants. Walnuts are particularly good for vegetarians like me, thanks to their high content of omega 3.
This is basically the best of both worlds: nuts and fruit, mixed together. I love that it is easy to make my own trail mix almost anywhere in the world, with the fruits and nuts I find in the market. My favorite prepared trail mixes are (by far!) the ones from Trader Joe’s, and I make sure to pick up some trail mix before leaving the country every time I’m in the U.S.
They’re super good for you, they’re crunchy, and they’re cheap. In fact, carrots are the ultimate superfood. And you can get them anywhere in the world. Carrots are also easy to peel – I actually carry a peeler with me just for carrots, and I use it a lot. Especially in places where you can’t drink the water, it’s still possible to eat carrots without having to worry about getting sick. And the peeler doesn’t take up any room in my bag, but whenever I pick up carrots, I am glad that I have it with me!
What’s your favorite travel snack? Or do you just give in and buy roadside snacks when you travel?