Some days my daughter and I do so much driving from school, to doctor appointments, to the grocery store, that I feel like my car is a second home. You know you spend too much time in your car when you wonder if feng shui is applicable to car interiors.
Whether you commute by car, bus, train or subway, portable healthy food is a must to stay healthy with an on-the-go lifestyle. No matter where I am I always have food on me. Today I took my daughter for a hearing test and had the car stocked with organic popcorn, dried apple rings, date-sweetened organic health bars, a homemade pumpkin-spiced caffeine-free Pero “cappuccino” and Sea Snax. I was traveling light this time. Normally we might also take mini meals along too.
When you have your own food and drinks with you, you’ll never get in that jam again of “Crap I’m hungry and there’s nowhere to get something healthy.” This leads to: “Well I guess I’ll have to do the best I can at this drive through.” And then comes: “Oh my stomach, maybe a Coke will settle my indigestion.” Finally ending in, “Geez I could really go for something salty now. How about some chips from that corner store?”
We’ve all been there, in some version of this.
So you decide that next time you’ll take along some healthy options with you in your travels. If you’re in the privacy of your own car the sky is the limit. I’ve practically broken out a candelabra with the elaborate meals my daughter and I sometimes eat, with cloth napkins on our laps, along the way on long car trips. But if you’re on a plane, bus or train it might call for something not too messy, noisy or aromatic.
I learned this the hard way years ago on my way into NYC when I was studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (back in the day when they had live classes). I was called out by a bus driver over the loudspeaker when I opened up a container of steamed daikon radish. Despite that I was sitting in the back of the bus he was forced to make the announcement, “Whoever just got out their lunch please put it away.” That aromatic vegetable probably permeated the bus walls, affecting people on the street.
Fortunately, there are plenty of other inoffensive options for healthy travel eats. Here are five of my favorites:
1. Almond butter and all-fruit jam on sourdough bread – I like to spread the toasted sourdough with a little coconut oil first before the layers of jam and almond butter. (Another option is hummus on sourdough with arugula, though that one can smell a little garlicky so you’ve been warned!)
2. Fresh berries and cinnamon dusted apple slices
3. Almonds that were soaked overnight and drained – They’re so digestible like this!
4. Brown rice sushi or rice balls (Check out my video below to see how it easy and fun it is to make them!)
5. Homemade dessert like a little carob avocado mousse
6. Sometimes I roll up some leftover veggie fried rice into a steamed collard leaf. Enjoy it straight up or with a dip.
7. A container of homemade Waldorf salad (chopped apple, sliced celery, walnuts, raisins, and healthy mayo)
8. A thermos of oatmeal – Even if it’s not breakfast time this can be satisfying and a good energy source, as well as a desserty-feeling snack if you top it with maple syrup, cinnamon, and currants.
So the next time you’re on your way to the gym or commuting to work, be sure to pack your cooler bag with some healthy options from home. You’ll save money and feel so much better with satisfying snacks you packed yourself.