The Formula for Healthy Snacking
Travel – especially long and sometimes boring stints in the car – can make it hard to stick to our health goals. We eat because we’re hungry, but we also eat because we’ve made a pit stop and we need to stretch our legs. An enticing logo on the highway exit sign points us to more convenient, fast-food options.
Over the past 10 years, there has been a noticeable shift in the convenience food industry. Gas station rows were once lined end-to-end with only candy bars and potato chips, but now thankfully, the line between gas station and quick-service food is beginning to blur, supplying us with a fresher – and healthier – selection of foods at our disposal.
Armed with FLIK’s Healthy Road Trip Hack, throwing together a quick, convenient, meal or snack on-the-go, is easier than you think!
All you need to remember is:
Protein + Fiber + Healthy Fat = 250 calories
We recommend sticking to 600 calories or less for a full meal and keeping it under 250 calories for a snack.
Step 1: Protein. Pick your protein first. As much as you can get. 12-20 grams is ideal, which is the amount in two hard-boiled eggs, your average container of Greek yogurt, or a serving of beef jerky (compare labels for something lower in sodium). Other great protein sources include tuna (turn a pouch of tuna into tuna salad with mustard and mayo pouches), nuts and nut-based bars, and regular yogurt or milk.
Step 2: Fiber. Fill up on fiber-rich fruits and veggies. It’s commonplace to find whole fruit near the register, but most larger gas stations and convenience stores offer pre-sliced fruits and veggies in the refrigerated section. In addition to fiber, these nutrient-dense choices give us plenty of vitamins and mineral at a low calorie cost. And for an extra kick of fiber, add in a whole grain, such as popcorn, whole grain crackers, or oatmeal.
Step 3: Healthy Fat. Fats keep us full and feeling satisfied. You may have already gotten some healthy fats from your protein source (think eggs, tuna, nuts and nut butters), but if your protein source is lean, here’s your chance to fatten it up a bit. Cheese sticks and nuts are easy to find. Many places carry single-servings of hummus, guacamole, even olives too.
Bonus Step: Drink Up. Okay, so there’s a tiny bit more to the equation. Staying hydrated is important and how you do it is important too. Wash your nutritious, well-balance convenience meal down with water, black coffee, or tea – and plenty of it. And maybe eat a square of extra dark chocolate for good measure.
For more information about this article or others, please email us at FLIKblog@compass-usa.com.