It’s difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle while traveling, especially when it comes to food. We rarely have access to familiar provisions on long layovers, road trips and in foreign countries.
In Thailand, I was warned not to eat fresh vegetables because they’re washed in filthy water. What? No vegetables? But that’s 90% of my diet…
In Ireland, everything was deep fried, starch, or roamed in a pasture the day before finding its way onto my plate…
Eating local delicacies is a part of travel, but when you’re health conscious and have specific dietary needs, you might consider packing your own fare so your body can get what it needs.
Below are my top 10 favorite healthy travel snacks that I never leave home without:
1. Dehydrated Organic Greens:
Fresh vegetables are hard to find in certain countries, so I always make sure to bring along dehydrated vegetable, grass and sprout powders to mix into my drinks. Green powders provide essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids, chlorophyll and some protein to support healthy digestion, detoxification, and a healthy immune system.
Recommended Brands: Garden of Life Perfect Food Raw Organic Green Superfood (high grass, veggie and fruit concentration), Orac Energy Greens (best taste; more fruits and grasses), Vibrant Health Green Vibrance (*best selling: most protein from spirulina, a vegetarian protein source, and a variety of probiotics, seaweeds, grasses and vegetables)
2. Dried Seaweed:
Seaweed is rich in iodine and iron, as well as protein, and provides vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium and riboflavin. Nori can be eaten on its own, or if a hot water source is available, I’ll prepare dried Kombu, Wakame, or Hijiki by soaking in water and boiling until soft. Enjoy these seaweeds alone, with a side of nama shoyu (raw, unfiltered soy sauce) or liquid or coconut aminos if you’re soy averse.
3. Raw Nuts/Nut Butter
Nuts are full of good fats, protein, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E and selenium. I get my nuts in the bulk foods section of the health store because they are cheaper and usually fresher than the packaged kind. If you don’t have a health store where you live, I recommend choosing any organic or raw nuts found in most grocery stores. Be sure your nuts are not roasted because the roasting process decreases nutrients. Almonds, walnuts, brazil, hazelnuts, macadamia and pecans are the most nutritious nuts.
4. Sprouted or Organic Sunflower, Pumpkin, Hemp, and Chia Seeds
“Sprouted” means your food is alive and the health-boosting vitamins, minerals, proteins, fiber, phytonutrients and enzymes are more bioavailable. Seeds fight heart disease, lower cholesterol and are a natural anti-inflammatory powerhouse, providing high amounts of magnesium, manganese, Vitamin E and Vitamin B1.
5. Dried or Dehydrated Organic Fruits:
My favorite dried fruits are persimmons, apples, mangoes, goji berries, mulberries, goldenberries, acai berries, strawberries and raspberries. Berries are a source of Vitamin C, antioxidants and phytochemicals.
6. Cacao Nibs
Cacao is a powerful antioxidant with 4 times the anti-aging compounds commonly found in goji berries; it lowers cardiovascular disease risk and flavanols reduce oxidative stress from strenuous activities.
Recommended Brands: Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Cacao Nibs
7. Kale Chips
Kale is one of the most nutritious cruciferous vegetables; it’s rich in Vitamins K, A & C and is an anti-cancer agent.
Recommended Brands: Rhythm Superfoods Kale Chips
8. Maca Powder
Maca is a strong adaptogen; it enables the body to resist and adapt to changing external conditions such as stress, trauma and anxiety; it increases energy, strength and blood circulation.
Recommended Brands: Nativas Naturals Maca Powder
9. Nutritional Yeast
The creamy, nutty and cheesy flavor of nutritional yeast makes it a perfect topper for salads or a la mode. It is a complete protein, full of B vitamins, amino acids and helps regulate blood sugar. I usually buy yeast in the bulk foods section with my nuts.
Recommended Brands: Bragg Nutritional Yeast Seasoning
10. Emergen-C Packs
Emergen-C isn’t so much of a snack as it is a Vitamin-C supplement packed with electrolytes. I mix one packet in water every 5 hours of travel time to ward off cold viruses and other bugs.
Recommended Brands: Emergen-C Lite
Honorable Mention: Stevia extract. I bring a bottle of stevia wherever I go. It is a natural sweetener that I use for tea and veggie juices. Stevia is an herb, which has zero effect on blood sugar levels.