Sane Snacks In a Chaotic, High-Carb Travel World

Pictured (starting at top right): Flax cracker with cream cheese and fresh dill, Swiss/pastrami rolls-ups, cherry tomatoes, green olives, fresh parsley, Havarti cheese, Dill kosher baby dill, String cheese.

It is summer. You’re traveling. You’re hungry. You’re in a time pinch and you’re not sure what to take on the airplane or your car while you’re on the road. Sometimes visualization is the key to healthful eating. Most of the items above can be packed in a lunch, can go on the airplane with you, or can survive a car trip to a summer destination. They’re not only convenient and oh so prittay, but they’re a valuable asset to preparedness (and keeping you out of a bag of red twisty licorice).

Flax cracker with cream cheese and fresh dill: One of my perennial favorites and chock full of fiber, these are so easy to prepare in advance and have ready to go for any occasion. Just soften cream cheese (or, better yet, if you don’t keep fresh dill laying around), add a bit of dill to the cream cheese and stir, pre-spread.

Flax gives you omega-3’s, and due to its extremely high-fiber content, you’re looking at 0-net carbohydrates for each cracker. This isn’t license to go nuts, however. Too much flax has a very uncomfortable effect digestively.

Swiss and Pastrami roll-ups: These not only look pretty, but because all of the carbs are in the holes of the cheese (I know! I’m very scientificy), you’re looking at only 1 carb for each roll-up. Protein and fat in the meat has staying power, along with the fat in the cheese, and you’re providing yourself with calcium to keep your bones strong. You can add lettuce to the center, but sprouts will not disappoint.

Cherry tomatoes: I love cherry tomatoes and eat them like little apples. I used to put them in my cheeks (facial, thanks) and squish my hands to my face just to feel them sploosh into my mouth. (Note: Stop trying this when you’re using your laptop). Grape tomatoes are a new variety and are easy to carry.

Green olives have a great taste whose pungency helps offset the mildness of the other items on the tray. while pastrami and cheese are spicy/bland, olives give a bit of punch to the palate, and are very easy to transport. Their higher sodium value should be kept in mind, but the best part of olive oil are the actual olives, and their natural fats have staying power along with a flavor punch.

Havarti is a fun cheese. Softer than a cheddar, it is excellent as an accoutrement to tomatoes, or can be softened and spread on your flax cracker. The fat helps this rest in your digestive system for a longer period of time, and the flavor is so wonderfully intense (but not overpowering) that a little of this goes a long way.

Fresh Parsley is fantastic, not only as fiber, but is a breath freshener for the folks out there who don’t have their toothbrushes handy.

Pepperoni slices are probably the least healthy portion of a snack, but used as makeshift crackers, these can cradle individual slices of smaller-cut cheese or the Havarti. The fat and protein definitely sticks with a body for the entire day, but the sodium and additives can be problematic for some. Still, extremely portable, only 16 slices as a serving is more than enough to zip your bip and fill your stomach.

Baby Kosher Dill Pickles are a great portable snack that hold up well under various weather and temperature situations. Many claim that dill pickles help satisfy a sweet tooth, and their flavor make one enough, especially considering that pickles can add up in carbohydrates rather quickly. If you are on a candida diet, you might want to avoid these, as they are treated with vinegar and can exacerbate any conditions you’re trying to avoid.

String Cheese— Happiness and entertainment in a single serve packet, loaded with calcium and fat, these are a fun snack to have along for the ride. Kids love peeling the layers. Make certain to buy full-fat, or these turn to sugar in the blood stream more quickly than would be convenient for the busy traveler. If you follow South Beach or another low-fat plan, buying the low-fat versions will be in your best interest, unless you can spare the fat in your daily allowance.

Other snack choices:

Macadamia nuts
Fresh mushrooms
Oopsie rolls (with sandwich spreads)
Hard-boiled eggs

While liquids aren’t allowed on airplanes, bottles of water, partially frozen before a car trip will not only help keep vittles cold, they’ll provide refreshing libation (drinky enjoyment) on the road.

Make sure to recycle those bottles, eat smart, and have a healthy trip.

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  1. Chai Latté says

    Thank you for your uncanny timeliness! I just got off the phone from booking a little weekend getaway, and I was worrying about my diet.


  2. genevieve says

    Hey, question:
    I had no idea flax crackers were so Atkins-friendly! I went to a chain grocery store today (Dillon’s/Kroger/Gerbes) to find some, and scoured both the health/natural-foods and the cracker section, to no avail. Flaxseed flour I found (and Almond Breeze, yay!), but no crackers. Should I keep checking regular grocery stores, or do I need to visit a more specialized natural-foods store?

    Thanks….and you are AWESOME.

  3. Anonymous says

    These are great ideas for vehicular travel, but (not to be critical) they just won’t cut it for anything more than a short airplane flight. That is, of course, because you can’t bring gel-packs to keep your food from spoiling.

    In order to satisfy the TSA and to make SURE I had food to eat (eight and a half hour flight, NO food except sandwiches they were selling for a ridiculous price), I brought several packs of Justin’s peanut butter (they must be placed in the 1-quart clear bag used for liquids) and some homemade (very healthy and WLS-friendly) granola (this can go in unlimited quantity and is not required to be placed in the clear bag, since there’s no liquid) and, to make SURE I didn’t starve to death, several Atkins bars (the ones without the sugar alcohols – wouldn’t do THAT to my fellow travelers).

    I also made some homemade BAKED protein bars (less likely to spoil) and used them for a main meal substitute.

    This got me nicely through the interminable flight and I had plenty left over to keep and use for the flight back.

  4. Gone to the Beach..... says

    That looks mighty tasty. Would make a great lunch for a day at the beach or a quick picnic when out running around town.

  5. sashagregor says

    Thank you for the wonderful suggestions! At the risk of sounding induction-obsessed, do you happen to know if flax meal is induction friendly? I’m back on induction (lost 40 lbs via Atkins 5 years ago, but gained 15 back this year after surgery) and I’ve been avoiding the beloved flax crackers because I thought flax was a no-no on induction. Do you know if that’s true?

    PS -I LOVE the Oopsies Rolls. I stir a bit of DaVinci Raspberry into a bit of cream cheese and spread on a frozen Oopsie for an amazing Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish!

    PPS to Genevieve – the Flax Cracker Recipe is at Low Carb Friends Bulletin Board. I’m sorry I don’t have the addy at the moment. You might also try GG Scandinavian Bran Crispread (google it) which has NO carbs! It’s amazing.

  6. cleochatra says

    Flax is induction friendly up to 2 Tbsp per day!

    I will try and get caught up on comments.

    If you guys want to make your own flax crackers, check the right side of my blog. That’s where the recipes are.

    Flax crackers are under “Breads” and it’s listed as a better than WASA flax cracker. EASY! Totally easy to make.

    It’s a recipe and worth it! Yum!

    Anonymous, I would love your protein bar recipe! Thanks so much for that tremendous information!

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