Easy low-carb snacks for travel

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, kosher baby dill, String cheese.

It is summer.

You’re traveling.

Most importantly, 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.

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!

More Snack Ideas:

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

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