Meal Prep 101.2 Travel snacks are a game changer and a stress reliever.

My mother realized very early in my life “I am hungry,” means we have approximately one hour before I am throwing up in the back seat of this car. She also learned early on that I could not handle junk food or sodas very well. It seemed to amplify the bad hunger side effects and eating it too early in the day usually caused stomach problems. I couldn’t even eat Trix or Fruity Pebbles for breakfast. My mom bought me Wheaties, Raisin Bran and oatmeal, which I love. She bought me all the fruits, vegetables, nuts, meat, cheese and wheat bread my heart desired. My mom always made sure I had plenty of healthy foods in the house and in the car.

I have made it a priority to keep snacks near me ninety-five percent of the time and water with me 100% of the time. Why? Well, as noted above, I get sick. Headaches, dizziness, shakiness, my head in a trash can heaving and the worst...blackouts. It’s no bueno my friends. My whole life it’s been this way. When my internal timer goes off, I have about 45 minutes before all hell breaks loose. It’s best for all parties involved that I have some emergency snacks around. I am not talking about candy bars either. When I say snacks, I mean protein, healthy fats and some carbs. I need all three. Oddly enough, I married a man who has this exact same trait. It’s fantastic to have someone that understands this to the core.

I have been very aware of how my body responds to different foods since I was about ten. I have learned all the quirks and nuances that influence how I feel. I used to get anxious about eating while traveling or going to events. Are we getting fast food? Will there be healthy options? Am I limited to a vending machine? Is there anything healthy in the vending machine?

Stopping to get fast food multiple times on a trip does not work for me. It’s costly and I feel miserable after I eat it more than once in a day. If I am hungry and a little more restricted in calories, I don’t want to blow my calories on a hot dog at a ball game. I do love a good hot dog, but it’s not always on my plan. Many activities such as birthday parties, football games, 5k's, triathlons, flight delays, grocery shopping, getting stuck in traffic and running into people, take place between meal times. It’s life. To avoid a worst case scenario, I keep high protein and convenient travel snacks around. I can almost always pull something out of my bag to buy an extra hour or two. Travel snacks are a game changer and a stress reliever.

It’s not rocket science so, don’t over complicate it. It’s not always a gourmet option. Let that sink in. It's not...always a gourmet option. Don't fixate on comparing everything you put in your mouth to an award winning pie you once ate. A protein bar wrapper may lead you to believe a candy bar waits on the inside, but as most of us know from experience, it doesn’t. That’s okay. It gets the job done and keeps you on track while life goes on around you. You are making a quick stop to refuel the tank. It doesn't have to be sexy. Eat. Move on. Be prepared to make adjustments so you can keep winning.

My top choices (first picture above) include: protein bars, pre-made protein shakes, nuts, protein chips, apples, banana chips and tuna packs. Easy.

  • Combine a shake, nuts and a fruit. Easy.

  • Combine an apple and a tuna pack. The tuna packs have a fork included. Easy.

  • Combine a bar and some banana chips or just eat the bar. Easy.

  • Want a candy bar? Get Quest Peanut Butter Cups. SERIOUSLY! These are amazing! Easy.

  • Combine some nuts and a fruit. Easy.

There are a lot of options out there. Whenever we take a long road trip or have a long day away from home planned, I pack a small cooler. I fill it with yogurts, low fat cheese sticks, individual hummus pods, turkey sandwiches and coke zeros. It definitely helps. Bonus: We get to our destination quicker since we are not constantly looking for food on the road.

Give this a try and it will make your life a lot easier. You will feel better too. It's a stress free win that keeps your life and your belly on track.

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