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Posts Tagged ‘Travel Snacks’

Note the black, matte packaging and “manly” flavors, clearly marketing to men. Three different flavors of the King STRONG bars: Hickory Smoked, Honey Mustard, and Thai Sweet Chili

Three different flavors of the King STRONG bars: Hickory Smoked, Honey Mustard, and Thai Sweet Chili

I’m not sure if you actually get more volume out of the Kind STRONG Honey Mustard bar or if the ingredients are more “smushed” so it looks more filled.

 

Note: I was not compensated for this post nor did KIND know about this post prior to me publishing it. 

One of the questions I took to my dietician was snack ideas that would be good for my hypoglycemia, good for me overall, and were reasonable in cost.  She highly recommends KIND bars. Originally, I was eating the KIND + protein bars, but these didn’t seem to fill me up. She figured-out that my snacks need to be at 230 calories, so she recommended the higher-calorie KIND & Strong bars.

As a marketer, these bars make me laugh. They are clearly marketed to men, with the “savory” flavors and the black matte packaging, so I’ve nicknamed them “Bro Bars.” And, I was really skeptical of the non-sweet flavors because, like everyone else, I’ve been conditioned by the “bar” market to expect energy/protein bars to be sweet.

But they keep me full, keep my blood sugar even, and are actually quite good (once you get over your sweet expectation). These have become a staple in our house and a regular healthy snack when I’m traveling.

I’m also a fan of the price, which is about $1.20 each compared to other protein bars at $2.50 each.

Final note: These are really hard to find at local grocery stores. I contacted KIND and they recommended a few stores, one of which was Target, so that’s where I grab mine.

 

 

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I went to my dietician to find out what snacks I could eat, as a hypoglycemic, that are good for me, will keep my blood sugar even, and keep me full.

She really emphasized balancing carbs, protein, and fat in my snacks, so you’ll see that below. I had asked specifically for very portable snacks since I travel a lot.

Note: She had originally gave me 200 calorie snacks, but I was still hungry two hours later, so these are all around 230 to 240 calories. You may need to adjust up or down depending on your activity level (I burn 1,400 calories just resting each day).

 

 

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I live in Texas, which is technically the South, but last week I was in an area of the country that was, what most people would consider, the “deep south.” I was there for a work conference, staying at a major university hotel with a conference center attached to it.

Food

The hotel is about 10 minutes walking distance from other food options. Luckily, they do have a cafeteria, but healthy options are not this cafeteria’s strong point. Breakfast was biscuits and gravy, eggs,  grits, potatoes, and bacon. The lunch special was fried chicken.

How I got around it:

  • I asked for eggs and two pieces of whole wheat toast for breakfast each morning. They didn’t have peanut butter, but luckily I’d brought my own. So I put that on the toast with a little bit of grape jelly (I know, I know, that is bad, it was less than one of the individual servings each day) and had that.
  • The first day lunch I was able to get a turkey sandwich wrap made with turkey, cheese, lettuce and mustard. I ended-up tearing off about 1/3 of the tortilla.
  • I went to a local organic grocery store and stocked-up on vegetables, Greek yogurt, and fruit. I’d brought peanut butter, nuts and various protein bars with me, so I had those for snacks. The hotel room had a fridge. If not, I request a medical exemption (I don’t tell them that I’m hypoglycemic, I just request one) and ask for a fridge.
  • For dinners, I chose the healthiest thing I could on the menu where we went. The night I was on my own, I went to vegetarian restaurant and had tofu, falafel, and veggies.

 

Fitness

The fitness center was pretty much non-existent. It was a hotel room converted into a fitness center. It had 2 old treadmills, 2 old elliptical machines, one old reclining bike, an ab bench, and a mat for floor work. No weights, and exceptionally low ceilings (a normal jump up meant I hit the top of the ceiling). I could buy a pass to the university gym for $7 per day, but I’m too cheap for that and didn’t feel like working out with that many students.

Here’s how I made it work:

  • I did a Pilates video one day
  • The next day, I did HITT training exercises for 20 minutes, then had some time later in the day for an hour long walk around the campus (which, thankfully, was very hilly and beautiful weather)
  • The following day, I did an online no weights exercise video (not linking to it because I didn’t like it that much).
  • The following day, back to the HITT training and hour long walk

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My work wellness coach believes very heavily in the coaching part of her job, which means she doesn’t want to give you advice, just “coach” you and motivate you to come up with your own solutions. The following is a general idea (this is meant to be humorous) of what went down during our call.

Her: What’s your goal for our coaching sessions?

Me: I need help adjusting my food to higher-protein, lower-carb options, while still getting a lot of vegetables in. I especially need help with finding high protein snacks for on-the-go. I’m bored with my current set of snacks.

Her: Ok, how could you find help?

Me: I can call you and ask you.

Her: How ELSE could you find help? What could you do on your own?

Me: Calling you, an expert is helping myself.

Her: What could you do OTHER than call me?

Me: I know what you want me to say, you want me to come up with ways to research this on my own and I get it, “help people help themselves.” But the reality is, I’m a highly motivated person and I’ve already done everything else. I’ve read diabetic magazines, searched the web for recipes, gotten on bodybuilder forums thinking they’d have a lot of ideas, interviewed friends, and more. Logically speaking, considering my efforts thus far haven’t been very successful, the next most logical actionable step is to seek the help of someone more educated than I, which is you. So, while I appreciate what you are trying to do the best way for me to help myself at this point is to seek answers directly from you, my wellness coach.

Her: (exasperated, mumbled off a few names of some recipe books, told me to eat more beans and said we’d check back with each other in a couple of weeks…which didn’t happen).

Ah well, back to the drawing board :-). To be fair, I’ve had other wellness coaches that helped me immensely and her approach is correct for a majority of folks, just not me.

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Two cooler bags full of chopped carrots, celery, cucumbers and water,

Recently, I was in a city about 4 hours away from me for 4 days for a conference. The hotel had a refrigerator in it (thank you Hyatt!) so I packed-up a bunch of veggies, hummus, and other healthy snacks and hit the road! it definitely made eating healthier much easier and kept my hypoglycemia in check.

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This particular salad I made at Whole Foods has tons of tofu (great source of protein and can be out of the fridge for a couple of hours), spring mix, corn, edamame, carrots, parmesan cheese (also ok outside of a fridge), and mixed peppers. No dressing.

This particular salad I made at Whole Foods has tons of tofu (great source of protein and can be out of the fridge for a couple of hours), spring mix, corn, edamame, carrots, parmesan cheese (also ok outside of a fridge), raisins, and mixed peppers. No dressing.

I travel often for work, and am always looking for ways to eat healthy and inexpensively (since I’m on a per diem). One of my favorite solutions? Whole Foods salads.

Before my trip, I head to Whole Foods and build a protein-rich, vegetable-packed salad to take to the airport with me. They give you a rubber band to keep it closed and silverware to eat it with, so it’s really convenient and fits well in my backpack. In terms of how long it will last, with tofu and no dressing, I figure it’s good for at least 1 day in a fridge and 4 hours outside of a fridge.

In terms of benefits:

  • Depending on what I put in there, the salad $8-$10, so way less expensive than airport food.
  • Whole Foods doesn’t allow “hydrogenated fats and artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives” in their food, so it’s much healthier.
  • It’s also a lot healthier than the burger or pizza at the airport and helps maintain your weight.
  • I don’t have to rush around the airport looking for food.
  • Since I’ve started doing this, I’ve noticed I get sick a lot less often while traveling. I think it’s because of all of the vitamins that I’m eating.

In terms of TSA and security, I’ve never had an issue doing this. They don’t even mention my salad.

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A photo of a counter and a fridge in a hotel room stocked with healthy food

This was my “stash” of food for four days in Nashville. Note: i got lucky and got a bigger fridge than most people do.

I’ve written before on travel tips for hypoglycemics and healthy eaters. But, to give you a solid photo example from a food perspective, this is my stash after unpacking and a grocery store run in Nashville, TN. Admittedly, this ended up being too much food (my friend who lived locally got the leftovers I couldn’t pack), but it gives you an idea of how I stock-up when traveling to avoid making poor food choices.

I was staying at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, which is known for expensive and not-so-good food. With a per diem budget of $66 per day (translation: not enough) and crappy food all around me, I tried to eat as many meals in my hotel as possible.

Here’s the full list of what I brought with me:

– Dried cranberries

– Emerald 100 packs of nuts

– PB2

– Local Texas Honey

– Lean Body protein powder

– Optimum Gold Standard Casein Powder

– Trader Joe’s Rosemary Raisin Crackers

– Paper plates

– Silverware

– Small plastic cups for the protein powder

 

What I bought at the store (about $45 total):

– Bananas

– Apples

– Clementines

– Salad mix

– Carrots

– Green Beans

– Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt

– Quaker Oats individual oatmeal cups

– Goat cheese

– 9 Grain bread

– Raisins (whoops, forgot to pack those)

– Caramel rice cakes (which were YUMMMY in the Greek Yogurt)

 

From this, I was able to:

– Have a ton of hypoglycemic-friendly snacks

– Mixed greens salads with goat cheese (protein) and cranberries (carbs) with 2 slices of 9-grain bread (for carbs/calories)

– PB2 & honey sandwiches with carrots and green beans

– Avoid most other food costs

 

And yes…I still splurged on a KILLER BBQ meal at Jacks Barbecue.

 

 

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