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Even if you know an event you are going will have food, as a hypoglycemic, you still need to carry food on you for a couple of reasons:

  • You know the food with you meets your calorie/protein/carb needs.
  • There might be long lines, they may shut the food down, etc. You need to be prepared.
  • You should never go anywhere without food!
  • It’s cheaper. Eating every 3 hours can get pricey at a festival!

The process

Normally, if I’m going somewhere where I think they will not allow me to carry food in, I contact the venue/event managers a few days in advance to explain that I’m hypoglycemic and ask what I need to do. In most cases, they are absolutely great about it. They allow me to carry a small amount of food into concerts, football games, etc. by showing my medical alert necklace or bracelet to the person searching my bag.  I should mention that even the Secret Service, when I’ve been near two different U.S. Presidents, have allowed me to have food with me.

I’ve only had one concert venue give me grief and they give me grief EVERY SINGLE TIME. They always make me “check” (think coat check) my food at the emergency station. This is stupid because it’s tucked-away in a corner and hard to get to. Every time, they make me walk there with a security guard and hand my food over to the EMT’s. What they don’t know though, is once the security guard leaves, the EMT’s vent about how ridiculous it is, have me say “I need my food” and hand it right back to me before I walk back out and join my friends.

The biggest thing, I think is to be up-front and respectful and people usually accommodate. BUT, make sure you have your medical alert with you as proof.

What I carry

I usually carry pre-packaged foods so it’s less of a security issue. I carry protein bars (mindful of not carrying one that melts), nuts and dried fruit. I try to take at least two full snacks with me and plenty of money for food. You can see my usual set-up below with a small wristlet. If I can carry something bigger, I do, with an additional snack.

If I'm only allowed to carry a wristlet with me, I have in it plenty of money for food, a Clif bar, and dried fruit and nuts. My cell phone with credit card also fits.

If I’m only allowed to carry a wristlet with me, I have in it plenty of money for food, a Clif bar, and dried fruit and nuts. My cell phone with credit card also fits.

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If you are a hypoglycemic, you MUST carry food with you at all times!  There is no exception to this!  In fact, I had a doctor who, every time she saw me in her office, would make me show her that I food on me!

General Tips:

  • My general rule of thumb is to carry 9 hours worth of food (3 protein/carb snacks) with me at all times in my bag while in the U.S. (this just doesn’t mean while traveling, it’s EVERY DAY of my life) and 12 hours (4 snacks) with me while outside my own country.
  • For all of the snacks you carry with you, try to use them sparingly and replenish them as much as possible. Remember, the idea is to keep a good stash of food on you at all times, so don’t deplete your stash too much! It just pays to be prepared.  Getting into your stash as little as possible takes some pre-planning, but it’s not too difficult. If you walk into somewhere and notice a free bowl of fruit, grab an apple to eat  later instead of your dried fruit. Or, while grabbing lunch somewhere, purchase a small snack to have for your afternoon snack at the same time and carry it with you.
  • A purse isn’t the only option. You can use a backpack, satchel, briefcase, wristlet etc.

My Food Bag:

Here are two photos of my food bag that is always in my purse. The bag is a rubbery material which keeps moisture out. I picked it up in the school supply section of a store.

Purse with a bag full of food sticking out of it

One of my favorite purses and my food bag, which fits (tightly) in it.

This shows the contents of my food bag usually. 1 Clif Bar, 2 portioned bags of nuts, 1 box of raisins, 1 box of dried cranberries, and a Zone bar.

This shows the contents of my food bag usually. 1 Clif Bar, 2 portioned bags of nuts, 1 box of raisins, 1 box of dried cranberries, and a Zone bar.

So, as you can see, the total for the food bag is actually 12 hours.

  1. Clif Bar if I need something a little more substantial.
  2. 1 box of cranberries and a bag of nuts for a light snack.
  3. 1 box of raisins and a bag of nuts for a light snack.
  4. 1 Zone Bar for a light snack.

Other valuable posts:

Outline of a Hypoglycemic Diet

Travel tips for hypoglycemics and healthy eaters

How I lost the weight (and keep it off)!

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I like to go out to the bars every now and then and I absolutely LOVE to go dancing. But a full size purse in a big city, crowded night club? Yep, that’s not gonna happen. Enter the magical product called a wristlet. It’s a very tiny purse that your wear on your wrist. I found one at Target for about $13 and was able to stuff one protein bar, one box of raisins, one 100 cal pack of almonds, my iPhone, and my money/credit card/id in it no problem. I hooked my keys to it until I ate the raisins and almonds and then was able to fit them in it too. It was so convenient and I felt like I could hang out with my friends longer without having to lug around a huge purse!

Fashionistas? I noticed Coach has a LOVELY selection of wristlets for you.

Guys? No clue what you should do. You’re on your own on this one 😛

Two writstlet purses being sniffed by a kitty cat

See? Even cats think they are awesome! Photo from Flickr: evilsarah

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