It’s all too easy to forgo your health whilst travelling when adopting the, “I’m on holidays and therefore I’m allowed to indulge and do whatever the hell I want…. again, because I’m holidays.” Yes, ok, in some situations, it’s amazing to indulge. Granted, you are on holidays. I get it. So I’ll let that excuse to slip in on the odd occasion. For some people, taking a short weekend trip or even a trip that’s less than a month, ‘indulging‘ may not be such a big deal. Soon enough, you’ll be home and able to resume life as normal and all will be back to normal. For those of us who are on the road for a prolonged or even undefined period of time, if you maintain this attitude and lifestyle beyond a few weeks, you may simply find yourself either lacking energy, your immune system burned out or yourself locked forever in the toilet cubicle or worse yet, your head in the gutter. All that, and not to mention the rather depressing number dwindling in your bank account.
A whole new set of challenges present themselves when travel in itself turns into a full time job. Things such as finding access to healthy and fresh produce, cooking your own food and being able to do all this within a manageable budget become daily chores requiring a lot of forethought and organisation. At the end of the day, we all have to eat. Sadly, this is the first things that gets the karate chopped when people budget for travel, much to the sacrifice of ones health.
As a backpacker, we don’t have the luxury of splurging every night on 5 star dining (unless you’re gallivanting around the globe thanks to a nice inheritance. You lucky son of a daisy). You have to find a sustainable way to live, not only for your health, but as much for your sanity whilst juggling the uncertainty that each new city presents itself with. Keeping your backpack stoked with handy snacks that are both affordable and totally good for you is the best way to keep the belly and your health, happy. I’m not comparing this against a $1 cheeseburger. Seriously folks, that’s not food. You’re better off eating a bowl of rice.
So what are some things that I’ve been known to take on the road with me? Here are some of my favourite healthy travel snacks.
9 Healthy Travel Snacks
Raw nuts and seeds
I love macadamia nuts for their preferred Omega 3:6 balance and pepitas for some extra zinc so these are usually my go-tos. Most raw nuts are absolutely fine though as long as you don’t gobble them up by the handful. If you can moderate your snacking, then it’s handy to keep some in your backpack.
These are easy to keep in a sealed packet in your bag and whip out when you want to add to some coconut water, a salad or any meal really. They add an omega 3 nutrient boost and supposedly, encourage longer lasting energy.
I LOVE the taste of coconut water and find it very hydrating and readily available in many places I’ve travelled. Win-win if you can source the whole coconut too! Strangely, I have a tendency to crave it after long haul flights or nights where I’ve let the hair down a little bit too much. Might be my body telling me something!
If you can get your hands on some good quality grass-fed jerky, it’s a great protein option that’s shelf stable for those times when you’re out hiking or won’t have access to a fridge. Just be sure it doesn’t have any undesirable additives or preservatives on the ingredient list. I love to pack a few for those long haul bus journeys.
I consider this an American novelty as I haven’t really come across mini carrots back home. But the convenient snack size and packets makes them easily transportable. I’m carrot obsessed so you’ll often see me crunchy on these along the way.
When traveling through tropical destinations, you can’t help but indulge in the vast array of tropical fruits on display. The banana and Avocado being a favourite for me (simple to peel the skin off and eat). Opting for organic where ever possible will make it easier to consume without needing to peel but sometimes you just don’t know. Although, when traveling through less developed countries, unless you really know the source, you will probably want to peel the fruit regardless as they often don’t have access to clean water when washing their food. Yes, I carry a peeler with me. You never know when it’ll come in handy!
Canned Sardines, Smoked Oysters or Salmon
Too bad if you don’t do seafood because these are very convenient options for travel as they’re nicely packed and canned and will last the test of time. I opt for wild caught varieties and sardines are a staple for me as they are one of the lowest in mercury and nutritious powerhouses!
Depends on where you’re travelling if these are readily available but I can’t NOT include the humble avo. It’s fairly easy to transport as I eat them by the half (or whole) anyway. Simply seal the remaining half in a ziplock baggy and away you go. A small squeeze of lemon juice will help prevent the exposed flesh from browning, otherwise, you can simply scrape it back when you’re ready to eat. Avocados will simply continue to ripen if left out of the fridge, but it’s not like mine last that long anyway before they get eaten.
Transport coconut oil in a small, well sealed jar. Plastic, whilst not optimal I know, is certainly the safer option in this case. It’s super handy to have some of this oil on hand to cook with as it’s not always easily accessibly and saves cooking with nasty highly-refined seed oils that are stock standard in most accommodation that offers a kitchen. Oh, and you can always have a teaspoon here or there for extra energy. Coconut Oil is also amazingly shelf stable, so you it won’t matter if you are constantly moving between cold and hot climates. It will outlast you on the road!
What are your favourite healthy travel snacks?
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