Monday, December 23, 2013

Meatless Monday: 7 Healthy Car Snacks

The best thing about the long drive in a Zipcar to my boyfriend's mom place is the snacks.

My favorite car snacks used to be Tias, Newman-O's cookies, nuts, and bananas. Not terrible, but sometimes I'd have a sugar crash and feel lethargic by the time we reached our destination. Also, while nuts and fruit is good, corn chips and cookies are pretty high calorie/ low nutrient, which is not really a good thing when you're eating for recreation.

Now that I'm studying to become a health coach, I find myself yearning to eat a little bit better while we travel this holiday. Here are seven healthier snacks I plan on packing into our feed bag. They're easily portable, tasty at car temperature, and easy to pop into your face.

  1. Kale chips: I like Alive and Radiant, the one's at Wildflour Bakery, and pretty much any other kale chip I've ever purchased. Of course, you can make your own too. Here's a recipe for cheesy vegan kale chips featuring cashews and red pepper. Here's one for supersimple kale chips that I hope to try later today.
  2. Kelp/ Kombu: I made an impulse buy of Maine Coast sea veggies at Whole Foods. (I guess that's the kind of thing that happens when you're an Institute for Integrative Nutrition student. LOL!) Looks like I can roast this (200 degrees for 5-8 minutes) to make a yummy snack.
  3. Apples & clementines
  4. Celery sticks: Crunchy goodness!
  5. Roasted chickpeas: This will be a new snack for me, but it looks easy to make.
  6. Dark chocolate bar: I'm excited to pack Lake Champlain's Aztec Dark Chocolate Bar with pumpkin seeds, cayenne, and cinnamon. It's made with organic and fair trade ingredients too! Yes, it's got sugar, but it's healthier than cookies and it's so rich it's not that easy to over-eat.
  7. Bestovers Salad: I plan to mix whatever leftover simple veggies, grains, and seeds we have and putting that into a container to enjoy on the road. Marinated hearty greens (like collards, kale, or mustard greens) and/or cabbage are good to use in place of gentler salad greens, which can get soggy.
Don't forget to stay hydrated when traveling. I always avoid sugary drinks, plastic waste, and plastic toxins by packing filtered water my Klean Kanteen. If you prefer, you can use a glass beverage bottle like this one from Lifefactory. Mason jars topped with EcoJarz lid are a great way to travel with juices or smoothies from home. Options abound!

When eating on the go, there is always to issue of dirty hands. Can you really expect your hands to stay clean when touching all the handles and do-dads on the car, especially a rental car? It's kinda gross when you think about it. Washing hands with soap and water is best, but obviously it's impossible to do that in a car. I recommend EO Hand Sanitizer or rubbing your hands with two drops of lavender essential oil before eating.

What are your favorite car snacks? Do you use ZipCar? Sign up with my link and get $25 free driving credit.

Olivia Lovejoy is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning.   

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