6 Tips for Clean Paleo Food on the Go: Emergencies, Travel, Busy Schedules and Outdoor Adventures.
High-quality paleo travel food can be hard to find.
1. Travel food should be grab and go.
Let’s face it: If your choices require lots of planning or preparation they may not end up being choices! Snacks should either be easy to prepare in advance (when you have the time and the will) or just be something you can keep stocked in your pantry or stashed in your glove box as a go-to item.
2. Don’t eat what you don’t want to eat.
Often on the run we're left “having to eat” food that makes us feel unwell or sabotages our goals because we are out of options. Be picky AND prepared to make sure that you don't have to compromise.
3. Your snacks should be tasty and have enough variety.
If you’re turned off by your healthy food, it will be much harder to say no to non-paleo snacks and treats, including all sorts of junky carb- and sugar- heavy foods that will make you feel and perform badly later.
4. Your travel meal should offer more than just carbs and sugar.
It should include healthy fats and protein for longer-burning energy. Ideally you'll get a mix of all three macronutrients in your 'meals'.
5. Snacks should signal to your brain and body that you've indeed eaten.
The texture of the food, and therefore your need to chew plays a big role in this. The problem with a lot of drinkable meal replacements is that you can still feel hungry after consuming calories.
6. Food must fit the situation: temperature-stable and not too messy.
Some foods need an ice-pack or some wet wipes. If you can bring that along, great! If not, make sure you’ve got a better option.
For something that checks all the on-the-go food boxes above, try nutrient-dense, high quality clean real-food bars, like YAWP!
YAWP! bars are safe and stable at all temperatures for months, without using any preservatives or mysterious ingredients. YAWP! is built on a base of nutrient-dense organic almonds and seeds, held together with just one date per bar, and seasoned with a blend of spices. Each YAWP! bar delivers all three macronutrients: including 7 grams of protein, healthy fats and moderate carbs. It has a unique, very satiating crunchy texture that requires chewing. It has a restrained sweetness and comes in three subtle flavors for some variety.
YAWP! bars stand alone to satisfy and keep you going, and can also be paired with other foods for a more substantial meal and added variety. They packs a huge energy punch into something lightweight and portable. YAWP! doesn't weigh you down, before or after eating. It is truly grab and go. Stash it in your desk, glove box, purse or pantry so you're always prepared.
YAWP! is also Paleo-Certified and Whole30 compliant, with no grains, soy, dairy, syrups or added sugars. It can serve as the mainstay of your travel and emergency meals, providing a balanced source of protein, healthy fats, and moderate carbs in a satisfying grab-and-go package!
Here are some other ideas we just used on a recent sunrise solstice hike to Calloway Peak on Grandfather Mountain in NC. These five go-to foods meet the above-listed criteria to different degrees, are satisfying alone, but do even better in combination for variety and satisfaction:
Pros: An obvious go-to source for protein and healthy fats.
Cons: Only last a day at room temperature. Need to be cooked. Can be gross with too much repetition. Should be paired with something offering a bit of starchy carbs for active folks.
Tip: Cook them the night before the expedition so they're ready to go. Peel and pack in a lightweight ziploc container so they don't get crushed…
Cured or dried meats like prosciutto or jerky.
Pros: Another source of protein, and often helps stave off the boredom and disgust yet more hard-boiled eggs might otherwise provoke.
Cons: Very salty, and it can be hard to find brands that don't come with lots of sugar as well. Cured meats are ok for about a day out of refrigeration.
Tip: some brands even come in a handy re-closable pouch, but you can also always re-pack into a zip top baggie for convenience or single-serve portions. Wrap the prosciutto around the hard-boiled egg for a great on the trail indulgence!
Dark Chocolate (make sure it is high-quality)
Pros: This is great for a portable, no-boiling-water-needed source of caffeine, antioxidants, healthy fats and theobromine (excellent for those early morning hikes where you don't want to mess with making coffee or a fire…)
Cons: Can melt if left in the sun or the car, and contains added sugar. It doesn't supply protein.
Tip: Seek out a good source and eat in moderation. Look for one that doesn't have anything but cocoa beans and a little cane sugar, for example TAZA. A little of this goes a long way, it is so strong!
Fresh Fruit or Veggies
Pros: Gives you the freshness and crunch you're craving, the phytochemicals, the moisture and variety. Stable for several days at room temperature, depending on the veg/fruit and level of ripeness. Try apples, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, berries, grapes, celery and mini persian cukes.
Cons: Alone, this will leave you feeling hungry and not supply you with much-needed fats and proteins. Can be messy and require a knife or other prep.
Tip: choose a fruit (like apples) that doesn't crush, or pack in some light weight Ziploc containers to protect softer fruits like berries or peaches.
Need we say more?
Traveling and maintaining a healthy eating style can be tricky. The biggest mistake is not being prepared at all, followed by not being realistic about what you'll really be able to carry and what you'll actually stick to eating and find satisfying. It's important to have a go-to game plan that you know will work and that you can count on without too much preparation.
We know what we're talking about. YAWP! was developed out of frustration, disgust and hunger brought on by a series of flight cancellations and delays. After a long process of experimentation and design, we've created a go-to reliable option, fussing and breakdowns avoided.
We want to be out, having fun, focusing on our friends, the beauty of nature and going after our goals. We don't need to obsess about food, feel deprived, or compromise our healthy nutritional choices while doing it, and neither do you!