Do You Struggle With Snacks?

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Hey, Cleanish Squad!  

One of the most common requests I get asked is to share what healthy snacks I recommend. Finding healthy snacks can be a pain any time of year, whether it’s during that 3 pm slump at work or when you’re stuck in the car on a long summer road trip.

In fact, I recently came head-on with this issue on our recent road trip through Utah and Arizona (which was ah-mazing, btw!). We stopped at a gas station which was pretty-well stocked, and I wanted to find a quick snack to enjoy on the next leg of the drive.

Here’s a quick pic of us all at Zion National Park - it was unreal!

Back to my story! Everywhere I turned, I found packaged foods with highly processed, unhealthy ingredients, like:

  • High fructose corn syrup, which contributes to inflammation and is associated with an increased risk for non-fatty liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer (*)

  • Artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin, which have been linked to weight gain, and a higher risk for stroke and heart disease (*)

  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG), which has been associated with weight gain and metabolic syndrome (*)

  • Artificial food coloring, which has been raising concerns as a potential carcinogen and allergen (*)

  • Sodium Nitrite, which has been associated with a higher risk of stomach, colorectal, breast, and bladder cancer (*)

  • Carrageenan, which has been shown in studies to increase fasted blood glucose levels, trigger inflammation, and increase insulin insensitivity (*)

  • Trans fat, which has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes (*)

I finally decided to just buy a Topo Chico Sparkling Water, and I had it with the snacks I already had in the truck, which were a bag of Lesser Evil Himalayan Pink Salt Popcorn and a Cherry Pie Lara Bar.

While the world wouldn’t have ended had I succumbed to the excitement of something sweet and fun and instead grabbed some Sour Patch Kids and a Mexican Cola, I would have likely felt pretty crummy and regretted my decision later down the road.

So, if you’re struggling to find healthy snacks you can trust as part of your cleanish lifestyle, here’s how I approached the majority of our road trip:

Large Cooler.  

Coolers are amazing for a cleanish lifestyle. You can pack almost anything you’d like to have on the road from your fridge.

Here’s what I packed for us:

  1. Raw baby carrots

  2. Washed grapes

  3. Apples

  4. Mandarins

  5. String Cheese

  6. Greek yogurt

  7. Water

  8. Zevia (I like the Ginger Root Beer flavor best)

Dry Snack Bag. 

I also pack snacks that don’t require refrigeration so we can have easy snacks on hand without opening up the cooler. I use heavy-duty, insulated grocery bags, like this one.

Here’s what I packed for us:

  1. Lesser Evil Himalayan Pink Salt Popcorn

  2. Lara Bars (we brought Cherry Pie, Apple Pie, Cookie Dough, Lemon, and Coconut flavors)

  3. Pistachios (roasted and lightly salted)

  4. Almonds (roasted and lightly salted)

  5. Orbit Gum - this is something I do on flights as well. Gum works like a charm to keep you satisfied when you’re feeling snacky.

  6. Pitted Medjool Dates

  7. Lightly Salted Rice Cakes

  8. Siete Tortilla Chips

  9. Chocolate Caramel Candy Bar plant-based protein powder - Since many unrefined snacks aren’t that high in protein, I just add a scoop of protein powder to a shaker bottle with cold water from the cooler, and I have a tasty, filling sweet drink plus 20g of plant-based protein.

I have tons of Healthy Snack Recipes on the blog, including energy balls, granola bars, protein bars, dough balls, and even a tasty homemade popcorn that are all great to pack and take along.

I also recommend reading this article on how to spot hidden sugars and other processed ingredients on food labels.

The bottom line is the best solution is to have a plan for snacks. It’s much less common for us to plan out snacks, whereas it is easier to make a plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This leaves us scrambling for an option when we’re hungry and unprepared, which is a dangerous place to be when trying to eat healthy.

Setting yourself up for success with a list of healthy snacks you can easily grab can make a huge difference. You empower yourself to remove the decision fatigue of constantly having to say “no” to foods that are “fun.” Instead, you get to say “yes” to foods you enjoy that are also good for you. The more you can consistently make the cleanish choice, the better you’ll feel about your decisions, and the more your body will thrive.

Happy snacking!

Some of my favorite things this week 🙂 

  • Quote of the Week → “If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food.” – Errick McAdams

  • My Large Cooler → We pack a YETI Tundra Cooler in the back of the truck, which we fill with mostly water for long drives. It’s amazing and stays cool for much longer than any cooler I’ve ever owned. I also love how we have covered it in stickers from our travels. We’ve owned it for at least 6 years, and it’s still going strong.

  • Smaller Cooler → We pack this YETI Hopper Soft Cooler in the cab with us. This is the one that holds mostly fruit and veggies, along with a few waters. It’s great and can fit nicely in the cab of the truck. I got it as a Christmas gift for Dustin several years ago, and we use it all the time.

  • Recipe Of The Week → This Springtime Cobb Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette is one of my favorite cobb salads ever and is PERFECT for the hotter weather. It’s really easy to prepare, and the raspberry vinaigrette is killer!

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