As anyone on a restricted diet knows, having snacks on hand to fight the occasional craving is essential. When I'm on campus and I get hungry, it takes a lot of effort to resist cravings, especially for carbs. I make sure to have some paleo snacks on hand for these moments.
However, when going on extended trips away from home, you need to take things up a notch. When you don't have the luxury of choosing every meal and snack, you are more prone to letting up on restrictions.
This is why I recommend saving some space in your bags for snacks to conquer these cravings. It may seem excessive, but your body will thank you later.
I've compiled a list that helps me stay on track with my paleo habits, but many of these snacks apply to gluten-free and reduced sugar diets as well!
It might seem confusing to start off a snack list with water, but let me explain. During class, while watching tv, or while riding on the T, I get hungry. I have identified this hunger as "boredom hunger". No, this is not scientific, but I have found that I often get hungry when I'm just sitting around.
Before getting lured in by the smell of bread baking in Panera, or spending money on food that you don't need to, try drinking water. Sometimes I think my hunger is an illusion created by my desire to eat what I shouldn't. Drinking water has helped me personally with this as it fills me up.
2. Protein Bars
I always pack protein bars. They are a perfect snack to have when you aren't sure about meal options. I was recently at a dance conference on a college campus with only a small cafe.
To avoid caving in and eating the bread on sandwiches, I ate protein bars with a small side salad and nuts. Some of my favorite brands are RX Bars and Power Crunch.
Nuts are a wonderful snack. I almost always have some sort of nut and seed mixture for my extra long days. Nuts have protein and essential fatty acids that help satisfy pangs of hunger between meals.
Trader Joe's sells nearly every kinda of nut and seed imaginable, and they have many with delicious seasoning. Try smokey barbecue almonds or coconut cashews!
4. Dried Fruit
This might come as a surprise, but dried fruit has been a saving grace for me. I truly believe that dried fruit is nature's candy.
For another dance conference recently, my team had to drive six hours. Many of my teammates grabbed candy bars, but I ate dried mango instead. It satisfies the sweet tooth and helps to reduce the insulin spikes that candy cause.
Try dates, cranberries, or cherries, just make sure there is no sugar added.
5. Coconut Water
Coconut water is a great alternative to sodas and fruit juices. Coconut water is naturally hydrating and has a ton of electrolytes. It also has a naturally sweet taste that can quench the craving for something sugary.
I typically try to only drink water or tea, but sometimes I want something extra like coconut water. It's especially useful for plane trips to stay hydrated and resist the temptation of sodas.