Tag Archives: snacks

Apple and a Donut

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There is a natural energy cycle to a normal working day. Everyone has a morning routine that ends when they get to work. Then they pick up speed into late morning and by lunchtime, they are ready to recharge on some hopefully tasty food before finishing a few projects. But by mid-afternoon, everyone starts to feel a little tired. Their eyes droop and it gets harder to focus. In order to continue working efficiently, most people reach for a coffee, that candy bar in their desk, or head for the vending machine for a packaged pick-me-up.

But as you probably know from experience, some snacks are more effective at perking you up than others. The problem is that most people get their afternoon pick-me-up from the vending machine or an indulgent stash of desk snacks. Let’s dive into the three most tempting but least helpful snacks in the vending machine that will leave you tired all afternoon. More importantly, let’s talk about how to choose more energizing Paleo alternatives that are equally satisfying and will energize you for your day.

1) Snack Cakes

Snack cakes are by far the most tempting item in the vending machine. They look like a great option for people who are hungry again after lunch. Snack cakes seem like more food per package than other options and the sugar provides a temporary energy (and motivational) kick on a hard day. However, that energy doesn’t stick with you for long.

Alternative: Instead of refined sugary carbs, sate your sweet tooth and get that energy boost the Paleo natural way with energy balls, usually made of blended nuts, shaved coconut, raw cocoa powder, and fresh fruit. These will satisfy your sweet craving while actually filling you with energizing proteins that will help you make it to closing time.

 

2) Potato Chips

For many of us, feeling sluggish is easily answered with the taste of salt. Potato chips are a common afternoon solution when it’s hard to focus because salt granules on your tongue can effectively perk up your brain. However, chips are made of refined, pressed, and oil-fried starch and just like the snack cakes, the energy provided is only temporary. Worse, potatoes are very high on the glycemic index and have the same effect as consuming straight sugar with all the usual implications.

Alternative: If you crave a savory snack, there are tons of great Paleo alternatives. Try a small handful of salt-free mixed nuts instead.

 

3) Candy Bars

The candy bar is one of the least healthy vending machine options for your 2pm pick-me-up. But boy is it satisfying. Candy bars often have several tempting elements from the caffeine-laced chocolate to the protein-rich nuts inside. But a candy bar is also packed with unnecessary calories in sugar and fat. Not to mention the predictable sugar crash an hour later.

Don’t set yourself up for negative consequences by grabbing a candy bar from the vending machine or keeping a stash in your desk. You’ll only find yourself hungry and tired no matter how satisfying the chocolate was at first.

Alternative: A candy bar craving often signifies a need for calories and nutrient variety. Especially if you crave nuts in your chocolate. Instead of heading to the vending machine, try packing yourself a healthy trail mix of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and dark chocolate. That will definitely hit the spot without the diet-guilt of munching on a candy bar full of empty calories. It’s not perfectly Paleo, but a far better alternative to candy bars.

Many professionals make the wrong choice when looking for snacks that will keep them energized and efficient at work. And the vending machine options aren’t doing them any favors. If you want your team to face the usual afternoon drowsiness head-on, consider providing healthy snacks that are long-term sources of energy like nuts, some trail mixes, and of course fresh fruit and vegetables.

 

Pre-packed Airport SnackOur traveling ancestors had it easy. Sure, they had to hunt and gather all day long to get enough calories. But they also didn’t have to grapple with the TSA or find natural meal options in the modern airport skymall every time they went to visit relatives either.  Staying Paleo when traveling by air is one of the most challenging aspects of the Paleo lifestyle.

Airports are full of unhealthy meal options ranging from fast food and donuts to salads laden with cheese and dairy-based dressings. Even the mixed nuts are suspect, as they are usually coated in dried syrup and sugar. Fortunately, you’re used to packing your own Paleo-compliant snacks for work and know how to forage in a more complex environment than your ancestors ever imagined.

Today, we’re here to share a few smart packing, snacking, and foraging tips for hunter-gatherers in flight.

TSA-Approved Pointers

Getting through the TSA with a special pack of diet-adherent foods can be challenging. Unless you know the tricks:

  • Freezable Lunch Bag – The TSA will toss any ice-pack unless it is frozen solid, but a bag lined with ice-pack-medium is allowable. Freeze one of these special lunch bags overnight and pack in your carry-on for a TSA-approved way to keep your meats cold during your flight and airport adventures.
  • Travel-Sized Liquid Containers – You can actually bring your own dressings, dips, and nut-butters as long as they’re in travel-sized 3.4oz containers and packed in a clear quart-sized baggie according to the 311 TSA rule. Everyone else is packing travel shampoos, but you’re packing paleo-guac, pesto, and almond butter.
  • Permissible Flatware – The safest choice for TSA-approved flatware is to grab a handful of picnic-packs. The kind with the napkin and salt-pepper packets. The TSA can get picky about individual knives (yes, even plastic ones that are “too sharp) but picnic packs almost always get through.
  • Produce Precautions – If you’re crossing state or national borders, you might have to finish all your fresh produce before getting off the plane. Just a word of warning.

Packing Paleo In-Flight Snacks

There are tons of guides for Paleo snacks in flight, but most of them are not strict-Paleo. These guides tend to include store-bought packaged snacks that are mostly-Paleo but may include things like bacon and preservatives that are not strictly adherent to the Paleo philosophy. However, the following snacks are both TSA and strict-Paleo approved

  • Hard-Boiled Eggs – Peel before packing
  • Canned Meat – Pop-tops only
  • Fresh Fruit Whole or Cut – Great thing to keep an eye open for
  • Nut-Butter Cups – Travel-sized cups
  • Pre-Tossed Salads &  Dressings – Try your dressing in a travel-sized squeezable shampoo bottle
  • Chopped Veggie Sticks & Dip – Keep dip in a travel-sized bottle
  • Whole Packed Paleo Meals – Yes, you can pack a Tupperware of an entire Paleo meal as long as it’s not mostly liquid/cream/gel
  • Hot Soup Dried Mixes – Get hot water for tea/coffee from a stewardess to turn Paleo soup-mixes into hot soup

Foraging for Paleo Foods in the Skymall

Finally, you may need to find foods in the skymall that can go on the plane or be quickly scarfed when you’re really hungry and didn’t have time to pack. Or when you’re on your way back and couldn’t prep-Paleo in the hotel. Here’s how to hunt-and-gather your way through a skymall:

  • Find a Salad Bar to Forage – If you can find a restaurant with a salad bar, this is the best way to be 100% certain you’re eating only what you intend to eat by building your own plate. These restaurants often also have options to buy grilled chicken, steak, or shrimp for your meat portions.
  • Tossed Salads with Label-Printed Ingredients – Airports usually sell boxes of tossed salad with cups of dressing on the side. Don’t trust your eyes, but do trust the label. If you can read that the ingredients don’t include cheese (or the cheese/bacon/candied nuts are in separate packages), it’s Paleo safe. Ask for vinegar dressing.
  • Pieces and Patties of Grilled Chicken – If you’re really desperate for protein and don’t want to blow your travel budget on a skymall steak house, you can usually find a place that serves pieces or patties of grilled chicken. Most fast food places have a grilled chicken sandwich you can take the bun off of in a pinch.
  • Whole Fresh Fruit – Snack stops and breakfast places in the skymall often have a few pieces of fresh whole fruit.

 

Traveling Paleo is not always easy, but your lineage has been hunting, gathering, and foraging for thousands of years. With these techniques and your own natural know-how, you can make it through even the most harrowing layover-ridden airplane journey while still keeping to strict-Paleo protocols. For more Paleo lifestyle tips and helpful recipes, contact us today!

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