Whether you're driving to work or flying across the country, all too often traveling goes hand in hand with frazzled nerves and poor nutrition. Instead of relying on fast food, cafeteria fare, or vending machine options, prepare by packing these healthy choices that will calm your cravings -- and your nerves.
Make a batch of these dense bars ahead of time and have them on hand for a quick, portable breakfast. They will last up to a week at room temperature or for three months if wrapped individually and frozen. Makes 8 bars (255 calories each).
Pack a cooler with raw veggie slices and blue cheese for when you want something crunchy and creamy. Blue cheese accounts for much of the fat and calories in this snack; however, it also provides calcium and protein. We like all sorts, including Danish blue, Stilton, and Gorgonzola. This recipe makes 6 servings (109 calories each), but for traveling purposes, slice only as many vegetables and cheese as you need.
Soak 1 cup dried yellow split peas in 3 cups water for 4 1/2 hours. Drain and pat dry. Over medium-high heat, coat a large skillet with oil. Add half the peas; cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown and crunchy, 6 to 10 minutes. Season with salt. Repeat with remaining peas. Makes 12 servings (55 calories each).
The seeds scooped from a pumpkin, also known as pepitas, offer plenty of protein and magnesium, and 1/4 cup delivers a third of your daily requirement of immunity-protecting zinc. They are sold with or without their white shells.
For a tasty snack, rinse pepitas well, making sure to remove any pumpkin pulp. Let them dry overnight. Spread the seeds onto a baking sheet sprayed lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, or other seasonings. Cook for one hour at 250 degrees (125 calories for one ounce, or about 85 seeds).
Pair these heart-healthy crackers with some Brie or manchego cheese for a satisfying snack that will keep you going until dinnertime. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. Makes about 5 dozen crackers (132 calories for one six-cracker serving).
Whole fruits are the perfect travel food: They're rich in nutrients and fiber, low in calories, and they don't need excess packaging or preparation.
Oranges (about 86 calories each) are a great choice: They're high in immunity-boosting vitamin C, they'll keep you hydrated, and, when they're tossed in a purse or suitcase, the peel serves as a protective covering. Also good to keep in mind: apples, grapes, pears, berries, and other single-serving-size fruits.