Sticking with the apparent, totally unintended theme of the last few weeks, today I want to share a quick list of some road-trip appropriate snacks (and a new snack ball recipe!!!) with you.   Packing your own food for a road trip doesn’t have to be time consuming, painful, daunting, or any other word with negative connotations.    Really, all it has to be is a few minutes to think to yourself, “What would I like to eat today that I can have in the car without making a giant mess?” And then a few more minutes actually putting those foods into a travel-friendly container (think Mason jar, Bento box, reusable baggie, or — the old standby — the package it came in).  See? Easy.   Smoothies  Okay, probably not where your mind goes when you’re thinking of road trip snacks. But it’s where mine goes. And those smoothies go right in the car with me. They’ve even gone on planes and trains with me.  I’m like the Sam I Am of smoothies…   Overnight Oats  Another not-so-obvious choice, but overnight oats have also gone with me to lots of places. As long as you’re not driving (unless you’re super talented at driving with a knee), you can happily dig in to some overnight oats on the road. Just don’t forget a spoon because no one wants to eat oats with their hands.  Granola/Protein Bars  A little more of a classic choice because they’re so easy to grab and go. Just aim for one with recognizable, easy-to-pronounce ingredients, and no added sugars. Yes, they do exist. Some of  my faves:  Health Warrior, Lara Bar, Go Raw, Amazing Grass, and GoMacro.  Nuts/Seeds, Trail Mix   Nuts and seeds  are just as good a grab-and-go option as bars. And, if you’re getting the good kind (you know, raw, unsalted, etc. etc.), they’re probably even better for you. And they’ve got those healthy fats and that protein that’s gonna keep you feeling full.  Fruit  We’re not talking about those syrupy fruit cups you used to ( still?! ) pack in your lunch. We’re talking whole fruit. Like real pieces of fruit. It’s the ultimate grab-and-go. Some fruit definitely travels better than others, though — like apples and bananas. You can always stow some in containers, too. I’m thinking grapes and a pre-peeled orange, even chunks of melon. Oh, maybe some strawberries…the possibilities are endless!  Protein Powder/Greens Powder  I love this option just because it could annoy the hell out of any other passengers. Okay, fine, and it's good for you. Empty your packet of powder into one of those Blender bottles filled with water (or I guess a smoothie if you’re ultra-prepared) and shake it up. That metal ball sound will drive everyone crazy, but you’ll be so hopped up on greens and protein you won’t even care.  Popcorn, Chips, Pretzels  Super easy option: Grab a healthier version of your favorite snack food and just tote that bag along. And, by healthier, I don’t mean a version that’s got all those  health halos  splashed across the bag. I mean one that’s got minimal ingredients you actually recognize.  Snack Balls   Snack balls  are probably tied for first on my list of favorite snacks. And they just so happen to be ultra portable, too. I’ve definitely taken these babies along on car trips, train trips, and plane trips. No fuss, no muss.  Crackers With Hummus or Nut/Seed Butter  Another option if you’re a passenger or if you’re not a skillful knee driver. (Just to be clear, totally not recommending driving hands-free unless you’re in one of those kinds of cars. Totally not sold on the safety of those either…) Dipping in to some hummus or nut butter is a perfect way to pass the time, in my opinion.  Sammiches (PB&J, PB&B, PB&C, etc. etc.)  That last one would be peanut butter and chocolate because that’s a totally classic combo you might be missing out on.   (P.S. When I say PB or peanut butter, I totally mean that as an all-encompassing term for all the nut butters and seed butters you can use. It doesn’t have to be PB. For me, a lot of the time, it’s not.)  Anyway, the go-to paper bag staple has saved my ass in multiple travel emergencies. It could save yours, too, just sayin’.   Here’s even more ideas because you know I’ll never leave you hanging:    Dates + nut butter  Dark chocolate  Roasted chickpeas  Kale chips  Rice cake + nut butter  Cereal   Cookies   Dried fruit  Single-serve applesauce   This is certainly not an exhaustive list or the definitive list of road trip snacks. These are honestly just things that have worked for me in the past. Except nuts…that ol’ snowflake digestive system just can’t handle the nuts solo.   (That was a weird sentence, yes?)   Speaking of nuts, I’ve got a nut-free snack ball recipe for you today. That’s right — we’re making snack balls without peanut butter, cashews, or almonds and, instead, relying on the magic of sunflower seeds.   Why are sunflower seeds so magical, you might ask?   Well, they’re way cheaper than raw nuts, for starters. And you can use sunflower seeds just about anywhere you’d normally use nuts. Plus, they’re a most excellent source of amino acids, healthy fats, minerals, and vitamins.  We’re also using maple syrup instead of regular ol’ syrup. Or regular ol’ sugar, for that matter.  While it’s still sugar, it’s a natural form of sugar that’s got some redeeming qualities. Like, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. And it’s lower on the Gylcemic Index, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar the way the white stuff does.   An added bonus?    It’s  a little easier  on a sensitive digestive system. All those refined sugars can light a fire in your belly — and not in a good way. More like bloating, cramping, constipating, and gassing. And maybe even more like candida, irritable bowel syndrome, and leaky gut.  Maple syrup doesn’t (read: shouldn’t if you’re getting the right kind) have all those chemicals. Look for one that’s got one ingredient: maple syrup.    A step better? Organic maple syrup.   And don’t worry about all that Grade A Grade B nonsense. That has nothing to do with the nutritional value,  just the color.      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      So now I wanna know what your favorite road trip snack is? Please tell me you’ve taken a smoothie on a car ride,  please please please.

Packing your own food for a road trip doesn’t have to be time consuming, painful, daunting, or any other word with negative connotations. 

Really, all it has to be is a few minutes to think to yourself, “What would I like to eat today that I can have in the car without making a giant mess?” And then a few more minutes actually putting those foods into a travel-friendly container (think Mason jar, Bento box, reusable baggie, or — the old standby — the package it came in).

     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Last week, I shared a  rather long story  about a particularly horrible road trip I had to endure.  And in that story, I pointed out some mistakes I made that really tripped me up on that trip.  Today, I want to dive a little deeper. Because you know what? All of those mistakes really came down to one thing:  Caring way too much what other people think.   I mean, if this isn’t the malady of our time…   Putting too much emphasis on other people’s opinions is stopping you from doing things that you want to do or should be doing.    You’re probably thinking, “I mean, how can I not care what other people think? It’s all well and good to pretend like I don’t care, but it’s pretty much impossible to not actually care. Right? I have to see people every single day…”   I think there’s a big difference between caring what people think and choosing to let what people think affect you.   What I mean is: I know it can be really hard to block out people’s opinions or nasty comments (or even positive comments). But it is possible to choose to accept that those opinions are just that — opinions — and decide not to let them bother you.  So, let’s look at Mistake #1, which was not packing food.  I honestly thought that bringing my own food was rude. That people would stare at me or judge me or think I thought I was too good to eat what everyone else was eating.  And that was terrifying.  I’m just like you. I don’t want to be judged or made fun of. Believe it or not, I’m super sensitive. And I’m not just talking about my  special snowflake  of a digestive system.  I cried for about two hours the other day because a customer service representative was rude to me. (Okay, there was more to it than that, but you get the idea.)  You know what though?  People were going to form opinions and judgements whether I ate the food ( like maybe they didn’t like my dress or thought I was chewing too loud ), didn’t eat ( oh no, new girl’s got an eating disorder ), or brought the food I ate ( who does she think she is? ).  I’m not a psychologist or an anthropologist or a historian, but I’m pretty sure it’s natural for us to form opinions, snap though they may be.  And we have no control over that.   Repeat after me: I cannot control the opinions of others.   Doesn’t it stand to reason, then, that you shouldn’t place too much emphasis on those opinions?  Like, if there is nothing you can do about it, why worry? It’s not going to change anything.  You know what does? Choosing not to care about those opinions and choosing to do what makes you feel good instead.  Because, at the end of the day, you have control over that.  So, moving on to Mistake #3 — not suggesting a different restaurant.   I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am  allergic to conflict.  Which means suggesting a different option that might be met with static is not high on my to-do list.  But, honestly, does making a suggestion have to be combative?  Uhh, no. Offering an idea can be ( should be?)  totally calm, laid back, and easy going.  It’s all in the delivery.  Instead of, “Eww, no, I don’t want to go to some restaurant just so you can meet your daily eye candy quota,” try something a little gentler. Like, “I’ve heard really great things about this other place.” Or even just, “What about this place?”   You don’t have to diminish the opinions of other’s to state your own.  ( That was deep. )  True, your suggestion might not be met with open arms. But you’re actually better off, believe it or not, because you spoke up. You made it known that you aren’t a doormat and that you aren’t just along for the horrible, horrible, horrible car ride.   (Just me?)   So now you know that these mistakes can kinda sorta be caused by our innate desire to be liked. And that it’s okay not to be liked. Because that’s definitely out of your control.  Sure, you can sacrifice your own comfort for the comfort of others. You can sit through an entire four-hour meeting without a drop of water.   But what’s going to happen if you have to excuse yourself to use the restroom? A couple people might look at you. The door might make a ridiculously awful noise when you open it and everyone who wasn’t already looking is looking now. The bathroom might be right across the hall with the worst acoustics ever and everyone who wasn’t looking can now hear you pee.  It might not feel like it in the moment (especially with the flush heard ‘round the world), but you’re going to be more comfortable.   I promise.  People who are going to like you are going to like you  regardless of your restaurant preferences. And people who are going to dislike you are going to dislike you regardless of how many times you take a bathroom break.  I know this might not seem like a tiny tweak, but we can totally break it down to make it tinier.  Maybe it’s wearing headphones while you eat lunch in the break room. (Someone actually called me out for doing this.) Maybe it’s bringing a snack into a lunchtime meeting. Or maybe it’s declining an lunch invitation because you don’t like the restaurant.   What’s one thing you can do this week that you wouldn’t normally do for fear of judgment?

Putting too much emphasis on other people’s opinions is stopping you from doing things that you want to do or should be doing. 

You’re probably thinking, “I mean, how can I not care what other people think? It’s all well and good to pretend like I don’t care, but it’s pretty much impossible to not actually care. Right? I have to see people every single day…”

I think there’s a big difference between caring what people think and choosing to let what people think affect you.