I recently got back from a whirlwind tour with work which saw me in Germany for two days. We ended up working in a venue which was effectively in the middle of an industrial estate which meant nothing. to. eat.
I'm making my job sound very glamorous I know; if you want to know more about my work in the 'real world' check out my last blog post 7 things about me.
So anyway, back to Germany. We were holed up in a big fancy hotel with its associated fancy restaurant, surrounded by lots of office buildings (presumably with their own staff canteens) and a huge conference centre. But within a walkable distance? Absolutely no cafes, coffee shops, supermarkets or corner shops to be found for a quick bite to eat.
Now I am not a big snacker. I reviewed 10 snack bars for you guys a few months ago and it all felt a bit indulgent to me, constantly chowing my way through pre-made snack bars. It was the same when I reviewed 10 breads as well, which made me realise I need to find another way to do the Tried & Tested series that doesn’t feel like a struggle while still giving you great comparative product reviews... answers on a postcard please.
Anyway, back to snacking.
Personally I tend to have three meals during the day and if I want to eat in between I go for fruit or a handful of nuts.
I usually find if I think I need something to eat, I can wait it out or drink some water so the hunger will pass. It's usually not hunger at all, rather just boredom. Or now working from home it's the easy access to the fridge which is right next to me calling to my stomach.
BUT…. this trip really reminded me of how important it is to have good snacks on you for those moments when you really can't plan.
When you're not in your own home or when you don't know where you're going or when you'll next get your hands on a proper meal, it's great to have emergency snacks at your side.
So I've put together this list of my best ideas for snacking whilst on the road. And I'll be honest, I've got another work trip coming up so this is partly for me to use too!
Have I missed anything? Let me know what your emergency snacks tips are.
1. A handful of nuts
Perfect for a suitcase or a carry on bag, a little packet of nuts like cashews (my all time favourite) or almonds are the ideal on-the-go snack to keep you fuelled. You don't need many in one go, but they're great to have for a pick me up and they travel really well.
Lidl do unsalted cashews in a resealable packet which are just the job. They've also recently reduced the size of the packaging whilst keeping the same amount of nutty contents. Hooray for waste reduction!
However do remember that nuts are pretty nutrient dense so you don't need masses in one go. Sarah Murphy who's a Girl Gains ambassador in Ireland posted this really helpful infographic on her Instagram page showing calorie content. Just keep it in mind.
2. Nom bars
Being at a festival where you're cut off from your usual convenience stores for your supply of food and snacks, planning ahead is key if you don't want to spend a fortune.
My sister and I tucked into the four flavours from the Nom range across the weekend: original, banana, cacao and raspberry and the protein bar.
We loved that the banana actually tasted like real banana and the oaty goodness meant slow-release energy which we totally needed after back-to-back spin and yoga classes!
3. Raid the hotel breakfast bar for fruit
Fruit is really hard to travel with for long periods (squashed banana all over the inside of your handbag anyone?!) but if you're staying in a hotel then I would really recommend raiding the breakfast buffet and stashing fruit on you.
I've stayed in enough hotels to stop feeling guilty about this now. I'll happily take a couple of apples, easy peel clementines and even a banana if I know I can keep it from smashing all over my belongings while I'm out for the day. No-one's ever stopped me and fresh fruit is such a pick-me-up when you're on the go and the only other options seem to be pastry, bread or deep-fried.
4. Fulfil bars
Since then I've really got into the brand as they are Irish and are really engaged with their following here on the Emerald Isle. They hosted an exclusive tasting session a couple of months ago to launch their four new flavours (I sadly didn't get a place, but it looked fab) and they have just opened their own cafe here in Dublin.
Of their new flavours hands down my favourite is Chocolate Orange. I just do not understand how these people have created something that tastes so sweet but with an unbelievably low sugar content and lots of protein. If no-one told you this was a 'health' bar you wouldn't know the difference.
We bought a whole box of them at the weekend and I'm definitely stashing a few away for my next trip...
5. Drink some water
Having a bottle of water on you at all times when you're travelling is so important, especially if you're flying which is notorious for dehydration.
As I've mentioned before even if you think you're hungry, sometimes it's actually thirst. I am not advocating starving yourself obviously; if you are actually hungry then definitely eat!
But hungry or not having a bottle of water on you to sip is a great idea. As well as helping you feel a bit fuller it will also keep your body functioning in tip top condition.
The trusty NHS Direct page on dehydration tells us:
"Water makes up over two-thirds of the healthy human body. It lubricates the joints and eyes, aids digestion, flushes out waste and toxins, and keeps the skin healthy."
Yes please. All things I want to keep working whilst I'm travelling!
Did you know you can get through airport security with an empty water bottle? As long as there's no liquid in it they can't confiscate it and it means you can fill it up at a fountain or in a cafe on the other side. I can testify that the staff at Pret in Stansted Airport were most helpful in this regard.
No need to fork out for an overpriced bottle of mineral water now, save your pennies for duty free make up instead. You can thank me later.
Let me know what you think of my tips, and throw me some others before I hit the road again.
For another take on snacking away from home check out Health Blogger of the Year Positively Jess and her Healthy Snacks for Travel blog post.