Year-end is here, time to travel and visit new places. Family holidays are the flavour of the season. Holidays usually means that there are no timetables, we eat when hungry, we eat whatever we wish to and whatever we can lay our hands on. Treats like, chocolates, chips, sweets, pakoras, samosas, that have no nutrients and are dense in sugary calories and fat are all that you get along the way. Have fun, indulge but don’t completely go off the track, your body doesn’t deserve it.
One easy way to make the trip healthier is to include one important travelling companion – SNACKS. Choose the ones that are easy-to-carry and tasty too. While picking a snack just ensure that they have at least two nutrients in addition to calories.
Here are some snack ideas that can make your trip healthier:
1. Nuts & seeds. Make a trail mix of Almonds, walnuts, some cashew, and Pine nuts. Add your favorite seeds- pumpkin, hemp or chia, and you are good to go. Rich in proteins they provide satiety along with fiber, antioxidants, minerals that keep you energized and full.
2. Get Corny: Popcorn-a whole grain that has been popped in dry heat. Ignore the butter and margarine laden one. Along the way, you will get a person pooping these whole grains in hot sand – those are the healthiest. Another way to have this in a healthy way is in the boiled form. Steamed corn on cobs and steamed kernels are easily available. Fiber rich and full of antioxidants, they are the best to have.
3. Makhanas: These foxy nuts are loaded with magnesium, a mineral that is essential for our immunity. They also add a compound Kaempferol, a natural antioxidant. Less inflammation in our body not only protects against non-communicable diseases but also boosts our immunity.
4. Peanuts: These legumes are a treasure trove of nourishment. Protein, fiber and healthy fats, they are a perfect way of introducing heart healthy plant protein in your daily diet. In addition to these, peanuts also add an array of antioxidants like p-Coumaric acid, resveratrol, isoflavones and phytosterols – all that make them a must in daily diet. You can carry some peanut chutney or and easier option is peanut butter, so when hunger strikes, dip your apple slices in peanut butter.
5. Protein bars: This word makes us run to the online shopping sites and look out for fancy, mostly sugar laden, preserved bars. Gur and peanut gachak, or chakli, besan burfi with lots of nuts, figs/anjeer with nuts are simple to make and easy to carry. Yes, they are high in simple sugars, but when made at home without added sugars and preservatives, they make a great healthy snack with all the nutrients of the ingredients . If you want to buy, choose small producers that make them at home for you.
6. Fruits: These are the most easily available snack along the way. As you travel, you are also able to pick up locally grown fresh fruits; that means more nourishment. Fruits, in addition to fiber, add a lot of vitamins and antioxidants. They are rich in potassium and have some sodium in addition to a lot of moisture, so they keep you hydrated and prevent you feeling tiered.
7. Cheese: Fresh cheese and paneer are easily available anywhere you go. Proteins, calcium and antioxidants all add immense health benefits. Imagine choosing a paneer chaat with tomato, onions, green chilies and some green chutney over a samosa, I don’t need to say more.
8. Yogurt: or Plain dahi which is packaged is another easy-to-source food along the way. Travelling usually has a lot of us dealing with digestive issues. Probiotic rich Yogurt is a good way of keeping us and our tummy happy. You can add some local fresh fruit or nuts or both and voila! A healthy snack is ready to eat.
9. Egg: another easy protein rich, low carb snack to eat. Avoid the butter omelettes, a simple boiled egg with a slice of Multigrain bread and you will be set for the next couple of hours. If you are keeping a check on your cholesterol intake and eat mostly animal proteins during meals then remove the yolks.
While choosing the list, I have especially kept proteins in mind because they bring satiety to our meals, one of the most important needs for controlling overeating. While all the above snacks are healthy, they are not calorie free. In fact, some are calorie dense, so keep an eye on the portions. Nuts :- 30gm/ serving, nut butter:- 2 table spoons/ day, Dairy:- 40gm/ serving
Enjoy your holidays, we are getting to travel after almost two years, but stay safe.