Walking down the street the other day, I came up to a fellow at a rainy crosswalk eating potato salad out of a plastic container. Odd street snack, I thought, but I toasted him with the half-eaten apple in my own hand.
“Where’d you get the potato salad?” I said with a laugh.
“Bodega down the street. And the apple?”
“Ah,” I smiled. “I always have a snack in my bag. There’s also typically jerky and some sort of nut.”
I glanced down to return a text message and crossed the street. The fellow and I met up at the following crosswalk.
“Oh, hi there,” he said, reintroducing himself. “Do you know where I can get a good snack recommendation? I hear apples and nuts are in this season.”
Besides an on-demand conversation starter, there’s plenty of reasons to always have a mini-meal on hand.
Watch the Waistline & the Budget
I know, I know – this is the boring part. But whether you’re trying to eat better or saving up for a goal, the easiest want to stay compliant is to bring your own snacks. You’re going to visit the local Safeway / Trader Joe’s / Hyvee anyway. Stocking up on munchies you’re excited about rather than grabbing whatever is close because you’re hungry rightthisminute means cash on hand can go to delicious cocktails instead. (What’s that? You’re not on a cash-only diet yet?!)
You Can Still Enjoy a Relax
If you’re out and about for the day and don’t have a local spot to relax, hit the nearest coffee shop for a bev. Find a table with a view and pull out your purse snacks. Relax with a book, music via earbuds, or watch the street traffic. Rinse and repeat.
Focus on the Day’s Adventure
Who has time to Google where the nearest In-n-Out is when you’re scaling the hills or walking along the shore? With a proper snack stash, you can enjoy a no-cost day out. (And don’t forget to decant some BotaBox wine into a mason jar and add to your pack!)
Stay True to You
Whether you’re vegan, Paleo, grass-fed only, eat only blue foods, etc etc, the only way to guarantee staying on plan is preparation. As a recent thirtysomething who’s starting to realize it’s all uphill from here, this is something I think about on the daily. (You know, between bites of pizza.) I’m also a rather picky eater, so having something on hand just in case there’s nothing suitable on the menu has been a godsend.
- Epic Bars. The Beef – Habanero Cherry is my favorite.
- Fresh fruit. The aforementioned apples make travel-friendly companions. Citrus fruits could work in a pinch, but don’t say I didn’t warn you about sticky fingers.
- Dried fruit. Figs, raisins, apricots, prunes, strawberries, peaches, pears…
- Nuts. Watch your portions of these delightful little fat packets.
- Toasted coconut slivers. Yum. Just, yum.
- Larabars. No additives, and available not only at grocery stores but most convenience stores.
Pick what sounds delicious, stash in a reusable snack bag, and get on with it already. Your munchy life is calling.