Traveling, in general, is hard on the body.
Take the combination of long flights and long drives with the stress and pressure of never-ending days of public speaking, selling your program, and engaging in conversations with hundreds of prospective students, then go talk to your doctor.
They’ll probably say: Slow down. You’re taking on too much.
But during the heat of recruitment season, that’s the last thing you (or your boss) wants you to do.
We’ve compiled a list of eight nutritious snack ideas that are easy to find and keep well for living out of a suitcase why these foods are a great choice, plus some tips for the inevitable cocktail hour.
Eight On-the-Go Snack Ideas
Easy-to-eat fruits like apples, bananas, pears, blueberries, and grapes. They are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, fiber, vitamin C and folate (folic acid) which are vital for the health and maintenance of the human body. Potassium in fruit reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, and may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss as you age. Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells.
2. Raw veggies
Raw veggies such as cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, cucumber slices, and celery because they travel well. University of Washington’s Chris Vogliano suggests to also pair veggies with hummus which is packed with plant-based protein, additional fiber, and healthy fats that help keep you from feeling hungry.
3. Raw, unsalted seeds
Seeds like pumpkin or sunflower are excellent sources of antioxidant polyphenols and can help reduce the risk of certain diseases. In particular, the lignans in certain seeds may help lower cholesterol and the risk of cancer. Seeds are extremely easy to add to salads, yogurt, oatmeal, and smoothies, and can be a versatile way to add healthy nutrients to your diet.
4. Dried fruits
Dried fruits with no added sugars contain fiber and antioxidants called phenols. Fiber fights heart disease, obesity, and some types of cancer. People with diets rich in plant phenols have lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, several kinds of cancer, and possibly degenerative brain diseases.
Because of the high sugar content in dried fruits, they help boost your low blood sugar after a high dose of physical activity. But be careful when picking dried fruit. The Healthy Maven, a multi-channel health and wellness platform that helps women to live healthFULLY rather than living for their health, recommends finding sun-dried fruit that isn’t coated in sugar. It’s more expensive, but worth it in the long run.
5. Raw, unsalted nuts, like almonds
Unsalted nuts are a heart-healthy snack. Not only are almonds rich in the amino acid L-arginine, which helps build lean muscle and reduces belly fat, as found in a study published by The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, but they also contain the minerals riboflavin and manganese, which are essential for a healthy metabolism. In addition, most people don’t eat enough healthful unsaturated fats!
6. Low-sugar fruit, vegetable, oat or nut bars with whole food ingredients
Granola bars are the "Swiss Army knife of snacks." Reader’s Digest top nutritionists’ picks include Lara Bars, Zing Bars, and KIND Bars. My favorite KIND bar flavor is the Maple Glazed Pecan and Sea Salt which contains only 5g of sugar and 1.5g of saturated fats, and the taste is spot on!
7. Unsalted or lightly salted whole-grain pita chips, popcorn or crackers
Did you know that popcorn is the only snack that is 100% unprocessed whole grain? Just one serving contains more than 70% of the recommended daily whole grain intake. And even though cereals are labeled whole grains as well, that just means that more than half of the weight of those products is whole grain.
8. Homemade trail mix
Make your own trail mix by combining nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and a touch of your preferred sweetness, like dark chocolate or popcorn.
Looking for more general travel tips? Check out Ten Wellness Tips for Staying Healthy During Recruitment Season.