One of the biggest problems I often have with my diet is snacks and food on the go. Most of the time I’m fairly good at cooking in bulk. I usually have at least something I can grab and go for me and the Valkyrie. That’s when I depend on the imperfect diet-friendly snacks I can get from my local stores.
However, sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. Sometimes you may not have time to bulk cook before an event or outing. Or maybe your plans will change and you won’t have time to run home. I find that between the little Valkyrie and two adult dependents, it happens a lot.
What do you do?
Well for anyone in your family who isn’t on your diet it’s easy. Let them have what they want. I try to steer away from things that will tempt me, however. This happens with my father. We tried putting him on the keto diet and he just refused. We suspect this is a part of dementia, but who knows. Either way, he basically refuses to eat any more than he has to and only what he wants to eat….which is a lot of bread products. So when I find myself out with him I generally find something I don’t want and take him there.
Just make sure its something they like.
The other option is to know what you can and cannot buy at the store and be relatively close to your diet. I say relatively because in our house we are also very particular about additives and preservatives. We have too many food allergies, reactions, and just general ick factor towards those things and their health risk.
We’ve gotten very good at reading labels and learning which brands can be trusted.
Relatively Clean Buys
The easiest solution is nuts. Buy them by the bag. They might be a little more expensive, but they are less likely to be processed in any way. If you can’t just check the labels. You’d be surprised how much sodium is added.
Regardless nuts are a great option. Tons of options. I personally suggest peanuts, cashews and almonds (not my favorite but I’ll take them in a pinch) You’ll want to google some carb counts if you’re a counter, but that’s easily done with Google. I personally just estimate anymore.
If you are new to keto and need to know how to determine your carb intake I suggest checking out ruled.me keto calculator. It works well and is very simple to use.
Diary is sometimes controversial in Keto but in moderation its fine and its great for kids. We often get the basic mozzarella in a big bag and make it last over several trips. Best of all, it’s easy to store.
While not technically food, we buy flavor shots for bottled water. I’m a little iffy on bottled water given some of the controversies over the years, but in a bind, I’ll take it. I tend to favor the Kroger brand or Mio, but that’s mostly because all the others have aspartame and we all seem to have some sort of reaction to it. I also tend to find that the ones without aspartame are generally cleaner in terms of what goes into them. I wouldn’t call them organic or toxic…just nutritionally gray.
If you’re going to do this and can afford it, go straight to the deli. These are going to be way cleaner than prepackaged meats. There are a lot of preservatives that go into those things. The fresher it is though, the more likely it is to be cleaner. After I pick that up I tend to grab some veggies like lettuce and tomatoes to make wraps. In the past, I had been known to keep little containers with homemade mayo or even some nearly sugar-free ketchup or BBQ sauce. Some were of my own making, some were bought. Okay, the ketchup was bought…at Aldi’s.
In small amounts, fruits are fine when you’re on the go. I tend to favor strawberries or blackberries, mainly because they are easier for the little one and tend to not be as messy. She also loves apples and we’ve bought blueberries. Other times, I’ve bought cans of pineapple in the natural juice and kept a container of it in a Tupperware container tucked inside an insulated lunch box.
Most of the cans have pull tabs these days. If the brand you like doesn’t, just get a little keychain tab opener. A workout and a snack. Two for one.
If you know you’ll have access to a microwave you can buy canned Or frozen veggies. I’ve done this when going to a friends house. Carrots also work very well. We tend to buy the small packages of cut up carrots, which is great for portion control. Enough said.
We tend to buy simple truth’s exotic chips. They aren’t entirely kosher, but they make a good snack and they aren’t too far off diet. Sweet potato chips are in the same category.
If you can find a store that sell’s lily’s you can have chocolate on the go. You still have to read the labels. Some of them do have a small amount of sugar. Usually no more than 3g. Others have artificial sugars, which is great because you can have them guilt free. I love Lily’s. It is my go-to chocolate if I have the time to drive to Whole foods.
I know, most of you are thinking there is absolutely no way candy is kosher in keto and generally you would be right. However, I would like to share with you the fact that whole foods do carry low sugar snacks, candies, and gums. I get these mints for the Valkyrie that are 1g sugar per piece. Same thing with gums and other snacks. In a pinch, I’m looking for close to perfect, not perfection.
Our Krogers does carry some low sugar items as well. We’ve tried these lollipops that supposedly clean your teeth as well as a few hard candy choices. They are okay, but I prefer the stuff at whole foods. Actually, that’s about the only thing I buy there due to the prices.
I really hate Atkins as a whole. I feel its a poorly done version of the low carb diets. However, their little candy treats while horrendously expensive (a pack of 8-12 small square of caramel chocolates for $6), aren’t all that bad. I’ve had the caramels which were great. The peanut butter cups and chocolate covered peanuts are okay. I really liked the peanut nougat bars (though they did make me long for Snickers). The only one I haven’t liked so far is the cookie dough bar.
Still a great option if you can’t find lily’s and still have that chocolate urge.
It will be near the deli and aside from maybe a little bit of seasoning, its probably the cleanest entre option of the bunch aside from a salad.
A salad is always an option. However dressing is an issue. Most dressings are not going to be keto friendly. I tend to go with Cesar if I don’t have some with me. Recently I haven’t been doing this, but there was a time that I carried everything but the kitchen purse in my van. Without the van however, that feels a whole lot more crowded.
Go with your gut
In the end, there are just some days that you have to do your best and hope that you dont get thrown too far off. In the end, a bit of planning is far better than just having to head out to the store. I’m sure I’m missing ideas, so feel free to add what keto snacks you would buy below.
In the near future I want to expand on this with another post about things you can make and take with you on trips seeing as we’ve done that before as well.
Until then, keep cooking and carry on.