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I have never been a fan of eating in the car. EVER. Nor do I endorse eating standing up, eating while watching TV, or even eating on the couch. I like sitting at the dining room table and just enjoying my food. Even if its just me, I will still sit and eat at the table. That said, with my crazy schedule and awful commute, I find it nearly impossible to not eat on the go, and I’m sure there are many people out there that have to resort to eating in less than ideal conditions. If you have a long commute home after work there is no sense in not having an “on the road snack.” Being ravenous for dinner when you get home will just lead to overeating. Here are 5 healthy foods to bring along with you. These are meant to be just for snacks, not actual meals.

  1. Fruit!- Yep, just plain old fruit is one of the best snacks to bring along with you. This really is the best choice for numerous reasons. First off, most people do not get the recommended 2-3  cups of fruit per day. It’s sweet and delicious and packed with fiber to tide you over until dinner time. Additionally, you can easily hold it in one hand, so you can drive/ text/ or flip off people  with the other hand :). Some fall fruits to take on the go include apples and pears. Bananas and oranges are also always good choices, but oranges can be tough to peel and may leave you with a sticky steering wheel :(.

2. Granola/Cereal/Nut bars– Ok people, so Granola bars are a good choice. They’re portable, won’t rot or make your car smell, and they can’t be crushed by your labtop, nutrition books, or gym shoes. Above I’ve displayed two bars, both of which I like, but one is a much much better choice. Can you guess which one? The cheerio bar tastes pretty good, but ahh! Look at that ingredient list, INSANE! No single food product should have that many hard to pronounce ingredients. On the other hand, I just discovered these fabulous Mrs. Mays TRIO nut bars. They are so so good, and have a much shorter and easier to pronounce ingredient list.  There are many bars on the market, many of which make a great snack. Some things to look for which choosing a bar. Less than 10 grams of sugar, some protein- 3- 1o grams would be ideal, and if it has a couple grams of fiber that would but a plus too.

3. Popcorn!– I usually forget about this one, but it really is a great healthy snack food ( as long as its not swamped with butter and salt). Popcorn is awesome because the serving size is 6 cups popped! WOA! That is awesome. You can eat 6 Cups of this brand of popcorn for only 130 calories. Now that should keep you busy for a while.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Trail Mix– Trail mix is great because it doesn’t go bad and you can get some Omega 3’s if your mixture has walnuts. I highly recommend buying trail mix from Trader Joes, or even better yet, make your own! I would recommend a mixture of nuts, dried fruit, your favorite high fiber cereal, and if you have to throw some chocolate chips in their go for it. No, I’m not going to insist that its dark chocolate like all the other anal nutrition people out there, because quite frankly I think dark chocolate is gross and its really not that much better for you than regular chocolate. You could try carob chips though if you wanted…

5. Coffee/ tea– Ok, so I know its not really a food, but it can provide you with something to sip and keep your mind occupied as you stroll 5 mph down the 405. I know, I know, a lot of people try to kick the coffee habit, but there are so many studies showing that its actually good for you. I read one study that shows that people who drink at least 1 Cup of coffee a day have decreased mortality from all causes. Woa. Thats kinda funny. My Epidemiology teacher thinks it may be due to other factors, for example people who can afford to drink coffee everyday can also afford health insurance…. but regardless coffee and tea (as long as it doesn’t have 7 creams and sugars) have a high antioxidant level and can help you stay awake. So I say drink up! BUT, watch out for those crazy 500 calorie coffee drinks from the Cafe type places ( AKA Starbucks).

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Last weekend I was feeling some pressure from my mom to use the weird (but delicious!) vegetables that we get from our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) http://www.underwoodfamilyfarms.com/CSA_Program.html. I had planned on making soup, but since the weather likes to have bipolar disorder it was 95 degrees and soup just did not seem right!  I was also seriously pressed for time and didn’t have the patience for the chopping and brewing required for soup. So, it was the morning time, what is quick and delicious? Pancakes! panqueques is espanol- well kind of, my coworkers told me that Latino people really don’t eat pancakes and panqueques is basically a made up word, but I thought it was fun to say nonetheless.

Heres what I did. First I cooked the acorn squash in the microwave.

 

Butternut squash from our CSA

 

Then I drizzled on some cinnamon sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Have you ever used pumpkin pie spice? It is seriously amazing stuff. Next I pureed it in the food processor. Oh yes, I forgot to mention you don’t eat the green outside shell, but in the center is a yellow orange color. The flavor is similar to a sweet potato. Its actually really sweet and delicious!

Then I put together a combination of bisquick, whole wheat flour, milk, 2  eggs, a little oatmeal, and a touch of brown sugar. I whipped it together until it was the consistency I wanted. I didn’t measure anything in order to save clean up and save time. When making pancakes I always thought it was necessary to measure since that was what my Dad did, and then one time I saw my old friend Liz White just pour the Bisquick in and I was like omgosh, why have I been measuring for nothing? So, needless to say, I don’t have a recipe for you. Only ingredients.

Mmmm. They were delicious! So, I would like to take a minute to talk about the nutritional content of pancakes. They are not exactly a nutritional powerhouse. BUT, if you top them with fruit (Yum!) and add a little acorn squash inside, you’re starting your day off with a good source of carbohydrates, some fiber from the whole grain wheat and fruit, vitamin A from the squash, and you just ate foods from 3/5 food groups! Buen provecho!

Additionally, one of the worse aspects of pancakes is the syrup. 1/4 cup of syrup has 210 calories. Eeek! That is why I strongly advise adding fruit for flavor whenever possible. Ooops, I forgot to mention I added one rotten banana in the pancake batter too. That totally helped sweeten ’em up. What are your favorite toppers to add to pancakes? Do you have any secret ingredients? Also, if that isn’t really a butternut squash, sorry! CSA gives you a mystery box every time! Below are some pictures of my doggies, Max loves pancakes! and Roxy pretends to love them and then barfs them on the floor.

 

Maxy and Roxy waiting anxiously for their panqueques

 

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