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How to Stock Your Car with Healthy Snacks

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Christie Pesce spends much of her workday in the car, traveling from one sales appointment to another in Central Florida. So eating healthy on the go can be a challenge. The former Florida State swimmer makes it a point to pack her car with almonds, apples, and string cheese. “Preparation is key,” Pesce says. “I try to pack and bring snacks that are easy and convenient to eat, but also healthy and filling. I go for snacks that are higher in protein and have a good combination of fats and carbs.” Here are four easy ways to keep your body fueled as well as your car on the road, whether running around town or on long trips:

1. Think in terms of time and money

There’s a tendency to think you’ll save time and money by grabbing food on the go, especially if you’re traveling on someone else’s dime. In reality, it takes more time to hunt for food than it would to pack accordingly. Bringing your own food is cheaper than purchasing quality food—or even bad food, for that matter—on the run. You also have far more control over the nutritional content. There’s nothing worse than eating poorly because there were no other options or you were short on time. By packing your own food, you’ll not only eat better, you’ll save time and money, thus increasing your performance. That’s triple motivation.

2. Stock your “desk”

Just as you want to fill your desk drawer at work with healthy options to avoid trips to the vending machine, you should pack the car accordingly when working on the go. The console in between the front seats is a great place to stash almonds, fruit, and healthy snack bars. Another idea: Store a container under the seat that includes a box of oatmeal, tear-open packaged tuna fish, jerky, apples, and oranges. Also include whole-wheat bread, condiments in one-serving packs, one-serving containers of sugar-free applesauce, plastic utensils, paper plates, and hand wipes. (Though such food can serve as an emergency stash, don’t leave anything that can spoil for any length of time.)

3. Refrigerate, hydrate, and regenerate

Coolers aren’t just for tailgating and trips to the beach. Keep a small cooler in your car, restocking it with bottled water and ready-to-drink meal replacement products. Also include fresh veggie snacks and fat-free yogurt with no sugar added. Just don’t leave anything perishable in a hot car for extended periods, even if it’s in a cooler. If you’re traveling on the highway, pull over for a picnic of sorts at a rest area. Do some Movement Prep (read “5 Ways to Make Your Daily Commute Healthier” for stretching ideas). This brief pitstop will recharge you mentally and physically in less time than it would take to pull over at a commercial area and attempt to find healthy food.

4. Don’t forget the weekends

Even if you don’t work weekends, they can be just as hectic between errands, social commitments, and driving kids around. Having nutritious food options can help satisfy cranky kids of all ages while making sure you stay on schedule throughout the weekend.

Do you spend much of your workday in the car? Share your secrets for staying healthy on the road in the comments below.

About The Author

Pete Williams – Pete Williams is a contributing writer for CorePerformance.com and the co-author of the Core Performance book series.

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Tags: Planning, Health, Snacks, Weight Loss, Work