Protein bars and snacks for the health-conscious traveler

For most of us, the holidays mean two things: traveling and food. Sure, there’s also family and loved ones, but practically speaking, it boils down to going to see them (traveling) and what you’ll be doing with them once you arrive (eating).

The problem is that often these two don’t mix, at least not for those of us with sensitivities and/or allergies, or who are trying to maintain some semblance of healthy habits.

In fact, with the plethora of fast food airport “restaurants” and junk food, road-trip snacks available, and the fact that most good, nutritious food travels, well, poorly, traveling and eating well often directly clash with each other.

Until now.

We’ve rounded up our favorite tasty and health-conscious protein bars and snacks that make traveling or maintaining your regimen at mom’s house as easy as pie (or whatever the healthier version of that is).

EPIC Bars & Bites

protein bars
Eat these carnivorous EPIC bites or bars wherever you find yourself this holiday. Photo: EPIC

Designed “as nature intended,” these ain’t your average protein bars and snacks. For the carnivore, EPIC bars and snacks are based in meat, meat and more meat. But it doesn’t stop there.

They combine the meat with seemingly odd, yet very delicious, ingredients like cranberry, sriracha, habanero and cherry. It’s the perfect coupling of savory and sweet, and it’s not tough like jerky.

Based in 100 percent grass-fed beef, chicken, bacon, turkey, lamb and bison — yes, bison — these bars are paleo-friendly, gluten-free and low in sugar. And the animals are all vegetarian fed, humanely treated, antibiotic-free and hormone-free.

KIND Bars

protein bars
No need to settle for McDonalds at the airport or road trip stop, when you can easily reach for a KIND Bar. Photo: KIND

KIND bars are one of the more well-known snacks on our list. Available in most grocery stores and snack shops, it’s likely that you’ll be able to grab a bar or two from an airport kiosk or truck stop along your route, should you forget to plan ahead.

They offer a myriad of options for whatever you have a hankering for, whether something small and sweet, like fruit and nuts or even chocolate (gasp!), or more sustainable, like their Strong & Kind bars in Hickory Smoked or Thai Sweet Chili flavors.

All their foods are created under the premise that you should be able to read and understand plainly what’s in your snacks and bars.

Also, if you’re in need of a last-minute gift for an active snacker, KIND makes a new KIND Cube, a box fully loaded with 20 bars to eat and share.

ONA Bars and Cookies by WB Kitchen

protein bars
These ain’t your average cookies. You’ll really feel like you’re getting away with something with these treats. Photo: WB Kitchen

We’re buzzing for these bars and cookies by WB Kitchen. With a focus on healthful, natural ingredients and all-natural honey to sweeten, WB Kitchen has created treats that make you feel like you’re getting away with something.

Though not exactly healthy, in the truest sense, the ONA bars and cookies were a treat I didn’t feel guilty about eating at all. I mean, who wants to live in a world without brownies, chocolate, coconut shortbread and cinnamon raisin flavored deliciousness?

ONA bars and cookies are gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and paleo, GAPS & SCD friendly, and made of organic ingredients like almonds, shredded coconut and cocoa nibs.

GoMACRO

protein bars
If you find yourself unable to make it to lunch, these bars are a delicious and truly nutritious plan B. Photo: GoMacro

I can’t say enough good things about GoMacro bars. With food restrictions myself, I was lucky enough to survive on them during a volunteering trip abroad and gladly did so.

First and foremost, they’re delicious! You forget that you’re essentially eating twigs and berries (as some of my friends call it). Stripped of any weird additives and flavorings, GoMacro’s macrobiotic, plant-based whole food based bars are organic, vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO.

They’re packed with protein to sustain you on a travel day (or when you’re unsure of being able to eat your next meal), and did I mention they’re delicious?

My recommendation? Protein Pleasure with peanut butter chocolate chip and Prolonged Power with banana and almond butter.

Aloha Bars & Powders

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Aloha’s protein powder is chocked full of natural ingredients. Photo: Aloha

If protein powder is your thing, Aloha has vanilla and chocolate versions to fit whatever style you prefer most.

Maybe you’re someone who wants to add a little chocolate protein to your Starbucks stop at the airport. Maybe you’re someone who wants to bake some vanilla powder into a holiday treat at your in-laws home. Or maybe you’re into no-nonsense protein bars to keep in your suitcase. Aloha has something for you.

Whether an individual pack or bar, there are at least 18 grams of plant-based pea and pumpkin seed proteins per serving thanks to organic, non-GMO, vegan, dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free ingredients.

While in Hawaii for 7 Days on the North Shore, I really enjoyed the flavor and ease of the Chocolate Protein Pouches.

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