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So, we’ve all been there, and we’ll all be there again at some point. Sometimes we manage to get stuck away from the house, end up starving, and we don’t have a snack with us. When this situation coincides with us also being on a road trip far outside of town or it being late at night, early in the morning, or a holiday, there may very few options for a snack besides fast food or a gas station.
What’s a girl to do? Make the best of the situation, of course! That means making the best possible choices even when we’re in the worst nutritional situations. Instead of giving in and eating junk or fast food, we can still eat well, even with few options available to us.
My advice? When choosing convenience store snacks, seek out protein sources! These will help you fill up and stay satiated, whereas a carb fix might just make you hungrier sooner.
Here are 11 healthy options you can find at any 7-Eleven or gas station:
Nuts are a snack you can find at almost ANY convenience store in a small, snack-size package. Go for peanuts, almonds or cashews. Raw or roasted are great, but avoid candied or honey-dipped options. If available, try to choose a nut that’s lower in sodium as convenience store nuts tend to be heavily salted. Watch portion sizes (just a few nuts can really add up!) and eat with a fresh fruit and you’ll feel satiated for several hours!
Most convenience stores will carry a variety of yogurt options, and sometimes you can even find Greek yogurt. Any type of yogurt will do in a pinch, but if you’ve got a selection, go for a non-fat yogurt with fruit in it for the leanest, healthiest snack possible.
3) Chocolate Milk
Chocolate milk is actually the post-workout recovery drink of many fitness enthusiasts and there’s a reason why! It’s high in protein and it also contains some carbs, so it will give you the energy boost you need and help you feel full!
4) Granola Bar
Do proceed with caution on your granola bar choices, because some granola bars have more of a ‘candy bar’ nutritional profile. Anything covered or drizzled in chocolate or some type of frosting is probably out. Look for a granola bar with around 200 calories per serving, one that’s made with whole grains (like oats) and has low amounts of sugar. Nature Valley is a good option – there are two bars in the pack for around 200 calories total.
5) String Cheese Sticks
String cheese sticks or individually wrapped pieces of cheddar are a great on-the-go snack that can be paired with fruit, meat sticks or nuts to create a healthy, filling mini-meal if needed! If there are low-fat cheese options available, all the better!
6) Jerky or Salami Sticks
Beef jerky or salami sticks are excellent portable protein sources that can be found in mini-marts. When combined with some fruit or a granola bar they can make an excellent meal that can be eaten in a car. If you have options, try to choose jerky or meat sticks with fewer grams of fat.
Within the past year, 7-Eleven has been making an effort to provide healthier snack choices in its stores, including fresh fruit and fruit cups. Take advantage of this healthier trend among convenience stores and enjoy some fresh fruit!
8) Trail Mix
A star among packable snacks, trail mix contains a perfect mix of carbs in the form of dried fruit, and nuts, an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. Keep your eye on portion sizes because nuts are high in calories.
9) Canned Tuna in Water
Canned tuna in water is my favorite gas station snack. You can’t ask for a better lean protein source than tuna. Enjoy your tuna with some whole grain crackers, some cheese or some fruit and you’ve got the perfect snack.
10) Veggie Cups or Salads
Along with its fruit cup options, 7-Eleven has begun to include veggie cups and fresh salads in its offerings. Many large gas station mini-markets do offer some salads, sometimes even with a hard boiled egg or chicken inside. Also, if fast food is your only option, most chains offer some kind of salad. Go easy on the dressing, and you’ve got yourself a healthy, low calorie snack or meal.
7-Eleven offers a number of sandwiches under 400 calories, including some leaner options like the Southwest Turkey Sandwich. The only downside to the sandwiches is that the condiments are already on them, so not as easy to control. The upside is that the nutrition information is right there on the sandwich box, making your choice easier.
At Athlean-XX for Women, we’re all about healthy nutrition because it helps us lose weight and have energy for our tough workouts! Our nutrition plan recommends combining proteins and slow-burning carbohydrates at every meal and snack to help keep you feeling full. In fact, the Athlean-XX for Women nutrition plan is anything but a diet – we actually recommend you eat more – 5 – 6 times per day! This type of diet will help turn your metabolism into a fat burning machine – when combined with our killer 30 minute workouts. Yes, with Athlean-XX for Women, eat more, exercise shorter but harder and weigh less! Join us on Team Athlean to start your lifestyle makeover now!
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