One of the most important things you can do to ensure your success is to surround yourself with healthy foods. (The second most important might be to purge the foods that don’t help you reach your goals, but that’s a conversation for another day.) One of the ways we do this is to stock a “Bug Out Bag” for you. Think “doomsday prepping” but without the crisis. 😉 I just want you to have healthy, shelf-stable foods on hand so that you’re never without good options for food. We get weird and make bad choices when we’re desperate, so this will hopefully keep you from becoming desperate in the first place.
There’s no right or wrong list of foods that work for you. Just pack what you like from this list AND your imagination. If you have any helpful additions, leave them in comments and we’ll update the list so more people can benefit.
The first thing to consider is reading the nutritional facts for any foods you consider purchasing. Keep in mind that not every food will be balanced in a way that’s great for your macros if you eat it individually, but it may be a part of a healthy snack if eaten in combination with other things. Ex. Berries (carbs) + cheese (fat) + lunch meat (protein) would be a great combination. But if you looked at the nutrition facts on cheese alone, you may think it’s too much fat.
The second thing to keep in mind for this activity, is that it needs to be shelf-stable. We’re
packing your “bug out bag” in case you get into a snacking emergency. There are TONS of fresh foods you should always have on hand too, but that’s a project for another day.
What to pack in your snack emergency kit:
Nuts –These are a great source of fat, but be careful with the flavored varieties. They’re
delicious and some can be macro-friendly, but others are coated in sugary junk and can end up with ugly macros.
Nut Butters –We would love for you to be eating almond, cashew, or sunflower butters. Peanuts are actually a legume and there are some concerns about peanut consumption, but for our intents and purposes, peanut butter is good to go for now. If you’re a PB junkie, try some almond, cashew, or sunflower butter just to see what you think. We bet you find a kind you like.
Seeds –These are another great source of fat and fiber. Chia seeds are awesome to add into yogurts and smoothies (but not as a snack). Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are great to have on hand, too.
Jerkies –Buy all the jerkies. 😉 Like with flavored nuts, read the nutrition information to be sure that flavored jerkies don’t end up with so much sugar that they aren’t macro-friendly anymore. If you’d like a lower fat option, consider turkey and chicken jerky. Perky Jerky brand is really tender and Mingua is super flavorful.
Pepperonis and Sausage Sticks –Go with the turkey varieties of these to save yourself a bunch of fat and make them more macro-friendly. Aldi has really good turkey sausage sticks and Hormel makes the best turkey pepperoni. Both are unrefrigerated and therefore great for this emergency kit.
Protein Bars –Protein bars are nearly always baked at high temperatures which compromises the integrity of the protein in them, so these aren’t the best option in the world. If you consider them only as an “emergency food” they’re an okay option. Just don’t try to fit them into your diet every day. Look for ones low in sugar (but not high in artificial sugars) and high in protein.
Fruit & Nut Bars –These are sources of carbs and fats. Lara bars are great because they’re made of whole food ingredients. No funny stuff. Pair one of these with a protein source when you eat it. And be careful of the carbs. These may only fit for you during the first few weeks.
Tuna Pouches –These pack a ton of protein and some good fats into a small package. They come in fun flavors and even have salmon options. You can quickly make them into tuna salad, throw them on top of a green salad, or just eat them straight from the pouch.
Olives and pickles –You don’t want to overeat on these because the sodium in them will cause you to retain water. But olives have some healthy fats and pickles don’t have much of anything at all. Both come in some cute pre-packaged packs if you need them for your bag. If you’d rather stick with the jars, just be sure to refrigerate after opening.
Protein Shakes –We always encourage whole foods over shakes and supplements (unless you’ve just finished a workout, but that’s a conversation for another day). However, we know that sometimes it’s difficult to get in the protein you need so a protein shake is a good option to help you meet your goals. We recommend 1st Phorm products. They taste great and are of the highest quality which means no bloating, weird aftertastes, and discomfort for you, unlike other shakes we’ve tried. For meal replacement purposes, you want to look at Level 1. You can order here to score free shipping and help Jeremy in the process: 1stphorm.com/a/msnutritionist
A note about Dried Fruits –When you see a bag of trail mix with dried fruit, you probably think “Healthy!” Dried fruits aren’t made of unhealthy things, but the process of drying the fruit concentrates its sugar content, so we’d like you to use these sparingly or avoid them altogether. You’re always better off grabbing a piece of fresh fruit
Double or Triple Up–You know where you’re likely to get into a food “emergency,” so put a bug out bag in those places. You may need one for your car (looking at you commuters and home health friends), one in your office (lots of us spend more time there than anywhere and it’ll help you be ready when some well-meaning coworker brings in cupcakes or cream horns for the office), and/or one at home as your own, healthy snack drawer. Set yourself up for success by putting these wherever you need them. You’ll be so happy you did!
So, these are your marching orders. 🙂 Put together a list and get to shopping. Share a pic of your finished Bug Out Bag with our hashtag #getmacroed so we can see what you’re packing.
I’ll be taking you shopping at Aldi on Monday so you can follow along and know the best things to look out for during your trip. Check our Facebook page (facebook.com/getmacroed) for a live and our Instagram story (Instagram.com/getmacroed) for a replay on Monday.
Happy shopping! Can’t wait to see your creations!
All the best,