Brainfood: What Every Traveler Should Bring With Them

Brainfood: What Every Traveler Should Bring With Them

My husband went out of town for work last week. He spent 5 FULL DAYS in a classroom setting with lecture on thermodynamics and then took a test on the final day.

This was the longest we’ve ever been apart since before we were married.  Trying to work out all the logistics before he left took mental priority, and packing him some nourishing snacks for the road and week sort of fell off the radar. Whoops!

Thankfully, he never went hungry and we did manage to pack some fruit and nuts for the road, so overall he survived. But after eating out all week long, he came home feeling like he had gained at least 5 pounds and desperate for a detox. Every night we talked, he sounded pretty worn down and mentally fatigued.

I resolved that we needed a better game plan for any future work trips he may have. Hence this list.

I chose these foods specifically for improving brain function and focus, but they also had to pass the test of being easy to transport, clean enough to eat on the go, and of course be healthy.

Brainfood Packing List

Pack these healthy foods to prevent energy slumps, blood sugar crashes and brain fog!

  1. Water
  • Water is essential. Don’t skip packing enough water to sustain you. And check this benefit out-

“When your brain is functioning on a full reserve of water, you will be able to think faster, be more focused, and experience greater clarity and creativity.”1

  1. Homemade Larabars

TIP— If you’re strapped for time, store-bought is a decent option (no added junk).

  • Larabars are simply dates and nuts. Nuts are a great brain food packed with vitamin E, and dates have potassium, a natural electrolyte. 2
  1.   Mixed nuts (walnuts, pecans, pistachios, almonds, cashews)

TIP— If you have the time, Jenny at the Nourished Kitchen shares how to soak and dehydrate them (makes them irresistible and easier to digest!)

  • Ever noticed how much a walnut looks like a brain? What a great way to remember to eat it for boosting cognitive function!
  1.   Kale chips
  • Does kale even need an explanation? It’s excellent at improving brain function, especially memory and focus. 3
  1.   An avocado
  • I discovered how easy eating an avocado on the go is when my son started eating solids. You’ll often find me with an avocado and butterknife in my purse. True story.
  • Avocados are a healthy monounsaturated fat which contributes to better blood flow; better blood flow means better brain function. 4
  1. Garbanzo beans

TIP— Roasting makes these especially delicious!

  • Garbanzo beans are rich in magnesium and like avocados, they improve blood flow to the brain.5
  1. Fruit (seedless grapes, blueberries, pears, apples, banana, cuties)

TIP— Save these for the afternoon when you need a little pick-me-up. Eat them too early in the morning and you set yourself up for a sugar crash.

  • Cuties are in season and great because they don’t get your hands as sticky as oranges and they are still high in Vit C and help prevent sickness while exposed to a room full of people and germs.
  • Blueberries are on every “food for your brain” list you’ll probably ever find and for good reason! Check out some reasons why here.
  • A word on portions– don’t go overboard on fruit. 1-2 servings each day is sufficient. JJ Virgin explains why and gives some great low-glycemic fruit options here.
  1.  Veggies (bell pepper slices, celery, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower)

TIP— Opt for organic unless they’re on the clean 15.

  • These are excellent options any time of day.
  • I don’t place an amount on veggie intake; I say eat as much of em as you can!

And if you have access to a cooler or fridge, here are a few more snacks to take along:

  1. Cheese
  2. Shredded cooked meat (tri tip or chicken is our family favorite)
  3. Hard-boiled eggs
  4. Full-fat organic yogurt

 BONUS TIP #1— Make sure you eat a nourishing breakfast before you go.

  • To set you up for success, you’ll want to eat a great breakfast balanced with protein, healthy fat, and carbs from non-starchy veggies
  • Eggs scrambled with leafy greens, tomatoes, and avocado or made into an omelet is a great choice.
  • If you’re short on time, don’t skimp out on eating. A protein shake with lots of greens is another great option and can be made in a hurry.

BONUS TIP #2— Pack a variety of all things listed for balanced nutrition and sustenance.

  • Choosing a variety will help your body get a wider range of nutrients.  Different tastes, textures and nutrients will help you feel fuller and satisfied as well.

Eat these foods to increase brainpower, energy, focus, and have clear thinking all day long!

What’s your favorite healthy on-the-go snack?



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  1. Thanks for sharing LeeAnn! I’ve been thinking about what kind of snacks I can load into my suitcase for my trip to Texas. I definitely want foods that will feed my brain since I will be spending eight hours a day training and testing for my certification!

    • Hi Cindy!

      You’re so welcome! Happy to help!

      Packing the right things can really make a difference. 🙂
      Hope your trip is a total success!


  2. LOVING your blog btw~keep going! 🙂 Wanted to share that we love stopping at grocery stores on road trips! We grab hummus, cut veggies, nuts…jerky is another fave! 🙂 But HUMMUS is a great one! Our bill is cheaper than fast food, too, for lunch!

    • Thank you for your sweet encouragement, Heidi! 🙂

      YES! Grocery stores are great! You can get some delicious ingredients to make a quick meal on the go. Thanks for sharing that tip!

  3. Oh, and avocado is good to have on hand! If you can’t prep, at least having that, you can add it to a grilled chicken sandwich you can buy from a drive thru!

    • YUM!

  4. Yes!
    Water and Kale Chips are a must!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Totally, Nevica, both are a necessity!

      You’re welcome. :)Thanks for checking out this snack list!



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