Clean Eating Emergency Kits

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Clean Eating Emergency Kits

It goes without saying that “life happens”. There will inevitably be times when you are away from home, hungry, and you find yourself without anything clean to choose from.

Not a great place to be in. In fact, it makes me rather grumpy.

So I now have an emergency kit that I keep in my car. Since my car and I are always together (I love my Saturn, she’s such a good girl!), I figured that was the best place to keep an emergency kit.

For others, it may be an office or a locker, or one kit in several places. It can be any size you like, and M.A.N. is it handy!

No more grumpy! It’s magic!

Here are some ideas for foods you can keep in your emergency kit:

  • Protein bars
  • Dry oats
  • Nuts
  • Dried fruits (no sugar added)
  • Popcorn
  • Seeds
  • 1 scoop of protein powder (amazon affiliate link) in a Ziploc baggie

If you don’t have a drawer to keep things in, simply put it in a shoe box or other small container. Stash it where you know you will always have access to it if you need it. THEN FORGET ABOUT IT!!

That last part is key. If you eat from it regularly, then there is always the chance that it won’t be fully stocked when you truly need it. Remember, this is an emergency kit. As in, a I’m-away-from-home-without-clean-food-and-I’m-starving kit.

And don’t forget to mark your calendar regularly to keep rotating the foods in your kit. No sense leaving them there for months and then having to throw them out. If you rotate them on a regular basis, you won’t ever have to worry about it.

Article is an original work and is © Tiffany McCauley. It may not be reproduced for any reason without written permission from the author.

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I'm Tiffany, a writer for MSN and the AP Newswire, a cookbook author, digital publisher, food lover, and mom. I create healthy, clean eating recipes for everyday living.

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  1. Sarah from says:

    I keep waters, almonds and some natural whole wheat pretzels in my van. It seems at least once a week, we end up out longer than I thought and need a snack before we can get home!

    1. Sarah – That’s great!! Good planning! I know what you mean. Those days seem to be inevitable!

  2. i don’t so much keep anything in the car, but since eating clean i always grab a purse snack for the time i will be gone. raw cashews & raisins are usually the choice with a bottle of water. 🙂

    1. Jolene – that’s a great choice! And a purse is the perfect place to keep an emergency snack!

  3. I have to ask–what do you do with a scoop of protein powder in your car??

    1. Adrienne – In a pinch, I can mix it with a glass of water. It’s amazing how many times that has bailed me out in the past. Now, I can’t have it any longer, but it was a good thing to have!

  4. I always keep one Lara bar in my car and one in my purse for those times I go work out and forget to bring something for after my workout or when I am just not going to get home soon enough to eat and I am starving.

    1. Anna – That’s great! Those after-workout meals are so important!

  5. Oh and just recently I found .5 oz bags of raw, unsalted packs of walnuts and almonds mixed. Used it last night on my way home from my workout and then had dinner when I got home. I usually eat them with a couple cut up carrots/celery but forgot the veggies last night so the nuts hit the spot for the 20 minute drive home.

    1. Anna – I bet! Nuts are a wonderful, portable snack. Good for you. Keep up the great work!

  6. My Emergency Kit:

    Couple bottles water
    Hansen’s Natural flavored drink mix packets, Blackberry Tea, Fruit Punch & Mixed Berry
    Raw mixed nuts (and some with sea salt)
    3-4 Larabars, various flavors
    Dried apple chips, plums and raisins
    Couple packets Justin’s Nut Butters, Honey Almond and Maple Almond
    Unopened packet of whole grain crisp “breads” or crackers
    Kid’s size pack of Annie’s Natural Cheddar Bunnies (beats hitting up a vending machine or convenience store when that “Gold Fish” craving hits) 🙂

    1. Charlena – Wow! That’s quite a kit! Good for you!

  7. Oh, I forgot about True Lemon and True Lime! They’re crystallized fruit juices in little “sugar-size” packets. There is even a True Orange, if you can find it. Add a couple packets of this with a couple packets of Stevia or Truvia to that glass or bottle of water–and you have your own lemon/lime/orange-ade. 🙂

    BTW, if you’re indulging… You could even add a couple packets of True Lime and Stevia/Truvia to a glass of ice water + one shot tequila = Instant (low-carb) Margarita!

    1. Charlena – I don’t think those are considered clean. But it does sound like a really varied emergency kit!

  8. I have a couple of packets of Justin’s almond butter in my car… they keep forever and are great in a pinch!

    1. Annie – I’ve never heard of that brand, but what a great idea!

  9. I love barney butter packets!

    1. Cristina – I’ve never had barney butter. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks!

  10. What wonderful Ideas, I never thought of keeping that sort of thing in the car ready to go! I have always packed things up similar to this when we are about to leave the house but to have spares in the car etc, that’s a great idea. Thanks so much for all of the wonderful info. ~ Take Care

    1. Tracy – I’m glad you liked it! Enjoy!

  11. Just wondrering what type of Protein Powder you use?
    Oh and Almonds are my standby in the car.

    1. Julie – Almonds are great! I no longer use protein powder. I find I get plenty of protein from my diet and smoothies. But I used to use 100% whey powder from my local health food store. They carried it in bulk. Great stuff!

  12. Megan@Dirty Dishes Daily says:

    Oatmeal is a staple in my house. When I run low I go into a frenzied panic. What will I do without my oatmeal?

  13. I just recently discovered a small one serving size can of tuna on a recent airport excursion.. when paired with whole wheat crackers or soycrisps it was a great snack on the fly!

    1. Kate – What a fabulous idea! 🙂

  14. Anonymous says:

    Lori – I’ve never heard of them. I’ve always used Lara Bars, but I’ll have to check this one out. Thanks!

  15. Where Do you all find all these ll natural bars n ect. We don’t have a trader joes or whole foods

  16. Jbriseno17 says:

    I have such a kit in my car already! 🙂 Don’t forget to stock some bottled water to keep you hydrated and to mix those protein shakes! 🙂

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Jbrisen – Excellent reminder! Thanks! Important to keep it in a non-plastic container as well. Stainless steel is fantastic for keeping water fresh.

  17. graciouspantry says:

    I use Lara Bars. I guess they aren’t technically protein bars, but they do have the protein from the nuts in them.

  18. Thank you Sarah! I was just thinking about this and you are so right! A person needs to have this, I’m always caught out running errands with no snacks and not a lot of good choice in the convenience stores. The shelves are full of temptations, where if you had good stuff with you no need to even stop.

  19. It’s too hot in my car in Texas to keep water! LOL!!

  20. Thanks for all the great ideas and all you do! You are a wealth of information and are appreciated! 🙂

  21. I live in Arizona so in my car doesn’t always work but I keep a bigger bag for a purse and always have a few KIND bars (awesome by the way and GMO Free). My favorite is the dark blue one fruit and nut delight. I also keep some things for the kids, banana and healthier crackers or applesauce to go. I love the idea of a shoe box at home to just grab. I am going to do that! I used to eat protein bars all the time but now have learned about soy and soy protein isolate, whey protein isolate and anyway so many things even in the good ones that aren’t so good so the Larabars are great, that is what I used to have until I bought a KIND bar at a starbucks and have been hooked ever since 😉

    1. Jen – I don’t believe those bars are clean. Not judging, just a heads up incase you didn’t catch it.

  22. Oh, and if you DO live by a Trader Joes their organic olive oil popcorn is AWESOME! 1.99 a large bag.

  23. What I a clean protein bar brand?

  24. I usually have a Kind Bar stashed in my bag and we keep raw pecans in the freezer, anytime he wants sometime to munch on he grabs some pecans!

  25. RE: the KIND bars…. I have a couple in my pantry so here are the ingredients. I am new to the Clean Eating thing so please let me know what the specific non-clean ingredients are so I know for future reference.

    Maple Pumpkin Seed With Sea Salt
    Whole grains (gluten free oats, brown rice, millet, gluten free oat flour, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa), tapioca syrup, pumpkin seeds, non GMO canola oil, coconut, sunflower seeds, honey, evaporated cane juice, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, gum acacia, sea salt, natural maple flavor, Natural Vitamin E

    1. Julie W – I’m not sure about the tapioca syrup. You would have to check into how that is made. But beyond that, the canola oil is highly processed, even if it is GMO free. I also question the gum acacia and the “natural” maple flavor. The word “natural” means something very different to food manufacturers than it does to us consumers and flavoring is typically pretty highly processed stuff as well depending on what is used.

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