Portable Sugar & Flour Free Meal Ideas

Looking for portable healthy, sugar and flour free foods to take on-the-go? Here are my best tips and meal ideas.

Plant-Based Protein On-The-Go:

  • Beans – cooked or canned, portioned into single-serving containers or ziplocks
  • Edamame – shelled and portioned into single-serving containers or ziplocks
  • Quinoa – pre-cooked and portioned into single-serving containers or ziplocks
  • Lentils – pre-cooked and portioned into single-serving containers or ziplocks
  • Nuts – pre-portioned into snack-sized ziplocks
  • Soy Nuts – pre-portioned into snack-sized ziplocks
  • Chickpea Snacks – pre-portioned into snack-sized ziplocks
  • Hummus – it already comes in handy portable containers!
  • Single Serving Nut Butter Packets – or pre-portion jarred nut butter into dressing containers
  • Tahini dressing – pre-portioned into single servings in dressing containers
  • Peanut dressing – pre-portioned into single servings in dressing containers
  • Hummus dressing – pre-portioned into single servings in dressing containers
  • Chickpea “tuna” salad – (includes a fat serving) weighed into single-serving containers

Veggies On-The-Go:

  • Pre-make salads and put them into quart-sized ziplocks
  • Pre-slice raw veggies and put them into quart-sized ziplocks
  • Veggies that are hardy and last a few days in a cooler:
    • Baby carrots
    • Sliced bell peppers
    • Mini-cucumbers
    • Cherry tomatoes
    • Chopped kale & cabbage salads (cruciferous veggies)

Healthy Fats On-The-Go

  • Avocados
  • Olives – pre-weighed in snack-sized ziplocks or dressing containers
  • Single Serving Nut Butter Packets – or pre-portion jarred nut butter into dressing containers
  • Oil or Dressing – pre-portioned into single serving dressing containers

Fruit On-The-Go:

  • Pretty much all fruits are portable!
  • I like to pre-portion fruits like cherries or berries in glass tupperware so that they don’t get squished.
  • Melons work well pre-cubed or in melon ball form and stored pre-portioned in containers.
  • Apples are great for hikes.

Grains On-The-Go

Food Prep Tips for Portable Meals

  • Portion your dry goods into single servings and store them in ready-to-go single-serving ziplock baggies or tupperware containers. I love these GoStak containers for single servings of dressings. This works well with dry cereal, oatmeal, nuts/seeds, grains, soy nuts, dried chickpeas, etc.
  • Chop fruits like melons or berries ahead of time and store in the cooler pre-portioned in Tupperware containers.
  • Store pre-portioned veggie baggies in the cooler for car meals or quick stops. Baby carrots, peppers, snap peas, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers all work well.
  • Bring bagged, pre-portioned nuts, soy nuts, or dried chickpeas into restaurant situations so that you always have a protein option. There is almost always a salad or veggie option. Choose salad, add your supplemental protein, ask for oil and vinegar on the side, and a side of fruit. Boom. No excuses or exceptions.
  • Store dressings, fats, and condiments pre-portioned in little single-serving dressing containers. I love GoStak containers and use them literally every day.

Portable Sugar & Flour Free Meals Ideas for Road Trips & Camping

Looking for healthy trip-friendly meals to fuel an upcoming adventure? Here are a few tips.

My husband and I love to van camp. We love our Toyota Sienna mini-van and have removed the seats to convert it into a mini-camper. (The back row of seats folds into the floor, which is perfect if we ever want to take other passengers) We’ve taken multiple cross country road trips in this fashion over the years, staying in campgrounds, national parks, and the occasional Walmart parking lot.


Food Prep Before You Go

I like to pre-portion my meal components before I leave into single serving containers or ziplock bags. These can easily be stored in a cooler or food bins. This makes it so that it takes zero effort to put a healthy meal together after a long willpower-depleting day of adventuring. At mealtime, I just grab all my components and throw everything onto a big camping plate.

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Easy, No-Cook Breakfasts for Travel

Cold Cereal &  Fruit

  • Grain: 1 oz dry cereal
  • Fruit: Berries, melon, bananas, apple, etc.
  • Protein: 4 oz of milk or yogurt and 1 oz nuts or seeds

Packing List: Cooler, bowl, spoon, knife, cutting board.

Caption: Quick Puffed Cereal Bowl – Pre-portion into containers ahead of time, just add milk/yogurt and fruit in the morning for an instant breakfast.

Rice Cakes, Nut Butter & Fruit

  • Grain: 1 oz dry rice cakes
  • Protein: 2 oz nut butter
  • Fruit: 1 banana or apple (or weigh 6 oz)

Packing List: Knife, cutting board.

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Healthy Breakfast Cookies, Muffins, or Bars

  • One recipe of these cookies makes a complete and filling breakfast. They don’t need to be refrigerated and will keep for about a week. Recipes are in the link above. Great for airplanes and hiking!

Packing List: A baggie with your cookies in them! No prep required.

Caption: Breakfast Cookies & Tea on a Plane

Overnight Breakfast Porridge

  • Grain: 1 oz dry rolled oats or instant oats (steel cut doesn’t work here)
  • Protein: 4 oz yogurt or milk
  • Protein: 0.5 oz flax, hemp, or chia seeds (I use a mix) 
  • Protein: 0.5 oz nuts for topping
  • Fruit: 6 oz fruit for topping
  • Spices: 1/8 tsp cinnamon

Directions: Stir together oats, yogurt, a little water (so it doesn’t turn in to cement), seeds, and cinnamon. Store in cooler to refrigerate overnight. Add fruit and nuts before eating. 

Packing List: Cooler, tupperware or jar with a lid, bowl, spoon, cutting board, knife.

Caption: Overnight Breakfast Porridge in the forest – Rolled oats, unsweetened soymilk, pecans, banana, cinnamon


Easy, No-Cook, Lunches & Dinners

For Hikes, Rest-Stops, Scenic Stops, Car Meals, Camping, or Hotel Room Meals

Hummus Platter

  • Protein: 4 oz hummus
  • Veggies: Raw veggies such as carrots, bell peppers, snap peas, cherry tomatoes, or cucumbers.
  • Fat: 0.5 oz almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, or other favorite nut, or 1/2 of an avocado
  • Grain: 1 oz seed crackers or flourless bread of choice
  • Fruit: 6 oz apple, pear, banana, cherries, pineapple, melon, or other easily transportable fruit.

Caption: Raw sliced veggies w/ Mary’s Crackers, avocado, hummus, and an apple

Bean & Corn Salad

  • Protein: 6 oz black beans or 4 oz shelled edamame (or sub 4 oz quinoa)
  • Veggies: Red onion, red peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, salad greens
  • Fat: 1/2 avocado, diced
  • Grain: Add 4 oz quinoa or your other grain of choice.
  • Side of Fruit: 6 oz apple, pear, banana, cherries, pineapple, melon, or other easily transportable fruit.

Chickpea “Tuna” Salad

  • Protein & Fat: 1 serving of Chickpea Tuna Salad (recipe link above)
  • Veggies: Raw veggies such as carrots, bell peppers, snap peas, cherry tomatoes, or cucumbers.
  • Grain: 1 oz seed crackers or flourless bread of choice
  • Side of Fruit: 6 oz apple, pear, banana, cherries, pineapple, melon, or other easily transportable fruit.

Tahini Bowl

  • Protein: 3 oz chickpeas or beans
  • Protein: 1 serving Go-To Tahini Sauce
  • Veggies: Raw pre-portioned salad, or pre-roasted or steamed veggies.
  • Fat: 0.5 oz (or 1 tablespoon) nuts, or 1/2 of an avocado, or 0.5 oz (1 tablespoon) olive oil
  • Grain: 1 oz seed crackers or flourless bread
  • Side of Fruit: 6 oz apple, pear, banana, cherries, pineapple, melon, or other easily transportable fruit.
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Caption: Packed salad w/ edamame, tahini dressing, rice crackers, apple (at Shoshone Falls, Idaho)

Caesar Salad

  • Protein: 3 oz chickpeas or beans
  • Protein: 1 serving Caesar Dressing 
  • Veggies: Raw pre-portioned salad, or pre-roasted or steamed veggies.
  • Fat: 0.5 oz (or 1 tablespoon) nuts, or 1/2 of an avocado, or 0.5 oz (1 tablespoon) olive oil
  • Grain: 1 oz seed crackers or flourless bread
  • Side of Fruit: 6 oz apple, pear, banana, cherries, pineapple, melon, or other easily transportable fruit.

Kale & Quinoa Salad

Kale salad is great to make ahead because it only gets yummier when it sits with dressing on it for a few days, as opposed to lettuce which gets soggy and gross. Use veggies that also can withstand storage for a few days such as cherry tomatoes, carrots, peppers, snap peas, green beans, radishes, etc.

  • Protein: 3 oz chickpeas or beans and 2 oz quinoa
  • Veggies: Chopped kale, massaged with a splash of oil and lemon juice. Other hearty salad veggies.
  • Fat: 0.5 oz olive oil (or 1 tablespoon)
  • Side of Fruit: 6 oz apple, pear, banana, cherries, pineapple, melon, or other easily transportable fruit.

Crunchy Thai Salad w/ Peanut Dressing

  • Protein: 1 serving of Easy Peanut Sauce
  • Protein: Shelled edamame (2 oz) or bean sprouts (3 oz), or peanuts (1 oz) or double the dressing amount.
  • Veggies: Lettuce or salad mix of choice, shredded cabbage, bell pepper, cucumber, shredded carrots, snap peas, etc.
  • Fat: Add coconut milk to the dressing (see the recipe) or add 0.5 oz of oil or peanuts to the salad.
  • Grain: 4 oz cooked rice or other grain of choice.
  • Side of Fruit: 6 oz apple, pear, banana, cherries, pineapple, melon, or other easily transportable fruit.

Caption: Packed salad w/ edamame, peanut dressing, rice crackers, apple.


Camping Meals

I LOVE campfire cooking. My favorite thing to do is grilling veggies, corn in the husks, and veggie sausages or burgers on a campfire grate, but I’m sure you can think of plenty more plant-based and non-plant based grilling options. I keep it simple with oil, salt, and pepper. I also love wrapping potatoes and sweet potatoes in foil and cooking them on coals.

Caption: Marinated portobellos in worcestershire sauce, with grilled asparagus

Another one of my favorite camping meals is tangy slaw with potato salad and white beans or chickpeas simmered in a bit of BBQ sauce. Divine.

Also, for some reason my meals taste SO good when I’m hiking and camping. Maybe it’s the scenery.

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Breakfast and morning art time overlooking the Grand Canyon

What are your favorite portable meals? Share your ideas in the comments below!

14 Comments

  1. Terry Nunez

    Thank you Katie!!!! I truly enjoyed the camping and sight seeing I did through your post!!!!
    Love love loved it!

  2. Robin

    Oh wow, I am so sorry about your backpacking gear being stolen. That stinks! Wonderful photos and meal suggestions – thanks for always sharing such great ideas. I hope you return to backpacking some day, and if you ever have BLE-friendly suggestions that are more suitable for a bear canister than a cooler, that will make for even more happy outdoor adventures!

  3. Lovely and helpful post… Thank you!

  4. Mary

    THANK YOU for putting together such a wonderful site!! I’m on day 6 of BLE and looking at your recipes and tips & tricks has been immensely helpful and has helped to alleviate a lot of anxiety of the sustainability of this lifestyle! I’m very outdoorsy and adventurous too and was particularly stressing about how I could camp and hike and stick to my bright lines. You’ve renewed my hope that camping and hiking and adventuring will be so much better once I’ve lost my weight and my body is living in a sugar and flour free state.

    • You are so welcome Mary, it truly IS possible! Best wishes on your journey! <3

    • Anonymous

      Me too! Starting out is a little undaunted but this site will help soooo much! Cleaned out my cupboards and ready to roll! Thank you

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  6. keri french

    Katie, love your ideas for BLE on a road trip adventure. Can you offer me some tips on BLE on a weeklong backpack trip? I’ll be on maintenance by this trip in June. I posted this question to Boot Camp folks and a coaching call but all I got was to go freeze dried. This doesn’t really help with getting my veggies at lunch and dinner while we’re on the move each day. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I’m wondering if I going to be hauling cabbages into the backcountry, eek! I’m baffled but unwilling to give up my love of backpacking or my commitment to bright shiny lines. Thanks for your ideas, Keri

    • Hi Keri, I’ve thought about this one. I used to be a backcountry backpacker but I haven’t gone since doing BLE (due to all my backpacking gear being stolen… but that’s a different story). If it were me, I’d just bring what I know I need to have a successful backcountry backpacking trip, and not worry about my veggies. I would modify my food plan and make my meal decisions well ahead of time, and commit them to a buddy. I would use past experience of what foods I like and how much fuel I need, and I’d include no-sugar no-flour foods like grains, legumes, nuts, fruits, etc. I would eat throughout the day whenever I get hungry, and I would enjoy a sane backpacking trip. When I got home I would resume my regular food plan and routine. The beauty of BLE is that you can do whatever you want, as long as you keep your bright lines, check your plan with your highest self, write it down the night before, and externalize it or commit it to someone else. That’s not any official advice, that’s just what I would personally do. Know thyself. Let me know what you decide to do and how it goes! <3

      • keri french

        Katie – thank you so very much for your words of experience and wisdom!! Just what I’ve been looking for. That makes so much sense to me and I genuinely appreciate that you know what challenges a backpack trip presents. Thank you again!!

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  8. Shawna

    Love love love this! So very glad I found you! I think we are kindred spirits 🤗

  9. Pingback: Beginner's Guide to Plant-Based Eating | Katie's Bright Kitchen

  10. Brenda Fitch

    Enjoyed your travel photos and food prep ! Looks like you have a pretty darn cool life! Thanks, Katie!

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