Low-Carb Meals on the Run?

I've been thinking about seriously cutting back on my carbs, both for weight loss and to help avoid blood sugar swings.  If possible, I'd love to eat sort of like Phase 1 of South Beach for a while...  That more or less means lean protein, plus vegetables that are not carb-dense.  (I know I'll still have to treat any lows with sugar and other carbs, which means I might not get the full benefits that Phase 1 is supposed to offer, but at least I'd still be eating fewer carbs in general.)

The problem is that I eat two dinners "on the go" each week, while driving from work to my class on the other side of the city.  I currently opt for a Zone bar and some cheese and carrots, since those are all easily eaten without utensils and without having to take my eye off the road.

What the heck could I eat during that drive that would be very low carb but very "safe" while driving?  Maybe those little mini-quiches that are recommended for breakfast, but some variety would be nice!

Lunches can be a little tough too, as I like to go to the park for a picnic and a walk (I generally bring a turkey sandwich and veggies, maybe with hummus), but at least I can take the time to get a fork out and eat something like a big salad with tuna or something.


I can't really speak well of Phase 1 of the South Beach diet, as I tried it and hated it.  All I could think about was what I "couldn't" have.  But, maybe that's just me.

I do a fairly low-carb lunch, so I'll share what I do.  (I count it as 32 carbs.)  I'll fill a container with organic spring mix lettuce (maybe 4 fistfuls - it's a big salad), and add whatever else I feel like.  Things I might add are red pepper strips, boiled egg slices, onion, green olives, bacon bits (although I've recentliy cut those out), feta cheese (had to cut that out too, though it's DELICIOUS), diced tomato, or diced avocado.  The more variety I have in there, the more satisfying I find it.  I'll use a light dressing, and I try a new kind each time - the last one I really liked was a lemon poppyseed light dressing.  Then, I'll also have some greek yogurt, which is 21g of carb and 13g of protein.  It's not very carb-heavy, but it keeps me full for the afternoon because of the protein in the yogurt, and also because I get both savory and sweet in that meal. 

I realize the salad option wouldn't work for a drive, but maybe for your picnic?  You could also put all of it in a wrap, which would be less messy.

Good luck!


Do you choose lite dressing to avoid fat, or extra calories?  I've avoided it since diagnosis since it's usually much higher in carbs than the full-fat versions.

That's probably, on average, about the amount of carbs I eat in one meal.  I know that's not bad at all (especially compared to how the average American eats), but I think I could benefit from much consuming a lot less until I manage to get back into exercising.

That's what it always boils down to: exercise would do wonders without bothering to diet.

I have multiple reasons for despising low-carb/no-carb diets. I won't subject you to them unless you want me to :o)

If you are eating a salad, you need to have some form of fat with the meal. Most of the vitamins in salads are fat-soluble vitamins (Vit A,D,E,K) meaning they can only be transported throughout the body by fat molecules. So to get the nutrients out of that salad, there needs to be some fat in it. If you want to use fat-free dressing, you can always put some cheese or a little bit of meat or avocado or some other fat-containing food on it. 

If you have other questions about diets and/or weight loss, please feel free to send me a message. I'm more than happy to help out if you think you need it.

The light dressing choice is for reduced calories.  To be honest, I don't even look at fat content on salad dressing!  Typically the amount of dressing I use is around 10 - 12g of carb.


what about eggs? boil them the night before and store them in the fridge. only 1g of carbs. i love doing that for work when i can, since i don't have time to sit down for breakfast and usually end up skipping food til about 10 or 11 when i end up eating lunch!

Hey Elizabeth,

I know how feel, I did a ton of driving all over the country last year and I would hate to stop to eat, but I didn't want to overload on carbs. It seems as though most of the best things to eat while driving are usually carb heavy. A popular meal for myself was a sandwich made with light bread (usually around 10 grams per piece of bread) and then usually a piece of fruit. One of my favorites was celery with some peanut butter. All-in-all it ends up being around 30 grams for the meal. As far a salads go, I absolutely love making them. You can really experiment by combining a lot of different things, and don't forget not all salads need lettuce. One of my favorites is cutting up and avocado and an apple. Throw a few nuts in with it and then put a few drops of vinegar and oil in it too. Hope this helps.


I have class a few nights a week too and usually eat a late lunch or a snack in the afternoon, then don't eat dinner until after class (around 10pm).  A good work lunch is Progresso soup.  The potion is big and most have 30-40g of carb for the whole can.

A couple other portable lower carb foods items:

  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Cheese sticks
  • Cold sauteed chicken breasts (just hold it in a baggy and eat as you drive; pray no other drivers see you)
  • Ants on a log with celery, peanut butter and a few raisins (put in a tupperware container becuase they get messy in a baggy)

The only low carb thing most restaurants have are fajitas or salads.  Homemade stir fry won't raise my bs, but restaurant version always skyrockets it. 

Thanks everyone, good food ideas!

I guess, really, I already eat a fairly low-carb diet...  On average, if I'm not having a "naughty" day, my meals are around between 25 and 45 carbs.  Maybe I just need to focus on making sure those are the "right kind" of carbs to help avoid BG swings and start paying attention to calories a little again.  Weight loss is ultimiately about burning more calories than you consume.  *shrug*