I realize that although everyone knows home-cooked/prepared food is the best option {for your wallet and nutritional sanity}, it’s not always practical. When you have zero time to spend in your kitchen, you need a list of the “safe” pre-packaged foods you can easily either order online or grab at the grocery store.

To be completely honest, I would have to guess that my actual food intake is something like this:

  • 60% homemade
  • 10% off-the-shelf
  • 30% restaurant
  • 5% dreaming of my next meal

Before I get too far into a list of my favorite “safe” pre-packaged foods, I must formally introduce you to my sisters. This is our attempt at a Charlie’s Angels pose … we never claim to be coordinated or graceful.


That’s me on the left, Samantha {the beautiful, brilliant, strong, academic} in the middle, and Kimberly on the right.

Although my youngest sister, Samantha, is one of the most incredible people you could ever meet, I want to focus on my other dazzling sister, Kimberly.


Kimberly {middle sister} is talented, hilarious, beautiful, entertaining, chasing her dreams and taking no prisoners. She’s an inspiration. A few years ago, Kimberly won the Texas A&M University Battle of the Bands. Her victory there earned her a spotlight in the musical production world and she’s been taking full advantage ever since.

She currently has one album out {you can find it here or on iTunes} and is working on her 2nd. Although Kimberly’s music is widely accepted as “Texas Country,” her heartfelt performances, accidental stage comedy, and lyrical/musical depth has won the hearts of fans all over the nation.

Kimberly wants to offer her next album as “pay what you say.” As you may guess, music production is extremely expensive. In an effort to both put food on her table and release her next album as “free,” she needs help covering production costs.

If you’re reading this after Friday, April 19th, then I love you just the same and you should still check out her Facebook and webpage.

The music industry is no laughing matter. It chews up and spits out aspiring artists like I do strawberry bubble gum on a drowsy drive across TX. Kim, however, has a relentless heart, unyielding spirit, and ruthless drive. You will see her on the Grammys one day. This is your opportunity to claim that you helped her get there. Spread the word. 🙂

What’s the relevance of Paleo off-the-Shelf? It was Kimberly’s idea.

She is ALWAYS on the road touring and finds it really difficult to keep fresh food in her van. I promised I’d come up with a shopping list of healthy pre-made food so she’s not left re-heating gas station macaroni and cheese at 4 a.m. on her way across Texas.

So whether you’re getting ready for a road trip across the country, a radio tour across Texas and Oklahoma, need snacks for your desk, or want pre-made goodies for your kiddos at home, I’ve got some tasty suggestions.


For starters, let’s discuss one of the most widely recognized and enjoyed pre-made paleo foods, the Larabar. They are sweetened with dates, nut-based, store well, pretty affordable {~$1.30/ea}, handy when you’re in a pinch, and very tasty. Although Larabar makes a few non-paleo bars, I’ve taken the liberty of scanning all the nutrition labels and pulled out the paleo-friendly options. Must highlight the Cherry Pie Larabar. It’s my favorite and served as the inspiration for these Paleo sour cherry energy balls.


Next, the Plantain Chip. They’re easy to make but also easy to find pre-made. I found these in the bulk-foods section of Whole Foods. Make sure you read the labels and avoid anything that uses canola or vegetable oil. Plantain Chips are crunchy, salty, not too sweet, and nice when you just need a little snack.

What’s your favorite nut? I hope it’s not a peanut. If it is, you should know it’s not a nut {it’s a legume}. I know a lot of paleo-ists think almonds are overused, but I don’t care. I love them and I can’t help it. Natural unsalted almonds are my favorite. They store well, are slightly sweet, and provide great mono-unsaturated fats. Pick your favorite nut, buy in bulk, and store in a room-temp container.

BERRIES. I realize fresh berries don’t exactly fit the “pre-made” mold, but you should buy lots of them and take them everywhere with you. Worried fresh berries won’t last? Buy frozen! Or better yet, buy loads of them when they’re in season and freeze for the rest of the year. Raspberries are my favorite but strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries are also good choices. These amazing little belt-friendly gems are easy to snack on a few at a time, can help fight cancer, keep your mind sharp, lower blood pressure, help you feel full AND satisfy your sweet tooth.


Fruit leathers! Remember fruit roll-ups? I LOVED them. I would gladly trade my {typically} turkey and cheese sandwich on wheat with anyone at school who had an extra roll-up they didn’t want. These All-Natural Fruit Strips made by Stretch Island Fruit Co. are a great option if you want an easy all-fruit, no sugar added, snack. Strawberry is my favorite flavor.


Dehydrated tomatoes. Dried fruits and veggies are a pretty good idea but be weary that most of the off-the-shelf options are loaded with other preservatives and sweeteners. Just Tomatoes is an awesome company that makes dehydrated and freeze-dried veggies/fruits without ANY added flavors or chemicals. Their tomatoes are delicious and addicting. Be careful not to eat too many at a time, like good crusty bread, they’ll scratch the roof of your mouth. Dehydrated apples. This is one of my other favorite products by Just Tomatoes. The Just Apples are also delicious and more economical than some of their other products. Check out their online store so you can order in bulk! Freeze-dried peaches. If you follow me on instagram, these might look familiar. Whole Foods, via their 365 brand, makes the most delicious freeze-dried peaches. An entire bag {1.2 oz. worth} is only 100 cal and satisfies even the most outrageous sweet tooth.


Jerky. This is iffy territory. I know I can ruffle the paleo-purists’ feathers if I start talking about jerky that’s not exactly paleo. Most jerkies are cured using some sort of soy sauce. Read labels and choose the one you feel the most comfortable with. My opinion? If you’re deciding between a bag of jerky that has a little soy and sugar vs. an old plastic-ey pizza from the night before, go with the jerky.


Kale chips! They’re easy to make at home {homemade kale chips} but a few great brands of pre-made have recently popped up. I love the Kale Krunch Quite Cheezy. They’re really delicious, totally paleo, and taste like cheesy chips.

Thirsty? First, drink some water. After you’re tired of the water, then how about some coconut water?? It’s refreshing, delicious, has as much potassium as a banana, lactose-free, and easy to store on a shelf. Want something else to drink? Starbucks may be nowhere in sight and unsweetened bottle tea can be hard to find in a gas station. Teas’Tea has some great options for unsweetened bottled teas online and in some stores. Their Pure Green Tea is one of my favorites. Green tea can offer you a little caffeine, an antioxidant boost, can help you burn fat, lower cholesterol, and maybe even fight cancer. Drink up!

Still hungry? How about some almond butter?! If you haven’t met Justin, allow me to introduce you. You two are going to hit it off great. I just know it. Justin’s makes really delicious pouches of almond butter. Justin’s also comes in jars, but then you’ve got portion control and a sticky spoon/knife to deal with. The pouches are ideal for on-the-go. I prefer my almond butter on apples, bananas, or my finger.


Ready for dessert? The really selfish part of me doesn’t want to tell you about Green & Black’s 85% Organic Fair-Trade Dark Chocolate. I’m afraid that after word gets out, I won’t be able to find it. The practical {okay, insane} part of me bought about 10 bars for good measure and is going to share the chocolate love anyways. This stuff is GEWD. It’s dairy-free and the smoothest, creamiest, darkest dark chocolate you can find. It’s ideal for when you just need a little bite of chocolate. I always have at least one bar in my desk drawer. Want a paleo dessert on-the-go that will blow your mind? Smear some Justin’s Almond Butter on a few squares of G&B’s 85%. I dare you.


The list:


Cassandra, Samantha, and Kimberly


About the Author

Cassy Joy Garcia, NC

Cassy Joy Garcia, a New York Times best-selling author, of Cook Once Dinner Fix, Cook Once Eat All Week, and Fed and Fit as well as the creative force behind the popular food blog Fed & Fit.

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  1. Great list. I love those Kale Krunch chips. I can’t believe how tasty they are. I just shared my favorite packaged paleo snacks (25 total) on my latest blog post. Those Kale chips made my list too.

    If anyone is looking for easy snacks to pack for on the go check it out. I even have 5 paleo snacks you can find at a gas station.

  2. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS LIST!! I am prepping for a switch to Pro now and wasnT sure if anything pre-packaged would be approved. GreAt options, thank you again!

  3. You guys should consider packaging these just like in that basket picture at the end, and selling it, perhaps a kickstarter 🙂

  4. Didn’t know your sister was a Texas country music artist! How awesome! If you like jerky, you should try the new EPIC bar. It’s 100% paleo, grass-fed, local Texas protein bars! Here is the link: http://epicbar.com/ Also, Thunderbird bars are amazing as well. More Texas local love 🙂

  5. Beautiful sisters!!!! Thanks for the list of “on the go “stuff, very helpful.

  6. Sophia’s Survival Food = Grass-Fed/Sugar-Free JERKY!! And it’s delicious 😀

  7. You guys are beautiful! Thanks so much for the shopping list. I travel often, very often, in fact and I’m always looking for small snacks that I can put in my bag – that TSA won’t take away from me. This is very helpful. Kimberly Dunn is quite talented, as witnessed from her webpage, kimberlydunnmusic.com. I will donate to her KickStarter and wish her well. I’ve often wondered how the entertainment industry works – I guess those music talent shows overlook plenty of wonderful individuals. Go Kimberly Dunn!

    1. This is great! Thank you so much for the support! It warms my heart right up 🙂