Finally, it’s festival season! This weekend, Austin will be celebrating the mother of all festivals – SXSW.  Despite whether or not you’ve made your grand schedule and have everything properly planned and organized, SXSW continues to be the beast that consumes your energy, stamina and your ability to eat healthy or stay sober.

If you’re doing SXSW the right way, you’ll be crushing dozens of free drinks and tacos at some of the few hundred parties surrounding the festival. You’ll be on your feet almost all day long, walking from venue to venue and standing in long lines.  You’ll probably be able to hang in there for a day or two, but at some point you’ll hit a wall, ready to collapse from exhaustion.

Eating healthy during SXSW isn’t always an easy thing to accomplish, but with all of the walking around you’ll be doing you may be able afford to eat like crap for a couple of days without it affecting your festival fun. However, if you’re looking to avoid the mid-SXSW energy slump, you might want to consider packing a few healthy snacks to keep you charged and ready to tackle another panel, film or concert.  Here are 5 healthy snack ideas to help you conquer SXSW this year.


Trail Mix

Trail Mix

A trail mix with dried fruits and nuts is an obvious choice for any snacking on the go.  It’s generally a healthy snack to take to pretty much anywhere and especially easy to sneak in to the movie theater if you’re going to be watching a lot of Films during the festival.  Buy in bulk and pick up some almonds, walnuts, cashews, seeds or Brazil nuts and dried fruit like raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries and dried figs and you’ve got a winning concoction to power you through the day.  This is easiest snack to prepare and to pack, so have some fun with it and make your own mix.


Hummus and Veggies


Veggies are a healthy no brainier, regardless of any event you’re attending at SXSW. Pack up a little bag of vegetables (carrots, celery, snap peas, cherry tomatoes, etc.) and use them to dip in to some homemade mashed chickpeas (hummus) instead of a ranch dressing or cheese.  Don’t feel like making it yourself?  Pick up a Ready Pac snack at HEB or nearly any local store.  You can even buy them at 7-11.


Cheese, Fruit and Jerky

cheese and fruit

I love dried meats and cheeses so this is probably my favorite of the bunch. When you’re not busy stuffing your face with free tacos and beer, grab some fresh fruit that you can easily scarf down without causing a huge mess (apples, pears, grapes), add a couple of pieces of cheese, pretzels, crackers and jerky and you be in the game day long. You can easily find these items at any of the downtown markets.


Almond, Cashew and Peanut Butter


Nut butters have been the ultimate snack since it’s creation.  You don’t have to worry about it getting overheated while it sits in your bag all day long and it’s usually very filling without wrecking your appetite altogether.  You can’t go wrong with a classic peanut butter sandwich, just be sure to opt for some whole grain bread (pita, bagels, tortillas, English muffins, etc.) If you’d prefer to avoid the carbs, pick up various mini-packs of Justin’s nut butters and squeeze it.


Juices and Smoothies

Stella San Jac Brunch by Hayden Walker

You should never under estimate the power quality super foods you can blend in to healthy juices and smoothies. They’re super refreshing, velvety and very filling.  A fruit and veggie juice smoothie is one of the most delicious, well balanced snacks you can drink with an almost unlimited mix of combinations to enjoy.  If you plan on drinking a lot of alcohol at of the dozens of SXSW parties, a smoothie is the perfect snack to gulp down to keep you satiated before you destroy dozens of free cocktails.  These powerful blends are relatively easy to find, visit Stella San Jac in the Westin Austin Downtown, Whole Foods and Starbucks for a few of their delicious and healthy options.


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About The Author

Hayden Walker
Executive Editor | Co-Publisher

Hayden Walker is the Editor in Chief and Director of Operations for Austin Food Magazine

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