Here are some smart snack ideas that you can eat on the go (pack to take with you), at home when you need a snack between meals, or before/after a workout. Some work better than others for pre or post workout, but I’ll touch on that in the list. This list is sort of random, but I think that’s good because a lot of the time snacking is random. The need for a snack can hit us at random times throughout the day and random days of the week (which is sometimes why people make such poor snack decisions-they aren’t prepared). Some days we need a snack and others we don’t at all. So, here’s a list of snacks that are healthy, smart choices and the reasons why they are healthy. Knowing how good food benefits your body, makes you more inclined to remember it and make smarter decisions when reaching for a snack. So when you get a random snack-attack, remember this list!
- Organic Baby Carrots (or Bell Peppers) and Hummus: I love snacking on vegetables. It feels good to know you’re making a smart decision, and vegetables are the best decision. It’s always good to include a protein, too, that’s why hummus makes it the perfect pair.
- Almonds and other Nuts/Seeds: Almonds are a terrific snack-they have antioxidants, protein, and healthy fats. Other nuts and seeds are good, too, such as pistachios, cashews, peanuts (even though they’re a legume), pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds. You can mix your favorites together, throw in some raisins or cranberries, and make your own trail mix! Or you can just mix the seeds and nuts together, store them in an air-tight container and grab a handful when you need a little something. Nuts and seeds are great before or after a workout!
- Greek Yogurt: Plain or Vanilla are the best decisions because they will have the lowest amount of sugar compared to the fruit varieties. You can also cut up a bit of fresh organic fruit, grab some berries, or a scoop of nut butter and toss it in! I love adding a tablespoon of Almond Butter to my Vanilla Greek Yogurt, delicious! This is great post-workout.
- Sprout Bread/Ezekiel Bread with Cottage Cheese, Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, or (my new favorite) Peanut Coconut Spread! The Peanut Coconut Spread is by Earth Balance and is truly amazing. The bread + a nut butter or spread is good pre-workout, you got the carbs and protein to fuel you. It’s best to avoid dairy before a workout (cottage cheese).
- Green and Black’s Organic Chocolate: for when a craving hits! Both the Milk and 70% Dark Chocolate (my favorite) are delicious. Dark is always the better choice. Dark chocolate is filled with antioxidants. This is a treat!
- Gluten Free Tortilla Chips: I really like RW Garcia Mixt Bag, but shop around and see what’s out there. And of course you can pair these with some good salsa, guacamole, or hummus. Make your own or buy a quality brand at the store.
- Roasted Chick Peas: There are so many different ways to spice these up! All you have to do is whisk together oil (I would use coconut oil) and seasoning (cumin-1 tblsp, sea salt-pinch, black pepper-pinch, garlic powder-1 tsp, chile powder-1/2 tsp, and red pepper-dash), toss in the chickpeas and coat, lay the chickpeas on a baking sheet, and bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees F. Great anytime!
Snacking can be great when you know how to make smart decisions. Don’t let snacks scare you! Snacking on fruits or vegetables is very smart, but always pair with a protein! Protein is your friend. It is very important, especially if you are active. And remember, snacks should fuel you. Choices packed with nutrients and protein are the ones that will satisfy and benefit you and your body. Let these ideas teach you how to snack right and challenge you to make your own snack varieties. Choose wisely, mix it up, have fun, and happy snacking!
*Important note: whenever you eat a carbohydrate (bread or crackers) or sugar (fruit or chocolate) it is always best to pair it with a protein. The protein will balance out both choices. Eat bread or crackers with hummus, a cheese or nut butter, and eat fruit or chocolate with nuts, nut spread, or greek yogurt.
*Important note #2: BE PREPARED. If you have a long day ahead of you, pack a good snack. Utilize all that tupperware and zip top bags! Put together a healthy snack ahead of time, pack it up, and toss it in your bag. That way, you won’t feel tempted to spend a few bucks on a bag of chips or something else that you don’t need. It saves you time, money, and stress! Your body and your wallet will thank you 🙂