By: Kristi Goode
Having some easy, healthy snacks to grab on the go can be a game-changer for your busy days. If you’re like most, you don’t prepare in advance and then you’re left with vending machine or convenience store options, or two-day old leftover cake and cookies from the office break room. The other issue is that most people choose healthy or "light" yogurts, plain bananas, granola bars, baked chips, or cheese crackers (they have cheese so they’re healthy, right?). These options are most likely not working for you, as I'm sure you'll be reaching for another snack within an hour. Even if these foods keep you satisfied, your metabolism is unhappy with your selections and your blood sugar is most likely screaming at you as well! Let’s see how we can upgrade those snacks on the go. Your body will be grateful!
Don’t know what to reach for when grabbing a snack?
The most effective way to choose a snack is finding one that will fill you up and keep you satiated until your next meal. Do you know the best way to do that? Choose one with some PROTEIN! Have you ever eaten a banana or an apple for a snack and felt it did nothing for you? Maybe you were even a little hungrier after you ate it? By itself, a banana or an apple is just made up of simple sugar. Yes, it has vitamins and minerals and fiber, but mostly sugar. And it needs a little help slowing down the absorption of its sugar into your bloodstream. That’s where protein and fat come into play! They both help keep you full and reduce that blood sugar spike!
While we’re all busy and feel like we have little time to prep or aren’t always “in the mood”, there is a way to prep quick snacks to take on the go! Below I have a list of simple and quick snacks on the go! Think of a snack in the same way that I teach you to balance and build your plate! Protein, fat & carbohydrates (MACROS) plus fiber! So not only will that keep your blood sugar steady and metabolism burning throughout the day, but it’ll keep you satiated and full.
2 oz turkey/ham (P), 1 oz sliced cheese (F) and apple slices (C)
2 HBE’s (P/F) and grapes (C)
2 oz turkey/ham (P), avocado (F) and rice cakes (C)
½ cup cottage cheese (P), cashews (F), and banana (C)
6 oz full fat Greek yogurt (P/F) and berries (C)
6 oz fat free Greek yogurt (P), sunflower seeds (F) and fruit (C)
Tuna punch (P) & seeded crackers (F/C)
Chicken salad w/ mayonnaise (P/F) and grapes (C)
Beef jerky (P), cheese stick (P/F) and sliced fruit (C)
2 oz deli meat (P), hummus (F/C) and cut veggies (C)
SO quick and easy, not to mention filling. Mix this up, use your favorite nuts, fruits and berries, veggies, deli meat. Tuna pouches, hard boiled eggs, guacamole cups, fruit cups with NO added sugar and even fresh sliced fruit can all be purchased on your grocery pick up days. Just plan! You can also swap crackers (whole grain or use rice crackers) for the rice cakes. The only way this will work is if it’s something you like and is easy.
High protein snacks are important to have around when hunger hits between meals, as they keep you full and satisfied. While many snacks can be unhealthy, there are plenty of healthy and portable options that you can enjoy even when you’re crunched for time. Here’s a list of other grab and go snacks that are easy to brag and go!
Jerky made from beef, chicken or turkey.
A portion of healthy mixed nuts—meaning varieties without added flavoring or a lot of salt
.Apples, celery with your favorite all-natural peanut butter and berries! (PB&J).
Bumble Bee and Starkist now offer protein-filled tuna in pre-made kits
Protein bars (look for whole-grain bars, low sugar, and more protein than carbohydrates).
Whey and plant-based protein powders for shakes or oatmeal.
Turkey roll-ups are a delicious and nutritious high protein snack consisting of cheese and veggies wrapped inside slices of turkey breast.
Energy bites/balls are a delicious, high protein snack made by combining a variety of ingredients, such as nut butters, oats, and seeds, and then rolling them into balls. Here is a recipe for peanut butter energy bites, which provide 5 grams of protein per serving.
In conclusion, look for easy and quick snacks that will keep you satiated in between meals and not looking for another snack in an hour!