Raise your hand if you like to SNACK! OK, you can put your hand down. Mine was up in the air and waving because I can’t go a day (or even a couple hours) without a good snack. I think it’s important to eat when you’re hungry and not deny yourself because it isn’t “meal time” yet.
I used to find myself chowing down on multiple granola bars per day. While bars are fine for easy travel snacks or something in a pinch, you might not feel your best if a chunk of your diet is made up solely of prepackaged snacks or protein bars. I speak from experience! I have found myself on a traveling day eating 3 granola bars because that was in my bag and craving nothing but veggies after!
Packaged snacks are also a sneaky source of sugar. Many ‘healthy’ bars still contain sugar in disguise. Ingredients such as agave, evaporated cane syrup, brown rice syrup (pretty much any syrup), honey, maple syrup, and anything ending in “-ose” is sugar! I know you might be thinking, “I thought honey, agave, and maple syrup were healthy?” I want to emphasize that these ingredients are not the devil! Honey is a great sweetener if you need one because it does contain some nutrients. Maple Syrup is a great vegan option to replace honey (and a solid option for pancakes and waffles…duh). Agave gets too good of a reputation. It’s lauded as the health food sweetener, but it is actually highly processed so I like to stay away. The point here is to minimize sugar where there shouldn’t be any. No need to take it out of cake or cookies, but a healthy snack doesn’t need to throw half your daily recommended value down the drain!
Now, time to solve this sugary snack problem! As promised, here are my favorite non-packaged snacks:
Homemade trail mix- I always carry a mini container of unsalted mixed nuts with raisins and dried cranberries in my purse or backpack. This is my emergency snack stash! It’s great because nuts are really filling and they provide good healthy fats.
Roasted veggies- Yes. I like eating leftover roasted veggies as a snack! Sometimes you have to think a little outside the box. I like to pack leftover roasted carrots in a small tupperware to take with me for between classes. I also bring a mini container of avocado as well for some guac dipping.
Loaded sweet potatoes- These are a cinch to make! Once I discovered you can bake potatoes in the microwave in 5 minutes it was a game changer (just prick it first!) I’ll usually have half a baked sweet potato topped with nut butter, fruit, and any combination of chia seeds, flax, or coconut flakes
Yogurt bowl- I’m back and forth with yogurt, but when I am feeling it I always go for PLAIN greek yogurt (no added sugar!) topped with fruit, homemade granola if I have any, chia or flax seeds, and nut butter stirred in.
Hard boiled eggs, sprouted toast with PB, mini smoothies, and homemade muffins are other simple faves.
I hope these give you some good ideas! What are your favorite things to snack on?