Yesterday, I had a friend at work ask me about how I develop meal plans and eat healthy throughout the day. The answer is pretty simple: planning!
Yes, it takes time, but it is so worth it. I normally try to plan out my meals (I’ll make about three “meals” per week that will last me with leftovers and such all week long). Although I don’t plan out my snacks at the beginning of the week, I always have a few things on hand to snack on throughout the day.
Today, I’m going to share a few of my favorites with you! These are simple, relatively inexpensive, and great to keep you going from meal to another without raiding the office candy jar or grabbing something out of the vending machine.
I typically eat a morning snack (fruit), mid-afternoon snack before I leave the office, and a bedtime snack. I also try to make sure I always keep something extra in my purse (KIND bar, cashews, etc.) so that I have something on hand if I really need it.
- Fruit (favorites include apples, bananas, clementines, and pears)
- Raw veggies with two-ingredient vegetable dip
- Granola bars (I love my Sweet, Savory, and Tart Granola Bars!)
- Greek yogurt with “granola” (I’m too cheap to buy actual granola, so I’ll throw some puffed wheat and/or dry oats on top. It gives it crunch for a fraction of the cost.)
- Two brown rice cakes with one tablespoon of nut butter, topped with flax seed or dark chocolate chips
- Melted banana (Place peeled, mashed banana in mug and microwave for about 30 seconds. Top with about five dark chocolate chips and a few nuts. Mix and enjoy!)
- Apple slices with low-fat cottage cheese and cinnamon
- Protein bars
- 1/4 cup oats and milk with a tablespoon of nut butter
- Blue corn chips (about 10 chips) with guacamole (My favorite is 100-Calorie Wholly Guacamole packets — so easy!)
- Baked tortilla chips (about 10 chips) and pico de gallo
- Small bowl of cereal with skim milk (Favorites include Kashi Heart Healthy Oats, Puffed Wheat, Wheat Chex, Crispix, Trader Joe’s O’s, or any combination of the above!)
- Three Crisp & Light Wasa Crisps with Almond Butter
- Trail Mix (1/3 cup total of almonds, peanuts, cashews, and raisins)
- Coconut milk ice cream (1/3 cup serving)
- Apple + two tablespoons of nut butter
- Vanilla greek yogurt with 1/2 chopped apple, dry oats, and cinnamon
- Two cups kettle corn (top with cinnamon if desired)
- One 3/4 inch slice of a healthy quick bread topped with nut butter (My favorites include healthy banana bread and good-as-can-be, grain-free pumpkin bars.)
- Small smoothie (about 1 cup), such as a pumpkin spice smoothie
- One serving whole grain crackers with one cheese stick
- One whole wheat english muffin topped with mashed avocado and a little salt
- One KIND bar (I love the dark chocolate sea salt flavor!)
- Tall latte with skim milk (My favorite is the Starbucks Skinny Vanilla Latte — mmm!)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin mixed with two tablespoons of greek yogurt + one tablespoon nut butter
Since really embracing “healthy living,” I’ve made one major change with my snacks: I make them real. There are plenty 100-calorie packs and “low fat” cookies, granola bars, and brownies, but these are often full of processed ingredients that are rarely satiating. These snacks may be higher in “calories,” but by eating real foods, you’ll fill up more quickly and stay fuller longer than you would when eating a pre-packaged snack.
What are your favorite healthy snacks?