I don’t know about you, but I find myself having less and less time to spend on food. Actually, I have the time, but choose to spend it elsewhere. Not because I don’t care about the food I choose to fuel with; hardly. I actually care quite a bit. In fact, my health is my #1 priority because in good health, you can BE, DO and HAVE anything you want to be.
But, focus is finite. You can do everything, but not everything all at once. It’s why I’m a huge proponent of automating your process around food and eating. It allows you to actually create time for other higher priority tasks (e.g. health, family, work/school). You know, those things you keep saying you’ll do, but aren’t actually doing? Yeah, those.
I know time is precious and we’re all short on it, so I’ll keep this brief. Since yours truly is hungry always and I juggle a lot in my day-to-day (we all do #noexcuses), it’s important for me to keep healthy snacks on hand that are just as easy as the convenient options so that I don’t start reaching for handfuls of this, or handfuls of that (i.e. mindless snacking) on every pass by the fridge or the pantry, just because. And, to avoid heading straight to the store, spending entirely way too much #impulsebuys and wasting even more time. *Flashbacks to that time in my life when I literally shopped snack-by-snack, meal-by-meal and made multiple trips to the store in the same day?!* Um, ain’t nobody got time for that anymore… or ever!
Below you’ll find some quick and easy snack/mini-meal/drink ideas that I enjoy #doyou and that satisfy my one and only food “rule:” SIMPLE + SATISFYING = SUSTAINABLE.
Oh, and for anything with a label,* quickie refresher on the Metabolic Effect (ME) Label Rule. Certainly not the end-all-be-all, but a good tool to have in your back pocket to help you decipher whether that packaged snack staring you in the face will support your health and physique goals; also balanced biofeedback (i.e. hunger, energy and cravings or HEC a la Metabolic Effect):
Total carbs-fiber-sugar alcohols (if applicable)-protein <10
The lower the number, the better; negative numbers are best for fat loss. Look for fat <15g. *per one serving Even if you don’t apply the label rule, please please please read your labels, watch for and avoid ADDED sugars. For your convenience, I’ve starred items below that are often sources of hidden sugar.
Without further adieu… here are some ideas to help get you started. Let me know if this was helpful, or if you have a favorite snack that should be on the list, but is not.
- Nuts and/or seeds – raw or dry roasted (e.g. almonds, cashews, macadamias, walnuts, pistachios; peanuts are not nuts)
- Fruit (esp. apples, pears and berries) or veggies with nut* or coconut butter – (e.g. almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter or my fave – NuttZo). [If fat loss is your primary goal, limit fruit to 1x/day.]
- Hummus (if you tolerate legumes okay – my belly doesn’t love on the reg, but this one is delish!), baba ghannouj or guacomole – eat with raw veggies of choice for a lower starch option (e.g. celery, bell pepper, carrots, cucumbers, snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes); or plantain or sweet potato chips, mindfully
- Tuna with tahini or mashed avocado
- Canned wild salmon with primal mayo
- Sustainably-caught, wild sardines (this is the only brand I will eat; there are others, but this is the least “fishy” I’ve found)
- Apple/pear or celery with nut butter* (single-serve packs are great for your purse, desk or diaper bag)
- Hard-boiled eggs (or eggs in any form)
- Nitrate-free deli meat* roll-ups – plain, or around a pickle, apple or avocado (e.g. turkey breast or ham)
- Quality cured meat roll-ups (e.g. salami, pepperoni, prosciutto) plain or around a little cheese or asparagus
- Rotisserie chicken
- If you can tolerate dairy ok, full fat, quality dairy* (e.g. plain yogurt – add a few crushed nuts, berries, cinnamon and/or stevia if you want; cheese)
- Old fashioned oats or oat bran with a scoop of protein (add dry ingredients to a ziploc – another great option for on-the-go – you can get hot water anywhere)
- Dried fruit* (watch serving size; limit to 1/4 c.)
- Dark chocolate (the darker the better in terms of sugar; look for options at least 72% cocoa)
- Kombucha* – I like GTs and Health Ade; some Kevita (read your labels; some are loaded with sugar)
- Coconut water
- Suja* (again, read your labels – I love the Lemongrass Lime Drinking Vinegar)
- Unsweetened teas; organic coffee (coffee is a heavily pesticide-sprayed crop – do your best)
- Seltzer water
- Craving Cocoa, or healthier cocoa drink: 1-2 T unsweetened cocoa powder, 6-8 oz. hot water and stevia, to taste- I prefer liquid stevia, in terms of taste) if you’re going the DIY route vs. the Craving Cocoa)
- Healthier homemade baked “treats” (e.g. healthy bread); still treats, and should be enjoyed in moderation
- Protein smoothie (use unsweetened dairy milk alternative; watch your mix-ins)
- Protein pancakes/muffins (freeze well and defrost quickly)
- Protein balls
- Protein bars
And, in case that wasn’t enough, here’s a list of 39 Paleo snacks you might enjoy.
Today’s post was inspired by a new friend (and brand new mama!) over coffee last weekend. I asked her about her #1 biggest healthy living struggle as a new mom. Her response? Snacking. Short on time in between feedings and life, coupled with all the information that’s out there a la ‘eat this, not that’, she said it can be overwhelming trying to decide who and what to believe, and then do, in the context of her nutrition. And she’s not alone. Snacking can be a tough thing for a lot of people and making healthy choices for snacks can be difficult.
If you struggle with snacking – knowing what to eat, whether it’s right for you or if you’d be better off increasing the #SatisfactionFactor of your meals – feel free to send me an email and let me know how I can help you! Or, leave a comment or message me directly on my Facebook page or on Instagram, where I post lots of mindset insights around eating and exercise, in addition to freebie workouts and recipes themselves. Come say ‘hey!’