In a perfect world, we could all prepare a warm, healthy meal with fresh ingredients every time we’re hungry. But when you’re running from work to school, to the gym, and trying to squeeze in extracurriculars - you know that’s not reasonably possible. Plus, when you don’t pack snacks, you’re more likely to grab whatever's in front of you - and that may not be the best choices for your fitness goals! I know for me, it’s impossible NOT to raid my entire refrigerator when I’m home from a long day without snacks! Pre-planning what you eat during your day is key to reaching your fitness goals.
So what do you eat? Sometimes, grabbing a piece of fruit is satisfying, other times you want to mix it up and have that sweet or salty sensation. I hear so many of my clients saying they slipped up by grabbing the cupcakes brought by a friend at work or raided the candy bowl for a Twix bar! While I don’t recommend candy bars as snacks, I do think you should get creative with your mini meals, and healthily feed your cravings. Snacks should never be boring!
For that reason, here are 5 On-the-Go snacks to switch things up!
1. Quest bar
I’m a huge advocate for Quest Nutrition! Quest bars are high-fiber and low-sugar protein bars that come in all the best flavors. If you have a weakness for cookies, try warming up their cookie-dough bar in the microwave for 15-seconds for a nice “fresh-out-the-oven” tasting cookie! Weighing in at 160-210 calories, most Quest Bars supply around 20-grams of protein and 14-grams of fiber, keeping you full longer and satisfying that sweet tooth! Plus, they're easy to throw in your bag and eat while running to the class you're late to.
2. Homemade Trail Mix
Trail mix is my ultimate weakness. Unfortunately, most store-bought trail mixes contain tons of sodium and sugar-filled dried fruit and chocolate. Lucky for us, we can make our own! Try picking a few salty foods (whole-grain pretzels, rice crackers, or slightly-salted peanuts), one sweet food (no-sugar-added dates or other fruit, freeze-dried mango, or Trader Joe's peanut butter crisps), and even mixing in some low-sugar cereal, popcorn, and cacao nibs! You can easily make a healthy version of your fave trail mix - win!
I’m def a sucker for chips, but they don't go well with my fitness goals, to say the least. For those who can’t say no to barbecue or cheesy things - I have something for you! Popchips are a healthy swap for the regular bag of Lays. With only around 140 calories per mini-bag, Popchips contain no trans fat or cholesterol, and only 19 carbs! They aren’t deep-fried and contain all-natural ingredients- now with tons of flavors to choose from! It’s a great way to get your chip fix in.
4. Pre-cut Apple with Peanut Butter
The only thing better than a fresh, juicy apple, is an apple with peanut butter! According to WebMD, peanut butter contains omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fat, which is linked to healthy fat-levels in your blood and hearth! Plus, fat makes you stay full for longer! I, myself, am a huge peanut butter junkie (I mean, it makes EVERYTHING taste better), but I highly recommend finding a natural brand of peanut butter with no added salt or sugar. I like Trader Joe’s brand because it has minimal ingredients. Cut up an apple in a plastic container and measure out two tablespoons of peanut butter for a delicious snack that’s satisfying and healthy!
5. Homemade Oatmeal-Banana Chip Cookies
One of the best discoveries I’ve made are these bad boys! Plus, they only use three ingredients: two large bananas, two cups of dry oatmeal, and your desired amount of dark chocolate chips. Mash everything together in a bowl, and separate the mix into small balls on a baking sheet. Cook them in the oven at 350-degrees for about 12 minutes, and you have a quick and delicious cookie snack! Each cookie has around 60 calories, but they’re filled with healthy carbs that are perfect for a morning or pre-workout snack.
Sometimes, life throws you curveballs, but with these snacks- things just got a little easier! Get creative with your food choices so you can still enjoy your favorite snacks while keeping your options healthy and temptation away.
Have any more great snack ideas? Comment below.