We’ve all been there. Your meeting, kids' practice, doctor’s appointment runs late, and your next meal is many stomach-grumbling hours away. What’s a busy, hungry, multi-tasker to-do? As a nutrition coach, I practice what I preach, and always have stashes of healthy snacks everywhere I spend time. My car, my gym bag, and my purse always have non-perishable, energy-boosting snacks, because delays are inevitable.
I talked to a few leading wellness experts to get their favorite healthy snack ideas.
Holistic Nutritionist and "Body Love" author, Kelly LeVeque, looks for a few qualities in her snacks, “My favorite snacks are Fab Four and made of protein, fat, fiber, and greens. Protein ups collagen, muscle tone, and metabolism; fat benefits hormones, skin, and cellular health; fiber promotes gut microbiome proliferation and detoxification; and greens (or veggies deep in color) provide cancer and inflammation fighting phytonutrients. This combination is a fail safe.”
Here are some great healthy snacks to keep you fueled and away from those regrettable hangry-moments.
Primal Kitchen’s Mark Sisson is a fan of Artisana’s raw, organic nut butter. “A couple of spoonfuls of a nut butter takes the edge off hunger and satisfies the craving. It’s almost 100% fat so it accomplishes that goal of getting rid of a craving.”
Moon Juice founder Amanda Chantal Bacon also stays energized with raw, activated, stone-ground nut or seed butter. “I will literally drink it out of the jar when I’m hungry and on the go.”
LeVeque takes to the kitchen and enjoys making nut butter bites by mixing one tablespoon of walnut butter with one tablespoon of coconut butter. It’s a healthy, protein-packed coconut cream pie!
Look for organic nut butter where the only ingredients listed are nuts and salt. Steer clear of added sugars, hydrogenated oils, and words you can’t pronounce.
If you want something to put your nut butter on besides a knife or your finger (no judgment), look for some healthy crackers. Sisson reaches for Jilz gluten-free and grain-free crackers. “They’re a one-two punch: amazing flavor, texture, and taste, but with an unparalleled nutritional profile.”
Naturopath and holistic health expert Dr. Nancy Steely also likes a gluten-free cracker. “Look for the kind with seeds and grains like Mary’s Gone Crackers Super Seed Classic. Throw them into a bag for an easy, space-conserving way to help eliminate the munchies.”
Nut butter, hummus, and avocado are all great Fab Four toppers.
I’m all about texture so when I need a healthy snack, I reach for something crunchy. Class Pass founder Payal Kadakia agrees. “I make sure to always have healthy snacks on hand like baby carrots.” They’re highly transportable and there’s something so satisfying about the crunch.
Dr. Steely also likes the idea of reaching for something crunchy between meals. “Celery or sliced jicama in a baggie can give you that crunch that the brain associates with snacking, but in a much healthier form than potato chips, while also providing fiber and a solid dose of antioxidant vitamins.”
LeVeque enjoys loading up jicama and cucumber slices with guacamole or even tuna salad for a more substantial snack.
The protein bar is one of the most popular healthy snacks. I always pack a few when I’m traveling as they deliver a lot of bang for the buck. Again, watch out for fillers, sugars, and stabilizers in your bars so you’re only eating clean ingredients.
“The time of day I workout fluctuates a lot so I always make sure to have a KIND bar on hand for refueling,” says Kadakia.
Leveque likes Primal Kitchen’s coconut cashew bars, while Sisson usually reaches for Primal Kitchen Dark Chocolate Almond Collagen or Epic’s Bison Bacon Cranberry Bars. I’m a big fan of Epic’s Bites when I don’t want a whole bar, but do want a little paleo protein boost.
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