Healthy snack favorites: just as convenient as convenience foods

by Addie Kelzer

Having SNACKS available when you’re hungry and on the run is not only crucial to your success but often a SAVIOR when you’re in a pinch. Keeping a healthy snack on hand (in your purse, car, desk) makes it easier to avoid unhealthy but convenient options when you’re hungry. i.e. 1 step forward instead of 2 steps back to keep your momentum going in a healthy direction. The snacks that SAVE ME MOST OFTEN are listed below.

SideNote 1: Prepare snacks of PURPOSE. Each snack should satisfy hunger with real foods your body can do something with; be tasty (so you’ll actually eat it); and provide your body with fuel to give you ENERGY. My most successful snacks offer a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fats.

SideNote 2: If you bypass your on-hand-healthy snack for a bag of chips, mtn dew or pastry it’ll be clear you need to exercise your willpower ‘muscle’. It’s easy to justify these foods when you’re “hungry and didn’t have any good options”. Know the true cause of your struggle and work to improve.

SideNote 3: Know when you’re HUNGRY for a snack. Eat a snack then…and only then. For a period of time I was eating all of my available snacks every day out of boredom and especially cravings. Their purpose is to be within reach when you NEED them, not just when you want to EAT them.

MY FAVORITES:

Home Made Trail Mix
I purchase individual items in bulk, mix them in equal amounts in a bowl and bag them into 1/2 cup servings. I enjoy preparing my own trail mix so I can cut out the m&m’s, salt or other items I don’t like.
Unsalted almonds
Unsalted walnuts
Craisins
Banana Chips (it’s tough, but look for ones without added sugars)
Other things I might add include pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, dried apricots, other dried berries.
I occasionally add Sesame sticks (found in most bulk foods sections) to add a little salt and crunch.

Home Made Power Bars
Alternate adding dry and wet ingredients (except chocolate) in a bowl and mix completely. Transfer to a 9×11 pan and flatten evenly with a spatula or your hands. Melt chocolate if desired and brush a thin layer over top of bars. Refridgerate then cut into pieces. 12 pieces for a larger snack (approx 325 calories) or 16-20 pieces for a small snack. One large bar will even act as a meal for me in a pinch. Keep in pan or bag/wrap individually.
2 cups oats
1 1/2 natural peanut butter
Approx. 3 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
1/2 to 3/4 cup honey
1/3 of a high cocoa percentage chocolate bar. *I won’t be tempted to eat the remainder of a 90% cocoa bar on its own but the honey sweetens it perfectly in these bars.

Apples and peanut butter
Cut an apple into slices in the morning (they typically stilly look pretty good by midday) or bring a whole apple if you’ll have access to cutting utensils. In a small container spoon 1-2 tbsps natural peanut or almond butter. When the time is right 🙂 spread on apples or dip.

Mini Vegetable Kabobs
On a toothpick or small skewer, assemble a variety of fresh ingredients. Place a few skewers in a bag that will be ready to go. Sure, you could just put the items in a bag, but some of us still need to be tricked into eating our vegetables! Putting them on a skewer prevents saving our least favorite ones for last (or never).
1 inch Celery pieces
Broccoli florets
Cauliflower florets
1/2 inch thick carrot rounds
Black or green olives
Pepperoncini or baby dill pickles
Peppers (sweet, red, orange, yellow, green)
Mushrooms
Pea pods
1/2 inch thich cucumber rounds
Cherry tomatos
Small chunks of meats and cheeses may be added, just remember to keep veggie count high!
veggie kabobs

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