Don’t be mad, but Me Likey Monday is on hold until next week. I’m up north, watching my girls run the Chicago Marathon. As you know from my open letter to the city of Chicago last year, it’s epic. Cheers!
I love snacks. If I could just eat snacks for every meal, I’d be a happy girl. And some days I do – I have several small meals a day, so that I stay full and keep my metabolism going.
Typically when one thinks of snacks, they think cookies, Cheez-Its (yum.), chocolate or chips and queso. And while those foods are mind blowingly delicious, they are also a Miley Cyrus for your body. A train wreck. They are filled with sugar, chemicals, bad fats and who knows what else.
So what are healthy snacks? Sit down on that there hickory stump and let me tell you what.
Fiterature’s 5 Healthy Snacks
Hummus & Carrots: I could literally lick a tub of hummus clean – but it’s all about portion control, friends. 2-3 tablespoons of the smashed chickpeas, plus 10-12 baby carrots is a quick, easy and nutritious snack that gives me protein.
Nuts & Cottage Cheese: A handful of nuts provide good fats, protein, fiber and iron, while the cheese provides calcium and slow-digesting carbs that will keep you feeling full longer. Pistachios are one of my all-time favorite snacks as an athlete, because they provide the perfect combination of protein needed for muscle development and heart-healthy fats needed for energy. A serving is about 49 nuts in the shell. You can also grab 20 almonds or 14 walnut halves. Nuts are calorie dense though, so stick to the serving suggestion on the bag.
Apple & Peanut Butter: Do you see a trend here? When snacking, you should always pair a protein with a carb. Eaten alone, carbs cause a spike in insulin, which is followed by a blood sugar crash that only leaves you hungry for more. Core a medium size apple and slice it lengthwise, using a natural nut butter to make mini-sandwiches.
Roasted Veggies & String Cheese: The veggies require some night-before prep, but it’s super easy, I promise. Toss fresh or frozen broccoli and cauliflower florets in coconut oil and nutritional yeast or salt/pepper. Roast for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, flipping them halfway through. Eat with a stick of cheese, and you’ve got a great snack of fiber, antioxidants, b12 and protein.
Air-popped Popcorn: Popcorn is a great snack because it has oodles of antioxidants and fiber, plus you can eat a TON, and well…that’s like my JOB. Air-popped popcorn is a filling, low calorie food because it’s “naked”- not slathered in
poison chemicals butter. I like mine tossed lightly with coconut oil and nutritional yeast, a vegan source of vitamin B-12 that has a cheese-like flavor. You can also sweeten it up with a little cinnamon and olive oil. At 30 calories a cup, 2-3 cups of this snack will leave you satisfied! And yes, I totally pop my own popcorn and smuggle it into the movies in a brown paper bag. #hugenerd.
Bars: I love me some protein or trail mix bars, but you MUST read the labels. Some of these bars promise a lot of sexy, but also bring along their not-so-hot friends Sugar, Sodium and Things I Can’t Pronounce So It’s Not Real. KIND, Clif and ALT Bars are great because they are natural. A combo of recognizable nuts, fruits and sweeteners can be a great on-the-go source of protein, fiber and other nutrients. Try my Coconut Creme Larabar recipe and add your own twist!
The great thing about all of these snacks is they are easy to take with you to the office, gym or around town – though I wouldn’t recommend leaving a tub of red pepper hummus in your car overnight. Trust me on this.
Have a great week and happy snacking!