Snacking For The Win
Snacks can make or break life's busiest days. I've never traveled more than I have this year, and I find if I have something to eat on hand, I always have a plan in place when I'm hungry, late or don't have access to healthy options.
They help prevent from getting very hungry throughout the day, and can prevent from over eating later in the day. Generally speaking, try to keep snacks under 300-400 calories. If the goal is weight gain incorporate healthy fats like avocado, low-fat organic cheese, nuts and nut butters. If weight maintenance or loss is the goal, fill up with fiber through added fruits and vegetables paired with protein.
Packaged foods are convenient and easy to travel with but finding the most nutritous options can be difficult. In todays air port and gas station scene you're bombarded with options, most of which are pure junk. Ingredients will run on forever, loaded with preservatives, additives and a nutrition facts panel high in calories, sugar, sodium and fat.
During recent trips to Miami, Boston and Tallahassee I had the opportunity to try snacks in the Healthy Lifestyle box from Bright Snack. This new company offers subscription packages filled with healthy snacks that are delivered right to your door, making it easy on health conscious, busy, active people. They offer a variety of boxes for different dietary needs such as diabetes, iron deficiency, and high cholesterol/high blood pressure. Snacks included in the boxes were based on convenience, nutritional value, taste and texture.
For mornings snacks I enjoy whole grain cereal. Here I added Eden Foods pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, kiwi, blueberries, pomegranate seeds and almond milk to boost the nutrition profile. The pumpkin seeds were from Bright Snack, portioned perfectly compared to what you may find at a convenient store. They are rich in fiber, protein, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. Perfect plain, or added to yogurt, salads and oatmeal.
The NII berry flavor protein bar felt like icing on the cake. It's creamy in texture and melts in your mouth with a rich, sweet flavor. This brand is very nutrition focused with cold pressed processing it's also gluten- free, soy-free, organic and vegan. Perfect alone or paired with fruit.
This almond chocolate chip flavor is also incredibly delicious! When choosing bars always look at ingredients. If you don't know what you're eating opt for other options. Almond butter, dark chocolate and dates are the first three ingredients which drive it home for me because they are nutrient dense and delicious!
look at macronutrients: carbs, fat and protein. If it's loaded with protein or really high in fat, consider what ingredients are creating this nutrition composition. Also consider whole food options for balance, or bars that have a good blend of macro's.
This rise protein bar put the above skills to the test. It has three or four ingredients with almonds, honey and whey protein- approved! Plus a perfect blend of macro's with 22g carb, 17g protein and 15g fat. With an apple for a well balanced snack, I'd vote yes.
At first the texture and consistency was exactly what I thought, thick and chewy. But after a few bites it actually grew on me. I left one in the car and after a 5 mile walk I was in dire need for some fuel to tide me over until dinner. It totally did the trick!
These Olomomo almonds were amazing! I love raw, organic plain almonds or other nuts as a source of slow digesting heart healthy fats. They are perfect to keep you full until your next meal because of the macro nutrient blend of protein and fat.
These though, the flavors were on point and natural ingredients were much appreciated. The company's mission is to "develop a fair and healthy work place, and a supply chain and operations that are healthy for the environment and all of the people involved at every part of the process." I love using my purchasing dollar wisely.
At under 100 calories with 8g of protein these Eda-zen dried edamame hit the spot. They are non-gmo, lightly flavored, and only have a few ingredients making them quiet tasty.
Practically is always a part of snacking. Sometimes bananas and avocado are as practical as steamed edamame. They just aren't! These however do the trick.
I've truly loved Beanitos for years. Though I savor the taste of corn tortilla chips, they lack protein and fiber, and are typically genetically modified. This brand is genius creating delicious chips out of beans. Plus, they are under 200 calories and have 5g of protein and 6g of fiber per packaged. On point!
All in all, I was really pleased with Bright Snack and the Healthy Lifestyle box. The snacks are delicious and nutritous, the delivery to my door was so convenient and the price for guaranteed healthy food options fits into my busy lifestyle. You can learn more about the company, boxes and product information here.
. : WHOLE FOOD OPTIONS : .
With a little meal prep, pairing packaged foods with whole foods is really the overall goal. Unless you don't have access to whole foods, my recommendation is always incorporating the real deal when you can! Here are some of my favorite whole food snacks, some require a microwave or refrigeration while others are dry and easily transportable.
Hearty Healthy Fats / High Calorie / Weight Gain
Turkey + Swiss cheese + hummus + spinach + whole grain bread
Tuna + avocado oil + balsamic vinegar + tomato + cucumber + whole grain bread
Grilled chicken + smashed avocado + sunflower seeds + arugula + whole grain wrap
Egg + cheese or avocado + tomato + whole grain bagel
Hummus + sliced hardboiled egg + tomato + whole grain toast
Smoked salmon + plain Greek yogurt + capers + dill + lemon + Ezekiel toast
Whole grain pita chips + guacamole
Grilled cheese with low fat cheese + tomato + pesto + whole grain bread
Sweet potato + plain Greek yogurt + 1-2Tbsp nut butter + granola + apple slices
Baked sweet potato slices or wedges + hummus
Whole grain pita chips + hummus
Oatmeal packet + nut butter or nuts + banana + cinnamon
Plain Greek yogurt + granola + nut butter
Roasted Brussels sprouts lightly salted
Lean / Low Calorie / Weight Loss
Bowl of soup: lean protein (chicken, turkey, fish) + vegetable + grain or pasta
Tuna + tomato or roasted red pepper + spinach + whole grain bread
Cottage cheese + fresh fruit
Cottage cheese + sprinkle of chocolate protein powder + 1-2Tbsp nut butter
Lightly salted steamed edamame
Plain Greek yogurt + fresh fruit + cinnamon
Farro + pear + walnuts + cinnamon
Popcorn + lightly salted
½ c cashews, almonds and dark chocolate
Whole grain cereal + fresh berries + low fat milk + drizzle of nut butter
Sliced banana or apple + nut butter + whole grain toast or tortilla
Tuna salad with plain Greek yogurt or EVOO + celery + onion+ whole grain pita chips
Turkey + avocado + tomato + whole grain bread
Smoked salmon + plain Greek yogurt with dill & lemon + cucumber + spinach + whole grain toast
Roasted chicken + roasted red pepper + pesto + whole grain toast
Disclosure: Bright Snacks compensated me for my time in writing this blog post and provided the Healthy Lifestyle box. All thoughts are my own and are true to my heart, all for your benefit.