Real Food Snacks
Kick those sugar-y snacks to the curb! (LITERALLY)
We just started a sugar clean out challenge at my gym and one of the biggest questions I get is “What can I eat for a snack?” Well instead of just indulging their question I figured I could benefit the masses (or maybe just my mom 😉 ) by coming up with a list of healthy snacks that could work whether you are doing a sugar clean out challenge or not!
We tend to snack on foods that are highly convenient and highly palatable. Snacks tend to be things like cookies, crackers, chips & dip, fruit snacks, more chips, candy bars, protein bars, and the list goes on. Most snacks come wrapped in a nice little package that has beautiful labels and colors all over it. Have you seen what is in some of those snacks? I am not sure we should even be labeling them as food.
Everyone always asks what I eat. Well first off, coffee and a lot of veggies. I, too though like a good snack especially on days where I am working out and coaching! My go to snack these days? A full-fat grass fed yogurt parfait, recipe is below, you are welcome 🙂
However, there are no rules as far as snacks go. Some of you may never need a snack a day in your life while others of you may benefit from 2, 3 or more per day. It is all dependent on your activity level, gender, age and so much more. If you are hungry throughout the day, I want you to eat and I want what you eat to matter. Just because you got a snack out of the vending machine, bought it with quarters, secretly ate it behind your desk and stashed the evidence at the bottom of your trashcan does NOT mean it does not count. It counts.
The goal for your snacks should be QUALITY foods that are satisfying and nourishing, not mindless and indulgent. There is certainly a time and place for an indulgent snack but for the daily grind, let’s look at some snacks that we will feel good about both inside and out.
A snack should be nothing more than a smaller meal. It should be colorful(real not artificial) and it should have real ingredients including a protein, a carbohydrate and a fat. If you run out of ideas just use the list below OR take a smaller portion of last night’s dinner for a snack, voila!
Here are 15 of my go-to real food snacks
Alright, now time for me to fill you in on MY top favorite snacks. Certainly there are many more options but these tend to do the trick for me and keep me satisfied instead of still hungry, no body has time for that!
One note because I love you all is to READ YOUR LABELS! Food companies love to hide sugar everywhere and try to fill real food with fillers and chemicals to lessen the cost for them and keep the product fresh longer. Turn over the box/bag/package and read the ingredient list, it should read like a recipe not like a chemistry experiment!
Okay onto my favorites! Let me known in the comments your favorites!
2. Avocado + Tuna. Sure to fill you right up and easy to travel with, just make sure you bring a bag to contain tuna if you are not near a trash can! Top with some lemon, salt, pepper and some olive oil and you’ve got one tasty snack!
3. Unsweetened coconut flakes or coconut butter. Coconut is made up of mostly medium chain triglycerides (MCT) also known as fat and can be used immediately by the body for energy and can keep you full for a long time. Just don’t over indulge or you may have to run to the loo!
5. Meat Sticks. These are normally sold in smaller quantities than jerky and makes them an easy portable snack whether for work or if you are out hiking in the woods. I like these, and these and these!
6. Homemade trail mix. Nuts, seeds, unsweetened coconut and fruit, maybe even some 100% dark chocolate cacao nibs. Mix it all together and portion out into small bags or containers so you are ready for the week, and so you don’t over indulge!
7. Chia seed smoothie. Chia seeds are rich in fiber which fills you up and omega-3 which cools inflammation. Put 2 Tablespoons in the smoothie (once it is no longer in the blender) and allow it to set up for a few minutes, you could even add some to the yogurt parfait recipe below!
8. Veggies with hummus, guacamole or nut butter. Always have veggies around and make it a habit to have them as a snack. You can even get individual servings of nut butters and guacamole to enjoy on the go with your veggies.
9. Apple with almond butter (sprinkle some cinnamon on top for an added surprise). The sweet and salty go perfectly together and are quite satisfying. Look at your nut butter labels to ensure there is no added sugar or “crap”.
10. Sweet Potato Souffle You could also do a baked sweet potato but this one has extra UMPH to it. Enjoy as a snack or with a meal. The sweet potato is great to eat before or after a workout to keep you energized but not sick to your stomach.
11. Tea! Sometimes we just crave a warm cup of deliciousness not a dense pile of sugar, chemicals and stomachache. There are so many flavors out there try a green tea or an herbal tea like chamomile, rooibos or even licorice root.
12. Roasted chickpeas: A crunchy hummus more or less. Many of us crave a crunchy snack so why not snack on this? Change up the spices for a different taste. I might try a cinnamon-turmeric combo myself.
13. Avocado Chocolate Mousse: I had to throw something in there with chocolate, how could I resist? For all of you trying to eat healthy but missing chocolate, this one is for you! You could even add some protein powder in there to get more protein!
14. Homemade yogurt parfait (not the sugary mess you’ll find at fast food joints…) I love a good creamy plain yogurt. I thought forever that I actually hated it, turns out I just hated the skimmed watery substance with fake sugar added to it. Lately I have been digging on North Country Creamery’s yogurt but I am also a huge fan of Maple Hill Creamery!
and finally, my all time FAVORITE snack is, drum roll please……….
15. LEFTOVERS! There is nothing better than opening the refrigerator and realizing there are still leftovers from last night’s amazing dinner. You can certainly use it for another meal but if you are low on snacks why not nosh on some Barbacoa taco meat with mashed parsnips?
Now that you’ve heard what my favorite real food snacks are, I would love to hear form you!
What are your favorite real food snacks?
What is one snack you love that you wish was healthy?