I’ll be the first to admit that my eating is one of my largest downfalls. Because of my far to often poor food choices, I deal with issues that range from an unhealthy BMI to problems with gout, and most importantly poor performance on the OCR course.
I’ve come a long way from the couch potato, party animal that ate fast food french fries and extra large soft drinks multiple times a week, but I still have a long way to go. One of those ways I’m trying to improve my health is with healthy snack choices. Far too often, I’ve turned to mass produce potato chips, cheap candy and chocolate chip cookies when I’m bored, stressed or just plain ol’ hungry at work. Instead of those treats, I’m using the following snacks as a source of fuel…instead of suffering.
These items would all fall into the category of good for work, class or even home if you want something easy. All of them are either one ingredient or fairly simple to make. All that making it easier to phase out the junk food snack habit. Hopefully.
Without any further ado, the list of healthy snack choices…in no particular order.
Healthy Snack Choices
Fruit: blueberries, strawberries, apples, the ever classic banana whatever is in season.
Yes, they have natural sugars…but they have far less sugars than donuts. Plus, they have healthy things like fiber and a variety of vitamins naturally built right in.
Endename: Lots of protein! I like them heated in the microwave and topped with a little sea salt. Microwave for about a minute in a covered bowl (plate makes a great cover at the office) with a quarter cup of water. Stir, then heat for another minute. Careful, it will be hot.
Pumpkin Seeds – Discovered this a couple of Halloweens ago. Instead of throwing them, out I now clean them up and roast them in the oven. Topped with salt is a favorite. Cinnamon and a dash of sugar is another delicious option, especially when trying to avoid Halloween candy.
Popcorn – No, I’m not talking about the kind you can microwave in a bag. I’m talking about the kind that’s popped on the stove with a little olive oil or air popped the night before. Topped with nutritional yeast (look it up, it’s good for you and gives it a cheesy flavor) or a little salt and you have a delicious snack. It’s my favorite when I’m craving something salty like chips.
Kale Chips – Another great alternative to a bag of potato chips. I like them roasted and topped with a little oil.
Roasted Chickpeas – Another chip alternative and in case you couldn’t tell it, salty snacks are my weakness. Roasted Chickpeas are another great option.
Hard boiled eggs/deviled eggs – This is one of my favorite morning snacks. It’s healthy, has protein and will keep me full all morning long without feeling guilty.
Lime Avocado – Get your healthy fats! I love avocados with a little bit of lime juice and black pepper.
…But Still On The Healthy Side
I’m trying to eat as little processed food as possible, but some in moderation are better than a bag of GMO potato chips. With all of these, look for ones with high quality, recognizable ingredients.
Jerky – Just be sure to avoid the processed ones with all sorts of unnatural additives and sodium added in.
Dark Chocolate – Hershey’s candy bars don’t count. But high-quality dark chocolate does count. I like organic, free trade ones.
Instant Oatmeal – Instant oatmeal can get unhealthy really fast, but there are ones that are low sugar and have truly natural ingredients. They’re great when you didn’t have time to eat in the morning before work, or when you did eat breakfast but you’re hungry two hours later.
Cottage Cheese – I love it with raisins and cinnamon. Another one that has lots of protein.
Natural Yogurt – Add your own fruit. The ones with fruit mixed in are sugar bombs.
Dried Fruit – My wife got a food dehydrator for Christmas and as a result, I’ve got to try a lot of great dried fruit this year.
Smoothie – Last, but not least is the smoothie. One warning, if you’re not making it from scratch, be careful about how much sugar it has. A lot of the ones of the smoothie shops have a lot of added sugar…like as much as a donut.
I should note, a great snack that’s not on this list is nuts and almonds. They’re loaded with peanuts and if you eat them plain, they’re very healthy. Unless of course you have a nut allergy like me, which is why they didn’t make it higher on the list.
All that being said, these are some great healthy snacks, but it’s alright to have a treat once in awhile. It’s when it becomes an everyday thing that it becomes an issue. I know this from experience.
I hope this list helps. Just writing it made me feel like I had a lot more choices than the same old un-healthy junk food. Now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite healthy snack?