Keep those energy levels high with healthy snacking
Whether you are on the road, traveling, working the night shift, exercising, or simply running errands, snacking is sure to pop up somewhere.
And when your tummy is growling or energy is low, it is often too easy to grab a not-so-healthy snack on the go for that instant fix.
Unfortunately, these convenient, non-perishable, pre-packaged goodies are often packed with sugar, fat, sodium, and unhealthy preservatives. Not to mention heavy on calories.
Or, you may not eat anything the whole day, overindulge at dinner, only to feel terrible (and guilty) afterward.
Unhealthy "impulse" snacking, or no snacking at all, could ruin your best weight loss and healthy eating efforts and intentions.
Don't let poor diet choices bust all your hard work when you are on the go. Instead, learn how to incorporate on-the-go healthy snacks into your day. Whether at the office or on a beach in Thailand!
12 ON-THE-GO HEALTHY SNACKS
Nuts are a fantastic on-the-go healthy snack, as they are easy to grab, throw in your bag, and quickly munch when hunger strikes. They will provide a good dose of protein and healthy fats, keeping you fuller for longer.
All nuts are A.O.K to eat, but almonds, pistachios, and cashews contain the lowest calories. Avoid nuts roasted in oil and covered with sugar or salt coatings. Always choose raw or dry roasted.
Larger seeds, such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds, are easy to grab a handful of or enjoy with nuts or dried fruit. They are a fantastic source of protein, omega-3 fats, fiber, Vitamin B (good for energy), and antioxidants.
You can buy from the shop or roast your pumpkin seeds at home. Lay them on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 300 Degrees for +- 45 minutes. Let them cool, and sprinkle salt or brown sugar and cinnamon for a yummy snack.
Warning: Seeds can be high in fat and calories, so enjoy them sparingly.
GRAB A HANDFUL
Here is an excuse to enjoy popcorn with your after-dinner movie - A cup of air-popped popcorn contains only about 30 calories! What's more is that popcorn is gluten-free, fat-free, and a great source of fiber.
Ditch the store-bought microwave popcorn and pop your own kernels using only olive oil or butter, salt, and some herbs and spices.
4. TRAIL MIX
Trail mix is always a winner for an on-the-go snack as it is convenient and a good all-rounder.
A mix of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and even oats will lift your energy levels and contain a good balance of protein, fiber, fat, and vitamins.
Beware of added sugars in store-bought products, and try to choose a trail mix that only contains natural ingredients.
Oh, how we love granola! So much so that we made a few of our own!
Granola is fantastic to grab a quick handful before a workout or on hikes to refuel. Oats provide fiber and complex carbs, nuts provide protein and fats, and seeds increase nutrient content. It is a great all-rounder and so tasty!
Always practice portion control and choose wisely, as granola can have sneaky hidden ingredients that are not so healthy.
READ MORE: Is granola good for you? The absolute truth!
6. ROASTED CHICKPEAS
Roasted Chickpeas may be an item on this list that you did not expect. But they are delicious, crunchy, and super healthy, offering protein and fiber. Enjoy them sweet with honey and cinnamon or savory with herbs and spices.
They are super easy to make: Drain, rinse, and dry a can of chickpeas. Toss with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and savory or sweet ingredients and spread on a baking sheet. Bake until crispy and golden. Store in a container and eat within 3-4 days, depending on the temperature and humidity.
Find chickpeas here and get roasting now. You will be hooked!
7. EDAMAME BEANS
If you follow a plant-based diet, you will know how great edamame beans are! They pack a nutritional punch with an average of 7 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and only 90 calories in a half-cup. They also contain all 9 essential amino acids your body needs to get from food to form protein.
Enjoy them cold sprinkled with sea salt. Or bake them in the oven for a crunchy snack.
Arrange the edamame on the baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Or sprinkle with paprika or curry if you are feeling adventurous!
Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until crispy.
READ MORE: The best vegan protein sources
8. RICE CAKES & SPREADS
They may be bland, but this is what makes rice cakes great; they pair with many toppings! Best of all, rice cakes are gluten-free!
Serve with nut butter, honey, and 1/2 sliced banana for an energy boost before a workout. Or, top it with avocado and cottage cheese for an afternoon snack containing healthy fats and protein.
9. HUMMUS & VEGGIES
Hummus and veggies are a fantastic combo for that afternoon or game-day munchies.
Hummus, made with garbanzo beans, provides protein and fiber to keep you full. And veggies, well, you know what they offer!
Baby carrots, celery sticks, or cucumber are some of our favorites to enjoy with hummus for a satisfying crunch and dose of goodness.
10. SAVORY SNACKS & DIPS
Like salty and crunchy? We get you!
Instead of reaching for a bag of potato chips, satisfy your craving with tortilla chips, rice thins, sesame sticks, or veggie sticks. They've got all the crunch and flavor without the guilt.
Serve with black bean salsa or hummus for added protein or guacamole for healthy fat.
Caution! These can be addictive, so practice portion control!
11. CHIA PUDDING
Chia pudding may not be the best option for an on-the-go snack when you are in a hurry, but it is perfect when you prepare some in advance for a road trip or a day out.
Chia seeds are tiny nutritional bombs loaded with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, plant-based protein, and antioxidants. Chia pudding is also ideal when you are in the mood for a sweet dessert-like snack.
READ MORE: Why are chia seeds good for you?
12. FRESH & DRIED FRUIT
Fruit is one of the most accessible on-the-go healthy snacks that are easy to carry, healthy, and packs essential vitamins and nutrients. If you are craving something sweet, a fruit will satisfy without the added processed sugar.
Apples, bananas, blueberries, and kiwis are great options for a sweet snack.
Dried fruit often gets a bad reputation due to its sugar content. However, when a sweet craving strikes or you need an energy boost, it is still better than chocolate!
When buying dried fruit, always choose the unsweetened varieties, as excess sugar can make you come crashing down after the energy spike.