It’s no secret, when it comes to being healthy, diet is important. Diet isn’t a word I ever use as a means to lose weight. I actually hate when people say, “I’m on a diet.” It’s something I don’t let my clients say (at least around me).
Why am I such a hater about this word? Probably for the same reasons most of your favorite fitness professionals agree with me. When we’re on a diet, it’s like a short term commitment. Our regular diet should be exactly that–things we eat on a regular basis. When my clients are making diet changes, I am always asking if they are missing something. A favorite treat? And then we address how they can either reincorporate a particular item back in, or find something similar that won’t wreak so much havoc on their goals.
Today I’m sharing some of my favorite healthy snacks that support my health and fitness goals. These items are staples in my diet. I would say I eat at least two of these options each day. When I think about a snack I try to keep my added sugar intake low. Then, I always eat some protein and typically, I add in a carb and I definitely make sure I’m eating some fat too.
Some people still balk when I emphasize that they must have fat in their diets. But low fat is not the healthier trend. If you didn’t know this yet, I’m so excited to educate you.
I remember a news story came out recently about soy and how soy products have been labeled as heart healthy, per approval by the FDA. The FDA has now taken a step back on their approval to label soy products in this way, instead saying soy MAY be heart healthy, but it’s no sure thing. A woman being interviewed said she was so confused by this change and ultimately about what were smart grocery choices for her family. She goes to the store and reads the labels and feels like the best choices are always changing. It was at that point in the feature story that I started yelling at the TV.
Another thing that drives me nuts is how so many people are educated about what’s “healthy” by reading the boxes and containers at the grocery store. Those packages are labeled by marketers, not nutritionists.
This method of education is exactly why so many people believe low fat (or even worse, no fat) is one of those smart choices. In reality, fat is an important of any person’s diet. Fat helps absorb essential vitamins and minerals. Fat supports cell growth. Fat helps with important hormone functions in the body. And fat leaves you feeling satisfied for longer because it takes longer to break down in the body.
I understand we are busy, but doing just a little independent research regularly about what you put into your body is so important. Think about how many times we feed ourselves in a day. And the number of times we feed our family. Even if we only eat three times per day, that’s almost 1100 times we make a choice about what to put in our body. Aside from sleep, I argue we eat more than we do anything else in our lives. If we can make seriously smart choices even 50% of the time, that’s a lot of opportunities to be healthy and be that best version of ourselves.
I won’t get into it here, but some feel so strongly that fat is the most essential part of their diet that they are on “keto” or ketogenic diets. So their diets consist of foods that are mostly high in fat. I personally opt for a more traditional diet balanced in carbohydrates, protein, and fat. But fat is an excellent source of energy and when consumed in moderation, it can certainly help maintain a healthy body weight–and support your ideal body composition too.
So yes, all of the snacks here have a mixture of nutrients, including fat, which is really why I think they’re so satisfying. Meaning, you normally won’t be running back to the cabinet for another handful of chips an hour later. I also love that these snacks are easy to grab and go with. It seems I’m always on the move, either chasing after my baby, running errands, or exercising. These snacks require minimal prep and most even keep well in your purse or backpack.
Here are some of my favorite snacks. Nutrition information is from MyFitnessPal:
Veggies with Hummus – I use whatever veggies I might have in the fridge. Some of my go-to’s are carrots, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, broccoli, and radishes. The veggies are full of healthy carbs and protein (yes, veggies have protein too!), and the hummus packs even more protein and fat.
One cup of assorted veggies + 2 tablespoons of hummus = 180 calories/7 g fat/14 g carbs/8 g protein
Kind Bar + Apple – This is such an easy snack to grab and take on the go. I keep Kind bars in my purse for when I’m running errands and hungry. I also almost always grab a piece of fruit like an apple, orange, or banana on my way out the door in the morning.
Kind bar + apple = 270 calories/15.5g fat/38 g carbs/6.5 g protein
Protein Muffins + Clementine– As I’ve shared before, I’m often using Kodiak Cake Pancake Mix to make food at our house. Various protein muffins are a staple around our house. I often make a few dozen and throw them in the freezer. The muffins featured here are pumpkin chocolate chip. Sometimes I have one. Sometimes I have two. I almost always combine my serving with a piece of fruit to get an extra bit of sweetness.
One pumpkin protein muffin + clementine = 215 calories/7.9 g fat/32.4 g carbs/6.3 g protein
Salad – One of my favorite snacks lately has been prepackaged salads from Costco. They have a kale salad, and now this tasty organic “Mediterranean Crunch Chopped Salad Kit.” Holy yum! I mix this up and grab scoopfuls for a couple days. You can easily make this a meal by adding some grilled chicken or fish.
2 servings of Mediterranean Crunch Chopped Salad = 300 calories/20 g fat/26 g carbs/6 g protein
Trail Mix – This particular trail mix is the kind with the M&Ms. Not organic, but seriously the best. We get a giant bag of this from Costco and love it. I regularly get trail mixes from Marshalls and TJMaxx too and those have more dried fruit and no candy. Still tasty, but sometimes I like to indulge a little (ie. I love chocolate).
3 tablespoons of trail mix = 160 calories/10 g fat/12 g carbs/5 g protein
Plain whole milk yogurt + vanilla extract + granola – Here’s one of my full fat dairy products! This is either a great snack, or sometimes I make it breakfast too. Adjust the serving size to suit your needs.
Instead of buying vanilla yogurt which has tons of added sugar, I flavor my own yogurt with vanilla extract. It has no added sugar, little to no calories, and I actually think it’s much tastier. Sometimes I add a pinch of cinnamon too. This particular granola is from Love Crunch and it’s their Dark Chocolate Macaroon flavor.
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt + 1/4 cup granola = 440 calories/21 g fat/44 g carbs/12 g protein
Not pictured, but other favorite snacks of mine include:
- avocado with salsa in the middle
- a scrambled egg and sprouted grain toast
- 1/2 a cheese quesadilla + fruit (sometimes I add black beans or shredded chicken)
- a cheese stick and veggies
- sprouted grain crackers with guacamole and tomatoes
What are some of your favorite snacks? Share in the comments below!