People at work joke, but my desk is a veritable snack station. And you’ll never catch me without some sort of snack in my bag. Having food allergies, this is a trick I learned a while ago to make sure that even when I went to eat that I would never go hungry. As I’ve focused more and more on my health, I’ve realized just how important it is to always have something on hand when hunger hits — to fuel me up past the 3pm blues and set me up for my post-work workouts.
I have ideas for snacks for everything from baggies you make up at home to my favorite products to pack in my bag for the easy wherever, whenever energy pick-me-up.
Pack it up
This requires a little more planning. A trip to the grocery store. And a handy way to transport the snack (think reusable glass food storage containers with snap-on lids to keep things from making a mess in your bag).
- Veggies & hummus. Keeping some veggies and hummus on hand gives you the benefits of a serving of vegetables and the hummus gives you a bit of protein to keep you going.
- Tortilla rounds & guac. portable single-serve guacamole with a handful of the mini tortilla chips is a tasty way to beat the mid afternoon sugar/caffeine crash.
- Mixed nuts or trail mix. probably the oldest snack in the book, but mixed nuts have a great balance of protein and healthy fats. I have a couple of go-to mixes that I like to make, one a dried berry mix and the other a dried apricot and almond mix.
- Fruit & Cheese. Fruit satisfies an afternoon sugar craving and cheese balances it out with a little protein and a little salt. If you have grapes and brie, you can pretend you have your fancy pants on.
- Pepperoni and Cheese. I learned this from my little sister after her gastric bypass, but turkey pepperoni and cubes of cheese makes a great afternoon protein pick me up. For this one, you do need a fridge to keep your snack cool.
These are the kind of thing you can leave in your desk drawer or stash in your bag for the emergency snack attack.
- ERG! Bars. These all fruit and nut bars are a great clean snack and a perfectly sized to fit into even my smallest bags.
- NoGii Protein D’Lights. The small versions of these bars have 10 grams of protein without being a giant bar to eat. It’s a great chocolate snack to fuel up mid-morning when you have a late lunch or before a post-work workout.
- Homemade Energy Bites. Check out these recipes you can make at home. Energy Bites come in a few different formats, but most are either oat & nut butter or dried fruit & nuts. Most bites are between 100-150 calories each.
These on-the-go snacks are great for the grazers and are also fun to share.
- Made in Nature Figgy Pops. Bites made from a base of figs and nuts, these tasty treats are great to keep in your desk for when you start to feel just a little bit hangry.
- EnjoyLIfe ProBurst Bites. Bite-size protein pick me ups are portable and top-8 allergen free. (No gluten, dairy, grains or corn so they fit most paleo/primal diets)
- Enjoy Life Seed & Fruit Mixes. – I promise they didn’t sponsor this post, I just love these products. These mixes have no nuts, but have a great mix of salty & sweet, soft & crunchy.
If paleo is your thing, or maybe you have a hankering for something more salty than sweet that still pack a protein punch.
- New Primal Turkey Meat Sticks.Tasty sticks of meat are almost never a bad choice. These grass-fed versions are the healthiest of the bunch
- Vermont Mini BBQ Meat Sticks. These little guys have less than 60 calories per stick and are a small delicious way to help ward off hunger.
Getting caught hungry without a snack you can grab is never a good situation. With a little preparation, you can have snacks ready to go for both your normal mid-day breaks and emergency hunger situations.
What’s your go-to snack?
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Mary Fran Wiley is a well known gluten-free and positive living blogger from Chicago where she writes Curiouser and Curiouser, maintains the Chronic Positivity Project, and has been featured in Allergic Living Magazine, Care2.com and Today.com.