10 Easy, Healthy Snack Ideas

I go through phases with snacks. It mainly depends on what I had for lunch and if I am going to work out right after work or not. For example, this week I mostly ate this salad for lunch which I polished off around noon. The salad is pretty filling but when 4 o'clock rolled around I was famished. I normally opt for a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts but lately, I have been bad about packing my snacks and therefore reaching for chips and pretzels from the cafeteria. Oooppps. 

There are many school of thoughts when it comes to snacking..in my personal opinion, snacks can be a part of our healthy meal plan as it provides energy we need in between our meals. It also prevents us from overeating at our next meal.  Think of a snack as your 'mini-meal' rather than a dessert or calorie empty food (like chips and pretzels I have been consuming lately). An ideal snack should typically range from 100-300 calories depending on the time between meals and how physically active you are. In general, most snacks should be 200 calories or less. Three regular meals and two snacks is a great plan for most people but feel free to adjust based on your lifestyle. Also, combine a lean source of protein with a complex carbohydrate because pairing them together fills us up the most and gives us the most energy.  The best protein choices are lean meats, poultry, low-fat dairy products, and tofu, because they have little (if any) saturated fat. The best carbs are whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which offer more health benefits than refined grains as they take longer to absorb, so there is a slower release into the body and a more steady energy source throughout the day.

 

I am sharing my top 10 favorite healthy snacks today and I would love to hear what you guys are snacking on lately? 

 
10 Easy, Healthy Snacks Ideas:
- a piece of medium fruit ( or 1/2 cup fruits) + 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
- 2-3 tablespoon hummus with carrots, celery (or 1/2 whole wheat pita bread)
- a cup of low-fat chocolate milk (esp for post-workout but watch out for the sugar)
- parfait with 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoon toasted oats, handful of berries, and drizzle of honey
- handful of nuts (an ounce), preferably not coated with sugar and salt. Look for plain, roasted kind. Some of the best ones are: almonds, pistachios, and walnuts. 
- 2 tablespoon of nut butter with celery sticks, apple slices or a piece of 100% whole wheat toast. Look for nut butters with no added sugar or extra additives. Here is a great article on different nut butters. 
- string cheese with 8-10 grapes
-granola bars are great option..even better if they are homemade. The store bought ones may look healthy but not all of them are created equal. Read the ingredient label and opt the ones with least amount of ingredients that you are able to recognize and pronounce. Beware of words such as corn syrup, soy lecithin, natural artificial flavors etc. 
-mashed avocado with salt, pepper, sriracha (or lemon juice) on a piece of 100% whole wheat toast with natural, unnatural turkey slices.  
Happy Friday!