Between meetings at work, picking up the kids, and last-minute deadlines, eating healthy and taking care of your body can be rough. While it can be tempting to reach for a fast-food meal, a snack from the vending machine, or a piece of candy from the communal candy bowl, there are healthy options that are just as quick to reach for. Here are a couple of non-perishable snack ideas that you can keep in your car, your office, or your gym bag for when hunger strikes.
Are you looking to satisfy that savory craving? Beef jerky is the perfect, protein-packed snack to help you stay on your diet. It fits right into your desk drawer, and with only a few ingredients, it’s a much healthier alternative than chips or crackers might have been, especially for someone on a low-carb diet. The sheer number of different flavors you can get also makes this snack a treat! If you’re worried about beef jerky being expensive, you can make your own at home with an oven and some strips of stringy beef or turkey, and a flavor of your choice. Look for low-sodium options for the optimal health-conscious experience, as beef jerky options that are high in sodium can wreak havoc on your gut and dehydrate you.
Instead of heading downstairs to the vending machine for some candy or a sugary cereal bar, have you tried dried or dehydrated fruit? While some varieties are high in added sugar, look for options that are merely dehydrated, with no additional toppings. Those are your healthiest options! With the variety of dried fruits, too, you can snack on more than just raisins.
Instead of getting all your carbs from a granola bar or a cereal bar, consider having some healthy trail mix instead. Trail mixes can include different nuts, chocolates, pretzels, and other small, easily snack-able items. You can buy them pre-made, make your own, or combine a pre-existing trail mix with your favorite healthy snack for a combination of flavors that could go a million different ways. Be careful to portion out your trail mix when you’re snacking, though–although it is a nutrient-dense snack, it’s also high in calories.
Seeds and Nuts
Sure, you’ve seen them in trail mixes, but seeds and nuts can be excellent on their own, too. They’re full of healthy fats and protein, and you can stash them almost indefinitely in your gym bag or glove box. Some seeds and nuts have unique health properties, too. Almonds and cashews are full of iron, magnesium and calcium, all nutrients that are essential to your body’s functioning.
Sure, chips are unhealthy, but having a serving of a multigrain cracker, like Wheat Thins or Triscuits, isn’t terrible for you. Healthy crackers like these offer a relatively healthy source of carbs, provide essential fiber that you need to keep your stomach and gut healthy, and, when paired with a protein-rich snack like cheese or beef jerky and a meal rich in fats, like nuts or cheese, it makes for a really filling, low-calorie snack option. Since cheese isn’t always an option, if you reach for healthy crackers, also try to reach for something with fats or protein later in the day to keep your macronutrients balanced.
A lighter, healthier alternative to chips, roasted seaweed, which comes in a variety of different flavors and sizes, is a healthy substitution for chips. You might think that they’d taste fishy, but during the roasting process, they take on a crispy, salty taste like a potato chip. They’re incredibly low in calories, too, and offer a whole host of different nutrients to complement the entire snacking experience.
Have a snack you’d like to recommend? Comment below!