As a holistic health coach and foodie (yes I love eating!), I am a true believer in eating WHOLE FOODS as much as possible, and avoiding most pre-packaged foods.
Even for snacks, I find there are a ton of easy options based on primarily whole food sources that one can easily put together at home the night before and take with you to work/on your trip. (See my previous blog for easy, homemade snack recipes HERE).
But sometimes, we haven’t had the time to make our own snacks, we’re hungry, and need a healthy option to buy at the local deli market or airport vendor. For those times, I wanted to share some options that are nutritious and “clean” (have little-to-no "unhealthy" ingredients), that won’t ruin your healthy efforts. Because believe me, most of the snacks you’re used to buying are terrible for your health, and even those occasional snacks (unfortunately) add up!
Here are 10 of my favorite on-the-go snacks to buy:
1- NUT-SEED-FRUIT BARS. Look for high fiber, low sugar and few ingredients. My favorite bars are the KIND BARS with only 5g of sugar.
2- ROASTED CHICKPEAS OR BEANS. These snacks are filled with fiber, have no added sugars, and now you have some awesome readily packaged options that you can pick up in the market! I like these from The Good Bean, or these single serving ones by Biena. Another slightly different option that I'm LOVING is BRAMI's lupini beans - these are lower in calories and carbs, super healthy, and delicious!
3- VEGETABLE CHIPS. You probably already know that kale is amazing for your health - providing so much nutrition with such few calories, and I LOVE that you can buy delicious kale chips all done for you (found in many grocery and convenience stores), providing one of the healthies snacks ever! My favorite are these from Rhythm
Still not a fan of Kale? Try these delicious Beet chips that are a bit sweeter but still super healthy, and are an amazing satisfying snack with no added sugars!
4- CHIA PUDDING such as CHIA POD. You can buy these in many health markets like Whole Foods, Fresh market and even some GNC stores. Alternatively, some healthy restaurants sell their own chia puddings, like Hu Kitchen and Juice Press in NYC (and more!).
5- RAW NUTS including almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, and more! Aim for RAW to avoid unnecessary sodium and oils that come with most roasted varieties. I like these from Sincerely Nuts,
6- RAW SEEDS like pumpkin, sunflower and watermelon seeds. I love these sprouted and lightly salted ones from Go Raw. (All the varieties from Go Raw are delicious!)
7- COLD-PRESSED JUICES. They are an amazing way to get a ton of nutrition, BUT you must be careful with the sugar! Choose ones with more greens than fruit, and with only low-glycemic fruit (ex. lime, lemon, apple). Ideally they should have less than 20g of sugar per bottle (or less than 10g per 8 oz serving). Two good options that are widely available and not too expensive include SUJA and evolution fresh. But again, their juices vary, so look at the nutrition labels!
8- HIGH-PROTEIN, LOW-SUGAR ORGANIC YOGURT. Opt for organic/non-GMO, high protein (Greek or Icelandic), with no artificial ingredients, no preservatives, and no HFCS. My favorite option is plain Greek organic yogurt (such as Wallaby organic and Stoneyfield organic varieties) or SIggi’s Icelandic yogurt, which has great flavors with only 9g of sugar, a great option if you need some more flavor/sweetness.
9- NON-GMO & GLUTEN-FREE PROTEIN BARS. You need to be careful with these - as always, look at the nutrition and ingredients. Aim to stay (roughly) under 200 calories, under 25g of carbs, under 7g of sugar, and with at least 4g of fiber and 5g of protein. And aim for as natural as possible! Choose non-GMO, gluten-free, and personally, I look for dairy-free, soy-free, and with added superfoods. Ones I like include:
- Greens + plus bar – go for their vegan Superfood Chia Crisp (lowest in sugar)
- HealthWarrior CHIA bars – these are smaller (and just 100 calories/3g protein) but are my favorite, filled with superfoods, fiber & omega 3’s. It’s the perfect small protein bar to hold you over until your next meal.
- Quest bars - these do contain whey (dairy), but are among the best of the mass-available protein bar options- low in sugar, no gluten, and quite yummy!
- Garden of Life FucoProtein bar – like Quest, these aren’t vegan, but they’re free of gluten, GMOs, and filled with superfoods and protein.
10- ORGANIC DARK CHOCOLATE. Look for a non-GMO, preferably over 70% dark chocolate, vegan (no milk), gluten-free, no soy lecithin, ideally with less than 5 ingredients, and where sugar is NOT the first ingredient. I love these snack-size 85% dark chocolate bars from TAZA with only 2 ingredients. Other great ones are Equal Exchange, Righteously Raw, Theo, and Alter Ego. Just remember to portion size – 2oz is usually more than enough!