Whether you are naturally a busy person or find yourself caught up in the holiday rush, it's always important to find ways of healthy eating on the go. Eating healthful snacks can help us maintain balance and focus during a busy day, but having a healthful snack on hand means you are less likely to binge eat or choose fast foods, some of which might make you feel worse off later in the day!
The key to healthy eating on the go is finding a good balance of fats, fiber and proteins that will fulfill cravings but also keep your blood sugar steady and your belly fuller, longer. All of these snacks reflect this need: some veggies, some protein, some fiber and lots of flavor! Some of the following snack ideas take some prep time, but others are options to grab when you are REALLY pressed for time, like when you are grabbing food at the gas station! The good news is that with an increasing awareness of healthy eating, mainstream stores are catching on; heck, even 7-11 stores are giving themselves a makeover to include more healthy options!
If you have some time to prepare your foods:
- Choose a whole-grain salad: salads like this Quinoa and Kale Salad has veggies and grains to keep you full and give you a boost of nutrition. Take leftover salad and leftover grains, add a dressing and call it good! I like to keep my lunches at room temperature, and as long as you don't leave it in a hot car, it should be fresh all day long!
- Make hummus or salsa: simple homemade dips like hummus and salsa make great snacks when served with crackers or with fresh veggies. Hummus is especially good because it has both the fiber and fats to keep you full. Here's my favorite Caramelized Onion Hummus recipe.
- Homemade energy bars: These are great snacks for those gotta-have-something-sweet moments. Made from a mix of nuts, seeds and dried fruits, they offer a sweet treat without the sugar crash. Great for late afternoons at the office and before or after working out. Try our Hemp Energy Bars recipe.
- Leftovers! Even if you don't have time to reheat, leftovers can save the day when you are crashing from hunger. Bring your own containers and keep with you in the car or at your desk so that you can nibble as needed.
If you have no time to prepare:
- Nuts and Seeds: Whether you choose almonds, walnuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, these little treats can be a lifesaver when it comes to hunger. Though they are high in fat, they also offer protein and fiber, which means they digest slower. A handful should help hold you until your next meal. You can even find these at gas stations, but be sure to read the labels and look out for icky ingredients.
- Dried fruits: Dried fruits can be a good little snacks and be super important if you need something sweet. But be careful not to eat too much as they are concentrated sugars. A better choice is to pair dried fruits with some nuts or seeds to balance it out.
- Crackers: Whole grain crackers are a good choice for on-the-go snacking because they are crunchy, salty and have some of that all-important fiber. Choose crackers with whole grains (not bleached flour) as the first ingredient. Some of the best are Mary's Gone Crackers (gluten-free) and Ryvita, which are loaded with healthy whole grains.
- Kale chips: One of my favorite travel and snack foods, packaged kale chips are so mega delicious you will forget you are eating your veggies! Made from a mix of nuts, nutritional yeast and spices, kale chips offer a massive dose of vitamins, minerals, fiber and flavor!
- Raw food bars: If you don't have time to make your own, choose healthy snack bars with minimal ingredients. Avoid anything with corn syrup, cane sugar, soy protein isolate or preservatives. Choose healthier options like Larabar, Macrobars or Cliff Bars.
- Carrots and celery: If you feel like you need something extra healthy, choose baby carrots and celery sticks. All the need is a quick rinse and they are ready to go! True fast food!