Saying the word “snack” makes people’s faces light up.
Like they’ve won something awesome. A free coffee, maybe. Or car.
Have you every noticed?
Fact: Americans (we) love our snacks.
Think that we need them.
And to be real, most people do. Because when you eat food that isn’t real [otherwise known as processed food or heavily marketed "healthy" food], your blood sugar crashes a lot more often. Making you NEED more food. Multiple times a day.
Without really ever thinking about the root cause of the issue.
That you’re hungry and in need of food instantly. Otherwise bad things happen. You get cranky, moody, starving, dizzy. The worst version of yourself. But, have a snack and you are instantly much better- without even looking at what you’re snacking on. It’s just a short term fix for the real issue- your body needs more good stuff so it doesn’t have to crash. More nutrients. More real food.
All this to say. I think it’s more important to focus more attention on your meals than just living on snacks. You have such a higher likelihood of eating great proteins, vegetables, and nutrient dense food at your meals vs in snack form. Meaning that you’ll just eat better. And feel better. And not be as stinkin’ hungry [and mean] all the time. [side note- if you want to know how to annoy me, use the word “hangry”. A lot.] So, it’s better for humanity, really, when you think about it.
BUT. If you’re going to have them, you might as well pick good ones. Or slightly better than the rest of the options out there. The best choice? Always a homemade snack, of course. Veggies, maybe with an awesome sauce. A handful of nuts. An avocado with sea salt and pepper. Some organic turkey slices with mustard. Homemade kale or sweet potato chips maybe. Basically, something that you pre-plan and prepare for.
But, since real life really isn’t like that for most days and most people, here are my picks for best pre-packaged healthier-than-normal snacks. Especially for travel, BBQ’s, trips, boats, etc when fresh food is just harder to do, in a practical sense. So you don’t have to go to the other extreme of those situations automatically meaning bad food all the time. With a week to recover from it.
Don’t waste your life like that. There’s a better way.
So, here are my picks. Real food based snacks, or as close to it as possible. Based on the content of their ingredients. That everything listed is pure, simple, pronouncable and normal sounding. 5 ingredients or less kind of a deal.
1. Boom Chicka Pop or homemade coconut oil or organic butter popcorn
2. Veggies and hummus or white bean dip [cucumbers, radishes, jicama, fennel, carrot, celery, snap peas and baby tomatoes hold up the best]. Check your ingredient label on the hummus.
3. Olives. Castelvetrono are the bomb.
4. Olive oil potato chips. Ingredients: Potatoes, olive oil, sea salt. Trader Joes + Boulder Canyon both make great versions.
5. Organic corn chips. With guac and salsa. Standard order here. But always 3 ingredients, although not always (or ever) made with the best oils. No one is perfect. I like chips. Just make sure they are organic so you avoid the nasty GMO corn stuff.
6. Ricky’s Lucky Nuts: Fun flavors like sweet chai, thai red curry, coffee, black pepper and sea salt, and spicy chile chipotle make these crunchy coated peanuts is a great change up from the usual trail mix. Although, nothing against a great (clean) trailmix.
7. Wild smoked salmon: a great source of protein and healthy fat on the go. Eat it alone, with gluten free rice crackers and some amazing cheese or with veggies (using the veggies as a cracker). Found in most natural food stores!
8. Ah my favorite sweet snack. Medjool dates. But keep them in the fridge. They taste so much better. And really dessert like when dipped in peanut or almond butter. Or broiled with both and some sea salt. I may know what I’m talking about. Available at most natural food stores.
9. Banana chips. Again. With or without a little peanut/almond butter or tahini dip. Ingredients: organic bananas, coconut oil + cane sugar.
10. We all know I love the larabar. Otherwise known to my clients as one of the only real food bar options out there. Welp. They’ve finally started expanding their line of options (hooray). Their new Renola is a grain free granola option on the go- in coconut chocolate (my fav), cinnamon nut and berry, among other flavors. Also available at Whole Foods, PCC and most natural food stores.
11. Chic A Peas: Crunchy roasted chick peas. These have a little safflower oil, which is not the best. But also not the worst. A great little protein snack as well. In sea salt and falafel flavors (yes, please).
9. My Chi Delights: Now these, these you just might want to stock up on. Another favorite sweeter little snack- the coconut almond sesame treats brag about 4 ingredients. All real. All normal. And all delicious. Here’s where you can find them.
Did I miss any great ones or do you have any personal reviews of the ones I’ve listed? Would love to hear about it! xo, Sarah
Like this post? Stay tuned for next week’s ideas- my favorite Summer finds at Trader Joe’s!