My top 10 healthy snacks for on-the-go!

I’ll be honest…I love snacking. Granted, I kinda love food in general 🙂 but I really love snacking. And I generally eat every few hours, so I end up snacking 2-3 times a day, occasionally more. So making smart choices for my snacks is important! While snacking might not work for everyone, I have found that having small healthy snacks every couple of hours helps me to not overeat during my main meals of the day. It’s also easier for me to focus and stay productive!

Over the past year I put a higher emphasis on finding better options for my many daily snacks. And the great thing is that I have found a lot of great options for tasty healthy snacks! Eating healthy can be difficult on a normal day, but when you are super busy and on the go it can be even harder! On those days it can be so much simpler to grab something like chips or a candy bar, but that doesn’t have to be your only options! With a little bit of planning and thought you can snack healthy even when you are on the go!

When you are busy it can be hard to eat healthy! Planning ahead and keeping these 10 healthy snacks around can make it much easier, even when you are on the go!

Store-bought

  • Harvest Snaps – This one is probably my favorite! There are 5 flavors that I absolutely love and they are a satisfying crunchy snack. I love chips and these are a great substitute that I actually like more than most of the chips I like.
  • Heinz Orchard Fresh Spicy Trail Mix – My top trail mix. Low in sugar and lower in sodium than most of the trail mixes I’ve looked at or tried, this mix is also super flavorful!
  • Quest Bars – I only recently tried these and they are a great option. While not my favorite snack, they are perfect for those situations when you need to eat during a commute or something similar.
  • Almonds – I’m a big fan of seasoned almonds, especially the varieties that Blue Diamond makes!
  • Bananas – Another great go-to, though I have had some mishaps with smushed bananas at the bottom of backpacks! I like grabbing one if I’m hungry when I’m running late and don’t have the time to put together a container of a different snack.

Homemade

  • Sweet Potato Banana Bites – I love grabbing 4-5 of these as a late night snack. They taste like a dessert treat but are much healthier! healthy-homemade-snacks
  • Protein/Energy Balls – While the Cookie Dough Protein Balls are our favorites and are always on hand, I love trying new recipes and have tried out a lot of tasty types of protein balls! healthy-homemade-snacks
  • Roasted chickpeas – I have recently started making these again and I’m so glad I did! I think I finally got the seasoning to my liking and they hit the spot when I want a flavorful crunchy snack! 
    Spiced-Garbanzo-Beans
    Spiced Chickpeas
    Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    4 people 5 min
    Cook Time
    30-35 min
    Servings Prep Time
    4 people 5 min
    Cook Time
    30-35 min
    Spiced-Garbanzo-Beans
    Spiced Chickpeas
    Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    4 people 5 min
    Cook Time
    30-35 min
    Servings Prep Time
    4 people 5 min
    Cook Time
    30-35 min
    Ingredients
    Servings: people
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 425. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Spread on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast 30-35 minutes or until crisp.
    Share this Recipe
  • Roasted Pumpkin Seeds – This is a recent discovery, but definitely a new favorite!  I still need to play with the recipe some, but there are some great-sounding ones out there to try!
  • Grapes and cheese – My daily snack! While the others are switched out sometimes depending on what I’m in the mood for, I always have green grapes and cheese as my first snack of the day! I do like picking different cheeses to put into the snacks, but my current favorite is Gouda.

So those are my favorites! What are some of your favorite healthy snacks for when you are on the go? Do you have a go to that you eat every day, like me with grapes and cheese? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

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Sunday Meal Prep: April 24, 2016

Some weeks it can be hard to get going, hard to do the things you know you need to do. I love cooking, but even with that it can be hard to get the motivation going to meal prep sometimes. There are ways to plan for that though! If you know you have a busy week ahead and that by the time you get to Sunday you will be exhausted, you can plan your menu to take less time! It might still be a push to get going, but it won’t be as bad if you know you only have a couple hours of prep to do instead of 5-6 hours!Meal Prep - Eat Healthy and Delicious Food When Your Life is Busy

The week prior to this cooking session was one of those weeks. I was really busy…much more busy than usual. So when I was planning this menu on Wednesday, I knew that by the time I got to Sunday, I was not going to want to do much of anything. And so I planned accordingly. No new recipes, no meals that require 1+ hrs of active cooking…just simple, healthy, filling meals. 🙂 Enjoy!

To start off with, we were running low on our freezer breakfast burritos, so I made another batch of those! These burritos and our salads are pretty much the two things I always want to make sure I have prepped!meal prep breakfast burritos, mason jar salads, grapes and cheese

We have a lot of tasty main dishes this week! I tossed chicken into the slow cooker for some Asian Sweet Chili Sesame Chicken, which comes together wonderfully with so little active cooking time. I also made Steak Tacos and Balsamic Pork Chops with Roasted Brown Butter Balsamic Asparagus as a side. Along with that, I played around with a recipe I created a while back – Cabbage and Sausage Skillet. CabbageStirfryBalsPorkChop

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Brown Butter Sauce
Print Recipe
This is one of my favorite side dishes to make! Quick and easy, yet fancy enough for a special dinner!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Brown Butter Sauce
Print Recipe
This is one of my favorite side dishes to make! Quick and easy, yet fancy enough for a special dinner!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Arrange asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet; toss to coat with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 for 12 minutes.
  2. Just before asparagus is done, melt butter in a small skillet over med heat. Cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Drizzle over asparagus, tossing well to coat
Share this Recipe
 
Cabbage and Sausage Skillet
Print Recipe
This is a recipe I've been playing with for a while. One of the things I love about it is how variable it is!
Servings Prep Time
8-10 people 10-15 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8-10 people 10-15 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Cabbage and Sausage Skillet
Print Recipe
This is a recipe I've been playing with for a while. One of the things I love about it is how variable it is!
Servings Prep Time
8-10 people 10-15 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8-10 people 10-15 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Ingredients
Seasonings: 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne, 1/2-1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp caraway, 1/4 tsp white pepper, 1/2 tsp red pepper
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over med-high heat. Saute onion, peppers, and garlic approximately 7 minutes or until softened. Add carrots and potatoes, all liquids and seasonings (reserve 1/2 cup chicken broth), cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add cabbage and stir to mix. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add tomatoes and sausage. Reduce heat to low, cooking 10-15 minutes or until cabbage is tender, adding reserved broth if necessary.
Recipe Notes

Adjust seasonings to fit preferences. This mixture can be a bit too spicy for some people.

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SweetChiliChickenSteakTacos

15 Minute Steak Soft Tacos
Print Recipe
Simple, yet filling and delicious! These steak tacos were originally a recipe from when I was a kid, though I have made a few changes to make them just a bit healthier!
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
15 Minute Steak Soft Tacos
Print Recipe
Simple, yet filling and delicious! These steak tacos were originally a recipe from when I was a kid, though I have made a few changes to make them just a bit healthier!
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Cut steak into roughly 1-in pieces. Heat the oil in your skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak and cook until lightly browned. Stir in water, salsa and seasoning mix. Heat to a boil. Stir in rice and cover. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Then remove from heat; let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Spoon steak mixture into tortillas. Top with shredded cheddar cheese, red onions, or any other desired toppings.
Share this Recipe
 

Everything turned out pretty delicious and I only spent 3 or so hours in the kitchen, spread out over the night. It was definitely a nice break from some of my longer meal prep, plus it was great to go back to some of my favorite simple recipes!

How do you plan for weeks that are more busy? Do you cut down on what you usually prep, or do you just push through? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

Sara

Want to get started doing meal prep for yourself? Check out these posts for my top tips and my staple recipes!

Need some extra inspiration? Check out last week’s meal prep for other recipes and ideas!

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Clean Eating on the Go with Jenn Baxter

You all know how high on the list I put eating healthy and planning ahead to keep your goals on track. But one topic we haven’t really covered on here is how to do that when you are on the go! I mean, yes, I talk about meal prepping every week(like this from last week), but how does that translate into keeping on track when you are busy running errands around town? Well, today we have Jenn Baxter from Live A F.A.S.T Life visiting to talk to us about just how to go about doing that! Make sure to head over to her gorgeous site afterwards, she has a lot of great things to say!

Enjoy!

clean eating on the go

You’ve cleaned up your diet and purged your kitchen of all the sugar-filled cookies, the salt-laden chips and the genetically modified “foods.”  You filled up the fridge with organic fruits & veggies and antibiotic-free meats.  You are rocking this healthy eating thing, and then…

You’re caught on the go.

Maybe you just got off work and don’t have time to go home and cook before it’s time to pick up the kids at practice.  Or maybe you’re on a road trip and you have to depend on the interstate restaurants for your next meal.

But you’re suddenly stricken with panic, as you realize… there’s no way to eat clean in this moment!  You don’t have enough time… there aren’t any healthy places nearby… you’re tempted to just give up and grab a burger and fries at the nearest drive-thru.

But wait!  It doesn’t have to be that way!

It IS possible to eat cleanly on the go.  Whether it’s just on your lunch break, during a day of running errands or in the middle of a road trip.

The key is to plan ahead.  

Eating clean will always be easier at home because you can control every part of the process.  The quality of ingredients you choose to cook with, the ingredients you include in your recipes, the way you prepare them and even the way they are served.

If you’re on the go or traveling, it’s obviously pretty impossible to maintain this level of control.  But you CAN still keep a fairly decent amount of control over what you’re eating by making plans ahead of time, based on where you’re going and what you’ll be doing.

So, the next time you’re getting ready to hit the road or are running short on time, try implementing some of these tips:

 

1.Pack snacks

 

Whether you’re eating clean or not, it is important to eat smaller meals consistently throughout the day, instead of leaving large gaps of time between several large meals.  This will help prevent your blood sugar from spiking and dropping erratically.  But when you are committed to eating cleanly, it is even more important to make sure you’re never caught without a healthy snack on hand.  

If you’re on a road trip or just short on time and find yourself hungry without a snack, you will be much more likely to give in and grab something quick like French fries or a milkshake.  So, make sure that never happens by preparing your snacks ahead of time!  Here are some easy ideas for clean snacks you can keep on hand or prepare ahead of time and take on the road with you:

  • Almonds, walnuts or other nuts
  • Organic blueberries, strawberries or raspberries
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Protein bars (make sure you check the ingredients!)
  • Pickles
  • Organic apples with almond butter
  • Organic applesauce
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Healthy luncheon meats (like Applegate Farms)

 

2. Look up menus ahead of time

 

Whenever I am traveling to another location or am even just meeting a friend at a restaurant I’ve never been to before, I will look it up on the internet in advance.  By checking out the menu ahead of time, you can make a plan for what you will eat and avoid being tempted by not-so-great options once you get there.  It’ll also save you some time because you’ll already be ready to order!  If you have questions about an item on the menu or want to know if they can make a substitution or leave out a certain ingredient, call ahead and ask them!  Most restaurants are more than happy to accommodate dietary requests, so don’t be afraid to ask.

 

3. Have some old “stand-bys”

 

This is especially important if you’re traveling on the road and don’t always know where you’ll be stopping for your next meal.  But once you’ve been eating clean for a little while, you will start to know which places are good to go to and what you can get while you’re there.  For instance, if you’re traveling on the interstate and are left to choose from the usual suspects, but you know you can eat salad from Panera or grilled nuggets from Chick-Fil-A, then try to find one of those before you stop.  Most chains have “store locator” functions on their websites, so you can always pull off the road and look them up on your phone too.  

 

4. Bring it with you

 

You might think it seems a little silly to pack your lunch and carry a cooler bag around with you on a normal day of doing errands or going to appointments, but you have to do what you have to do!  If you know you are going to get stuck in a tough spot where you don’t have a lot of time to eat or you’ll be somewhere without a healthy option, don’t just bring a snack… bring your whole meal!  I have literally walked into my naturopath’s office before, carrying my cooler with salad, hard boiled eggs and pickles because I knew I’d be coming straight from another appointment and would be too hungry to wait until after.  Don’t worry about what others think (which in actuality, is nothing at all because no one is paying attention!), just look out for you and your health!

5. Don’t be afraid to try something new

 

Even though it is a good idea to have some old stand-bys or bring your own food with you, that doesn’t mean you have to avoid new places altogether!  Make it a point to search for “healthy grocery stores” in an area you’re traveling to or look up new restaurants and check out their menus.  Some of my favorite places to eat clean on the go, have just been places that I found haphazardly while traveling.  Just make sure to check out the ingredients they use and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Want to know what some of my favorite places are to eat clean?  Check out my FREE Clean Eating Travel Guide right here!

Jenn Baxter, clean eating on the go

BIO

Jenn Baxter is an accomplished writer in Charlotte, NC, who has been published in numerous print publications, as well as featured as a columnist on Beliefnet.com.  Her freelance clients span across the nation, as well as Australia and the UK, in the fashion & beauty, health & wellness, travel and life coaching industries.

In 2015, she launched her website, Live a F.a.s.t. Life, based on her own experiences with clean living, emotional health and downsizing into a 160 sq. ft. tiny house, and released her first book, “Tiny Abundance:  My Journey to a Simple, Yet Fabulously Abundant Life in 160 Square Feet,” which is available on her website and Amazon.com.  She also strives to help others learn to clean up their homes, their bodies and their lives in her first e-course, “De-Clutter, De-Tox, De-Stress.”

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