As summer comes to a close and vacations wind down, life’s pace tends to pick up as temperatures cool off. School routines start up again and the professional workplace grows more hectic, posing challenges for those looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle or get their diet back on track. With many of us headed back to the sedentary realities and intellectual demands of a classroom or office cube, it’s doubly important to be selective about snacking choices. Fortunately, snacking smart and staying on pace in the daily grind aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive goals. Here are six tips for quick, healthy snacks to keep your mind sharp and your waistline trim in the months ahead.
1. Apple slices and peanut or almond butter:
Sliced apples are a great source of vitamin C and potassium, with a crisp deliciousness to boot. Pairing them with peanut or almond butter can give them a nourishing boost and make the snack a bit more substantial, loading you up with protein, fiber and heart healthy fats, among other beneficial nutrients.
2. Hummus and carrots:
This heart-healthy chickpea-based spread is both yummy and filling. Scoop it up with nutrient-rich carrots and you add a high dose of fiber and vitamin A to the favors you’re doing your health, along with the minerals calcium, magnesium, and iron. Swap in celery sticks, broccoli or your other favorite raw and cut veggies for a bit of variety.
3. Homemade popcorn:
While many store-bought popcorn products can be chocked full of butter, salt and other undesirables, making your own popcorn from scratch is a rewarding high fiber alternative to chips or other vending-machine grabs. And it’s as simple as buying a bag of kernels and following the instructions on the back (or any number of how-to’s online). Lightly season and you’re ready to pack it up to eat it on the fly.
4. Make-your-own trail mix:
Not just for hikers, trail mix offers an explosive, wholesome burst of energy for anyone who’s “hitting a wall” during the day. Toss together some peanuts and almonds, dried fruit – raisins are the popular pick – and plow ahead, whether you’re trekking up a mountainside or powering through that last stack of work on your desk. A handful of nuts provide a great source of protein and heart healthy fats!
Clementine oranges are an easy, vitamin C-infused fix for your sweet-tooth cravings. Keep a couple of these on hand for a pick-me-up that fits easily into your busy schedule.
6. Greek yogurt:
For a great source of protein with less sugar and carbohydrates than most other yogurts, reach instead for a helping of Greek yogurt to keep hunger pangs at bay. Add granola or mix in a cup of fruit for added fiber and enjoyment.
A great complement to healthy snacking in the fight against a sedentary atmosphere is to take small steps to be more active. Try taking the stairs or walking the kids to the bus stop! Small changes can make a large impact!
*This blog was sponsored by The Vitamin Shoppe. The sponsor had no input into the writing of the blog past the selection of the topic.