Don’t get me wrong; I do love apples and carrots sticks, but most days they’re not enough to satisfy my in-between-meal cravings. Unfortunately the old saying goes abs are made in the kitchen, and it couldn’t be more true. I work out more or less every day (even on my days off I’ll usually do something active), but my weight still fluctuates up and down because of what I eat. I could easily eat a whole box of cereal or countless Oreos, so I try my best to not stock super sugary cereals and processed cookies with loads of unrecognizable ingredients them. Here’s a look at some healthy snacks I’ve recently discovered. While they’re not as good for you as fruits and veggies, they’re all great alternatives to your traditionally packaged snacks like chips, cookies, pretzels etc.
OMG Craft Granola: This granola is AMAZING. It’s handcrafted and made only with ingredients you can actually recognize like oats, orange, coffee vanilla, cinnamon, cashews, pecans, almonds, raisins, and coconut. They’ve even got a chocolate kind (my fave…of course…). Again this isn’t a low-calorie food, but not all calories are created equally and you can’t compare 150 calories of OMG Granola with 150 calories from processed cookies. These are calories coming from foods your body can actually put to use. I eat this granola straight out of the bag, but my father has taken to eating it for breakfast with almond milk.
Lance Cracker Sandwiches: Do you love peanut butter? Who doesn’t? It is so easy to overdose on it, though. I can eat spoonfuls of it, and before I know it I’ve consumed hundreds of calories and have a stomachache. Lance Cracker Sandwiches offers a portion-controlled serving of peanut butter along with whole wheat crackers meaning you’re also getting a solid amount of protein and fiber.
PB Crave: If you’re better about controlling your peanut butter cravings than I am, check out PB Crave. One of my trainers at Barry’s Bootcamp loves this with Pink Lady apples or sprouted grain bread and bananas. What sets this brand’s peanut butters apart is that they contain no hydrogenated oils or artificial flavors, zero syrups (including high-fructose corn syrup), and they’re gluten-free and cholesterol free. They also come in unique flavors (Razzle Dazzle, Choco Choco, Cookie Nookie, and CoCo Bananas) without having an artificial taste. Again like most peanut better, PB Crave is totally delicious, but be careful not to over-indulge!
Navitas Naturals: Navitas Naturals is one of those brands that you don’t even have to look at the nutrition facts for because everything they make is guaranteed to be as healthy as possible. They have a ton of delicious out-of-the-box dried fruits like dragon fruit, and they’re not as sweet as dried fruits usually are (usually dried fruits aren’t much better than candy). They also have fantastic snacks that they call Power Snacks. Again, these are not necessarily low in calories, but they are filling and made exclusively with clean ingredients so your body will digest the food well. They’re awesome, chewy, little post-workout cubes of deliciousness!
Primizie: If you’re a die-hard chips fan, try these handmade artisanal crispbreads instead. That’s right, they’re handmade, packaged chips with absolutely no preservatives, trans-fat, or cholesterol. They kind of taste like crispy little mini nan breads…so good.
Flax Paks: We all know that nuts, seeds, and grains are an important part of a healthy diet, but again it’s easy to unknowingly eat too many. I love these pre-packaged flax seeds because they offer a pre-measured daily dosage so you can easily sprinkle them on your yogurt at breakfast, salad at lunch, fish at dinner, or just eat them on their own.
Peace Cereal: I do love my Kashi (Autumn Wheat is my go-to) and Original Puffins, but Peace Cereals are a growing favorite. They have a ton of non-GMO options that are high in protein and fiber while being relatively low in sugar and fat, and the ones I’ve tried taste awesome.
Lord Nut Levington: Check out this brand, featured on Shark Tank, if you’re looking to take traditional nuts up a notch. I usually opt for plain, totally salt-free nuts, but I find that eating “dressed up” ones, especially if they’re spicy, helps soothe cravings more quickly, and this brand has a bunch of unique flavors.
Authentic Foods: I’m not gluten-free, but until recently I was dating someone who was. Authentic Foods makes gluten-free flour and a bunch of baking products including pie crust mix, brownie mix, cookie mix, cake mix, muffin mix, falafel mix, pancake mix…and all are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free. If you’re looking for an easy way to make something sweet and gluten-free, their chocolate chunk cookies are delicious and don’t taste any different than your average gluten-filled, ooey gooey cookies. They’re also relatively low in fat though they do have 11g of sugar per serving. Again, not an alternative to an apple, but way better than your traditional ready-made mix.
Palais des Thés: I’m tea-obsessed and have found that many times when I think I’m hungry I’m either just looking for a distraction or thirsty, so I’ll often make myself a tea first and if after that I’m still craving something, I’ll do some exploring in my kitchen. Palais des Thés makes some of the best teas available – super flavorful, but not overpowering. They have a ton of sets that are great for those who like to taste test or anyone looking for a unique hostess gift. One of my faves is their green tea tasting set, which comes with 10 tubes of green tea and a tea tasting guide. It’s pretty awesome how different one green tea tastes from another, and this set lets you appreciate it…plus, no arguing with calorie-free!