The afternoon hits and your tired, ready to go home, and hungry. With a little bit of planning this can be the perfect time to refuel, recharge and gear up for an eventful evening ahead. Instead of reaching for the vending machine, take a little bit of time at the start of the week to plan out a few healthy snacks for the work week. By doing so, you will not only save a little bit of money but quite a few calories too! Here are ten easy snack ideas that will leave you feeling energized and ready to face the last part of the day.
1. Pistachios + Grapes
Noted as the lowest calorie nut, pistachios will keep you full without the high calorie price tag. Not only that, but they are also full of vitamin K, potassium, fiber and healthy fat. Pair these up with grapes and your sweet tooth will begin to disappear once and for all!
2. Carrots + Hummus
If you've never given hummus a chance, reconsider. Hummus is simply ground chickpeas with added spices, seasonings, and a few other ingredients. Full of healthy vitamins, like vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins like folic acid, minerals, and fiber, this healthy combo with provide your body exactly what it needs when an afternoon slump hits.
3. Walnuts + Dried Berries
Rich in omega-3s, walnuts should be your new best friend. Omega 3s have been linked to a healthy heart, among many other health benefits. Berries are full of disease fighting antioxidants, making this duo one to try ASAP. But just to note, only two whole walnuts contain approximately 50 calories, so keep the portion small if weight loss or weight maintenance is your goal.
4. Celery Sticks + Peanut Butter + Raisins
There are few snacks better than this childhood favorite: ants-on-a-log. This snack is easy, filling and full of healthy vitamins and minerals. Calories are the only thing low in celery's nutrition profile. Celery is high in many anti-cancer compounds, including many B vitamins, vitamin C, and fiber just to name a few. Combine it with the healthy fats in peanut butter and the additional vitamins and minerals found in raisins and you've found yourself a delicious and healthy combo!
5. Strawberries + Greek Yogurt
Full of protein, vitamin C, fiber and calcium, this afternoon delight will fill you up without filling you out. Sweet enough to fight off any sweet craving, strawberries a full of disease fighting antioxidants to help keep you healthy and vibrant.
6. Whole Grain Crackers + Cheese or Hummus
Not all crackers are created equally. When choosing this fiber rich snack, choose a cracker that lists "whole-grain" or "whole-wheat" as it's first ingredient. Pair your favorite healthy cracker with a low-fat cheese or heart healthy hummus and you are sure to be feeling energetic all afternoon long.
7. Raw Almonds + Banana
Full of healthy fats, fiber, and plenty of vitamins and minerals, try each banana slice topped with an almond; it doesn't get better than that! This snack is just enough to keep your energy levels consistent throughout the afternoon, allowing you to make a healthy and well-balanced dinner decision a few hours later.
8. Apple + Peanut Butter/Almond Butter
One can never go wrong with this dynamic duo. Peanut butter (or almond butter) combined with apple slices isn't just a snack for kids; it's a perfect afternoon snack for adults too! With plenty of fiber, healthy fats and vitamins and minerals, apples and nut butter make for the perfect afternoon snack. Slice the apple up the night before or bite into it whole and spread a little bit of peanut butter on each slice for a well balanced snack. An apple a day really does keep the doctor away!
9. Homemade Protein Bar
Although it might sound complicated, these protein bars are sure to leave your coworkers begging that you bring more! With plenty of fiber, protein, and heart healthy fats, these bars will keep you satiated all afternoon; and even better, they are void of any additives, chemicals, or scary ingredients that only wreck havoc on your health. Make a batch of these at the start of the week and you will be well prepared to face any challenges that the days might bring you.
10. Energy bites
These little guys are just that: full of energy; and soon after consumption, they will do the same for you! Full of healthy fats, whole grains, fiber, vitamins and minerals, just a couple of these bites will do the trick!
Don't let the vending machine wreck your healthy living goals! See how easy it can be!