Simple snacks to save your sanity

by Lauren Kime, RD, LDN

In last week’s post, Brooke touched on a detrimental state referred to as hangry. Hangry is a state of anger and irritability resulting from being hungry. It can creep up in the late morning hours before lunch or in late afternoon hours late in the day when productivity is vital to work performance. Snacks packed with protein, carbohydrates and some fat can help you feel satiated. Eating snacks throughout the day can also prevent binging later on, and in turn, prevent guilt from over indulging. Many people are often busy in their daily jobs and do not have time to prepare elaborate snacks. On-the-go snacks that are nutritious are more accessible than you may think.

Here is list of fool-proof snacks to keep on hand to prevent yourself from becoming hangry between meals.

Greek yogurt: This strained yogurt contains more protein than traditional yogurt, and is packed with probiotics for intestinal health. Compact six oz containers are available in nearly every grocery store these days. Common brands include Fage, Oikos, Chobani, and Greek Gods.  My personal favorite is bluberry Chobani. Most containers range from 90-150 calories with a variety of fat options from non fat to yogurt from 4% whole milk.

Cottage Cheese with fruit: Another protein packed snack made from curdled milk. It is also relatively low in fat, non fat options are available, and it is a good source of calcium. One cup of cottage cheese contains about 15% of the daily value of calcium (1000 mg for adults). Topping cottage cheese with fruit is a simple way to add more nutritional value to an afternoon snack.

Lärabar /Kind Bar: Easy on the go bars from Lärabar and Kind bar are made from dried fruit, nuts and other whole ingredients. Lärabar’s contain no more than 9 ingredients per bar and come in a variety of flavors from key lime pie to chocolate chip cookie dough to pecan pie. They contain 3-6 gm of protein per bar and contain about 200 calories per bar. Lärabar’s are also suitable for those adhering to a gluten free diet, their bars do not contain any gluten.  Kind bars are another whole fruit and nut bar available for easy convenience. You can see the whole nuts in the bars, and all the ingredients are foods that you know. Kind bars are also available in a variety of flavors including dark chocolate cherry cashew + antioxidants, fruit and nut delight, apple cinnamon & pecan, and almond & apricot. Most bars contain 2-6 gm of protein and about 180 calories per bar

Cocoa roasted almonds: Emerald’s cocoa roasted almonds will satisfy your chocolate craving while staving off the hanger. A one oz serving contains about 150 calories and 6 gm of protein. This snack also comes in easy 100 calorie packs.

Celery with nut butter: These days, the grocery store has found numerous ways to make eating healthy easier. Pick up some pre-cut celery or cut your own, and top it will some nut butter. It’s easy to find almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter in addition, to the typical peanut butter on the shelves.

Mango with chili powder: Spice up your afternoon snack by sprinkling chili powder and a dash of salt on mango slices to amp up the flavor. Trader Joe’s sells pre-cut mango slices, if you’re not a master mango peeler and slicer.

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