I am going to continue my meal prep experiences for you. Today I will focus on snacks. Planning and preparing snacks is just as important as planning your meals. Stacy and I both eat all day. Sometimes I feel like I only think about food and what I am eating next. If you fail to prepare your snacks for the day, you will most likely wait until you are starving and reach for junk. It is much easier to open a bag of chips than to wash and cut up some veggies while you are starving. Something I noticed about prepping snacks: I want to eat the healthy snacks over the junk. I spent the time to prepare it so I am going eat it. None of us have enough time in the day to waste time and energy.
Here you see my most favorite snack at the moment. I call it fit girl crack. Nuts are high in calories and fat but they are the good calories and fats that your body needs. Yes, you NEED FAT. Add good sources of fat to your day so your body does not hold onto the bad fat. I got these mixtures at Target. What I like about them is that the nuts are raw. It is better to choose raw over roasted or toasted nuts. The mixture on the left has cashews, almonds and dried cranberries. Yes, dried fruit has a lot of sugar but we are talking about a small amount of dried fruit. I am not stepping on any stage soon (or maybe ever) so I do not need to be super careful with my food. I like the combination of sweet and salty so this mixture is my favorite. The mixture on the right is a combination of raw nuts. I use a measuring cup and measure out the entire container into snack sized baggies. I then put the baggies into a basket in my pantry. I have also done the same thing for trail mix (also bought from Target) for my kids. When I am leaving for the day, I grab a bag of nuts to take with me. The serving size on the container is 1/4 cup but I measured out 1/3 cup. You need to mindful of serving sizes and portions. Keep it at 1/4 cup if you can. If you need/want a little more like me, then measure out (but do not go over) 1/3 cup.
When preparing snacks, make sure you do everything that needs to be done so you can just grab it and eat it. Wash, cut and then put into baggies or containers. If you do not have one already, get some type of portable food storage. I have this one from FitMark Bags. It is currently out of stock (it is SO great!) but be sure to check out FitMark’s other meal management bags. They have a lot of nice options. Make an effort to have your snacks ready for the day or week so you are prepared for those times you are starving. I will say that I do not love all of the plastic baggies and containers but I will let it go. I prefer reusable, tree hugger containers but it is hard to use them (and way too expensive) in mass quantities.
I do not get by with just one snack throughout the day so here is a list of some additional snack ideas:
- apples or bananas with your favorite nut butter – measure out no more than 2 TBS into a small container
- oranges (LOVING the blood oranges in season right now!)
- berries in plain yogurt with honey (my favorite snack when I ate dairy)
- yogurt (if you buy the big container, you can still measure out into small containers)
- yogurt with granola (WATCH the sugar content when buying granola!!!!)
- veggies with hummus
- cottage cheese
- hard boiled eggs
- avocado with black beans and salsa (Try it! SOOOO good!)
- protein shakes (If on the go, you can just use a shaker bottle. Bring a container of almond milk to work if you have a refrigerator. If not, just use water. You could also add some PB2 to it. Notice that the shaker bottle from FitMark has a compartment for your powders and supplements!)
Notice that all of these snacks cannot be found in the snack aisle (with the exception of the nuts and maybe granola). I try to keep my snacks limited to raw nuts, fruits, veggies and protein shakes. I mentioned that I no longer eat dairy. I love yogurt and cottage cheese but I have found that dairy does not agree with my body so I try not to eat it very often. I also did not mention bars- like granola or energy bars. Go ahead and add them if you like them but read your labels or make your own. I am not a huge fan of snack bars. Most of them have a lot of sugar and are not very filling. I usually eat snack bars when I am on vacation and know I will need an extra source of protein. There are definitely some healthier options of snack bars on the shelves these days but you will most likely find them in health food stores rather than your grocery store.
Meal prep takes a lot of time and energy but it is so worth it. YOU are worth it! Do you meal prep your snacks? Have any other good ideas that I did not mention? Sharing is caring!