5 Healthy Snacks to Keep in Your Purse or at Your Desk
Ladies and gentleman, I know your snacking struggles. In fact, I live them. As an intern and full-time student, I straddle two lives, both of which have my behind firmly planted in a chair, hunched of the computer, with an overwhelming need for some mindless snacking. But the snacks around most offices I’ve worked at are less than figure-friendly (read: that leftover pie from last weekend that your co-worker wanted out of her refrigerator) and the vending machines in the basement of the library are hardly healthy, unless you consider fruit snacks your fruit for the day. So, I’ve taken to fighting secretary spread by stuffing my backpack and desk with low-calorie, high-protein snacks that won’t leave me feeling guilty and ten pounds heavier when the clock strikes 5 PM.
1. Pre-Packaged Almonds
Almonds are protein-packed, giving you that energy boost until lunchtime and satisfying that crunch craving without the carbo-loading effects. Be sure to buy individually packaged almonds, because too many of these can turn this waist-friendly snack to a high-calorie nightmare. My brand of choice is the Blue Diamond Natural Almonds – they come in 100 calorie snack packs and flavors galore! (If you’re a fan of chocolate covered pretzels, consider trading them in for the Dark Chocolate flavor of Blue Diamond Almonds!)
An old friend with a new twist: popcorn, without the butter. A serving of popcorn ranges depending on the type, but ones with little or no butter or salt usually average at 4 or 5 cups per serving, with as little as 35 calories per serving. Guilt free? I think so. If you can ditch your butter-fix, consider a few cups of Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt Popcorn to keep you going throughout the day, or grab some prepackaged kernels to pop once you’re at work, like Act II Popcorn with Light Butter.
3. Kale Chips
If popcorn’s consistency isn’t your thing, or your looking for a cleaner snack, kale chips might just be your new best friend. These treats don’t quite taste like Tostitos, but with the flavors and varieties, they come pretty darn close. The bonus? They’re usually vegan, raw and organic, especially Brad’s Raw Kale Chips. For the more hardcore health nuts, try my personal favorite and go-to savory snack: crunchy kale! It’s just like kale chips, minus the chips, and plus a whole lot of nutrition.
Veggie haters rejoice: V8 might just be the new love of your life. Instead of having steamed broccoli at dinner, try drinking some V8! This drink will satisfy your seemingly insatiable hunger, boost your energy, make you feel good, and provides 2 servings of vegetables, so you can check that off your to-do list. Does it taste great? For a tomato juice lover like myself, yes. For die-hard veggie haters, not quite. However, this drink is worth your while if your looking for a quick, guilt-free solution to all-day office-munchies.
5. Plain Ol' Fruits and Veggies
Duh! Ultimately, fruits and vegetables are your best bet for a healthy diet and a filling snack. Although I load up on kale chips and popcorn, I eat carrots and red peppers like they’re sticks of gum, constantly munching on them to satisfy mid-morning hunger. If you’re stuck in your potato chip rut, try transitioning from those to kale chips, and eventually to carrots. If you’re enjoying V8, swap it for some cherry tomatoes, or throw in apple in your bag. You won’t regret it – I promise.
What are your favorite healthy snacks? Tell us in the comments below!