Because I am so big on baking, I try to compensate by eating better throughout the day and being as mindful as what I am putting into my body as I am when adding ingredients to my goodies. I find a hard time getting creative with my groceries (repeat offenders of my kitchen include baby carrots, cheez it’s, cinnamon toast crunch and string cheese), so I turned to a few different resources for some inspiration. Self Mag and my friend Lauryn over at The Skinny Confidential have some good advice for filling your cart with healthy delicious snacks to fuel you throughout the day.
Oatmeal: A great start to the day, this healthy grain is a carbohydrate rich in fiber. “All oats are healthful, but the steel-cut and rolled varieties have up to 5 grams of fiber per serving, making them the most filling choice,” says Self. A great secret about oats? They make a great nutritional addition to chocolate chip cookies!
Goji Berries: Like acai and blueberries, goji berries are highly concentrated with antioxidants. They come dried and prepackaged, and are only about 35 calories per tablespoon. Add them to yogurt, granola or trail mix for a tart twist. A great secret about these super berries? They contain 18 amino acids, which make them a surprising source of protein.
Homemade Trail Mix: My skinnista friend Lauryn gave me a great recipe for DIY trail mix, to eliminate the high levels of sugar and sodium that usually comes with pre-packaged trail mix. A trip to your local health food store (or Trader Joe’s, my fave) will get you to all your ingredient options, and from there you can mix and match. Mine, like Lauryn’s, includes unsalted shelled pistachios, whole cashews, raw almonds, and banana chips, with some added dried cranberries. For more options on how to cleanse your trail mix of toxins, visit Lauryn’s blog!
Frozen grapes: I love all (seedless) grapes, and my roommate in college taught me a cool trick to enjoy them even more. Throw your grapes in the freezer for a yummy juicy treat. Cool fact? When frozen, you tend to eat far smaller servings. If you have a really intense sweet tooth, Lauryn from The Skinny Confidential suggests freezing gummi bears. They are the best midnight snack!
Cottage Cheese: I was going to add yogurt to this list, but everyone knows yogurt is great for you. I personally prefer cottage cheese. I am usually a stickler for food texture, but for some reason the curd does not bother me. Perhaps because one of my favorite snacks as a child was peaches & cottage cheese. Why choose cottage cheese? Because it has 3x more protein than yogurt for just as little calories.
Edamame: One of my favorite appetizers is readily available in a freezer near you! Edamame can come in many varieties… standard salted pods, shelled and ready to eat, spicy, mild, flavored, dried. These are great to keep at work so you an nibble if you’re hungry before lunch or dinner. Edamame is also a fantastic source of protein, so you can eat as much as you want!