I’ve always been the hangry type, but breastfeeding seems to have amplified that, and having a newborn means I have little time to prepare snacks in-the-moment. If you’re like me, not prepping snacks in advance means you’re raiding the pantry for goldfish and cookies. In an effort to eat a little healthier than that, here are the healthy snacks I keep on hand:
Cut fruit + veggies: Simple and refreshing. I find it helpful to buy a lot of fruits and veggies and prep them all for the week during one of Stella’s naps. We usually have watermelon, strawberries, carrots and cucumbers washed and cut up in the fridge. Note that if they were not washed and cut previously, I’d be far less likely to grab them in a pinch.
Cheese sticks: I don’t like mozzarella, but I love colby jack. I buy cheese sticks for when I’m craving a salty snack but want real food rather than something out of the pantry.
Rice cakes with peanut butter + cinnamon: I love this as we’re heading into fall. Plain rice cakes topped with peanut butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Light but filling, and super quick to throw together.
Smoothies: when I have a few minutes (aka Stella has been fed recently and is asleep), I love to make smoothies. My favorite combo is frozen banana, almond butter, almond milk, and chocolate protein.
Energy balls: These need to be prepped in advance, but are super quick to make so I usually make them when I’m finished chopping fruits and veggies for the week. My go-to recipe here is:
1 cup almond butter
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp flax seeds
and lately.. I’ve been rolling them in sprinkles!
Yasso bars: I love the chocolate fudge flavor to get my dessert fix but without going gangbusters on calories.
I’m always looking for new ideas to throw into the mix! What are your go-to healthy snacks?
If you’re anything like me, the hanger is REAL come 3 p.m. (or really any time it’s been 3+ hours since I last ate). My energy dips, I can’t think, I’m grumpy.. and with that, I’m likely to reach for anything in sight as my next snack. To stop this cycle from affecting everyone around me, I make an effort to keep snacks on hand at all times. The following convenient options are my go-to’s:
Protein bars. Seems like a no-brainer, but I eat them so often they have to make the list. I’ve previously mentioned my love affair with Quest bars, but I’ve also been keeping GoMacro bars on hand recently. They only use vegan ingredients that are found in nature, and their high protein flavors are so good! Anything with nut butter and I’m sold.
Fruit with greek yogurt/nut butter. I like to pack this snack for work so that I can refrigerate it. Mixing plain greek yogurt with a little nut butter and topping it with fruit is fresh and filling! If you don’t have refrigerator access, a banana with an almond butter packet does the trick too.
Homemade protein treats. If I have time to snack prep along with my Sunday meal prep, I like to make a healthy, homemade treat to stick in my bag for when hunger strikes. Some of my favorites are these muffins and these protein balls.
Is there anything better than ice cream on a hot day? I could eat it for every meal, every day in the summertime, so I sought out healthy alternatives. These recipes are quick and made with whole, simple ingredients.
Cookies and Cream – if you make one recipe from this list, it should be this one. It’ll change your life (read: you’ll become addicted very quickly).
Blueberry Muffin – great post-workout breakfast – make it even more filling by adding more almond milk and a scoop of vanilla protein powder.
Cake Batter – admittedly, I haven’t tried this one yet, but I can’t get enough of Cold Stone’s Cake Batter ice cream and I have high hopes.
Chocolate PB Cup – I love to add a sprinkle of cacao nibs and some melted pb drizzle.
Rocky Road – again, haven’t tried this one, but it’s on my to-do list.
When summer hits, the last place I want to be is inside working on a hot stove/oven. So for most of my summer dinners, I turn to salads.
Salads get a bad rap for being boring/girly/lame/you-name-it. But to me, they’re refreshing. Crunchy. Flavorful. Light. Easy. And they’re variable. The options are endless, people! So, salad-haters, take your disdain elsewhere. And if you’re a salad-lover like me, try some of these below (and leave your own favorites in the comments)!
Monday: Kale and Quinoa Salad
I went with a vegetarian option for #meatlessmonday:
Massaged kale – I use about 2 cups per person. Destem, drizzle with olive oil, and knead/massage it for about a minute. The leaves will become greener and softer (much better for a salad).
If you’ve ever gone out to eat with me or if you follow me on insta (@healthydoseoflife) then you know my love for Mexican food. Lately, this obsession has been directed at tacos. Carne asada tacos, fish tacos, shrimp tacos, vegetarian tacos.. the limit does not exist. So I compiled a list or recipes from some of my favorite food bloggers (#bloggoals) that I just HAVE to try. If I’m missing any or if you’ve tried any of these, let me know in the comments!
Earlier this year I went to visit a friend in Rochester, where I had the most amazing oatmeal cookie ice cream. Seriously, if you’re in the area stop by Moonlight Creamery–you won’t regret it!
Since that day, I’ve been on the hunt for a healthier, make-at-home version. It comes in the form of a high protein, post-workout shake. Dreams do come true!
To make: blend 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk, half a frozen banana, 1/4 cup of quick oats, 1 scoop of quest peanut butter protein, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Sprinkle a handful of raisins on top and enjoy!
Note: I like my shakes thick enough to eat with a spoon. To make this drinkable, add more almond milk.
I’m what you might call a “volume eater”. I eat a LOT throughout the day. It doesn’t matter how much I ate in one sitting or how unhealthy it was, I am guaranteed to be hungry (read: HANGRY) 2-3 hours later (is that just me? anyone? anyone?). Because of this, I like to make vegetable-based meals: big in volume, small in calories. Here are my favorite ways to lighten up traditional meals.
Spaghetti squash: The texture is similar to that of angel hair pasta, and with its light flavor it works well to replace pasta in most meals. I regularly make it instead of pasta in spaghetti, pad thai, and sesame chicken. It’s simple to make (the hardest part is cutting it). Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees and slicing the squash half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds then flip the squash cut-side down into a pan. Cover the bottom of the pan in water and cook for 30-40 minutes. Scoop the cooked squash out with a fork and enjoy the pasta-like texture!
Zucchini noodles: These are slightly less pasta-like and do have a bit of flavor, but are still great (especially just to mix things up). I use them in the same recipes as above, or sauté them in a light coating of olive oil with garlic/parmesan/cayenne. Zoodles can be made a few easy ways. The easiest is to use a peeler and shave the zucchini down into thin, flat noodles. I use a veggetti which is also simple and cheap (I got mine at Wegmans). Once you’ve cut the zucchini into a pasta-like shape, lightly sauté it in the oil/sauce of your choice. It only takes about 5 minutes!
Cauliflower rice: The difference between rice and cauliflower rice is hardly noticeable. It’s easy to make, too. The biggest downfalls are the cost compared to rice and how messy it can easily get. I use it for stir fry and burrito/fajita bowls. To make, cut cauliflower into small pieces and place them in a blender. Pulse until they get to be a rice-like size, then sauté in coconut or olive oil.
When dessert cravings come knocking, it takes a stronger mind than mine to say no. While there’s nothing wrong with a little “treat yoself” attitude from time-to-time, a daily dessert habit isn’t exactly in line with most fitness goals. For those times when you need something sweet but don’t want to kill your progress, here are my favorite guilt-free desserts.
Banana Ice Cream. This is easy to make and can be spiced up with any number of mix-ins. Bonus: it’s a great use for bananas that are past their prime. To make, peel and chop a very ripe banana, then put it in the freezer for at least 2 hours (I like to keep a stockpile of frozen bananas in the freezer so I never have to wait). Once the banana pieces are frozen, put them in a blender with a splash of unsweetened almond milk, and blend until smooth. The consistency will end up being similar to soft-serve ice cream. I like to add in chocolate chips, peanut butter, a splash of vanilla extract, almonds, protein powder and/or cacao powder. The options are endless!
Halo Top Ice Cream. This option is a bit pricey, but it’s as satisfying as regular ice cream for less than 300 calories per pint (for most flavors). My go-to is birthday cake, but I need to get my hands on some of these new flavors like oatmeal cookie and s’mores.
Quest Bars. Not dessert you say? Try their brownie, chocolate chip or cookies and cream flavors. You’ll change your tune.
Banana Muffins. This recipe from ambitious kitchen is simple and delicious. Sometimes I toss in chocolate chips to sweeten them a bit more. I also love to toast them and melt nut butter on top. These make a great on-the-go snack, too.
Healthified Hot Cocoa. Bring 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk to a boil. Add cacao powder and cinnamon to taste.