Snacking has unfairly earned a bad rap. When done right, snacking can make the difference between a sluggish, unproductive day and an energized, checking-off-that-to-do-list kind of day.
Think about it. If we go too long without breathing, we gasp for air. It’s the same with fueling our bodies. If we go too long without eating, we ravenously shovel down every unhealthy substance within reach.
Ultimately, snacking is the missing ingredient for an energized day. And smart snacking puts us in control of how much, what and when we fuel our body.
So what’s the trick to smart snacking? Be prepared. The best way to save time, money and your waistline is to take 5 minutes before leaving the house to grab healthy snacks. Think whole, unprocessed foods with protein, fiber and healthy fats (fruit & nuts, trail mix, string cheese, crunchy edamame, hard boiled eggs, yogurts, or jerky).
Try this recipe for quick & easy “Banana Bakies” with only five ingredients.
That said, let’s face it — entrepreneurs are continually on the run and may occasionally find themselves snackless. What to do?
Here are some locally made, healthy favorites to fill your pantry, cupboards and offices (To sample some of these and other healthy local delicacies, don’t miss our July 8 Food Fair! Register here.)
- Wild Friends Nut Butters has so many fun flavors, it’s seriously nutty. Even better, they sell single-serve packets, so you can throw one in your bag to spread on a banana, apple, or crackers.
- Chickpea hummus; been there done that. Get ready for the small but mighty lentil. Did you know that lentils have more protein, fiber and energy-boosting iron than chickpeas? Portland-made Mariam Foods Lentil Dips are filling, flavorful and an easy snack on the run.
- There are an overwhelming number of bars on the market. With so many to choose from, get picky! Picky Bars are made with all whole, unprocessed superfood ingredients, in the optimal protein to carb balance.
- Enjoy grazing? So do the free range animals that go into Shurky Jurky. These mouth-watering dried meats really are the perfect portable protein. And, yes, free-range really does matter – for the environment, the animals and your health.
- What kind of nutrition post would this be without a plug for kale? From Bend, OR, these Pacific Superfood Kale Chips are the ultimate in healthy snacking.
- Is your glut flora hungry too? Keep those gut bugs well fed, and in turn, they will boost your immune system, improve digestion, and may even promote weight control. Quench your thirst and keep your gut bacteria thriving with locally-made Humm Kombucha.
- Can’t forget the sweet treat. Petunia’s Pies & Pastries hit the sweet spot with high protein and high fiber goodies. Best options: the naturally sweetened Millionaire Bar or Hummingbird Muffin.
- The ultimate fast food solution: The New Season’s Market salad bar! With a variety of veggies, lean proteins and whole grains, you can make it just the way you like it. Caution: avoid thick, creamy dressings and choose a vinaigrette or simple olive oil & vinegar.
Snack smart and get ready to dominate your day.
About Anna: Anna is a Registered Dietitian at OHSU and co-founder of Zest Nutrition, LLC, to help busy, active women energize their lives and nourish their bodies, without dieting. Zest Food Coaches offer virtual or in person coaching, Zest food parties and workshops.
Too busy to meet with them in person? No problem! Check out the Zest website for a PDF download of the 4-Week Reboot and Guidebook, giving busy women the tools they need to get the job done right and feel good doing it.