In the picture perfect version of my life that I often day-dream of, my days are spent relaxed and cooking at a leisurely pace in a big, open kitchen for my friends and family. The reality, however, (at least at this point in my life) is quite the opposite, and on most days one could pretty accurately compare my “Zen-ergy” to that of the Tasmanian Devil A.K.A. Zero Chill.
Even though I have a great desire to cook on the regular, my hectic schedule rarely allows enough time or energy to do so. Lately I’ve found myself reaching for the nearest healthiest snack before flying out the door, whether I’m at home or in a store because unless I’m sitting down to a meal for a work event, I don’t often have time to sit down to eat. Between my nutritionist and trying both the Paleo and Gluten-Free diets over the years, I’ve come to learn a thing or two about “smart” snacking and the best options even when you need something to grab when you’re on the go to shove in your mouth and stop the hunger pains with fuel that will keep you going.
If you can relate, see below for 10 of my favourite grab-and-go healthy snacks for when you’re busy AF, and a fun giveaway pack from KIND Bars to keep you going!
You know what they say: An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Thankfully, biting in to a delicious and crisp apple (especially if they’re locally grown from right here in Ontario!) happens to be one of my favourite healthy snacks. Not only are these a staple in my homemade smoothies (if I manage to make one before I fly out the door) but they’re one of my favourite snacks to throw in my purse to eat while en route to a meeting or mid-day when I’m feeling peckish. Not only are these gift of nature delicious and super portable, but they are also extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fibre.
2. Pre-Chopped Fruits
One of my favourite celebrity nutritionists, Kimberly Snyder, always highlights the importance of eating light to heavy, and consuming any fruits at the start of your day (before anything else). Fruits breakdown far faster than any proteins or starches (seriously, like 20-30 minutes versus 3-4 hours), and so if you’re looking to get your daily fruit serving in, do it in the morning. One of my trainer’s shared a great tip which is to buy pre-chopped fruits in store to make it easier to grab them when you’re on the go or add to your morning smoothie or yogurt bowl.
3. Pre-Chopped Veggies
Just as you can buy platters of pre-cut fruits at most major grocery stores, you can also buy pre-chopped veggies which can be super handy when you’re busy and/or lazy. Sometimes, I’m both, but either way I never like the endless task of chopping tons of veggies. When I’m in meal prep mode I like to buy a platter of chopped veggies and divide them into small containers or zip lock bags so they’re ready in grab-and-go snack portions when I’m busy during the week.
4. Whole Almonds
Spend about 30 seconds with any personal trainer or nutritionist and they’re bound to bring up their love for the almond. Seriously, you would think these people were paid to promote them! But no, it just so happens that eating whole almonds are crazy good for you and one of the best healthy snacks you can eat. Why? Well, to list a few nutrition facts, almonds are 13% protein, filled with minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and an excellent source of Vitamin E and fibre. Yes, they are tasty whole and raw, but I must admit I also love to snack on them when toasted and seasoned with tamarin, or covered in organic dark chocolate!
5. KIND Bars
I remember being in high school and visiting the home of my healthiest BFF when her mom brought up how hard it was for them to find granola bars that were actually healthy rather than ‘health bars’ that were as loaded with sugar as your average chocolate bar. Ever since then, I’ve tried my best to eat granola bars with the least amount of sugar, and apparently, I’m not alone. In a recent survey conducted by Leger and KIND, 77% of Canadian women said the amount of sugar was a “very” or “somewhat” important factor in choosing snacks for themselves and 89% rated sugar as important in choosing snacks for their children. Even when aware of sugar intake, it can be confusing to know just how much is recommended; 42% of women polled said they didn’t actually know the recommended guidelines for the maximum amount of daily consumption and another 42% said they look at nutrition claims such as “sugar reduced” — which may not be the best indicator to help make their choices. KIND Bars have been something I’ve relied on for a healthy snack option for the past few years, and to give you an idea of the difference in sugar, the total amount of sugar in many KIND bars clock in at just 5 grams, whereas other nutrition bars average about 23 grams (that’s 4 times the amount in a KIND snack bar). My favourite flavour is most definitely Almond Sea Salt & Dark Chocolate!. All the new flavours are incredible including Almond Mint & Dark Chocolate, Almond Mocha & Dark Chocolate and Cashew Raspberry & Chia. Keep reading for how to enter to WIN the prize pack from KIND Bars!
Starting my day with a veggie-filled green smoothie is definitely my favourite way to kick off any day, but, unfortunately I don’t always have the time to whip up a healthy smoothie at home. When I am more on top of things, I try to make large batches so I’ve got my smoothies ready for 2 to 3 days that I can grab straight out of my fridge. If not, I try to buy healthy smoothie options to keep in my fridge or pick up when I’m out. Thankfully finding healthy smoothies that are veggie rather than fruit-filled is easier these days! Click HERE for some of my favourite smoothie recipes to make at home.
7. Egg Muffins
Muffins aren’t something I normally gravitate towards but I fell head over heels for protein-filled egg muffins when I discovered them the first time I ever tried the Paleo diet. If you, like me, have more of a savoury palette, then there’s a good chance you’ll love munching on these delicious little treats that are basically mini frittatas, when you’re on the go. They aren’t exactly easy to come across when you’re out of the house, but thankfully they’re super quick and easy to make in advance. Plus, you can normally clean out the fridge with this type of recipe and it’s still bound to taste good. Click HERE for one of my go-to recipes.
8. Chia Pudding Cups
Here’s another great superfood snack that might take some pre-prep, but, depending on where you’re located, you may also be able to buy pre-made. Chia Pudding Cups are one of the latest health food crazes, but who’s complaining? These things are healthy and tasty AF! Chia seeds have numerous amazing health benefits including being great for your skin, digestive health, heart health, can help boost your energy and even help your hair grow! Can you say #winning? Chia seed pudding recipes mainly involve mixing chia seeds with your nut milk of choice, leaving them overnight to expand, and then topping them with fresh berries or nuts – delish! I like to make these in small mason jars or containers to grab-and-go in the mornings.
9. Protein Balls
Superfood or Protein Balls are my latest obsession and they’re clearly taking the health world by storm because there’s a very good chance you’ve already seen these at your favourite health-conscious cafe or restaurant. While they may look like Timbits, rest assured that there’s nothing but goodness in these yummy little raw balls. Since I often need an afternoon sugar fix or pick-me-up to keep me going around the 4 o’clock mark, I recommend trying these amazing vegan chocolate truffles with ginger and pistachios for a decadent treat without the guilt.
10. Granola Mix
Granola or ‘Trail’ Mix can be a great thing to have in your purse, bag or car when you’re on the go. I mean, it’s definitely a heck of a lot better for you than chips! Not to knock on chips, but, well, we all know they’re not that good for us even though they are delicious. Granola is a far better alternative and if you don’t have time to make your own you can now also buy KIND Healthy Grains Clusters which is super yummy and convenient!
So are you ready to enter to WIN a MONTH’s worth of snacks from KIND Bars for you and a friend worth $75 each?
All you have to do to enter is FOLLOW @GracieCarroll on Instagram, LIKE this picture and tag a friend in the comments letting us know how they are kind to their bodies, taste buds or the world! Contest is open to Canadian residents only.
Good Luck & Happy Snacking!!