Smart Snacking

Photo by robynmac/iStock / Getty Images

Eat a nutritious snack between meals to boost energy, focus, and your metabolism. Most of what we consider to be "snack food" is highly processed with poor quality ingredients and too much sugar, but this doesn't have to be the case. Instead of relying on sweets, caffeine, or processed munchies to get you through the day, opt for nutrient-dense foods to fuel your body and mind.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Fresh fruit with 1/8 cup nuts/seeds or 1Tbsp. nut butter

  • 2 Ryvita crisps with ¼ cup hummus & sliced cucumber

  • 1 hard-boiled egg with sugar snap peas & sliced carrots

  • 4 rice crackers with 1 oz. smoked salmon, sliced cucumber & capers

  • Kale chips with 1/8 cup cashews

  • ¼ cup roasted chickpeas with sliced bell pepper & carrots

  • Brown rice cake with 1 Tbsp. nut butter, ½ thin sliced apple & cinnamon

  • Celery & radishes with ¼ cup hummus & 10 Mary's Gone Crackers

  • 1 warm corn tortilla with 1 Tbsp. nut butter, ½ sliced banana & 1 Tbsp. cocoa nibs

  • ½ whole grain English muffin with ¼ avocado, sprouts, red pepper flakes

  • Banana bites: ½ banana cut into rounds with 1 Tbsp. almond/peanut butter & 1 Tbsp. cocoa nibs distributed evenly on top of banana rounds

  • Protein Shake: Vega One, Amazing Grass, Maximum Vibrance (mix protein powder with half water and half unsweetened almond milk)

  • Bar: Urban Remedy, Tosi, Go Raw, Pure Organic, Kind Bar (5g sugar or less), Paleo Bars

Smart snacking is a key factor in maintaining stable energy throughout the day, keeping the metabolism kicking, avoiding blood sugar swings, and eating healthier smaller meals. You will notice a greater sense of control over your appetite, a boost in energy and a more positive outlook when you fuel your body with quality snacks.