Stupidly Simple Snacking: Satisfy Cravings without Sacrificing your Health

I’m here to tell you some wonderful news: snacking is not a bad thing. In fact, it can actually be beneficial and give you extra fuel when you need it most. But it’s all about what you consistently choose to snack on. Lay’s Potato Chips, Chips Ahoy and frozen mozzarella sticks from the grocery store are tasty but they are far from being the best options. You can do better, and your body will thank you for it.

Here’s a quick list of snack options that are healthy, tasty, and will keep you in line for your health & fitness goals.

1) Greek Yogurt, Fruit, and Raw Honey

Greek yogurt is filled with probiotics and contains a good amount of protein, it’s a very solid base to create a snack around. Mix that with some fruit, another great source of vitamins and minerals, and you have yourself a delicious dessert. To add some more flavor, throwing in a spoon of raw honey will make this an even more sweet, tasty treat! Raw honey contains a variety of benefits such as antioxidants and even antibacterial properties.

2) Jerky (Beef, Bison, Pork, Etc.)

You can make this yourself for full control over ingredients, or buy a brand from the store that uses less processed ingredients. You can have beef, turkey, pork, bison, venison, you name it – many types of jerky exist and all are a great source of animal protein and vitamins.

3) Cheese

Filled with calcium, vitamins, fat, and protein, cheese can be eaten alone or paired with something else of your choosing, such as fruits or crackers. Be wary with certain crackers – check ingredients as most are made with seed/vegetable oils.

4) Carrots & Dip of choice (Make your own dip!)

Associated with improved eye health and filled with antioxidants & vitamins, carrots are a very easy snack to prepare and have on hand. For a dip, you can buy one from the store or even make your own at home if you want more control over your ingredients. For example, you can make homemade ranch and even homemade mayo to mix into the ranch – this gives you full control over the oils you choose to use in the dip.

5) Dates

Containing fiber, natural sugars, calcium, magnesium, and other vitamins and minerals, dates are a nice snack if you’re craving something sweet. Similar to eating chewy candy, but better for you!

6) Avocado on Homemade or Bakery Bread

Probably one of my favorites on this list. Avocados are an amazing source of fats and vitamins E, K, and B6, just to name a few. When making your own bread at home, you can control what goes into it from the type of flour you use to the quality of the oil/butter. A local bakery where you know what they use in their bread is a second best option. The reason I don’t recommend regular store bought bread is due to the lack of quality & freshness, as well as the abundance of preservatives.

7) Homemade Fruit Smoothie

You don’t need Jamba Juice, you just need a blender, some fruits, honey, milk, and Greek yogurt. Throw in some protein powder while you’re at it and make your smoothie even more nutrient dense. Play around with ingredients – you may find you really like bananas, or that you really enjoy extra raw honey, or that you even like to crack in an egg. Have fun with it!

8) Cottage Cheese paired with Fruits and/or Nuts.

Cottage cheese contains calcium, vitamin B12, selenium, and even more nutrients. Being mostly protein, it’s a great tool for keeping you anabolic. Nuts and fruits are a great addition to give this snack some more flavor and texture.

9) Dark Chocolate/ 70-100% Cacao

Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and may reduce your risk of heart disease. It’s a super tasty treat and one that is found in many popular desserts. Mix this in with another snack or eat it on its own, the choice is yours. Sticking to a 70-100% range will help to ensure you are getting pure dark chocolate with none or at least a bare minimum of fillers added in. You can always check ingredients to ensure the additional ingredients, if any, are suitable for your health needs.

10) Pork Rinds

I know what you’re thinking – all this talk on “healthy foods” and I now introduce store bought pork rinds? Hear me out: some brands, especially small businesses, make pork rinds using very simple ingredients with no fillers. This means you are just eating pork skin, salt, sugar, (some use more natural forms instead of refined sugar), and pork fat. Obviously this isn’t an “eat it everyday, all the time” snack. But in comparison to potato chips, you have less processed ingredients and more protein. It’s a healthier option than your typical bag of Lay’s by a marginal amount.

Should you “never” eat a “bad snack?

That’s up to you. I enjoy “bad” snacks, I simply just put a limit on them and I ensure that over 90% of my snacks are made with natural, clean ingredients. Some people are more strict, some are less strict. What we can all agree on however, is that making the conscious choice to snack healthier more often than not is better for your mind and body than eating anything and everything without control.

Be wise on your snack options, and reap the benefits of a stronger body & mind that will follow in return.

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