This Blog was written by Danielle one of Lauren&s own interns!
Snacks can get a bad rep. They are usually equated with salty, fattening, or sweet extras to your day that you dont really need, when in reality snacks are vital to your well being. Having a snack between meals can help you avoid over-eating or binge eating later. They also help regulate your blood sugar (keeping you from feeling tired or run down) and keep your metabolism (the thing that uses calories and burns fat) running all day. If you are like any intern out there you know feeling run down, tired, grumpy, or sluggish can be disastrous to your productivity and hinder relationships with those around you aka not good networking. Here are a few snacks that are nutritionally amazing and will leave you feeling ready to take on any task ahead.
1. Apple and Peanut Butter
Yup this traditional snack you had as a kid is as much nutritious as is delicious. First Apples are a great fruit to have as a snack. 1 medium apple only has 95 calories and 0 grams of fat. It also has 4 grams of fiber which is going to leave you feeling satisfied long after you&ve eaten it. Plus the crunch of an apple alone can squash all those unnecessary cravings we have for things like chips. Now add peanut butter to it, but not just any peanut butter, go for the natural stuff. Processed peanut butter is loaded with processed sugars and fat that you dont want. Natural peanut butter should only have 3 ingredients: peanuts, salt, and oil. Make it organic and its even better. You wont lose any of the flavor but you will get all the benefits a natural nut offers. Apples are very easy to transport and they now make peanut butter in little packets, perfect for when your on a subway or running through the city. The packets are also great for portion control, because while peanut butter is delicious 2 tbs can have 200 calories, so stick with the packets and you&ll be good to go.
I am obsessed with hummus and will pretty much eat it on anything. Whats Hummus? Well it is simply chickpeas, olive oil and salt. It only weighs in at 10 calories per serving but is packed with healthy fats from the olive oil (great for hair and skin) and it has some protein and fiber. Bonus: Hummus comes in all flavors. I like original but I fancy garlic for when I dont have to go anywhere. You can pair hummus up with anything you want really: Carrots, Celery, Broccoli, Pretzel chips, pita bread etc. Sabra is my favorite hummus maker and they have these awesome to go containers that have hummus on the bottom and pretzel chips on the top. This is great if you are craving something salty and crunchy, but need a nutritional food that will help get you to dinner time. Extra tip: next time you make chicken salad use hummus instead of mayo, you will add nutritional value, subtract fat and boost the flavor of your chicken!
3. GNU Bars
These are my absolute favorite and you must try them. Gnu bars are the ultimate chewy granola bar. They are all natural and packed with good stuff, plus they only have about 140 calories per bar. These guys are packed with fiber at around 12 grams per bar, that is sure to keep you satisfied. Fiber also helps fight against weight gain, cancer, and diabetes. Health isn&t the only thing these bars give you, they also taste amazing. They come in 7 flavors my favorite being the Cinnamon Raison, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Brownie.. MMMMMM. You can order them in bulk on their website or find them at any Whole Foods. I have also found these occasionally at TJMaxx and Marshalls for a discounted price...thumbs up to that.
Almonds are a super food and now even easier to carry around. Emerald Nut and Blue Diamond make 100 calorie packs of almonds and even better they come in all different flavors. Cocoa dusted and cinnamon and sugar are probably my favorite but if your daring they have a wasabi and other fun flavors too. Almonds are a high protein, low fat snack that again is going to keep you feeling full, satisfied and focused long into those stacks of papers you need to get through. Bonus: Protein is one of the hardest things for your body to digest aka you burn calories while eating it.
5. Odwalla Smoothies
I really love smoothies and I love to make them on my own. However, bringing a blender to work can be frowned upon so when I am in need of my smoothie fix I turn to my good friends at Odwalla. Now when choosing one of these you cannot just go in blind, you have to read the nutrition label since not all are the best option health wise. You need to be aware of serving size, some of the bottles have 2 servings so they can add up to 300-400 calories per bottle which is closer to a meal than a snack. Also pick one that is mostly made of fruit or vegetables aka avoid the chocolate milk like one. There is one called Blueberry B Monster Vitamin B Fruit Smoothie Blend. This got an A on the health grade scale. It only has 140 calories per serving and high in vitamin B and C. Plus Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants that fight free radicals. Free radicals are things that can damage your skin and increase in city like areas because of the polluted air and dense population. I would not say choose this everyday for a snack, since all of them are high in sugar but it is definitely okay if you are craving a smoothie. They also have a green smoothie and while the color may make your stomach churn its actually fruity tasting and delicious, give it a try!
If you forgot a snack and are really stuck Mcdonalds (yes I said the M word) has their own fruit smoothies now. They say they are made with real fruit and low fat yogurt. Guess what? A small smoothie is not that bad at all. A small Mango Pineapple Smoothie (my favorite flavor) has only 220 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and Vitamin A & C, plus calcium. They do have a lot of sugar so be aware. But if you are in that 3 pm slump and have nothing to boost your mood, I would definitely go with this. The price is very reasonable and best of all its automatic portion control, unlike with the odwallas. Once its gone its gone.
Hope this helps you next time you find yourself feeling hungry and its not lunch or dinner time yet. If you enjoyed these choices or wished you saw something else, let us know and comment below with your favorite snacks.