Over time, I’ve come to realize that much of my health-related success relies on how prepared I am for the week. The more meals I prepare, veggies I cut, or lunches I pack, the better I do.
But let’s face it, sometimes life gets chaotic. And what seems to always get sent to the bottom of our to-do lists? Taking care of ourselves, especially our bodies!
So, for those frantic times where you feel like you just can’t keep up with life, I present you these simple grab-and-go snack options that you can prepare in 10 minutes or less — all for less than 200 calories.
My Top 10 Snacks
1. Apple with almonds
Apples are not only delicious, but they’re high in soluble and insoluble fibre, phytonutrients that help regulate blood sugar, and anti-oxidants (among other vitamins and minerals). I pair them with almonds to lower the glycemic load of this delicious fruit. Translation: pairing the sugars in the apple with the protein and fat of the nuts will help to decrease the speed at which the sugar leaves your blood stream and enters your cells. In other words, you’ll have more stable blood sugar levels, which is always a plus!
2. Cherry tomatoes, feta/bocconcini cheese, and basil.
On a small skewer or toothpick, sandwich a bocconcini pearl between two cherry tomatoes. Add a leaf of fresh basil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Delicious! Make 15 skewers.
NOTE: Substituting bocconcini cheese for feta is another option, but stick to only five skewers if you’re looking to stay around 100 cals. Note that the amount of feta cheese you put on each skewer should be about the size of a dice.
3. Adult “ants on a log.”
Take three celery stalks and spread 1/2 tablespoon of natural peanut butter on each. Then, slice up three prunes into little pieces and stick them on top.
Celery is virtually calorie-free while being filled with water and fibre, peanut butter adds protein and fat, and prunes add even more fibre and natural sugars to this scrumptious snack! I also love all of the textures at play here: crunchy celery, creamy peanut butter, and chewy prunes. Yum!
4. Veggies and hummus
This is a classic snack that’s oh-so-satisfying. Pair 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of hummus with any sliced vegetables of your choice such as cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, cauliflower, you name it! I like to make my own hummus to “healthify” this snack even more! (I’ll be sure to post the recipe on my Instagram and blog sometime soon!)
5. Greek yogurt with raspberries
Stick half a cup of frozen raspberries in a cup and microwave until they’re soft and juicy. Add to half a cup of all-natural Greek yogurt. Though the raspberries tend to sweeten up the yogurt enough, feel free to sprinkle with a bit of a cinnamon and a spot of honey on top as well. Add one tablespoon of hemp seeds as well and stir.
You can buy frozen still-in-the-shell or unshelled edamame beans in the frozen section. Defrost the night before or quickly throw them in the microwave before you leave. Sprinkle half a cup of shelled or unshelled edamame with sea salt and enjoy a high-fibre snack that’s around 100 cals!
7. Cheese & crackers
I love buying cheese strings since they take away the guesswork when it comes to portion sizes (plus I still find them fun to play with). One mozzarella cheese string by Black Diamond contains only 60 calories but with 6g of protein and 4g of fat! Pair with some 100% whole wheat crackers (or vegetables, preferably) for a scrumptious snack. I like the Kashi Original 7-Grain Crackers for their flavour and crunch.
8. The healthy creamsicle
Cut up an orange into small chunks and pour over half a cup of cottage cheese. I call this the healthy creamsicle because that’s exactly what it tastes like! This 150-calorie snack will keep you satisfied thanks to the sugar in the orange and fat and protein in the cottage cheese.
9. Cucumber sandwiches
Take one wedge of Light Laughing Cow cheese and spread across as many cucumber slices as you can. Sandwich another cucumber slice on top. Wrap with thinly-sliced ham or turkey and stick a toothpick skewer inside. Delicious!
10. Smoked salmon bites
You can use another wedge of Laughing Cow Light on about five crackers. Top each cracker with a small pile of smoked salmon for a delicious snack that’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation.
NOTE: I like to replace the crackers with cucumber slices for little smoked salmon bites. So scrumptious!
The Bottom Line
Snacking between meals can greatly help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep your mood and energy levels consistent throughout the day. With many of the above snacks, emphasis is placed on incorporating some protein, fat, and carbohydrates to ensure that the digestion and absorption of your snack is slowed and you’re left feeling satisfied.
You Tell Me!
I'm always looking for new snack ideas! What's your favourite go-to grab-and-go snack? Let me know in the comments below!