On-the-Go Healthy Snack Alternatives

BY JUSTIN MARTIN, NASM CPT

So like most of you I sometimes run into the problem of, I’m pressed for time due to work or travel and I need a healthy snack option that is quick, low maintenance, and nutritious. You don’t have to ruin those hard earned gains in the gym by always going for fast food. We need healthy snack options that are high in protein to support our muscle development, low in sugar to keep our insulin levels low, and high in fiber. Here are some options that may help you out.

Greek Yogurt

A great high protein snack option that is also high in fiber and full of probiotics is Greek Yogurt. Greek Yogurt is also full of potassium, calcium, and B12 vitamins. You should opt for plain Greek Yogurt to avoid added sugars and add a little honey and cinnamon to sweeten. You could also add your own fruit.

Whey Protein

Not only is protein powder (specifically whey protein) ideal for post-workout nutrition, it is also great for on-the-go situations, or even a midday healthy snack to keep the metabolism running at a high rate. It goes great with smoothies with fruit and/or Greek yogurt as well. Keep a shaker bottle of water refrigerated at work and just add a scoop so you can enjoy it cold, or warm it in the microwave if you are a fan of hot cocoa! (warm the water first, and then add the powder and mix)

You can make your own trail mix.

Pick up a box of your favorite protein cereal at the store (I personally like Special K Protein Cereal or Kashi brand). Add a handful of dry fruit like raisins, a handful of almonds, a handful or pretzels, and maybe a few dark chocolate chip morsels as well. Want more protein in your mix? Sprinkle a little whey protein on top and shake up the bag (beware while tasty this will make your hands sticky). Do not take the individual ingredients to work with you so that you don’t overeat! Make it at home and just take handfuls of these items and we can keep your trail mix as a lower calorie snack option. Remember if you are eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily then we need to keep your healthy snacks as a lower calorie fill in during those in between times to keep the metabolism high, but also not over indulge on calories.

Protein Bars

You have to be careful here as you can easily select a brand that is high in calories and sugar. When choosing a protein bar you should not only look at the protein content, but also look at the sugars and fiber content as well.

My favorite brand is Quest. They are a little more costly than others but they are usually 200 calories or under, and high in protein and higher in fiber then most bars as well.  I have found that Meijer usually has them marked down lower than the other grocery stores. I always have protein bars on hand because I never know when I’m going to go for long periods without a break in the day. I know I’m getting a nutritious, healthy snack and it’s already made. 

Other healthy on-the-go healthy snack items could include any of the following: 

  • Peanut butter Sandwich (add banana?)
  • Whole Wheat Crackers and Sardines
  • Jerky (look for a label that says Gluten Free, Grass Fed. Low Sodium)
  • String Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese and Tomato
  • Celery and Peanut butter
  • Apple and Peanut butter

– Hint: The best time of day to eat fruit is pre workout! (1.5 to 1 hour before workout as your body will use the natural sugar from the fruit as fuel, and you will burn it off during your workout)

My go-to pre-workout snack is a blended smoothie with:

1/4 – 1/2 cup oats

1/2 scoop Whey Protein or 1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt

1 Tbsp Natural Peanut butter

1 tsp chia seeds

1 cup spinach and or kale

1 cup mixed frozen berries

1 tbsp stevia to sweeten

2-3 pinches of cinnamon

 

Try some of these other high protein healthy snack recipes if you have time to prepare:

High Protein Peanut butter Sandwich: 

  • ½-1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tbsp Natural Peanut butter or your favorite nut butter
  • ¼ cup Greek Yogurt
  • -Cinnamon (optional) (hint: cinnamon increases insulin sensitivity so you should add cinnamon whenever possible to your starches except your post workout meal)
  • Low sugar or sugar free jam (optional)

mix ingredients and add to 1 or 2 slices of Whole Grain Bread (look for high fiber bread) (20:4 carb to fiber ratio is good)

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Protein Pudding

  • 3/4-1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • ½ scoop Protein Powder
  • zero calorie chocolate sauce (you can find in diabetes section at store)

Mix in bowl and enjoy

Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins

  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup Peanut butter
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened apple sauce
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chip morsels

Mix and spoon out in muffin tin, bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes

Overnight Oats

Ok this is more a breakfast then a snack, but I know some of you struggle to eat healthy in the mornings when you are rushing to work. You can find tons of delicious overnight oats recipes online, but here is a simple one that I enjoy. All you need to do is make up the ingredients in a smoothie cup or mason jar the night before (add all wet and dry mixes) and refrigerate overnight. The oats will absorb the milk during the night and you enjoy cold with a spoon. You can have ½-1 cup of oats depending on your calorie needs.

Overnight-Oats-with-Fruit-and-Yogurt-Vegan-nutfreevegan-7.jpg (748×1120)

  • ½-1 cup oats
  • ½-1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
  • ½-1 cup mix of strawberries and blueberries
  • 1 tbsp stevia
  • 1 tbsp of chia seeds
  • cinnamon sprinkle
  • 4-5 pecans on top
  • maple syrup drizzle (I usually opt for a sugar free brand)

Keep checking out our site for more recipes from one of our very own Iron Will clients, Crystal Adams as she will be posting some of her personal recipes, including healthy snack options that helped her lose over 100 pounds and add lean, toned muscle!