Have you ever experienced that afternoon slump around 3 p.m. where your energy seems to disappear? Most people experience this daily but rather than sneaking a nap at your desk or downing a large cup of coffee, try eating a protein-rich snack for an energy boost to get you through the rest of the day. Energy levels can crash when you go more than four or five hours without eating so it’s important to always have healthy snacks on hand for emergency situations.
Most busy professionals and parents know how hard it can be to make time for eating throughout the day, especially healthy eating. However, if pack healthy snacks at home there is never an excuse for missing a snack when you’re stuck in meetings all day or working late. Rather than eating a snack that will leave you hungry again an hour later, it’s best to eat protein-rich snacks for lasting energy. Protein digests slowly to keep blood sugar steady and control cravings. This is why it can also help you lose weight because it’s easier to stick to a meal plan when you feel satisfied by the foods you’re eating. Here is a list of 15 healthy, protein-packed snacks you can take anywhere (or learn more about how to snack during meetings and travel, in the ExecFuel course):
- Trail Mix – Try a DIY mix with an assortment of mixed nuts, dried fruits, and even some bits of dark chocolate. Homemade recipes can be much healthier and cheaper.
- Greek Yogurt – With more protein and half the sugar compared to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt offers a healthy and gut-friendly probiotic rich snack. Single-size portion cups are available for travel to work.
- Apple or Banana with Peanut Butter – It’s so easy to always carry around a piece of fruit in your bag. Keep a jar of peanut or nut butter at your desk for easy access or buy single serving packets to keep in your work bag for on the go.
- Turkey Roll Ups – Deli breast turkey is a low-calorie, high-protein snack option. Add a little lettuce, slice of cheese, and some deli mustard and you’ll have a delicious on-the-go snack.
- Hard Boiled Eggs – Do you use a weekly meal prep method? Throw an entire carton of eggs in a boiling pot of water while you’re prepping your lunches for the week and you’ll have hard-boiled eggs for a protein-rich afternoon snack too.
- Cottage Cheese – With 28 grams of protein per cup, you can’t beat cottage cheese when it comes to healthy snacking. Cottage cheese contains casein protein, a slow-digesting protein that supplies growing muscles with a steady supply of vital amino acids. Check nutrition labels to find a cottage cheese brand with low sodium.
- Almonds – For the best option, choose whole natural almonds. This healthy snack provides you with replenished energy, protein, and fiber.
- Cheese and Whole Grain Crackers – For easy portion-control, slice up cheese into wedges or cubes and add it to a zip-lock with one serving size of your favorite whole grain crackers.
- Hummus Cup – This snack is easy to prepare in your own to-go containers at home or you can buy single-serving hummus cups that come with veggies or crackers. Combine your hummus from home with baby carrots, sliced bell peppers, or cucumber slices for a delicious and nutritious snack option.
- ¼ Avocado – filled with healthy fats that will keep you full, this fruit is also packed with nutrients to help your brain stay focused.
- Grapes and Cheese – For a yummy afternoon pick me up, grab a handful of grapes and a few slices of cheddar cheese for a low-calorie snack.
- Dark Chocolate – This is a great healthy snack option when you’re feeling tired or fatigued at work. Choose dark chocolates with at least 60 percent cocoa content which is linked to reduced heart disease risk and lower body fat. The antioxidants in dark chocolate can also help increase metabolism. Remember this one is in moderation!
- No Bake Energy Bites – These yummy homemade treats come in all kinds of flavors. For a protein-rich homemade snack, try energy bite recipes that don’t have processed sugar.
- Kale Chips – We all know kale is a superfood full of vitamins C, K and A. Buy pre-made kale chips at the grocery store or make your own at home on meal-prep day tossed with a little olive oil and sea salt then baked until crispy.
- Homemade KIND Bars – Many granola bars have become “unhealthy” according to nutritionists, but these bars are still health approved, offering a low-sugar, high-fiber, and high-protein snack that can be stored anywhere for easy on the go access.
With this healthy snack approved list, you should never be hungry on-the-go again or forced to grab something unhealthy to get you through to your next meal. Even busy professionals or parents can make time for healthy snacking to help reach your health and fitness goals.