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If you're in a time crunch but still want to eat well, try one of these easy and healthy snacks for a nutritious pick-me-up that will also keep you feeling full longer.
1. A Mason jar of yogurt, berries and nuts
Combine fresh strawberries, blueberries, plain yogurt and some almonds in a mason jar and pop it in the fridge the night before a busy day for an easy snack or breakfast you can eat anywhere. Up the ante by adding some chia seeds and hemp hearts to get your omega-3s for the day. This snack is high in protein, antioxidants and healthy fats.
2. Kale chips
Chips don't have to be unhealthy. Roast a batch of kale with some olive oil and spices and store it in an airtight container for a quick, nutritious snack. High in vitamin K and full of fibre this leafy green provides a great mid-day crunch.
3. Trail mix
Before you go nuts on store-bought trail mix filled with added salt, oil and sugar, consider making your own. Buy raw almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, cashews and dried apricots to create your personalized concoction. Nuts are great healthy fats and studies have shown that eating them on the regular is linked to a lower risk of heart disease. Make sure to portion out the amount you can eat so you don't go overboard.
4. A piece of fruit and nut butter
Try this combo of protein and fibre. Slice up an organic apple and eat it with a spoonful of almond or peanut butter. Apple skins contain ursolic acid, which has been shown to reduce obesity in mice, and nut butters are filled with healthy fats and protein to satisfy hunger.
5. Pomegranates and Greek yogurt
Pomegranates are high in antioxidants and can help fend off cancer and heart disease while Greek yogurt contains good fats to keep you full and probiotics to boost your gut health. Tip: These fruits can be a hassle to dismantle so prep your pomegranate for the week and store the seeds in an airtight container for easy additions to salads, porridge and yogurt.
6. Pita pocket with hummus
Fill up half a whole-wheat pita with loads of delicious veggies and hummus. Try getting a rainbow of veggies in your diet such as vitamin C-rich yellow peppers or vitamin A-rich carrots. Hummus is also a great source of protein. If you're gluten-free, try a raw wrap or some gluten-free seed crackers with a side of veggies and hummus instead.
7. Protein balls
Skip sugar-filled granola bars and make your own homemade protein balls. Use ingredients like almond butter, chia seeds, ground flax and dark chocolate for a much needed mid-day boost. Just be careful not to eat the whole batch, as they are a tasty treat that can also be high in fat.
8. Roasted chickpeas
Make your own instead of buying pre-packaged roasted chickpea snacks that can be filled with sodium and oils. Add heart healthy turmeric or cumin or even cinnamon (which helps maintain your blood sugar). They can satisfy your need for that crunchy treat instead of resorting to a bag of potato chips.
A smoothie is a great way to quell hunger while getting your greens. Try avocado, cucumber, kale, a green apple and some chia seeds. Put your smoothie in a Mason jar with a lid so you can drink it anytime or try a travel smoothie cup with a ball inside that will help separate any ingredients.
10. A homemade muffin
Not all muffins are created equal. Skip the oversized baked goods at your local coffee shop and bake your own at home. It's easy to customize these treats by skipping refined sugar and even flour. Try a banana, apple, zucchini or carrot version. There's loads of recipes for high-protein muffins that allow you to control how much fat and sugar is in your snack.