For the last month, I’ve been trying to get back into a somewhat healthy routine. When I worked Monday-Friday, 9-5, it was pretty easy for me to meal plan, pack my lunch, and hit the gym every day at 5:15.
But my schedule is so different everyday now, and slowly, I’m finding ways to make it to the gym, but more importantly, eat food that’s good for me, and food that I can eat when I’m at work (where there is no break room, no fridge, and no microwave). I do have a nice lunchbox/cooler, so I can at least pack fresh things, but it’s often not a “meal” — I do better if I just leave it up to healthy snacks all day.
Here’s some of the snacks I’ve tried, and enjoyed, and hopefully it will help you stock your fridge and pantry with some healthier, and easy snack options.
Southwestern Corn & Black Bean Salad
- 1 can sweet corn kernels, drained
- 1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
- 1 tb fresh cilantro, minced
- 2 tb chopped red onion
- 1 Roma tomato, diced
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- Juice of 1 lime
Combine all ingredients and chill before serving. Easy, right? I like to eat this with Beanitos chips, or on top of a grilled chicken breast. You could also mix it in with some quinoa. It’s good to double the recipe so you’ll have plenty. If you’re feeling spicy, chop 1 jalapeno and mix it in.
Fresh Blueberry Chicken Salad With Almonds
- 2 whole chicken breasts, cooked
- 1/2 c chopped red onion
- 1 tb rice vinegar
- 1/2 c minced green onion
- 1/4 c chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 c dried cranberries
- 1 c fresh blueberries
- 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tb low-fat mayonnaise
- 1/4 c sweet mustard
- 1/4 c toasted almonds
Dice chicken breasts and place in a bowl. Sprinkle red onion with rice vinegar and toss into bowl. Add the green onion, parsley, cranberries, and blueberries; fold into the mix. In a separate bowl, mix the mayo, yogurt, and mustard. Fold into chicken mix. Garnish with toasted almonds. This is delicious on its own, or in a wrap. Be careful eating with crackers — don’t want to overdo it!
Protein Bars are a must-have in my pantry. They are easy to bring to work, filling, and they often satisfy my sweet cravings. However, it’s tough to find good ones if you’re not paying attention. Plus, they can be expensive. I always look for sales (my grocery store often has them on sale for $1 each).
Feel free to make your own — check out this recipe — or, you can purchase them, just be sure to check the labels. Here are some of my favorites:
- Think Thin High Protein Bar – 20g protein (Brownie Crunch & Creamy Peanut Butter are my faves)
- Clif Bar Builder’s Bar – 20g protein (Chocolate Mint…YUM)
- Luna Protein Bar – 12g protein (Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough)
I also have a go-to protein powder: ChocoRite. It’s less than $15 for a bag, tastes great as a shake (I like to buy a bag of the Peanut Butter and one bag of the Fudge Brownie and mix them), plus it has 24g of protein in one shake .
Other snack ideas:
- Apple with peanut or almond butter
- Hummus and veggies (carrots, bell pepper, cucumber)
- Cottage cheese and tomato (or fruit if you’ve got a sweet tooth)
- Rice cake with nut butter, unsweetened coconut, and dried fruit
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Low-fat string cheese
- Dried edamame
- Soy nuts
What are some of your favorite healthy snacks?