Today has been a very productive day! Woke up using my internal alarm (loves to go off around 10:30 :) ) and then have been cleaning ever since. I feel ashamed that Ryan and I have lived in our new apartment now for close to 3 months and I’m just now getting around to organizing the bedroom!! Better late than never right?!
For breakfast I had some 365 High Fiber Cereal with almond milk and that had me satisfied long through the morning! But now it’s 3 o’clock… that dreadful time in the day when women’s stomachs across the world grumble for food, even if you ate not too long ago. So I’m in need of a little pick-me-up!!
11 Protein Power Snacks to get you through the day (guilt-free)
- Nut or Seed butters! Nuts and seeds are a godsend when it comes to satisfying cravings because of their healthy fats and proteins, just make sure you buy raw butters with nothing added! I love Whole Foods Market brands for my almond, peanut, and cashew butters; for the quality and price it just makes sense. It’s good to pair your butter with either a complex carb like 100 % whole wheat bread or crackers, veggie sticks, or fruit (like in my case almond butter, 1 tsp. chocolate hemp powder, and an organic cameo apple).
- Hemp Seeds! Chia Seeds! Flax Seeds! Oh my!! These little gems are a great addition to many, many dishes! Salad dressings, smoothies, sandwiches, pastas, etc. Chia seeds and ground flax seeds, as everyone might already know, work great in baking to replace eggs (and add some omegas!). I went to Vegetarian Food Festival this year and received some Manitoba Harvest samples, one dark chocolate, and today I thought to give this flavor a try! I usually just add in the unflavored seeds, but this is great! It adds flavor without unnecessary sugars! Mix up an afternoon smoothie and add in some seeds! You’ll be delightfully surprised!
- Hummus! This is like gold to Ryan and I. We probably go through a large container within the week. It’s just a simple dip that matches anything! We love it on sandwiches or wraps or alone with veggie sticks. Ryan recently has come up with a great party dip: Mix 2 parts hummus original flavor with 1 part salsa and voila! Serve alongside tortialla chips and veggie sticks!
- Soy milk. I’ve found that soy milk is a wonderful, drinkable treat that hits the spot when you just need a little something. Unlike almond, rice or hemp milks, soy milk has a great amount of natural protein, about 7 grams per cup of the unsweetened stuff. If it’s something sweet you crave, don’t feel guilty having a cup of chocolate soy milk!! It has about 140 calories and 5 grams of protein! Add that in to a blender with some frozen banana and a tablespoon of peanut butter and you’ve got yourself a delicious smoothie snack that will keep you full for a long time!
- Homemade trail mix! Have some time during the week? Portion out some nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and a whole grain cereal (like chex) into small containers and you have yourself an on-the-go protein snack where ever you may be! Plus as added benefits there will be no added sugars or high cost like if you purchased it from a store!
- Quinoa. This grain really is a super food! At the beginning of the week cook some of this and leave it plain, that way during the week if you need that extra something you can just add in the already cooked quinoa. It works great in soups, wraps, on salads, or by itself for breakfast or with a little salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. I’ve even tried plain quinoa in smoothies and I must say it works great!
- Beans, beans the magical fruit! The more you eat, the more you’re… satisfied!! Beans and peas are a great addition for many dishes, but they can also make a great power snack in midday. Try 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa mixed with 1/2 cup of your favorite bean or pea; enjoy with whole grain tortilla chips! Staple dry beans and peas for me include black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, great northern beans or white beans, and now that I’ve discovered how delicious they are I also keep black eyed peas on hand.
- Lentils! I must say, having a thermos is probably one of the greatest things I could have. I don’t need to be near a stove top or microwave to have hot soup anymore!! Broth based soups are an easy way to fill up without overdoing it with calories. Lentils are a great way to do this because of their lovely nutrition stats: (for 100 grams/about a half cup) 116 calories, 0 grams of fat, 8 grams of fiber, and 9 grams of proteins.
- High fiber/high protein cereal. Fiber is a great way to feed your appetite without breaking the calorie bank. It is also fast and easy to throw together in a flash. This is the other great thing about a thermos, it will keep your dairy-free milk chilled all day even without a refrigerator!! For the 365 High Fiber cereal you can enjoy 3/4 of a cup for just 170 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 12 grams of fiber, and 4.5 grams of protein, add this to a half cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and you have a great mid-day snack for just about 200 calories!!
- Tofu! It took me a while to fall in love with this strange product, but now that I’m in love, I’m hooked!! My favorite way to eat tofu is steaming the extra firm kind. I feel as though it gets the best texture this way and it doesn’t have all the fat or calories it would from pan frying it or baking it with marinades! When you want a mid-day snack, you don’t want all that junk with it! I eat steamed tofu by the cube, or keep it with you to add it to smoothies or small mid-day salads!!
- Raw food bars, homemade or store bought. There are many great store bought versions of raw food bars including lara bars, raw revolution bars, and pure organic brand bars (must try: walnut brownie). One thing that holds true though: store bought bars are damn expensive!! So why not try to make your own?