I often get asked questions about what I eat day-to-day, and what kinds of things I like to snack on. Snacking is totally essential to my life – I’m the type of person who gets hungry more than 3 times a day, and if I don’t snack in-between meals I become – what the husband calls – “hangry.” Basically hungry + angry, the side effects of which are usually taken out on him. I don’t like snacking on packaged foods – because most packaged foods will just cause a spike in your blood sugar, which eventually results in a blood sugar crash (and then you’re back to being hangry).
My criteria for putting together healthy snacks include:
The snack should have a good combination of fiber and protein, so it’s both filling and nutritious – and of course – tastes delicious. A great example of this is carrot sticks and hummus, or high fiber crackers and laughing cow cheese (or low fat string cheese).
The snack shouldn’t have more than 200 calories, because then it’s encroaching on meal territory which you don’t want
Avoid pre-packaged snacks if possible (e.g. chips, granola bars, protein bars, etc.) Although – there are healthy packaged options of all these things which work well if you’re on the go.
Today – I thought I’d share two of my favorite healthy snacks. Each snack has only 2 ingredients, is less than 200 calories, and only takes 2 minutes to make! Don’t you love the running theme here?
Snack #1: Fresh blueberries and Low Fat Cottage Cheese
I love how filling this snack is – and the creaminess of the cottage cheese goes great with the sweet/tart flavor of the blueberries. I go for low fat (vs. non fat) cottage cheese because it still retains the great creamy texture but is only ~100 calories per 1/2 cup serving and has about 15g protein. The blueberries add a good amount of fiber (3-4g per 3/4 cup) and are about 60 calories for 3/4 cup.
Mixing the two together gives you a great snack for only about 160 calories! And trust me, this will keep you full for a good amount of time – it’s one of my “go-tos” between lunch and dinner. And it helps that the blue and white looks so pretty and fresh together in the bowl – I always eat with my eyes before I eat with my mouth.
Snack #2: Brown Rice Cakes and Almond Butter
I love all nut butters. Peanut, Almond, Cashew, Sunflower Seed, etc – the list goes on and on. I especially love this Almond Butter with roasted flaxseeds from Trader Joe’s – it gives you a nice serving of omega 3s and increases the fiber/protein in this nutty spread. 1 Tbsp of Almond Butter has only 100 calories, and has about 4g protein and 2g fiber. The brown rice cakes give you a ton of volume (one cake is huge!) for only 60 calories and 1g fiber.
I love how creamy this nut butter is – it’s definitely one of my favorites. Putting the two together gives you about a 160 calorie, filling, deliciously creamy snack. For some extra fun, you can add a drizzle of honey (1 tsp has about 20 calories), or a few raisins on top.
Try out these perfect pairings and let me know what you think. Both should keep you feeling full (but not heavy) and energetic (but not on a sugar high) for the time in between meals. And they definitely keep me from becoming hangry.