My lifestyle requires me to spend more time out and about than in my home, and many of my meals are consumed in my car. Since I'm continually on the go, I get hungry throughout the day. It’s tempting to munch on whatever is in front of me, but that typically isn’t healthy. Instead, I always carry around snacks that are not only satisfying, but good for me as well. And most of them I make at home, so I know exactly what goes into them.
Chia seeds were used by the ancient Aztecs for their energizing and healing powers. They are filled with omega 3 fatty acids and protein and filled with fiber. Add two tablespoons to a bottle of juice or water, or for a chia pudding, simply add the seeds to a cup of almond milk with a little vanilla, cinnamon and sweetener and let it sit until the mild is absorbed. This is a healthy snack even my kids love.
Pumpkin seeds are not just for Halloween. They are packed with zinc and vitamin C and have great antioxidant benefits. I buy raw pepitas and roast them for a few minutes at 400 degrees in a little oil and sea salt. Be sure to watch them carefully since they brown quickly. I always keep a baggie of these in my purse, but I must warn, they can be addicting.
The number of calories in store bought trail mix can be astounding, so I always make my own. Mix raw almonds, shredded coconut, dried banana slices and cocoa nibs, or any of your favorite fruits and nuts. Add a little nutmeg or paprika to spice it up. Just be cautious when using dried fruits, since they can add to a high sugar content.
Protein balls are my favorite snack when I know I’m going to need energy throughout the day. Just add ¾ cup of oats, ¾ cup of vanilla protein powder, ½ cup peanut butter and 2 Tbsp honey. Roll the mixture into little balls and refrigerate. Sometimes, on those especially exhausting days, I may add a few mini dark chocolate chips.