Today I got a question on Twitter: What are some healthy, convenient Paleo snacks? And it's a good freakin question, since most of our classic snack options are devoid of any substantial nutrition, and certainly not compatible with Paleo's rules of no grains, dairy, legumes/soy, and refined sugars. So what's a Paleo newbie to do? Read this blog post, that's what.
Anatomy of a Healthy Paleo Snack
Before I get into specific snack options, we need to talk about how to craft a snack that will keep you full and satisfied for as long as possible--no craving-inducing blood sugar spikes and drops up in here. That means creating snacks that are actually more like mini meals with some protein, fat, and carbs from veggies. There's one tip I love from Melissa and Dallas Hartwig's new book The Whole 30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom that I always consider when planning snacks:
"If you're on the go and can't plan a mini-meal, just follow this rule of thumb: include at least two of the three macronutrients every time you eat. So maybe that's protein and fat (like hardboiled eggs and a handful of macadamia nuts), or protein and carbs (like deli turkey slices and an apple), or fat and carbs (like carrot sticks dipped in guacamole). Following this rule will ensure your snack actually tides you over until your next meal..."
Here are some of my go-to snacks. You by no means have to stick to this list, but it's a good place to start. In another post, I'll cover some of my favorite packaged options.
1) Fruit + nut butter. My personal fave is an apple, banana, or pear with almond butter that's been mixed with a little honey and cinnamon. Oh, and ants on a log: Celery, almond butter, raisins.
2) Fruit + small handful of nuts. I always make sure I have some nuts in my desk at work for when hunger strikes. Tip: Pre-portion them into little plastic bags or containers, so you don't overeat.
3) Hardboiled eggs + sliced veggies. Tip: Make a bunch of hardboiled eggs at once on the weekend so you can grab a couple to take with you to work.
4) Deli meat + sliced veggies. I personally wrapping up a slice of turkey around some veggies, like bell pepper (or even pickles), and mashed avocado.
5) DIY trail mix. I keep it simple with mixed roasted nuts, some raisins, and unsweetened coconut flakes.
6) Jerky + sliced veggies or fruit: There are so many high quality jerkies on the market now. Aim to choose one made from grass-fed beef, or meat that's sustainably sourced or organic. Alternatively, Epic is a brand that makes awesome meat bars in pretty kick-ass flavors. Bison bacon cranberry, anyone?
6) Quick fruit & nut butter smoothie: Frozen banana, nut butter, protein powder (I use egg white protein), almond milk, and cinnamon. Play around with the flavor combos til you find your jam.
7) Blueberry mug muffin. Mix up the following in a large mug and microwave on high for 2.5 to 3 min: 1/2 mashed banana, 3 Tbsp almond flour, 3 Tbsp blueberries, 1 egg, 2 tsp honey, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp baking powder, and a dash of salt. Keep an eye on it in case it starts to overflow!
8) Energy bites. Basically, a bunch of goodness rolled into bite-sized balls. These Double Chocolate Energy Bites from PaleOMG featuring almond butter, coconut flakes, dried figs, flaxseed meal, honey, and dark chocolate chips are kind of life changing.
Don't forget to drink!
Sometimes things like thirst or boredom manifest as hunger or a craving. That's why it's so important to stay hydrated. Water too blah for you? That's why I always have easy access to water with lemon or lime, naturally flavored seltzer, herbal teas, and kombucha--all drinks that are way more fun than water, but get the whole hydration job done. Fun fact: Often when we feel super drowsy, unfocused, or distracted, we're actually dehydrated--so drink up!
That's all for now! What are some of your paleo-friendly snack ideas? Would love to add them to my rotation.
Peace, Love & Protein,
P.S. Milo highly recommends rawhide and Himalayan yak milk bones...