Let’s face it, long workdays are the norm these days. Unfortunately, that can lead to some pretty unhealthy eating habits. Not to mention that it takes a lot to keep your energy levels high when you may be clocking in over twelve hours a day.
Skip a meal or snack and you’re bound to drop your insulin levels, leading to overeating, feeling sluggish and just pure exhaustion.
While twelve-hour shifts may be unavoidable, eating unhealthy snacks and starving yourself is completely up to you since we’ve found 8 healthy snacks to get you through a long workday.
1. Chia seed pudding
It’s no surprise that I’m obsessed with chia seeds. They boost energy levels, provide beneficial Omegas, keep you full longer and are packed with protein, just to name a few benefits.
I eat them almost every day and enjoy the occasional chia seed water mixture to replace caffeine and sugar-laden coffee. But they can be pretty bland on their own. That’s why this Chia seed pudding from Elle can be a decadent lifesaver.
All you have to do is add three tablespoons of chia seeds to twelve ounces of almond milk, according to Elle. After stirring the mixture and letting it sit for 15 minutes, you’re left with a tapioca-like consistency that provides the perfect base for mix-ins. Add your favorite toppings such as cocoa powder, berries, seeds, nuts, coconut flakes or sprinkle with some cinnamon for a healthy snack that’s a real energy booster.
2. Peanut butter chocolate chip energy bites
Cait’s Plate, a wonderful health and wellness blog, offers a simple, five ingredient energy bite that’s so delicious. Mix 1 cup of dry oats, 1/3 cup of honey, 1/2 cup each of peanut butter and chocolate chips, and 1/4 cup of roasted peanuts for an afternoon pick me up that satisfies any sweet tooth.
I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve made these and forced my friends and family to try them. I’ve even passed the recipe along at least half a dozen times.
Yep, they are that good.
Despite their name, I prefer these tasty bars as a nice little snack. The recipe is easy to follow and the ingredients can be swapped out to accommodate whatever toppings you have on hand.
From Elana Amsterdam, the author of the New York Times Best Selling Cookbook, Paleo Cooking from Elana's Pantry, you’ll want to mix:
Although this recipe looks like a lot of ingredients, once you buy the ingredients you’ll have enough to make this recipe over and over again. Plus, this recipe will leave you with a week’s worth of breakfast bars in less than an hour’s time.
4. Homemade trail mix
Have you tried to buy trail mix lately? The prices today are totally absurd and marked up like crazy. Not to mention the portions are enough to feed three or four people despite the tiny bag they come in.
Instead, use Greatist’s formula for creating the perfect trail mix.
Nuts + dried fruit + seeds + sweets + grains
Be careful though, you’ll want to keep your portion control in check, as some of these ingredients tend to be high in fat (good fat of course, but still high calorie).
We get it. You may not have the time or the energy to play Betty Crocker and whip up some of those suggestions above. That’s why sticking to these classics can save you time and keep you slim.
5. Almond butter and apples or celery
Again, portion control is important here. Before you head out for work, grab or slice an apple and measure out the correct serving size of either almond butter or peanut butter for a healthy snack in less than five minutes.
If you prefer savory over sweet, simply swap the apple for celery and you’ll have another delicious and satisfying version.
6. Handful of almonds or pistachios
You can’t go wrong with almonds or pistachios. They are perfect for targeting stubborn belly fat while also keeping you full and energized. Keep a stash on hand in your purse or desk and you’ll never go into starvation mode again.
7. Edamame and a dash of salt
Many people only eat edamame when they head out for a night of sushi, but this affordable and filling snack is a great option any day of the week. It’s even low cal!
Head to your grocery store’s frozen veggie section and search for edamame that can be steamed and are salt-free. Generally, you can find 3-4 servings for under $3.
Microwave a handful and sprinkle them with salt for a healthy afternoon snack.
8. Hummus and veggies
I absolutely love how convenient these little Sabra hummus on the go containers are, but I find the pretzels to be too salty and I’m always left with extra hummus. If you’re too busy and looking for a grab and go option, these are perfect.
But, if you have some time (we’re talking less than five minutes here), then it’s best to buy your hummus in bulk and split it between several portion controlled tupperware. You can change up your mix-ins each day so you’ll never get bored (carrots, whole wheat crackers, avocado and a slice of bread) and the possibilities are almost endless.
Whether you’re stuck working a long shift or prefer to save money by creating your own power bars and trail mix, these healthy snacks are a great option to keep you energized and slim.