Lately, my snack of choice while driving has been bag of baby carrots. I feel like less of a crazy driver on my commute home if I have something to nibble on. I am less hungry for dinner and feel more relaxed with each crisp bite. It is interesting looking at the drivers in each car to see what they are snacking on as well. Normally, it is fast food and I am the odd one biting on my carrots.
Often, one of the biggest challenges I discuss with my clients is planning out healthy snacks ahead of time. In a moment of hunger, I would also be at the vending machine or going through the drive through if I did not plan ahead. The key to healthy snacking and eating is PLANNING AHEAD.
Whether you need to pack snacks for work, lunch, or your commute; planning ahead will make the difference between healthy and not so healthy choices. If you are not sure if you are hungry or not…you can always have a bag of your favorite vegetables in a cooler to eat. If you feel like eating the bag of let’s just say carrots then you may actually be hungry. If you would rather go to the vending machine or pull through the drive through…you may just be bored, stressed, etc. You can never go wrong with vegetables for a healthy snack. They have fiber to fill you up, no cholesterol, are low in calories, and are packing tons of vitamins and minerals.
Raw vegetables travel better and are great snacks! These are a few veggies that are easier to eat whether you are in the car or at your work desk. You could try:
- Baby carrots (you knew I was going to say this one right?)
- Cucumbers slices
- Green pepper slices
- Zucchini or squash strips or chunks
- Green string beans
- Pea pods
- Celery sticks
- Cherry Tomatoes
A few other good healthy snacks for work, outings, or travel are:
- Apple or Banana – Wrapper included
- Make your own trail mix: 1 cup dry cereal, ¼ nuts, ¼ cup dried fruit (get creative!)
- Low-fat or skim milk cheese stick
- 100 calorie bag of almonds or make your own by adding ¼ cup dry nuts to a plastic baggy
- Granola bar – Look for a bar that is:
- Between 100-140 calories
- Less that 10 grams of sugar
- At least 1-2 grams of fiber if not more
Here are a few tips on how to PLAN AHEAD and keep your snacks healthy!
- First, identify what times of the day you will need a snack. When do you get hungry? Mid morning, mid-afternoon, after work?
- Purchase enough healthy snacks at the grocery store to get you through a few days if not the whole week.
- Pack your snacks the night before or wake up earlier to prepare them.
- Always pack extra! If you are not hungry don’t eat the snack for kicks, but if you are hungry it is better to have an extra healthy snack on hand…like your carrots!
- When in doubt on what healthy snack to choose, always go for a veggie. You can’t overdose on vegetables, and chances are after a cup of any raw vegetable your stomach will be fuller.
Photo courtesy of terri_tu’s photostream.