Considering grain free (no wheat, rice, oat, buckwheat, quinoa etc.) snacks means an opportunity to incorporate more nutrient dense foods into the diet.
Everyday, you should make it your aim to pack as much nutrients into your body as possible. This is particularly important in today’s world as we are surrounded by environmental toxins (through food, water, hygienic products, cosmetics, environmental pollution). It is crucial to arm your body with as much nutritional defense as possible to put up a good fight and support you as best as possible so you can combat everyday stress, toxins, and inflammatory agents. A small way to do this is to revamp your snacks, replacing packaged products with fresh, real food that you can take on the go.
1/ FRESH VEGGIES: GRAPE TOMATOES. CELERY. BABY CARROTS. CUCUMBERS.
You get the gist. It’s easy to take these kind of vegetables with you. They hold their own, won’t wilt and don’t need to be kept cold for long. These are another option for nut/seed butters or grab a container of guacamole/hummus to boost the protein and fat factor to stave off hunger.
SNAP PEAS + NUT OR SEED BUTTER
This is another one you can keep without worrying about refrigeration. Snap peas are sweet and fresh, satisfying the need to crunch. They are water rich but somewhat starchy so they are satisfying. I like to grab a bag to enjoy on its own (and you bet I’m eating the whole thing! Eat as many fresh vegetables as you want) but another fun addition to this snack would be to keep a jar of almond of sunflower seed butter at work or wherever appropriate for you to dip them in.
2/ HEARTY FRUITS: APPLES. ORANGES. BANANA. DATES.
These options can withstand various temperatures and won’t get too badly bruised or banged up. Fruits are great for hydration and satisfying carbohydrate to keep your energy up. Go easy on the dried fruit though as some have added sugar and don’t have the water content to fill your stomach so it’s easy to over do it. Dates are one of my go-tos though-a favorite snack of mine that I recommend everyone to try is dates wrapped in romaine or butter lettuce leaves. There is something about the fresh green crunch and soft, sweet date that is so delicious! Doing this also adds back some water content to the snack for better digestion and satiety. Berries are another great option but less easy to grab and go; fill up a tupperware container of blueberries or strawberries if that appeals to you.
3/ RAW NUTS & SEEDS
I think raw nuts and seeds are a great first step away from the traditional cracker or granola bar snack as they keep as easily and are very portable. Many find them satisfying for the protein & fat hit they offer. As I mentioned with the dried fruit, they are easy to go overboard on and nuts are very hard on digestion unless soaked/sprouted/raw. Look for no sugar added, oil free varieties. Dry roasted is your next best option to raw. Add dehyrdated or freeze dried fruits for sweetness and texture.
DRY ROASTED (SHELL ON) SALTED PUMPKIN SEEDS
These are one of my favorites to keep in the car or in my bag. They are crunchy, full of fiber, healthy fat, and are a good source of magnesium. They have a quality that is reminiscent of the toasty, nutty flavor of popcorn.
4/ HARD BOILED EGGS or JERKY
This is a classic protein punch. Boil up some eggs at the start of your week to throw into a salad for an easy lunch or to grab for breakfast. Eggs are to me a perfect food-a great source of protein and fat (do not fear the cholesterol-cholesterol is necessary to take into your body for hormone production and does not raise LDL levels). Keep them in their shell for better stability to toss into a ziploc to take with you. I don’t worry about keeping mine out for a few hours, but to each their own. Jerky is also a great option but be sure to look for lower sugar varieties as well as gluten-free. Many are made in teriyaki flavor which uses a wheat based soy. I like Tanka or Epic bars, as well as Krave jerky.
5/ NORI or SEAWEED SNACKS
I love to chew on toasted sheets of nori (what’s used for sushi rolls) or seaweed snack packs which you can find at most health food stores and Trader Joes. It’s salty, slightly crunchy and portable. Eating more sea vegetables should be a priority for all as they are so nutrient dense. Seaweeds are a great source of vitamins and minerals as well as iodine which is particularly important for thyroid function and may be void in your diet if you are avoiding processed/ artificially fortified foods.
Sliced turkey or another favorite animal protein that you have prepared (i.e. leftover chicken breast) can be snatched from the fridge for a quick boost (for the deli-Applegate Farms has a good selection free of most additives), perhaps not the ideal choice to keep on you (for obvious spoilage reasons) but I want to emphasize that on the go eating does not need to be fussy and will save you money and hunger headaches. Something I often do when in a super rush is grab a couple turkey slices, avocado (or hummus), and collard greens or romaine to assemble into a wrap (using the greens as a tortilla substitute) when I get to work.
Sometimes you are actually thirsty when you think you need a snack. Always keep a bottle of water handy, or stock your work space with herbal teas, sparkling water, whatever you like. If you find yourself in a slump, slug some H2O. Keeping hydrated is important for mental clarity and energy.