Disclaimer: The post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.
In today’s fast-paced world, striking the balance between maintaining a healthy diet and managing a busy schedule can often feel like a challenge. Even if you’re someone who prioritizes your health, you may still find yourself rushing out the door and skipping meals or opting for unhealthy food choices when you don’t have much time to spare.
However, it’s important to remember that the foods you eat play a critical role in your overall well-being and can even be the difference between wellness and poor health. The good news is that busyness doesn’t have to stand in the way of healthy eating habits.
With some slight planning and creativity, you can enjoy snacks that taste good while also nourishing your body—even when you’re on the go. Here, we’ve compiled a list of 10 delicious and healthy snacks in the hope that they’ll fit seamlessly into your busy lifestyle.
The Importance Of Healthy Eating
The food we consume directly impacts our energy levels, mood, and long-term health. In general, “people with healthy eating patterns live longer and are at lower risk for serious health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.” Those living with these conditions may be able to manage their symptoms and prevent the problem from worsening by making changes to their diet.
However, eating healthy isn’t just about the types of foods we eat. It also includes how often we eat and how big our portions are. It’s important to eat a variety of foods and monitor the amount of sugar, salt, and trans-fat you’re consuming. Moderation can be key, allowing you to enjoy the foods you like without going overboard.
The Science Behind Snacking
Snacks can be essential to a healthy lifestyle, provided you don’t overindulge. Whether you’re pressed for time and skipping meals or trying to prevent yourself from overeating, snacks can come in handy. The following are research-backed reasons that highlight the importance of healthy snacking:
- Prevents overeating
- Keeps blood sugar levels balanced
- Creates short bursts of energy throughout the day
- Nourishes the body with important nutrients
- Enhances focus and concentration
- Facilitates recovery from physical activity
Remember that while snacking can be a beneficial part of a healthy routine, it’s crucial to practice moderation and make nutritious choices.
Signs Of Disordered Eating
Although paying close attention to your eating habits can promote wellness, it’s equally as important to be aware of the signs of disordered eating. When you’re pressed for time or facing other outside stressors, it may lead to an unhealthy relationship with food. Some common signs of disordered eating include:
- Dramatic weight loss
- Hiding food
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Picky eating
- Anxiety or depression
- Preoccupation with one’s weight or body image
- Restricting food intake
- Choosing to eat alone
- Excessive exercise
If you or someone you know is struggling with disordered eating, consider seeking help from a qualified mental health professional, such as a therapist. To learn more about this process, visit: http://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/should-i-see-an-eating-disorder-therapist-near-me/
10 On-The-Go Snack Ideas
Below is a list of 10 on-the-go snack ideas that can satisfy your cravings while also providing your body with the necessary nutrients. Whether you’re rushing to a meeting, stuck in traffic, or simply in need of a quick pick-me-up, these snacks are designed to keep you energized and satisfied throughout the day. Consider trying a few snacks from the list below or coming up with your own:
- Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie: All you’ll need to make this treat is bananas, milk, peanut butter, honey, and ice cubes. Throw everything into a blender and mix until combined at the consistency you’d like. Consider using almond milk, oat milk, or another dairy alternative and adding a protein powder to your smoothie to make it even more nutritious.
- Pinwheel Sandwiches: To make pinwheel sandwiches, you’ll need tortillas, deli meat, deli cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a sauce of your choosing, such as mustard. Simply line the tortilla with the sauce, then lay a slice of meat and cheese on top. Add your tomato and lettuce, then roll everything together. Cut the tortilla into three or four sections, creating small pinwheel sandwiches. You can then pack them together in a to-go container to enjoy later.
- Hummus and Veggies: Hummus is a type of spread made from chickpeas, tahini, and lemon juice. You can also use other ingredients such as olive oil, garlic, and even cocoa powder to give it a unique taste. Hummus can be purchased in the store, or you can make it yourself by using a recipe online. Pair the dip with your favorite veggies, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and snap peas, to create an easy and satisfying snack.
- Greek Yogurt Bowl: Greek yogurt has more protein than regular yogurt, making it a healthier option for those wanting to try a Greek yogurt bowl. After putting a serving of yogurt into a bowl, add a layer of granola on top and toss a variety of fruits in too; you might choose bananas, raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries. Then, throw some nuts or seeds on top and drizzle with honey to make a sweet and nutritious snack.
- Cheese and Whole Grain Crackers: All crackers aren’t created equally, with some being healthier than others. Crackers made from white flour cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly, creating quick bursts of energy—only to leave you feeling hungry again a short time later. Whole grain crackers have more fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them a more nutritious option. When pairing your crackers with cheese, opt for a healthy type of cheese such as mozzarella, feta, or goat cheese. You can even dip your crackers in cottage cheese, which is high in protein and calcium.
- Loaded Egg White Muffins: Egg whites have been linked with numerous benefits including lower cholesterol levels and increased muscle mass. Since they’re high in protein and calorie-free, they can make a powerful addition to any diet. You can customize your egg white muffins however you’d like, whether that means adding spinach, bell peppers, green onion, feta cheese, mushrooms, turkey, and more. Simply throw all the ingredients together, place the mixture into a muffin pan, and bake them until slightly browned. Store them in the fridge and heat them up before heading out.
- Cottage Cheese Bowl With Avocado And Hard-Boiled Eggs: To make this savory snack, simply place a serving of cottage cheese inside a bowl and top with sliced avocado, a hard-boiled egg, and hot sauce. This dish is filled with protein and is sure to keep you satisfied until your next meal.
- Avocado Toast: To make avocado toast, grab a slice of whole wheat bread and pop it in the toaster. Then, slice up half an avocado and spread it across the toast, using a fork to ensure the big chunks are smashed. Then, top your toast with spices of your choosing, such as cayenne, garlic powder, and salt and pepper—or honey and an over-easy egg.
- Frozen Peanut Butter And Dark Chocolate Banana Bites: To create this snack, take a banana and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Then, place a small dollop of peanut butter on each of the slices, pressing them together as if making a sandwich. Using the microwave or stove, melt your choice of dark chocolate in a bowl or pot and dip each of the banana sandwiches in the chocolate. Place the coated bananas on a cookie sheet and put them inside the freezer. When you’re ready to eat them, simply take out as many as you’d like and let them thaw for about five minutes before indulging.
- Honey-Roasted Mixed Nuts: To create honey-roasted mixed nuts, you’ll need honey, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, butter, sea salt, and your choice of nuts. Some nuts may be healthier than others, like almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, or peanuts; however, remember that moderation is key despite the type of nuts you choose. Start by preheating the oven to 300°F and melting the honey and butter. Add the cayenne pepper, and then the nuts, coating them on all sides. Put the nuts on a pan and cook them for 20 minutes, sprinkling them with brown sugar and sea salt after the time is up. Let them cool down before storing them.
These snacks are not only tasty but also easy to prepare, making them a helpful addition to any routine. Whether you’re someone who snacks frequently or not, adding in small, tasty treats throughout your day could help you prioritize your health without neglecting your responsibilities. Keep in mind that your food choices directly impact your overall well-being, making it important to choose foods that nourish your body and mind. Although life gets busy, your body will thank you for planning ahead and learning how to incorporate snacking into your lifestyle.