We have all heard of the dreaded freshman 15. We get reminded of it as though it is this unstoppable force of nature that drives us to eat poorly balanced college meals that we reach for when we are sleep deprived, crunched for time, desperate, or worse, indifferent. I am no stranger to the easy mac, ramen, or frozen dinner meals. Eating processed foods is not the end of the world, however, when this is predominantly your diet, you will experience weight gain and the stress that comes with it. It’s a balance between allowing yourself to indulge in not-so-great foods without pigging out. I personally believe one of the simplest and easiest ways to start a healthier lifestyle is to make small tweaks and snacking is a great place to start. A lot of people make the big mistake of biting off more than they can chew and then wonder why they can’t stick with the new changes. True change is a slow process that requires you to literally take it a day at a time. Small changes make way for bigger impacts in our lives, especially when we start to notice their effects upon the body. The thing that is really going to reinforce and mold these types of habits into a lifestyle is when you create the mind-body connection and notice how this way of eating influences you.
H E A L T H Y S N A C K S
- W A T E R – Always and I mean ALWAYS keep this on hand. More often than not, we aren’t as hungry as we are just plain ol’ dehydrated. We mistake being thirsty for hungry, so always sip on some water first and then decide afterward if you are still hungry. I like to experiment with my water by adding chia seeds for a little texture and cucumbers for a more refreshing taste.
- C A R R O T S & H U M M U S – Usually, we eat carrots and chips as a snack but make this snack twice as filling and beneficial by switching the chips for carrots. Hummus comes with tons of natural plant protein paired with natural fats. While the carrots provide a solid source of fiber and beta-carotene for overall skin and eye health! The fiber will keep you full and the protein will support proper muscle maintenance.
- D A T E R O L L S – Date Rolls are a sweet and guilt free treat! Dates are fresh fruits that are naturally sweet and provide you with energy for those busy days. You can purchase date rolls or create your own. What I do genuinely relies on my time management skills. If I’m crunched for time, I normally purchase them. I am currently finishing a box of Pecan Pumpkin Pie Spiced Date Rolls from the brand Natural Delights and no lie, they taste straight up like the actual thing! If you’re interested in purchasing them then click the link HERE.
- A P P L E S & N U T BU T T E R – Natural and fiberful fruit like apples are going to keep you fuller in the long run, especially when you pair it with a healthy fat and protein like nut butter. My tip for purchasing what I call HEALTHY Nut Butters is to check the ingredients label. It’s really easy, you make sure there isn’t any added oil and any added sugar. Real nut butter won’t need to add all the extra, it should be very simple ingredients wise.
- C H I A P U D D I N G – Sweet, simple, filling, and otherwise very nutritious chia pudding makes an excellent snack! All you need is some vanilla almond milk, sweetened or unsweetened is up to your preference. I personally prefer unsweetened and sweeten mine with low glycemic coconut sugar. Next, grab a closed container and fill it with 1/2 cup of chia seeds and 2 cups of almond milk. Shake the two in the closed container and then let it stand overnight. In the morning, you can add your favorite fruits or spices! My personal favorites are ginger and mango or blueberries with cashews!
- G O M A C R O B A R S – These are practically the easiest ones out of the bunch and perfect for those hectic mornings where you didn’t prepare the night before and just really need something you can grab n go! Not to mention this brand has just released 3 NEW flavors! My favorite of the new three by far has to be the Blissful Daybreak. It’s a mixture of cashews and blueberries! If you can’t tell from my earlier suggestion for the chia seed pudding, I’m clearly inspired!
- A V O C A D O T O A S T – Possibly my favorite go-to snack. Not to mention it’s beyond easy to put together with very simple ingredients. You will need toast, mashed avocado, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and olive oil! I personally enjoy using the Lemongrass and Basil Olive oil from 30A Olive Oil. You will first wanna start with toasting your bread, clearly. Then spread a layer of your Avo mash on top, sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes and lightly drizzle some olive oil on top and WHAM BAM eat it up, babe!