Personally, I find the hardest thing about eating healthy is simply making time for it. Maybe you too have days when jetting from work to errands to Pure Barre has left you with barely enough time to stop and eat? Sure, you could pack an apple or carrot sticks, but is that really going to power you through your workout? Probably not.
My solution? I always keep ingredients on hand to make a substantial snack that can easily be stretched into a mini-meal by adding fruits or veggies! Include a source of healthy fat, unprocessed carbohydrate and a little protein for a snack that will last. Here are four of my favorites.
Quinoa Almond Energy Bites
Feel free to substitute different nuts or nut butters based on what you already have. Dates are one of my favorite foods to fuel as workout, as they contain natural sugars, yet are high in fiber and other nutrients.
- 10 chopped dates
- ¼ cup almond butter
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup cashews
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ cup cooked quinoa
- ½ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
Blend the dates, almond butter, coconut oil, cashews and cinnamon in a food processor until they form a smooth paste. Add the quinoa and blend until just combined.
Spread coconut evenly on a plate. Scoop large spoonfuls of the quinoa mix and roll into a ball with wet hands. Roll each ball in the shredded coconut to cover and place on a plate. When all the balls are done, refrigerate for at least an hour then enjoy cold.
Avocado Quinoa Bites
If you like sushi, you’ll love these! If you like, add extra vegetables such as strips of cucumber or carrot. You could even add smoked wild salmon for a boost of omega 3 fats. If you pack this in the morning, toss the avocado with a little lemon juice first to keep it from browning. Toasted seaweed snacks are usually found in the snack aisle or in the Asian foods section.
- Toasted seaweed snacks
- Quinoa, cooked and cooled
- Avocado slices
- Sriracha (optional, if you like it spicy)
- Soy sauce
- Sesame seeds
Place a small scoop of quinoa in the middle of a toasted seaweed snack. Top with a slice of avocado, a squirt of sriracha and a drizzle of soy sauce. Sprinkle on a few sesame seeds then wrap into a cone and enjoy.
These crunchy, salty and sweet snack cakes are great to have on hand when a sweet craving hits!
- 6 brown rice or spelt cakes
- ½ cup organic peanut butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 bananas, sliced
In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, honey and cocoa powder until well combined.
Spread a heaped tablespoon of peanut butter on each rice cake. Top with banana slices and serve.
Filling, but not heavy, smoothies are one of my favorite preworkout snacks. Unfortunately, they’re not the most portable. I was thrilled when I learned how chia seeds, which form a gel, can keep a smoothie creamy until ready to drink. Tumeric is a bright yellow, powerfully anti-inflammatory spice with a light, gingery flavor. Spirullina is a nutrient dense, freshwater algae you can purchase at most health food stores. Don’t be afraid of it! Mixed into a smoothie you’ll hardly know it’s there!
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ½ cup organic, plain whole milk yogurt
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- ½ teaspoon spirullina (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric (optional)
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into a mason jar and seal tightly.
– Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE is a private practice dietitian and food blogger at www.anavocadoaday.blogspot.com. She offers nutrition coaching nationwide via telephone and Skype.