We have all been in that situation where we wished we had a healthy snack in our purse or gym bag. Instead, you end up eating something you really did not want (processed food or another latte) and then regret it. “If only I had packed something healthy,” you say. Don’t get stuck with cardboard food or something boring. Try thinking about the following healthy snacks as options when you aren’t able to eat a full meal. A win-win every time and the best part is they are healthy and can hold up in your gym bag.
Here are seven good-for-you snacks that are perfect to take to the gym. They also give you energy and are perfect for when you need something to hold you over until your next meal.
- Fruit and Dried Fruit – My top choices would be an apple, orange, grapefruit, pear or banana. Any fruit that can hold up is ideal. Check what is in season too. Just make sure you don’t forget them in your bag. It’s never fun finding an old banana, right? Dried fruit (1/4 cup worth) is also a great idea. Great examples are dried apricots, dried cherries, dates, prunes and figs. I also love coconut flakes anytime of the day.
- Organic Nuts/Seeds and Nut Butters – Before you get too excited, please keep in mind that a serving of nuts is 1/4 cup at most, and aim for 1-2 Tbs for a nut butter. This is important so you don’t undo all your hard work. Fat is terrific and very important for your body but just keep your portions mindful and you will be good to go. Best choices are raw almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts (packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fats), pistachios, pumpkin seeds, or Brazil nuts which are loaded with selenium and vitamin E.
Nut butters are also great. Keep your eye out for brands that are available in individual packets. Almond and cashew butters are great choices, also. One of my favorite snacks is slathering raw almond or sunflower seed butter over two celery sticks as a perfect snack at my gym. Hello Crunch!
Bonus Tip: Using Snack Choices #1 or #2, make your own trail mix by combining your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and spices like sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg or ground ginger to change the flavor up a bit.
A favorite combo of mine is raw almonds, dried cherries, cacao nibs, coconut flakes, sea salt and cinnamon.
- Homemade Protein Balls – Make a batch your favorite balls and store them in a mason jar. (Be careful you don’t throw your bag around). Not only will you hit your cravings but you will enjoy a nourishing and healthy, homemade snack. My favorite recipes are Cashew and Date Balls and Raw Cookie Chew Balls.
- A Wholesome Snack Bar – This is a tricky one. You must read the labels and understand every ingredient for this snack to really work out. By now you are probably aware that not all protein and nut bars are created equal. In some cases, you are actually better off with a real candy bar, as there can be as much sugar and icky ingredients in an unhealthy protein bar. Instead, reach for a wholesome bar that is made with real ingredients, such as KIND bars. Make sure you can pronounce every ingredient (that is the test). If you notice a bar with many artificial ingredients, fat and sugar….run!
- 1-2 Scoops of Your Favorite Protein Powder – Protein is important in any diet. While real food is always the best option, it may not be a bad idea to have a scoop of your favorite protein powder in a ziploc bag tucked in your gym bag. Add your protein powder to your water for a convenient way to fuel with protein.
- Coconut Water – If you aren’t a protein powder fan, another great suggestion is having coconut water in your gym bag. While you won’t get the protein, you will have a tasty beverage to look forward to. A perfect electrolyte balance after a hard sweat session.
- Green Superfood Drink Packets – This is for when you aren’t really hungry but feel like you need something to recharge your batteries. This is also perfect for those days when you feel like you may have not had any “greens” in your day! Look for a green superfood powder (vegan, gluten-free, raw) that comes in individual packets. Add to your water and you will be enjoying amazing superfoods and a healthy and alkalinizing pick-me-up. You can put that coffee down.
There you are. Plenty of healthy options to not undo all your hard work. What are some of your favorite healthy snacks packed in your purse or gym bag?
Remember, never eat anything you don’t enjoy and truly enjoy everything you eat!