Five Snacks You Should Always Keep Around
If you’re following The Simple 9 (which you should be if you’re getting this email), you’ve hopefully made some drastic changes to your eating habits. Some of those changes should have included ditching bags of chips and boxes of crackers and cookies. By now the snack food section of your cupboard should be pretty bare.
So, what should you do when you have a snack attack? The best thing to do is plan ahead by having plenty of simple snacks at home, at work, or in your purse or computer bag.
Here are five simple snacks everyone following The Simple 9 should keep around all the time.
1. Raw Vegetables
Always keep plenty of vegetables that can be eaten raw in your fridge ready to go. Cut them up and mix them together in a large container so they are more appealing. Celery, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, radishes and cherry tomatoes are vegetables that taste great raw and require little preparation.
2. Fresh Fruit
Fresh fruit tastes great, contains lots of water and usually comes with its own biodegradable packaging. I recommend keeping a bowl of fresh fruit like apples, bananas, pears, tangerines and peaches on your kitchen counter. Fresh berries are my favorite fruit snack since they are lower in sugar and very high in antioxidants. Don’t forget that eating more fruits and vegetables will unconsciously cause you to reduce the amount of added sugars and fats in your diet.
Walnuts and macadamia nuts should be a staple in your house. They are one of your best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Remember omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids—your body can’t make them, so you need to eat them on a regular basis. Omega 3-fatty acids are important because they reduce inflammation, which improves your heart health and reduces joint pain. Walnuts have been shown to reduce blood pressure and prevent colon cancer due to their complex array of natural compounds and phytochemicals.
While walnuts and macadamia nuts are king because of their high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, any tree nut is a great snack. In fact, eating nuts of any kind—including walnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts and brazil nuts—just twice a week is associated with a 17% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
4. Snack Bars
There are literally dozens of different kinds of healthy snack bars available for the time-crunched eater to consume on the go. The problem is sorting through the sea of choices to find bars that are actually good for you. The irony in this is many of the snack bars that promote themselves as “the healthiest” are actually the worst. We published a blog post a couple of years ago explaining why Clif Bars and Kind Bars are bad choices in a Simple eating plan.
When choosing any kind of snack, follow these guidelines from The Simple 9:
- Don’t eat any food that has sugar as one of its first three ingredients.
- Don’t eat anything that contains grains or soybeans.
- Only eat processed foods that contain 9 or fewer pronounceable ingredients.
Following these guidelines puts most snack bars off limits. We’ve actually found four that we like and recommend you try.
RXBARs are protein bars made with a few simple ingredients. The ingredients are listed on the front of the wrapper and they proudly claim to contain “No B.S.” We like this snack so much that’s the only item we’ve ever sold in our gym during our first 15 years of being in business.
LÄRABARs are a delicious gluten free blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts and spices. Made from whole food, each bar contains no more than 9 ingredients—minimally processed and as close to their natural state as possible.
That’s it. fruit bars are non-GMO, gluten free snack bars that feature only two ingredients—fruit and fruit. They add no preservatives, colors or sugars, and all of the bars contain 100 – 110 calories.
Epic Meat Bars are snack bars made of, well you guessed it, meat. But not just any meat—all of their meat is grass fed and pasture finished. They make 10 different meat bars, including Bison, Beef, Venison, Salmon, Chicken, Turkey, Pork, Lamb, Wild Boar, and Duck. All the meats are seasoned with whole real foods like cranberries, cherries, sweet potatoes, walnuts, and apples.
5. Nut Butter Packets
Individual packets of various kinds of nut butters have become very popular in the past few years. These little snacks that ride well in your pocket or purse are great because they can easily curb your appetite and contain no sugar. We’ve recently become fond of two different types of nut butter packets.
FBOMB Nut Butters are a combination of pure macadamia nut butter and natural ingredients. They contain no binders or fillers. The folks at FBOMB use a proprietary cool-grind process that produces a creamy base texture with a few small nut chunks. These things really are “the bomb.” You can’t go wrong with macadamia nuts.
RX Nut Butter, from our friends at RXBAR, is a high quality, protein-packed spread made from real ingredients like egg whites, dates and nuts. They make peanut butters, but stay away from those and go for the four flavors of almond butter—Plain Almond Butter, Vanilla Almond Butter, Coconut Almond Butter and Maple Almond Butter.
Keep these snacks around, so when the hungries hit, you will have plenty of the right choices to keep you from making the wrong choices.
You may have noticed that several links in this article direct you to the product on Amazon. We have often been asked for recommendations on various things—snacks, supplements, books, equipment, etc—but we never had a good way to share that information with multiple people in a way that allowed them to easily find it when they actually need it. We have finally solved that problem by becoming an Amazon Influencer.
As an Amazon Influencer, we have a dedicated “storefront” where we can share all the things we love. You can go to our storefront any time to easily find and purchase items we recommend—that way, you’ll know they’re Simple 9-approved. You can also follow our Influencer page, and Amazon will automatically alert you via email when we add new products to our lists or create new categories.
We will add products to our storefront over time, and we’ll share some of them through blog posts like this. It’s one more way we hope to provide great information and added service to you.