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Monday, September 1, 2014

Elizabeth Street

THE BEST ON-THE-GO HEALTHY SNACK IDEAS

Aug 19, 2013

The Best On-the-Go Healthy Snack Ideas

No matter how lofty our intentions are to eat three nutritious, perfectly balanced meals every day, the reality of our busy lives means snacking constitutes more and more of our daily calories. So it’s important to practice smart snacking whenever your tummy grumbles. And more often than not, the best healthy snacks are within your reach.

Start by educating yourself about ingredients. Commit to reading labels before anything touches your lips. Snacks are notoriously marketed as “healthy” but the truth is that they’re frequently loaded with less-than-healthy ingredients: trans fats, hydrogenated vegetable oils, artificial sweeteners and colors, excess sugar and salt, chemicals and additives (any words you don’t recognize). Start being picky about what your snacks are made of--chose products that have as few ingredients as possible and make sure they are ones your grandmother would recognize! This especially goes for the countless snack bars on the market whose nutritional value vary greatly. While some offer a wholesome, quality boost, others are loaded with sweeteners, artificial additives and empty calories, which don’t do you a bit of good. 

Any parent of young kids usually has a random snack lurking at the bottom of their bag in case of emergencies and I’d love to encourage everyone to adopt this habit. If you keep a supply of healthy snacks in your environment you’ll be a lot less likely to make bad decisions when hunger strikes. Stock your car, your bike, your desk, your purse, your gym bag, your backpack--whatever you keep with you and wherever you spend time--with a variety of nutritious options. Pack up portable containers or Ziploc bags of nuts (preferably raw, not roasted and salted), seeds, gluten-free pretzels and crackers, rice cakes, flax crackers, dried fruit (no-sugar added variety), kale chips, dried coconut, bars (the good kind), and trail mix so they’re always handy wherever you may be.  

In addition to non-perishable goodies, start adding fresh fruits and vegetables to your snack repertoire. It’s easier than you think with just a little advance planning. Apples are the obvious choice because they are so easy to transport (and there are now portable packs of almond butter which taste terrific with apples on the go), but vegetables can be equally convenient. I try to wash all my vegetables on Sunday when I have extra time, then all I have to do in the morning, or even the night before, is quickly chop up a variety of my favorites: fennel, cucumber, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers and throw them in a baggie. If you pack kids’ lunches do it then, or, I often do it as I’m waiting for my oatmeal to cook in the morning. You can grab a pot of hummus to eat with them when you’re out and about or just munch away as they are. Plant-powered snacking is the very best kind. 

Educate yourself, read labels and plan ahead. Be a smart snacker who enjoys vital, consistent energy throughout the day without ever reaching for a sugary treat. 

By Calgary Avansino (@calgaryavansino)

Calgary Avansino has worked at British Vogue for 13 years, most recently as Executive Fashion Director and is now Contributing Editor, and her love for fashion is matched only by her passion for all things healthy! She is currently building a wellbeing website (you can sign up now www.calgaryavansino.com) and is working on a line of tasty and very good-for-you snacks. 

Calgary has plenty of other ideas on healthier living, like how to eat more green vegetables

Tired of the same old carrot and celery sticks? Click through our slideshow for some great, healthy snack ideas. 

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