It’s Friday, and you have the after-lunch stomach rumbles. It’s 2 p.m., and you really don’t have time to run out for something.
You take the walk down to the staff room and find it filled to the brim with cookies, donuts, chips and more. Your stomach says, “Oh my goodness, all for me?!” but deep down, you know those chocolate chip cookies are going to make you feel awfully guilty later on.
The temptation is real, but just because you are on a tight schedule doesn’t mean you need to break healthy eating habits while at work.
Instead, try these office snacks you can keep handy for when the hunger pangs roll around.
Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up a bag of nuts! Many nuts are chock-full of stuff your body needs, like healthy fats and protein. Cashews, almonds and pecans are some great options.
You can stash a bag at work and eat them plain, or if you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, season them before you pack them for the office. Most types of nuts will keep for a long time, which makes them the perfect desk drawer snack. The only problem you’ll have with this snack is keeping your coworkers’ hands away from stealing them.
Apples & Nut Butter
Apples with peanut butter may be an oldie, but it’s a goody. Sometimes people overlook the power of this combo, but there’s a reason why so many people reach for this snack.
The apple provides you with some sugar, which can be great for those afternoons where your brain feels sluggish, and the nut butter will help tide you over until you can get a real meal in.
If you’re not a fan of peanut butter, cashew and almond butter are great substitutes! Just make sure to avoid Nutella. (I know, it’s a heartbreaking piece of advice.) It has loads of sugar in it, which will make it much harder for you to stop snacking.
Ever have those moments where you wish you could snap your fingers and food would appear? Yeah, me too. Juices make the perfect replacement meal! And no, not apple juice like you used to drink out of a juice box.
You can purchase pre-packaged juices, but you’ll pay a premium for them, especially if you have them shipped to your door. If you find you’re into juicing, buy some glass bottles and invest in a juicer. Over a few months of juicing, you’ll save immensely. Another alternative if you like vegetable juice is to keep a bottle of V8 stored at work. It has loads of veggies in it!
When you get to work, stash your freshly-made juices in the fridge or keep them on ice in a lunch bag. They’re best when they are kept cold — the nutrients won’t break down as much.
It’s just one of those days where your sweet tooth is acting up. In those moments, reach for some dark chocolate. Depending on how much cocoa your dark chocolate contains – the more cocoa, the better, nutritionally speaking — you won’t have to feel guilty about indulging.
Many dark chocolates have a whopping amount of fiber in them along with other minerals that will keep your brain happy and healthy. Snack on, friend!
Sometimes, nothing can beat veggies and dip. If you know you’re a snacker and need that afternoon pick-me-up, plan ahead.
Wash and slice your veggies on Sunday night for Monday and Tuesday. Fill the bottom of a mason jar with hummus or dip, and then stick your carrots, celery or other goodies into the jar. Now you have a transportable veggie container that won’t leak!
There’s a reason why people who hike and bike long distances pack trail mix. With tons of vitamins and minerals, as well as protein and fiber, trail mix keeps hunger at bay.
Don’t be fooled by some of those store-bought mixes, though. Just because it has the words ‘trail mix’ on it does not mean you should eat a mix with 50 percent of its makeup consisting of yogurt drops and M&Ms. Check the sugar content before you purchase. Some bulk aisles in stores will have good options!
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can always branch out and try to make your own specialty trail mixes!
The great egg debate has finally been settled: eat the darn things and enjoy it! The great thing with eggs is they aren’t only for breakfast. Hardboiled eggs or pickled eggs make a great snack during the workday. Just store them in the fridge, and when hunger strikes, pull one or two out. Keep some salt and pepper handy if you’re into seasoning them and enjoy!
Overnight oats are the most versatile food out there. Craving something sweet? Something salty? There is an overnight oat recipe for whatever your taste buds are hankering for.
If you’re not familiar with the term, overnight oats are exactly as they sound: oats that are made overnight. No cooking involved! Soak the oats in water, milk or another type of liquid of your choice, add fruit or other ingredients, and let sit in your fridge overnight. They’re a perfect mid-morning snack to send those brain cells into overdrive!
Packed with protein, beef jerky is a keeper for office snacks. From beef to turkey to even vegan jerky, you can satisfy your hunger with a few pieces. It’s also great because it doesn’t make your insulin spike, which won’t tell your body to store fat. Just be sure to avoid the brands filled with sodium and sugar, and look for all natural or low-sodium options instead.
Craving a sandwich for lunch, but want a lighter snack instead? These easy, bread-free roll-ups are perfect. Take a couple slices of turkey – or other light lunch meat – a slice of cheese, lettuce and a tomato slice and roll up into a satisfying, portable snack.
Greek Yogurt + Fruit or Granola
Greek yogurt is packed with protein and probiotics, with less sugar and carbs than regular yogurt. The fruited varieties can still be loaded with sugar, though, so opt for plain yogurt and add your own fresh fruit and/or granola for a light and bright snack that will keep you going until it’s time to eat again.
If you’re into yogurt and fruit, but want a more portable option, smoothies are just what you’re looking for. Combine fruit, skim milk and the fruit and veggies of your choice to create a custom shake you can take with you on the run between meetings. If you need some inspiration, check out this list of Martha Stewart’s most pinned recipes.
Tuna + Crackers
Although smelly, tuna is a great source of protein, fatty acids and vitamins. Grab some whole-wheat crackers and scoop up a simple snack that’s equally satisfying. Just be sure to take a break and eat this one in the kitchen, if you can. You don’t want to be *that* co-worker.
The biggest piece of advice is to plan ahead. If you’re into snacking, you should have things on hand so you don’t have to venture past everyone else eating three-day-old birthday cake that was left in the break room. You can happily wave your veggies and dip at them as you walk back to your desk. Your body will thank you for treating it so well!
Get to snacking, and share your favorites in the comments!