“Don’t focus on how much you eat. Focus on what you eat.”
Hello beautiful people! Happy Friday!
Has life been busy or what lately? At least for me, with it being summer, having classes, and still trying to fit in my workouts, meal prep has been HUGE! Every morning, I leave the house around 6:30 am and tend to get home around 7:30-8 pm, which basically means, I need to have a lot of food on deck if I am going to make it through the day – LOL!
Meal prep has been a huge game changer for myself this past year. It has allowed me to 1) get all of my work done, 2) take on more work (if needed), 3) travel more, 4) stay on pace with my health and wellness goals/lifestyle changes and most importantly, 5) enjoy life without feeling hungry and making rash or poor eating decisions.
As I have stated before, eating is probably the most important step to a healthy lifestyle. It allows you to reduce risk for many diseases, have more energy, and see your progress in the gym become defined. However, it is not wrong to treat yourself. It is not wrong to want chips and queso, or an ice cream cone every once in awhile. In fact, it is healthy to have those small cheat treats/meals/days because it actually sparks your metabolism in a new way, and acts as a reboot/jumpstart because your body is not used to those nutrients. However, during the work week, I personally like to meal prep. I have stated that I have the mindset that if I eat healthy during the week, or alone, then I won’t feel as guilty when I want to treat myself with friends once in a while, and this mindset has done me so good!
Therefore, below I wanted to give you guys my favorites on-the-go items that are healthy, satisfying, and easy to pack. Although I absolutely LOVE to cook and make new recipes, sometimes, you simply just do not have the time to whip up granola bars and protein cookies, LOL.
Below is a list of my favorite items, by brand, that I buy every week. I LOVE these items because I can mix and match almost all of them. For example, the Wholly Guacamole goes with Carrot Sticks, Wasa Crackers, Back to Nature Crackers, and Pepper Strips, making it easy for me to make the same snack taste a tiny bit different and fit my calorie/protein/carb count for that specific day. Each item can be found at any grocery store, for the most part, and are basically pretty natural. My favorite part about these items is I do not have to put them together beforehand. Usually, for the week, I will just bring a bunch of these items to work and put them in my snack drawer and in my mini fridge, and then I can just grab what I am feeling for the day! Sometimes, I will pre-package items, but most times I just fill up my snack drawer weekly.
My Favorite Snacks By Brand:
Wholly Guacamole: 100 calories, 1g of protein, and 5 g of carbs
Laughing Cow Cheese (any flavor): 35 calories, 2.5 g of protein, and 1 g of carbs
Carrot sticks (11 sticks): 25 calories, 0g of protein, and 6 g of carbs
Melba Toast Whole Wheat (7 crackers): 80 calories, 3 g of protein, and 14 g of carbs
Back To Nature Sesame Seed Crackers (15 crackers): 130 calories, 2 g of protein, and 24 g of carbs
Green Bell Pepper Strips (4 Strips): 8 calories, .35 g of protein, and 1.82 g of carbs
Archer Farms Nuts Raw & Unsalted (1 pouch): 150 calories, 5 g of protein, and 6 g of carbs.
Second Nature Chocolate Cranberry Mix (3 tbsp): 140 calories, 3 g of protein, and 16 g of carbs.
Wasa Crackers – I prefer the Light Rye flavor (2 slices): 60 calories, 2 g of protein, and 14 g of carbs
Usually, I love to pair my Wasa Crackers with meat and laughing cow to mimic a small, lighter version of a “sandwich”. I also will spread peanut butter on the cracker and sprinkle trail mix on it for a high-carb snack before a workout.
Banana: 90-105 calories (depending on the size), 1.29 g of protein, and 26.95 g of carbs.
More times than not, I am pairing my banana with peanut butter because it is easy, tasty, and satisfies my sweet tooth. However, I love to put it on top of a Chocolate Rice Cake if I am feeling more of a craving that day.
Carving Board Lunch Meat (2 oz): 60 calories, 11g of protein, and .5 g of carbs
Sometimes, I love to eat this plain. It is such a great, easy, and quick snack if you are looking to load up on the protein. Otherwise, I will usually pair it with:
Wasa Light Rye Cracker: this bumps the snack from 60 calories to 90 calories, and 13 g of protein with 14.5 g of carbs. I also will add laughing cow cheese if I want even more protein.
Quaker Rice Cakes – White Cheddar: 45 calories, 1 g of protein, and 8 g of carbs
Quaker Rice Cakes – Plain & Salt Free: 35 calories, 1 g of protein, and 7 g of carbs
Quaker Rice Cakes – Chocolate: 60 calories, 1 g of protein, and 12 g of carbs
I love rice cakes. They are light, but so filling, and give you that type of crunch a bag of chips or pretzels would. I usually, depending on the flavor, pair this with peanut butter or laughing cow. Sometimes, if I am even hungrier than usual (which happens a lot), I will eat the White Cheddar with laughing cow and lunch meat, turning it into a sandwich almost. Also, the Chocolate Rice Cake pairs amazing with PB, honey, and dark chocolate chips and strawberries!
Peanut Butter – use either Homeplate or Full Circle Organic (2 tbsp): 190 calories, 7 g of protein, and 7 g of carbs.
The reason that I use these two peanut butters specifically is due to the fact that they are more natural. Homeplate only consists of 4 ingredients, and Full Circle consists of just 1! Although, JIF only has 6 ingredients, one of them is Mono And Diglycerides, which is most definitely not the most natural ingredient you could supply to your tummy, LOL. If you are looking for something a little bit sweeter, Homeplate will be the way to go, but I use Full Circle most of the time .
Healthy eating can be extravagant, but it doesn’t have to be! It can be simple, efficient, and tasty, all you have to do is look for the right products in the store. A few tips for finding the healthiest product/brand: 1) look at the label, 2) see how many ingredients are in the product – the fewer the better, 3) do a little research online or look at your favorite “fitspo’s” tips, and 4) keep it natural. The more natural you can be with what you are pairing together, such as carrots and guacamole, the healthier you know it will be. All it takes is a little research and a tiny bit a of meal prep for the whole week to be an easy, healthy, and satisfied breeze.
With all that I am,