You know what the key to a good diet is? Believe it or not, eating!
Eating good several times a day is imperative to keeping your metabolism going. And if you choose the right meals and snacks, you’ll stay full all day and eliminate the need to grab unhealthy items. Having a game plan each day is imperative. If you go to work with a lunch box filled with a complete day’s worth of food, you won’t have a reason to go to McDonalds. During my weight loss journey, my day started with a filling breakfast (yogurt parfait, oatmeal bowl, egg sandwich), followed by a salty morning snack at 10:00am, lunch around noon (generally leftovers from dinner the night before), a sweet snack closer to 2:30 or 3:00pm, and dinner when I got home. Annnd if I was feeling extra froggy, I’d have a 100 calorie ice cream bar at the end of the night. Most diet pages focus on breakfast and dinner but I tell you, snacks are just as important! So here you have it, these are just a few of the snacks that helped me lose over 30 pounds in 3.5 months.
1. Corn and Black Bean Salsa
This is delicious in itself or with some pita chips (go easy on the chips). I’ve also used this to top chicken at night and it can be made by the tub! Mix together (2) 15 ounce cans of black beans (rinsed), 3 ears (or a can) of corn, 2 diced red bell peppers, 2 diced avocados, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tablespoons salt, a dash of cayenne pepper or hot sauce, 2 tablespoons sugar, 9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice, and some cilantro. Mix and enjoy.
2. Cottage Cheese and Pineapple
When I started my “journey”, I had never eaten cottage cheese before. In fact, it sounded absolutely disgusting to me. One of my friends told me to try it with pineapple chunks and oh-my-gosh, it’s amazing. The mixture of juicy, sweet pineapple and the salty cottage cheese is absolutely perfect together.
3. Japanese Cucumber Salad
This I prepared in bulk. I could make a huge container of it easily and then divvy it out as needed for those snack attacks requiring something salty. Take some cucumbers and peel then. Slice them in half length-wise and seed those babies, and then slice them into nice little half moon pieces. Mix together 2 cups of the cucumber slices with some salt and pepper (to taste). Stir in 1 tablespoon sugar (or honey), 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sesame seeds and let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before enjoying.
4. Pretzels with Hummus
Easy enough. I liked the menu pretzel twists and Roasted Red Pepper Sabra Hummus. Almost every day I would pack a bag of pretzels with me in case the other snacks I brought weren’t doing it for me. It takes about 2 seconds to fill a bag with 23 little pretzels and they have only about 90 calories!
5. Seaweed Salad
If you’re lucky enough to find this, buy it! Seaweed salad is something I had never even heard of until I started dieting and now I am obsessed with it. Some oriental markets sell it in the tub or you can buy seaweed in dry form (check out this recipe), although that way isn’t quite as good as the pre-made kind. If you can’t find it, I would definitely suggest going to your local sushi bar and ordering it on the reg, you won’t be disappointed! It looks scary but tastes amazing!
6. Apple Slices and Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip
This is seriously one of my favorite snacks ever. You have to make sure you don’t over indulge in peanut butter but if the portions are right, this is a healthy snack that makes you feel like you’re cheating. Mix together 1 part Greek Vanilla Yogurt with 1 part (maybe a little less) peanut butter. It makes a sweet and salty dip that goes perfectly with juicy apply slices and you’ll be completely full and satisfied after.
7. Broccoli Salad
This is another I used to create in bulk and is yet another delicious snack for those of us with a sweet tooth. Cut up 2 to 4 heads of broccoli into florets. Mix 1/2 cup to a cup of raisins (regular to golden, I used regular). Stir in a cup of light mayonnaise, 1/2 cup sugar (you can use less if you want but I prefer mine sweet), and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar. Some recipes suggest to add red onion, tomatoes, or bacon but I wasn’t a fan of those additions. I did throw in some sunflower seeds and then let that concoction marinate overnight before serving.
8. Protein Shake
Although pretty cliche, a protein shake can be a very satisfying meal or snack if you’re sweet tooth is hungry. There are a ton of recipes out there for protein shakes but be sure to keep an eye on what you’re putting into it. Just because it’s a shake doesn’t mean it’s healthy if there are 900 calories worth of ingredients in it. A good go-to for me is a scoop of all-natural chocolate protein, a decent portion of frozen cherries, a spoonful of Greek vanilla yogurt, a cup or two of vanilla almond milk (add or remove to get the consistency you like), and blend! Easy, fast, and delicious. If I’m headed more towards the salty side I’ll substitute the cherries for a spoonful of peanut butter and a frozen banana.
9. Tuna Salad
This can also double as lunch if served on toasted bread with a slice of cheese, tomato, and lettuce. Otherwise snack on it with crackers for a mid-afternoon treat. I made a mixture specific to my palette but you can go all kinds of crazy with tuna. I’d take a can and mix in a squirt of light mayo, a generous portion of spicy mustard, a spoonful of sweet pickle relish, diced tomatoes, chunks of a hard boiled egg (less the yolk), half a diced avocado, and some salt and pepper. Super salty and super satisfying.
10. Hard Boiled Eggs
Not super fancy, but an easy go-to. Take a dozen eggs and add them to cold water with a pinch of salt or olive oil, covered. Bring the water to a boil and immediately remove the covered pot from heat. Let stand for about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the eggs from the hot water and transfer them to a bowl full of ice water. Let them sit for a few minutes and then put those babies in the fridge for an easy-to-grab salty snack. Peel first (obviously), sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and enjoy!